David J. Stewart Memorial Scholarship

David J Stewart Memorial Scholarship for Postgraduate Study

David Stewart was a primary school principal, an academic, a researcher, education centre director and the author of several books. He initiated and developed Te Ariki Project, a professional development programme for school principals.

The Scholarship of $20,000 will be awarded to a single applicant each year.

About the Scholarship

The David Stewart Memorial Scholarship is a collaboration between NZEI Te Riu Roa (NZEI), the New Zealand Principals' Federation (NZPF) and Te Ariki Trust. The purpose of the Scholarship is to honour the work of Dr. David Stewart by providing educational leaders with the opportunity for research study.

David Stewart’s widow has accepted being party to the purpose of the Scholarship and has given permission for David’s name to be used.

The scholarship of $20,000 will be awarded to a single applicant each year. Joint applications will not be accepted and the scholarship money cannot be split between separate multiple applicants. NZEI and NZPF may decide how the successful study will be formally publicised by their organisations.

Click the link below to learn more about the scholarship criteria and process.

  • You can submit your application for the scholarship here (email: dsmscholarship@nzei.org.nz).

Who can apply?

Applications will be open to fully financial members of NZEI Te Riu Roa or NZPF who meet the following criteria:

  • Currently employed in a permanent position in the education sector, a state or state integrated school, early childhood education centre or by the Ministry of Education.
  • Have at least 10 years of consecutive service in the education sector employed in a New Zealand school or early childhood centre or by the Ministry of Education prior to the year of application.
  • Have been a full financial member of NZEI Te Riu Roa or NZPF for at least five consecutive years immediately prior to the year of application.
  • Have been active in professional associations, networks or groups relevant to the dissemination of their project.

Plus preferably

  • Hold a post graduate qualification in a field related to education.
  • The purpose of the Scholarship is to provide educational leaders with the opportunity for research study that honours the work of Dr David Stewart.


The successful proposal will reflect David Stewart’s strong sense of hope and of moral and ethical purpose, including the essence of his Te Ariki Project which was to:

  • Take up an intellectual challenge and make sense of complex issues
  • See education as an intellectual activity where original ideas can be created
  • Develop reflective professional practitioners
  • Build a culture where staff enjoy working collaboratively

In addition to alignment with David Stewart’s work applications must

  • Have high academic integrity and rigour
  • Focus on professional; leadership
  • Reference and build on the philosophy of David’s work

The proposal must include an outline of the investigation or study including key points that indicate a clear understanding of the purpose of the Scholarship as well as a rationale, timeframe and an indication of those to be interviewed or conferences to be attended.

To ensure the evidence within a proposal is robust, David Stewart’s mechanisms such as peer review and quality assurance must be clearly established and identifiable in any project.

An applicant’s proposal must show an understanding of ethical research. There will be evidence of action to ensure the project fits ethical requirements.

Planning must also demonstrate prudent use of funding, including how and when the funding will be used and how the results of the completed proposal could be disseminated. This could include presentation of a paper at a conference, publication in a journal, an online website /programme

Scholarship timetable:

February: Applications open

End of July: Applications close

August: Shortlisting and interviews organised

September: Interviews conducted

September: Recipient advised

December: Full and final report received from the previous year’s scholarship recipient to the Board

January: Funding released

Selection Panel

The panel convened by the invitation of the NZEI and NZPF National Presidents, has full discretion to decide to whom the Scholarship will be awarded and has full discretion to decide whether or not the Scholarship will be awarded in any year. 

The decision of the panel will be final, and no correspondence will be entered. From time to time the NZEI and NZPF Presidents, will provide advice for the consideration of their National Executives on priorities for the Scholarship, the value of the Scholarship and its administration.

The NZEI and NZPF and Te Ariki Trust reserve the right to review the terms, conditions and operation of the David Stewart Memorial Scholarship.

NZEI, NZPF and Te Ariki Trust retain the right to refuse to publish a report and to claim back all or part of the Scholarship money forwarded to a successful applicant should the project not be completed, or not completed as set out in the proposal or the application form. NZEI and NZPF also retain the right to suspend a Scholarship and require repayment of the money should there be a breach of ethical requirements.

The purpose of the Scholarship is to provide educational leaders with the opportunity for research study that honours the work of Dr David Stewart.

Interested in applying?

Applications for the 2025 scholarships are now open. Submit this form to find out more about how you can apply for this scholarship.

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