Support services and resources for students

Explore the support services and research resources available to you at Victoria during your PhD.

“Shut up and Write!”

The Faculty of Graduate Research facilitates “Shut up and Write” sessions.

The sessions use the Pomodoro technique—timed bursts of writing interspersed with timed periods of relaxation—in a relaxed, friendly environment in order to support and encourage improved writing productivity. In addition to the impetus provided purely by setting aside the time specifically to write, being surrounded by others who are pursuing the same goal is surprisingly motivating. Meeting others from around the university who are researching and writing carries the added benefit of breaking down some of the isolation that research students in particular often experience, and which can prove very debilitating.

The session is facilitated, not taught. Participants bring their own writing task. They are not required to share, explain or justify what they are writing. The presence of others is a mechanism for motivation and support, not critique.

For further information, please contact:

Tuesdays 1.30–2.30pm Milk and Honey, Kelburn Campus Wednesdays 9–10am Milk and Honey, Kelburn Campus.

Research and computing resources

Minimum Resources Agreement

Victoria has a Minimum Resources Agreement which applies to thesis students in all schools. The agreement covers office space and furniture, electronic facilities and financial support.



Information Technology Services (ITS) is responsible for computing facilities on campus. ITS provides technical support for staff and students and a range of research services.

More information on the Student IT Services is available on the ITS website.

Staff domain

All postgraduate thesis students have the right to access Victoria’s network via the staff domain. See your school administrator to arrange access.


University computers are installed with a standard range of supported software. See your school if you need specialised software.

The University Library can supply you with a range of bibliographic and statistical software. See the staff at the Closed Reserve Desk on Level 2.

Digital research resources

The University Library subscribes to a range of databases. ResearchArchive provides online access to theses and other research outputs by the University's academics and postgraduate students.

Funding and financial support

Victoria Doctoral Scholarships

If your application for a Victoria Doctoral Scholarship was unsuccessful, you may re-apply within twelve months of your provisional registration or within twelve months of your initial funding application.

You may only re-apply if there has been a change in your circumstances that is likely to positively affect the outcome of your application. Examples include:

  • publication of papers in reputable journals
  • presentation of papers at international conferences
  • confirmation of research capability when evidence (e.g. final grades) was not initially available.

See the Scholarships website for more information.

Additional scholarships support for doctoral students

Victoria University offers Victoria PhD Submission Scholarship to support candidates in the final three months prior to submission of the thesis, providing no other scholarship support is available.

Doctoral students can also apply to the Victoria Doctoral Hardship Fund which is available to all doctoral students, with preference given to those nearing completion, or the period between submission and the oral examination. Students will continue to have access to the standard Victoria Hardship Fund throughout their candidature for any unexpected hardship they may encounter.

We also strongly encourage students to make an appointment with Student Financial Support & Advice as early as possible.  This team can help with budgeting, advice and a comprehensive range of financial information and support As a start scholarship holders may find the Victoria Doctoral Scholarship Financial Timeline helpful when planning a budget.

Faculty Research Grants

You can apply for research grants through your faculty or school where available. Funds are typically granted to cover identifiable expenditure on inter-library loans, research material, travel for fieldwork and conference attendance.

If you wish to apply for a research grant, discuss your application with your supervisors.

PGSA Awards

See the PGSA website for more information on the PGSA awards.

Contestable Funding

There is a range of contestable funding open to postgraduate students in the form of grants and scholarships. The scholarships’ database, which you can access from the Scholarships website, is a useful tool for finding both Victoria and external scholarships that may be available to you as a PhD student. For more information about funding possibilities check the Scholarships website.

Funding for Māori Students

Mai ki Poneke members can apply for PhD funding. Read more on the Mai ki Poneke website.

Financial Problems

Work and careers

Tutoring and Demonstrating

Many PhD students support their studies by tutoring or demonstrating. Tutors and demonstrators are employed by schools to teach undergraduate (usually first-year) classes and to do associated marking.

If you are offered such work, you should be aware of the need to strike a balance between the time spent teaching and the demands of your own study.

Tutor training is offered through the Centre for Academic Development (CAD). Some schools also provide discipline-specific training.

Learning support

Student Learning

Student Learning offers a wide range of support at all stages of your doctoral journey. Services include one-to-one consultations, writing workshops and seminars on topics such as research proposals, literature reviews, ethical approval, advanced database searches, copyright protection and qualititative and quantitative methodologies.

Language Learning Centre

The Language Learning Centre supports the teaching and learning of languages at Victoria.

Statistical Advice

The School of Mathematics and Statistics offers a number of undergraduate and graduate courses in applied statistics.

The University also has a statistical consulting service.

Student organisations and support networks

Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA)

VUWSA is the main students' association at Victoria.

Postgraduate Students’ Association

The Postgraduate Students’ Association (PGSA) represents postgraduates on University boards and committees and acts as an advocate of postgrad interests. It is particularly concerned with:

  • the resources and facilities available to postgraduates
  • employment conditions
  • the development of the University’s research culture
  • the relationship between students and the Faculty of Graduate Research.

The PGSA also organises social events, conferences, seminars and interactive workshops. It publishes a monthly newsletter, administers a number of awards and provides all sorts of useful information to help you through your degree.

The PGSA welcomes any input you may have on postgraduate-related issues.

Victoria International

Victoria International provides information for PhD students from overseas.

MAI ki Poneke

MAI ki Poneke (Māori and Indigenous Postgraduate Students) provides advice and support for Māori and indigenous PhD candidates. It runs workshops and a mentoring programme for newly enrolled students.

Ngai Tauira

Ngai Tauira, the Victoria University Māori students' association, provides services to all Maori students on campus, catering to their specific educational, cultural, political and social needs.

Other Support Networks for Māori and Pacific Students

Disability services

Disability Services website.


PostgradLife aims to help postgraduate students get the most out of their time at Victoria. The website provides details about access to campus-wide resources, information on student services, advice from fellow students and lots more.

Resolving problems, conflicts and disputes

Seeking Help from Your Supervisors

Your supervisors will often be a good source of advice and support on a variety of issues.

Problems with Supervisors

Sometimes difficulties may occur between you and one of your supervisors. Problems can develop for a variety of reasons. They may involve differences of opinion or personality and, when serious, may prevent fruitful cooperation.

If you encounter problems with a supervisor, there are a number of people you can turn to:

  • the other supervisor
  • your administrative supervisor
  • the Postgraduate Coordinator in your programme
  • other staff
  • your peers
  • the Associate Dean (PGR) of your faculty.

In some cases, it may be appropriate to approach the Dean of Graduate Research, who acts as an independent arbiter of disputes and grievances.

If you think you would benefit from a change supervisors.

Help from the Students’ Associations

You can seek assistance from Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) advocacy service. The Postgraduate Students’ Association (PGSA) may also be able to assist.

Formal Grievance Procedures

Where informal channels fail, the University has formal procedures for dealing with a variety of grievances. For more information, see the following documents:

Independent Advice

The Facilitation and Disputes Advisory Service is independent of the University administration.

Health, childcare, accommodation and other campus services

Cultural, sporting and social activities

The Student Union Building has meeting rooms, a bar, cafe and bookshop. The Recreation Centre provides sporting and fitness facilities.

Over 80 clubs operate under the umbrella of Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA).

After Victoria

Alumni Relations Office

Visit the Alumni Relations Office website to see how you can stay in touch with Victoria after you graduate.