Resources for Sponsors

Background for sponsors

Each year the New Zealand Project Center typically conducts a set of 6 4-person student projects in Wellington during C term (mid-January to early March). Project teams are composed of 4 to 5 competitively selected students in science, engineering, management and the humanities who collaborate with you and your colleagues on-site to investigate and address a key problem for your organization after a carefully monitored period of preparation at WPI in B term (mid-October to mid-December). The outcome of their work is a fully documented professional report containing complete results and recommendations as well as a high quality public presentation of the highlights of their findings suitable for a broad audience.

Identifying a project: The process for identifying a project can begin as early as February and ends in September. During this period the two project center directors (Michael Elmes and Ingrid Shockey) will talk with you about a possible project with your agency and, after some discussion with you in person or over email, send you a project description using the following Form. You fill out the form and email it back to us no later than mid-September. A good project has a strong social component, is challenging for the students and is worthwhile for the sponsor. Typically it requires data collection and analysis and offers conclusions and/or recommendations for the sponsor that are useful.

Preparing to do the project: Once the form is completed, students express an interest in one of the 6 projects typically offered and begin the preparation process at WPI for 7 weeks between mid-October and mid-December. During their preparation the student team works with their faculty advisors to define the problem, conduct background research, and identify appropriate research methods to address the problem. The teams communicate regularly with you and your colleagues as necessary during this phase. The preparation period includes training in survey and interview techniques, report organization, oral presentation, and other skills required for professional project execution.

Doing the project in Wellington: During the second half of the fourteen-week period (mid-January to early March), student teams operate full-time (40 hours/week) on site to complete their project assignment under the close scrutiny of two WPI faculty advisors. The faculty advisors meet weekly with you and the project team to review progress and future plans. The faculty advisors coach each team in data collection, data analysis, and the presentation of findings, conclusions and recommendations. The project team concludes its effort with a public presentation of results and submission of a detailed written report and other associated deliverables appropriate for the project. If you would like to see examples of previous projects since 2013, go to the Projects page on this website. Past sponsors have included Department of Conversation, GNS, Callaghan Innovation, Te Papa and many other Wellington institutions.

If you would like to discuss the program in general or have an idea for a project and an interest in hosting a student team, please contact us.



Resources for Students