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libraryMotu offers internships to excellent students who are interested in further study and research. We offer three main types of internships, but are flexible about timing and stage of study in some cases. The key characteristics we are seeking are intelligence, motivation, and interest in the issues we study. 
Download printable info sheet including past interns’ experiences at Motu (687KB).


Internships we offer (click on each internship to

Summer internships

Māori internships - OPEN NOW!

International internships 

Stanford University SEEPAC Fellowship for environmental economics internship at Motu

To apply for any of the following internships (when open), please send your cover letter, CV and academic record (with contact details for at least two academic referees) to Isabelle Sin at .

Summer internships

Applications for 2015/16 summer internships are now closed. Please check the vacancies page for more information. 

The programme: Motu’s internship programme is designed to apply and extend students’ empirical skills and assist with their development as researchers. Its underlying aim is to build research capability, improving the skills of young researchers and the quality of New Zealand research. Motu interns work on research projects led by one of the Senior Fellows, and are encouraged to think critically about the public policy and research issues involved. Internships build students’ skills, as well as providing our researchers with useful research assistance. Ultimately we hope our interns will be better equipped to consider a career in research or public policy analysis.

Who are we looking for? We are looking for smart students who are interested in further study and research. While we mostly do economic research, we are not necessarily seeking economics students. Students should have a strong background in economics, mathematics, statistics, geography or a similar field. Internships typically last around twelve weeks over the summer months, though this is flexible. Interns work a paid 40 hour week at our Wellington office. 

Current recipients of summer internships: Over the 2014/15 summer Motu had two summer interns, Patrick Dawson and Sherry Wu. Patrick assisted Suzi Kerr in researching the progress and changes in the forestry industry as a result of New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme. Sherry worked with Izi Sin on a project looking at how individuals’ positions in iwi or ethnicity affiliation networks affect their educational and labour market outcomes. She also explored the economic value and benefits of text mining.  

Past recipients of summer internships (click on the names to see more info about their time at Motu, including any publications): Nathan Chappell, Victoria Larsen, Campbell WillAlex Olssen, Andrew McCarthy, Darian Woods, David Kennedy, Emma BruntonGemma Wills, Hugh McDonald, Jasmine LawrenceJosh Pemberton, Katy Bergstrom, Kerry Paps, Michelle Poland, Morag McDonaldNicholas Tarrant, Oliver BrowneRiddhi Gupta, Robert Sourrell, Ruth Pinkerton, Stephen Hutton, Wendy Pottinger, Zack Dorner



Māori internships

To apply for either of the internships below, please send a CV, cover letter that includes an explanation of your Māori connections, and your academic transcript to Isabelle Sin at and include “Māori internship” in the email subject.

Poutama Trust Māori Internship

Applications for the Poutama Trust summer internship are now OPEN. Applications will be accepted until 31 July 2015.

The internship is funded by the Motu Research and Education Foundation in association with Poutama Trust. The intern will work with a Motu Senior Fellow (Dr Arthur Grimes) on aspects of Māori Business relevant to the vision and mission of Poutama Trust. Eligible applicants are Māori tertiary students (at any level of tertiary study) who have undertaken some study in economics, commerce and/or mathematics or statistics. The intern will be located at Motu Research in Wellington. All domestic interns at Motu receive a stipend.

Wellbeing and Sustainability Māori Internship

Applications for this internship are currently closed.

Applications for the Wellbeing and Sustainability summer internship are now OPEN. Applications will be accepted until 31 July 2015.

The internship is funded through a Marsden Fund grant received by Motu from the Royal Society of New Zealand. The programme funded by this grant investigates the validity of wellbeing and sustainability indicators for New Zealand, including Māori perspectives on wellbeing and sustainability.

Eligible applicants are Māori tertiary students (at any level of tertiary study) keen to explore new ideas and who have good written and oral communication skills. Some study in one or more of economics, social sciences or sciences is desirable but not necessary. A working knowledge of tikanga Māori will be helpful. The intern will work with an experienced academic at Lincoln University and with a Motu Senior Fellow, gaining invaluable research skills. The topic will relate to biowastes management and will be embedded in a larger research programme and research centre (Centre for Integrated Biowaste Research). The intern will preferably be located at Lincoln University in Canterbury, although location at Motu Research in Wellington will be considered. All domestic interns at Motu receive a stipend.


Motu recipients of Māori internships: Over 2014/15, the Poutama intern was Storm Savage. Storm worked with Arthur Grimes on a project assessing how Poutama Trust assistance for Māori business impacts those businesses, and which firm characteristics help predict the future out-turns for firms that gain assistance. 

Past recipients of Motu Māori internships (click on the names to see more info about their time at Motu, including any publications):  Fraser McKayBobby BrooksDale Warburton, Renee Tipene, Simon Ngawhika


International internships

Motu also brings students as interns to Motu from abroad. Interns work on one of our major research projects led by a Senior Fellow, and in some cases may be hosted at Motu and work on another project. We do not have any international internship opportunities at this time. We will likely have openings for interns in the period June-August 2016.  Information on such possibilities will be posted in late 2015.

Past Motu international interns (click on the names to see more info about their time at Motu, including any publications): Alejandro VergelCarl RomanosMohit Thukral, Madeline Duhon, Juliette GrangierEric Karpas, Jason Funk, Maribeth Todd, Marie-Laure Nauleau


Stanford University SEEPAC fellowship for Motu environmental economics internship (not available in 2015)

The SEEPAC internship is not available in 2015. Check back in late 2015 or early 2016.

Stanford Environmental and Energy Policy Analysis Center (SEEPAC) and Motu are collaborating to bring a Stanford student to New Zealand. SEEPAC are providing funding for a Stanford student to come to Motu as an intern in environmental economics as part of Motu’s building capability programme. 

Read more and get application details on this website…

Read more about SEEPAC on the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research website…