|Category||Administration and Management|
|Approved by||Council, 8 April 2014|
|Date Procedure Took Effect||9 April 2014|
|Last approved revision||29 April 2022|
|Sponsor||Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise)|
|Responsible officer||Manager, Postgraduate Scholarships, Prizes and Awards, Research Division|
To make clear and consistent the processes for approving, amending, reviewing and disestablishing University prizes and scholarships.
This procedure applies to all University-approved prizes and scholarships.
- An award made to a current student at the University of Otago in recognition of previous performance, usually not based on future conditions such as enrolment in a particular qualification or paper.
- An award made to a current or intending student at the University of Otago for the purpose of supporting future or current study.
- Hosting Department
- The department with which a particular prize or scholarship is associated. This may not necessarily be an academic department, but will usually be the area that initiates the establishment of the prize or scholarship and/or the area that relates to the students who are eligible for the prize or scholarship.
- The Manager, Postgraduate Scholarships, Prizes and Awards and the Manager, Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships, within their respective areas of responsibility, are responsible for:
- ensuring standardisation of prize and scholarship regulations, that such regulations comply with relevant University policies and statutes; and
- the ongoing administration of established scholarships and prizes including general advertising as appropriate.
- The Development and Alumni Relations Office, together with the Research and Enterprise Office if appropriate, is responsible for
- liaison with prize and scholarship donors including discussions on the establishment of a new prize or scholarship; and
- the setting up of any associated trust funds and through ongoing stewardship once a prize or scholarship is established.
- The Development and Alumni Relations Office is also responsible for ensuring that prize and scholarship donations are consistent with the University’s broader development and alumni relations strategies.
- The hosting department is responsible for the initial drafting of regulations for new scholarships and prizes, ensuring regulations are updated to reflect relevant changes to qualifications, papers or course structures, and specific advertising as appropriate.
- Other responsibilities shall be as laid down in specific prize or scholarship regulations.
2. Establishment of a new prize or scholarship
- It is expected that University prizes or scholarships will be offered in perpetuity. Minimum values for new prizes and scholarships are stated in “Prize and Scholarship Minimum Values” below. If perpetuity or minimum value requirements are not met, a special case will need to be made for the establishment of the prize or scholarship.
- The procedure for establishment of a new prize or scholarship is as follows:
- In considering establishment of a new prize or scholarship, the hosting department should first contact the Manager, Postgraduate Scholarships, Prizes and Awards or, if applicable, the Manager, Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships for initial advice and assistance. If an external donor is involved, the Development and Alumni Relations Office and/or the Research and Enterprise Office must also be contacted.
- Where departmental funds are solely intended to support a new or amended prize, the Department must demonstrate the strategic value to the University of the prize before development of regulations. Strategic value in this instance is defined as supporting equity, sustainability or other key strategic frameworks of the University.
- The prize or scholarship regulations must be drafted to the satisfaction of the hosting department, the Manager Postgraduate Scholarships, Prizes and Awards or Manager, Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships (whichever role is applicable) and the donor.
- The details for the prize or scholarship must be recorded on the appropriate proposal form, available from the Manager, Postgraduate Scholarships, Prizes and Awards.
- The completed proposal form must be signed by the appropriate Head of Department, Dean, or the equivalent head of the hosting department.
- For scholarships or prizes associated with an Academic Division, the proposal form and associated documentation must then be submitted for endorsement by the relevant Pro-Vice-Chancellor or appropriate Divisional Board (approval practice may vary across Divisions).
- For University-wide scholarships or prizes, the proposal form must be endorsed by the appropriate Deputy Vice-Chancellor or the Vice-Chancellor.
- The completed documentation comprising a signed proposal form and final wording for the prize or scholarship regulations must be returned to the Manager Postgraduate Scholarships, Prizes and Awards, or the Manager, Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships, if applicable, who will then arrange for final consideration and/or endorsement by the Scholarships and Prizes Committee and Senate and Council approval.
- Proposals for new prizes or scholarships can be submitted at any time throughout the year. It is noted however, that due to the timing of Scholarships and Prizes Committee, Senate and Council meetings, approval for proposals submitted late in the year may be delayed.
3. Naming of a new prize or scholarship
- The University allows prizes and scholarships to be named after sponsoring organisations and for the regulations of prizes and scholarships to acknowledge the donor, with the following provisos:
- The University does not accept sponsorship from companies that produce or distribute alcohol, tobacco or munitions.
- The University may require amendments to, or reject, a proposal for a new prize or scholarship, where the naming or acknowledgement of a sponsor is deemed to be against the values or strategic interests of the University.
- The University may require amendments to, or disestablish, an existing prize or scholarship, where the naming or acknowledgement of a sponsor is deemed to be against the values or strategic interests of the University.
- Prizes shall not be named after current members of staff or current students.
- Departments, Schools/Faculties and Divisions may choose to implement their own restrictions on prize naming and acknowledgement of donors within regulations, as is deemed appropriate to their discipline areas.
4. Amendment of an existing prize or scholarship
Amendments to approved University Prizes or Scholarship regulations fall into three categories as follow:
- Minor editorial corrections such as formatting changes or minor wording changes that do not alter the substantive meaning of the regulations. These must be approved by the Manager, Postgraduate Scholarships, Prizes and Awards, or for Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships by the Manager, Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships.
- Changes to the regulations which do not alter the general intent of the prize or scholarship. If applicable, these require consultation with the donor and/or the University’s Treasury Accountant for trust-funded scholarships and prizes. Changes require the endorsement of the appropriate Head of Department (or equivalent) and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (or equivalent) and final approval by the Convenor of the Scholarships and Prizes Committee, through the delegated authority of Senate and Council. Such changes may include amendments:
- to prize or scholarship titles
- to information relating to the circumstances of the prize or scholarship (e.g. donor information)
- to selection criteria which do not alter the general intent of the prize or scholarship
- to application processes
- to selection panels
- to award values
- relating to changes to papers, course structures or qualifications referred to in the regulations.
- Substantive changes to the regulations which alter the general intent of the prize or scholarship. These require approval by Council on the recommendation of Senate and the Scholarships and Prizes Committee. The process followed should be as detailed above under “Establishment of a New Prize or Scholarship”.
5. Disestablishment or suspension of an existing prize or scholarship
Prizes or Scholarships may be permanently disestablished or suspended due to lack of available funds or for strategic reasons.
- Where a prize or scholarship is funded by a trust, by an external donor, or by a department or other University unit, and temporarily there are insufficient funds to offer the award, the Manager, Postgraduate Scholarships, Prizes and Awards may suspend the prize or scholarship until such time as funding is again available or sufficient.
- Where a prize or scholarship is funded by a trust, by an external donor, or by a department or other University unit, and there are permanently insufficient funds to offer the award (either at its current value or under the guidelines laid out in “Prize and Scholarship Minimum Values” below), Council may disestablish the prize or scholarship.
- Requests for prizes or scholarships to be disestablished on strategic grounds should be made in writing to the Manager, Postgraduate Scholarships, Prizes and Awards, and endorsed by the Head of the hosting department and relevant Pro-Vice-Chancellor (or equivalent). This request shall be forwarded to Senate and Council who may disestablish the prize or scholarship.
6. Review of existing prizes and scholarships
The Scholarships and Prizes Committee shall conduct a formal review of the values of all University prizes and scholarships every four years. From this review the Committee shall:
- Approve increases of value in prizes and scholarships where funds permit.
- Recommend to Senate and Council the continuation of selected prizes and scholarships which fall below the usual minimum values outlined below, where there are strategic reasons for doing so.
- Recommend to hosting departments the re-purposing of prizes and scholarships where an excess of available funds allow this (for example recommend a prize be amended to, or supplemented by, a higher-value scholarship where funding permits).
- Report to Senate and Council on currently suspended prizes or scholarships which have been suspended for more than one year.
- Recommend to Senate and Council the disestablishment of prizes and scholarships where there is insufficient continuing funding available.
- Review minimum values as outlined in “Prize and Scholarship Minimum Values” below.
- Maintain a list of all University prizes and scholarships that is available on request to University staff and students.
7. Prize and scholarship minimum values
- It is expected that, notwithstanding section (f) below, all University prizes and scholarships will provide a monetary award, or an award in the form of other goods, to the recipient(s).
- The minimum monetary value for a new prize is normally $500.
- The minimum monetary value for a new scholarship is normally $3,000.
- The minimum monetary value for an existing prize or scholarship is normally half the minimum value for a new prize or scholarship (i.e. $250 and $1,500 respectively).
- Non-monetary goods awarded as prizes and scholarships (e.g. books) should have the approximate monetary values as specified above.
- Exceptions to minimum values for prizes and scholarships will only be approved in exceptional circumstances, and shall be considered by Senate and Council either, for new prizes or scholarships, on the basis of a case provided by the hosting department, or for existing prizes or scholarships, on the recommendation of the Scholarships and Prizes Committee following review (see Section 6 (b) above).
- Where, in any one year, a prize is shared across recipients, the value of the prize shall normally be split between the recipients. The amount awarded to each recipient must be no less than half the stated value of the prize. In cases where the prize is shared across more than twice the number of usual recipients, it is the responsibility of the host department to provide additional funds to meet this condition.
8. Recording of prizes and scholarships on academic records
The recipient of a scholarship or prize approved by Council on the recommendation of Senate and the Scholarships and Prizes Committee will have the award notated on their academic transcript.
Related policies, procedures and forms
- Degrees and Other Awards Statute 2011
- Major Sponsorship Guidelines
- Donations to the University – Guidelines
- Sensitive Expenditure Policy
- Conflicts of Interest Policy
Contact for further information
If you have any queries regarding the content of these procedures or need further clarification, contact: