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Margaret M Blackwell Travel Fellowship 2014

The 2014 fellowship

The Margaret M Blackwell Travel Fellowship for 2014 has now closed. The successful applicant will be announced early in 2015.

It is a grant to enable early childhood education practitioners to travel to study a particular topic. The 2013 award went to Christine Lepper from the Centre for Educational Development at Massey University, who used the grant to explore the effectiveness of professional learning programmes to support teachers to connect with families with diverse ethnicities, cultures, religions and languages. 

The fellowship was initiated in 1988 and is now administered by NZCER on behalf of the trust. 

The award is for a period of up to three months but not less than six weeks. Applications must be related to the topics listed below. The award is for $16,000 and is for travel and accommodation, to be taken in 2015. 

The Ministry of Education has recognised the fellowship as a prestigious award, which means the recipient may be eligible for leave with pay, subject to the approval of their employing authority.

The topics

Supporting transitions

Transitions have been a focus of recent educational research in New Zealand. In an early childhood education context, this has included the transition from early childhood education to school, transitions for children with special education needs from early intervention to school-based services, and transition to English-medium schooling from Pasifika ECE centres or kohanga reo. There are a number of potential transitions either into, within or from early childhood education that a recipient of the award could explore.

Learning with information technology

There is considerable innovation in the early childhood sector in New Zealand and overseas on using technology for learning. It’s an area of interest to practitioners and parents and one that can only continue to grow. It requires investment in equipment and professional development, so any work that sheds light on relevant successes or lessons from other countries would be useful. This topic could be explored broadly or focused on a particular topic within learning with information technology, such as literacy or connecting with the community.

Who is eligible?

It is open to current practitioners in the broad field of early childhood education in New Zealand. The successful recipient will be selected from:

a) Teachers, supervisors and workers from all sectors of early childhood education
b) Lecturers in appropriate disciplines in tertiary institutions.

The application process

Applications must fill in the application form, which can be downloaded below. The application also needs to include: 

1. A statement that outlines:

  • A description of your objectives for this award.
  • Your ability to benefit from the award.
  • An instance in your early childhood practice where you felt you made a difference.
  • Your capacity to transmit and disseminate the knowledge that you would gain from the award.
  •  A draft proposed travel itinerary (approximate costing only).

2. A curriculum vitae, which includes a record of any academic study you have undertaken.

3. Written references (on a separate form, provided).

For inquiries please contact Sarah Boyd on 04-8021468 or