Jaye Barclay, inaugural recipient of Te Pītau Whakarei Karahipi. Photo: Kate Russell.

First Māori scholar for Cawthron Institute


Budding scientist Jaye Barclay has had a summer to remember.

The 20-year-old was the recipient of the Cawthron Institute’s inaugural Te Pītau Whakarei Karahipi scholarship and has spent the last 10 weeks immersed in life as a real scientist.

The scholarship aims to support Māori research capability and is offered in partnership with Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, with funding from private donors.

It allows Māori undergraduate students to benefit from participating in cutting-edge research and to build their professional network.

Wellington-born Jaye says it has been “massive honour” to be the first person to receive the scholarship.

“I didn’t think I would get it, because I know that quite a few people applied. Everyone has been really cool and welcoming – it’s very exciting to be here.”

Jaye is about to head into her third year at Victoria University, where she is studying towards a degree in ecology, marine biology, English literature and Māori studies.

While at Cawthron, she has been mentored by scientist Jim Sinner, working on a research project that focuses on developing a framework for achieving and maintaining social license.

“It’s quite different from my usual study but the scholarship has been such an awesome opportunity,” she says.

Cawthron Foundation manager Elizabeth Bean says they were “delighted” with the number and calibre of applicants for their 2017 scholarships.

There are three scholarships in total, and also include the Sir Theodore Rigg and Kathleen Curtis (Lady Rigg) Scholarships as well as Te Pītau Whakarei Karahipi.

“Those appointed are very high academic achievers, have contributed to community activities, and are strong advocates for the environment and science-led research,” she says.

“With such high calibre scholars at Cawthron this summer, the future bodes well for New Zealand science.”