What do we do? » Awards and Grants » Research Excellence Award

The New Zealand Speech-language Therapists' Association (NZSTA) is pleased to offer this annual postgraduate award. 

The award is for a Master's/Doctoral student.

Value: $1,000, sponsored by Stella Ward.

The award is designed to support postgraduate study and research in speech-language therapy in New Zealand. One award will be granted annually and only when candidates meet the criterion. There is an expectation that recipients of the award will share their research findings with the NZSTA membership through a publication in Speech, Language and Hearing and/or an NZSTA conference presentation. 

The award will be presented each year at the NZSTA annual general meeting.

Awarded in 2023 to: Robyn Gibson

Robyn has submitted her doctoral thesis at Waipapa Taumata Rau (University of Auckland), entitled “Exploring the evidence-practice gap in post-stroke aphasia in Aotearoa New Zealand”.  She notes that this has been her career's biggest challenge and biggest joy to date.

The aim of the research was to explore the evidence-practice gap in aphasia services here in Aotearoa New Zealand, from the perspectives of speech-language therapists, people with aphasia, and their whānau, and then to develop a concrete way of addressing this.

She says, 'The thesis was the culmination of nearly twenty years of devotion to our profession, and I have taken enormous delight in being able to do tangible translational clinical research which is able to have a direct impact on the services received by people with aphasia. As part of this journey, I have begun to learn what it means to be a Kaupapa Māori aligned researcher, holding to the principles of Te Tiriti O Waitangi and ensuring that a true commitment to improving equitable and culturally safe services for Māori with aphasia is seen throughout every aspect of my work.'

Eligibility and Application

The applicant must be a current member of the NZSTA and must have been a full or student member for two consecutive years immediately before the date of application. The award recipient must retain professional membership of NZSTA during the award.

Applicants for the award must be enrolled in a master's or PhD programme at a tertiary institution within Aotearoa New Zealand, and study in a research area directly related to speech and language therapy.

One (1) award will be granted in any given year based on the applications received. The award will require academic excellence and a demonstration of research activity.

Applicants must submit the following information:

  1. A one-page statement describing the applicant's service to speech-language therapy in New Zealand.
  2. A two-page summary of the research area, including a discussion of the relevance of the research topic to New Zealand speech-language therapy.
  3. Demonstration of academic ability (e.g., academic record, list of publications or conference presentations).
  4. Two references detailing academic promise and professional skills (e.g., academic, professional reference or supervisory support).

Send your application with a covering letter indicating the award applied for to:

NZSTA Administrator – admin@speechtherapy.org.nz 

All applications will be considered by a committee. The Committee members will include:

  1. An academic representative from an NZSTA accredited speech-language therapy degree program,
  2. The NZSTA Board.

The final decision regarding the award recipient will be made following the approval of the NZSTA Board. 

This decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

Award Recipients from Previous Years

  • 2021: Awarded to Amanda White 
  • 2020: Awarded to Bianca Jackson 

No applications received in 2019

  •  2018: Awarded to Marie Jardine 
  • 2017: Awarded to Gwen Lake 
  • 2016: Awarded to Ellen Faithfull 
  •  2015: awarded to Molly Kallesen 
  • 2014: awarded to Anna Miles