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Commonly asked questions

How much can I apply for?

This year the Trust Fund will grant between 10 and 12 Awards up to $12,000 each in value. Normally there are around 60­-80 applications. Our practice of granting a $60,000 award has been discontinued in order to support a larger number of projects.

What can I use the funding for?

It can be used for any expenses to do with the researching and writing process.

  • Travel costs (national or international) if you need to visit archives and libraries
  • Equipment costs such as computers
  • Research costs such as photocopying, getting copies of photographs, stationery
  • Paying yourself a wage if you take time out of your regular paid work to do the project; or paying yourself a wage if you are unemployed
  • Some oral history as part of the research for the project.

But you can't use the funding for:

  • Costs relating to the publication or production of the work (design, printing of books, publicity).
  • The collection or arrangement of archival material or the preparation of databases only
  • Collecting oral histories only; you should apply to the New Zealand Oral History Awards scheme.

What do I include with my application?

The completed application form, a discussion of the significance of the project to New Zealand history, a budget, the stage the project has reached, a brief chapter outline, an indication of the sources you will be using, brief and relevant personal information, and the names of two people who know your work.

How detailed does the budget need to be?

Just give us a rough guide. For example, if you are applying for $10,000, then indicate that $5000 is to pay yourself a wage for 7 weeks while you write, $2000 is to cover the cost of a new computer, and $3000 is to cover 6 trips from your home to another town where the archives are held. You don't need to itemise the budget beyond that.

Are all are types of history eligible?

Yes, so long as you show that the topic is of significance to New Zealand history. If your topic is regional, or is about your family, you should make it clear how the project would enhance the country's history.

Are different publishing formats eligible?

The Trust has traditionally supported history projects leading to print publications, but other formats are eligible as long as you are seeking funding only for the research and writing component of your project, not production costs.

I'm writing a historical novel/drama/poem.  Can I apply for funding under this scheme?

No, only non-fictional historical scholarship is funded.

I have previously received a history award – can I apply again?

You can apply for funding for new projects, but not for projects which have previously received a History Award. To be considered for a new project we require that you have completed any previous projects funded by the Trust.

I work in a university/tertiary institution, or I'm writing a thesis at a university?  Can I apply for funding?

No, not if you are undertaking a university project and you are eligible for any of the research funding the university has available for staff and students. You are eligible to apply, however, if you are undertaking a private project in your own time, regardless of your status as a full-time or part-time university staff member or student.

We are a community group.  Can we apply for funding?

Community groups are advised to apply to the Lottery Environment and Heritage Fund, run by the Department of Internal Affairs. That fund assists community groups to get their histories done; it has more funding rounds, so your chances of getting assistance are greater.

Do I send in samples of my work to support my application?

No, and you don't need to send in reports or letters from referees either.

I've actually finished all of the work on the project; can I recoup some of the costs?

No, we don't fund retrospectively. The research/writing work on your project must be ongoing after the closing date for applications.

How long will it be before I find out if I've been successful?

All applicants will be notified of the outcome by early December and, if successful, will receive the money by direct debit at that time.

Is GST paid on Awards?

Yes, if you are GST-registered. Successful applicants should send us a tax invoice for the amount of the award plus GST.

Who decides whether or not I get an Award?

A special committee of senior historians appointed for the purpose.

Updated on 7th October 2019