Statistics NZ Motu Programme for PhD Student Research

Who can apply?

Students enrolled in any accredited PhD programme in economics or allied fields may apply to this Programme to undertake an empirical research project using the microeconomic data on firms*, households and individuals housed at Statistics NZ.

What is provided?

Students can gain access to longitudinal unit record level administrative and survey data from New Zealand for the full population of individuals or firms*, including Linked Employer-Employee data, firm operations and output data, births, deaths, and marriages, education and health data, border crossings and many more types of data.

These data make possible a wide range of microeconomic analyses of firms* or individuals, as well as many types of social research. The Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) and Longitudinal Business Database (LBD) data are available for use in a restricted, confidentialised environment. All research results are subject to review and checking by Statistics NZ to ensure that the confidentiality of the underlying microdata will not be compromised by release of the results.

Participants will be provided office space and remote access to the data at the Motu office* in Wellington. It is expected that the typical project would require a minimum of four months full-time work. In addition to logistical support, students in the programme will be part of the Motu research community, with access to sharing of econometric methods, mentoring, participation in seminars and other Motu activities.

Students are responsible for covering their own travel and living expenses, but there will be no charge for use of Motu facilities or Statistics NZ data.

How to apply

Interested students should send an initial 1-page application letter to the Motu Director. The letter should describe:

  • the proposed project,
  • the student’s training and background for undertaking the project, and
  • the proposed timing.

Proposals will be reviewed for econometric and practical feasibility by both Statistics NZ and Motu. Application should be made approximately 3 months before the intended arrival date. Informal inquiries about the feasibility of a contemplated project are also welcome via the same email address.

Successful proposals will then be subject to Statistics NZ’s full microdata access application process – more information on this can be found here.

* Note that Inland Revenue requires that access to firm level data be sponsored by a government agency and requires that the research be undertaken in one of Statistics New Zealand’s Data Labs.