NZEALS offers an annual research award of $2000. This award recognises work that contributes to the development of knowledge in the field of educational leadership, management and administration.

Applications for the President's Research Award open on on 1 August and close on 31st October annually. The winner will be announced approximately one month after the closing date and the award will be presented at the biennial NZEALS Conference.


This award recognises meritorious research and scholarship which expand knowledge in the field of educational leadership. Research by emerging researchers and by leaders of priority learners is encouraged.


Applicants must

  • be financial members of NZEALS
  • present an appropriate research proposal (see below)
  • be committed to dissemination through NZEALS
  • acknowledge the support of NZEALS in any publication

Previous recipients of the President's Research Award and the Dame Jean Herbison award are eligible to re-apply after 3 years have elapsed since previously receiving either award.

The research should have

  • an educational leadership focus
  • a clear theoretical underpinning
  • innovative critical theory
  • ideas that challenge
  • relevance to New Zealand
  • and lead to change in practice

Applicants must provide

  1. A letter of application (3-4 pages) which details
    • the overall context and purpose of the research
    • the research aims
    • the proposed methodology
    • the relevance to New Zealand
    • the links to educational leadership
  2. The intended NZEALS dissemination routes: conference paper and / or publication.

All of the above should be sent electronically with a hard copy as back up to Jason Elder (address below) by 5pm, 31st October annually.

Download an application form here

Applications by 31st October to:

Christine Harris, President of Canterbury Branch

Recent Recipients

2015 - Sheralyn Cook

Investigating New Zealand's Primary Principals' experiences and perceptions ofleading schools in statutory intervention.


2014 - Lisa Morresey                                                             

Understanding of social justice in educational contexts

Contributing a New Zealand case study to a joint UCEA / BELMAS international research project on social justice.  Travel to the UK as part of the NZ Social Justice research team.

2013 - Juliette Hayes and Ann Briggs

Growing leadership partners

Investigating the nature, extent and benefits of school partnerships internationally and in New Zealand.  Identifying skills and dispositions of school leaders in successful partnerships, and the factors that enable and impede partnership activity. 

2012 - Susan Dow; Mal Thompson

Susan Dow

Supporting transformational and pedagogical leadership development to enhance the quality of Maori students’ learning in bicultural schools.  How might leaders in a bicultural school be supported as they learn to use transformational and pedagogical leadership in order to enhance the quality of education for Maori students?

Mal Thompson

An investigation into transition and literacy learning at three critical points of a student’s life. This study aims to find out what teachers consider important for successful literacy transitions and the impact of those successful transitions.  The focus of three critical points includes from early childhood to starting school, from year 6 primary to year 7 intermediate, and from year 8 to year 9 beginning secondary school.

2011 - Susan Larkins

Developing teaching as inquiry through subject integration in NZ secondary schools, with a particular focus on Maori and Pasifika learners.

2010 - Rachel McNae; Dr Ross Notman

Rachel McNae

This research explored young people’s perceptions of leadership and investigated an alternative approach for leadership development with young people in New Zealand high schools. A youth-adult partnership was created and a process of co-construction was used to create a contextually relevant leadership development programme for a group of New Zealand high school students. A key aim was to bring the voices of young women into educational leadership conversations.

Ross Notman

“School leadership: Practice and policy perspectives” reported New Zealand case study findings of six successful primary and secondary school principals as part of the International Successful School Principalship Project (ISSPP) across 14 countries. The research aims of the New Zealand section of the international project were built around two major research questions:

  • What practices do successful principals use?
  • What gives rise to successful principal leadership?

Past Recipients:

  • 2009 - No award
  • 2008 - No award
  • 2007 - Cheryl Stephens; Dr Jennie Billot
  • 2006 - Jenny Collins
  • 2005 - No awards
  • 2004 - Ruth Gorinski; Annie Milne
  • 2003 - Dr Marion Court; Dr Richard Smith
  • 2002 - Tanya Fitzgerald; Dr Lorraine McLeod


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