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Marsden Fund urged to raise PhD stipends above minimum wage


More than 700 New Zealand researchers sign open letter calling for improved project pay

Rates of pay for research students on Marsden Fund projects have stagnated and need to be increased to at least the minimum wage, according to an open letter to the Marsden Fund Council signed by more than 700 researchers.

The letter, published on 27 September, says that since the early 2000s, PhD stipends for Marsden Fund projects have fallen from “approximately 25 per cent above minimum wage” to “approximately 20 per cent below the minimum wage”. The Marsden Fund is New Zealand’s largest annual round of contestable funding, administered by the Royal Society on behalf of the government.

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