The most valuable of the academic awards sponsored by the universities is open to “any New Zealand writer of imaginative literature (including autobiography, biography, and literary criticism) whether or not at the time resident in New Zealand”. This is the Robert Burns Fellowship offered by the University of Otago. The emolument is “not less than the salary of a University lecturer”. The fellow, who is elected for one year, must reside in Dunedin; he is offered university facilities, but is free to devote his time to his own writing. The fellows have been Ian Cross, Maurice Duggan, John Caselberg, R. A. K. Mason, Maurice Shadbolt and Maurice Gee.
The University Macmillan Brown Prize, which commemorates a founding professor, is now awarded for poetry or prose showing “originality and imaginative conception”.