Doctoral project funding opportunities

Find out about project funding opportunities available in New Zealand and overseas.

Massey

Human nutrition | Dietary patterns and cognitive function in older adults

College of Health, Auckland campus

The School of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition is seeking an applicant for a fully-funded PhD project. We are seeking a high-calibre graduate student to work with nutrition scientists in the College of Health at Massey University in Auckland (Albany campus). The scholarship is $25,000 per year for three years to cover fees and living expenses.

Candidates must meet entry requirements for the Massey University PhD programme.

Dietary patterns and cognitive function in older adults

Aging is associated with health issues which impact on quality of life. Optimising cognitive function, metabolic health and mobility are important for successful aging. A key modifiable factor which influences the aging process is diet. Most studies investigating associations between diet and health outcomes have focussed on single nutrients or foods. This has limitations as people do not consume foods and nutrients in isolation but as combinations resulting in dietary patterns. In addition, lifestyle choices, activity levels and genetics are integral factors of the aging process.

The aim of this cross-sectional study is to identify dietary patterns in older adults and explore their relationship with cognitive function and other health outcomes associated with aging, including novel metabolic markers, genetics, and factors influencing mobility.

Potential research areas

Dietary patterns, nutrition for older adults, cognitive function, body composition and health outcomes.

Supervisory research team

  • Dr Pamela von Hurst (Nutrition and Dietetics, Auckland)
  • Dr Kathryn Beck (Nutrition and Dietetics, Auckland)

Eligibility

Applicants should hold a degree relevant to one of the above listed research areas and/or have related professional experience. All applicants must have either an exceptional academic track record, and/or a proven track record of research productivity.

Scholarship applicants will be required to enrol in a full-time Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree through Massey University but can work up to 500 hours per year. Successful applicants will be supervised by members listed under the supervisory research team.

Amount awarded

The scholarship is valued at NZ$25,000 (tax free) per year. The scholarship will be tenable for one year in the first instance, but subject to satisfactory progress will be renewed for a second and a third year.

Application guide

Further information can be obtained from:

Dr Pamela von Hurst
Phone: 09 414 0800 extn 43657 | Email: p.r.vonhurst@massey.ac.nz.

Dr Kathryn Beck
Phone: 09 414 0800 extn 43662 | Email: k.l.beck@massey.ac.nz.

Apply by submitting a written letter of interest which includes your previous research interests and experience and email Dr Pamela von Hurst or Dr Kathryn Beck, including curriculum vitae, academic transcripts, and the names and contact details of at least two referees.

Potential candidates will be interviewed in January 2018.

The PhD programme will commence in March 2018 although a later start is possible.

Applications close 19 January 2018

Human nutrition | Vegetables as a first foods for babies

College of Health, Auckland campus

The School of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition is seeking an applicant for a fully-funded PhD project. We are seeking a high-calibre graduate student to work with nutrition scientists in the College of Health at Massey University in Auckland (Albany campus). The scholarship is $25,000 per year for three years.

Candidates must meet entry requirements for the Massey University PhD programme.

Vegetables as a first food for babies

In New Zealand complementary feeding is recommended to start at around 6 months. Suggested first foods include vegetables, fruits, meat, and commercial infant foods including baby rice.

The development of taste preferences starts in utero with the fetus swallowing amniotic fluid which is flavoured by the mother’s diet. Taste preferences in early life are then programmed through the flavours present in breastmilk. This strongly supports our hypothesis that early exposure to vegetables as complementary foods will programme taste preferences, and subsequently improve vegetable intake through childhood. It is well known that dietary patterns of adulthood are established in childhood, and that optimal body weight and health outcomes are associated with higher intakes of vegetables in children and adults.

The aim of this randomised controlled trial (RCT) is to compare standard infant feeding practices with a vegetables-first approach to complementary feeding.

Potential research areas

Complementary feeding, infant nutrition, taste preferences, body composition and health outcomes.

Supervisory research team

  • Dr Cath Conlon (Nutrition and Dietetics, Auckland)
  • Dr Pamela von Hurst (Nutrition and Dietetics, Auckland)

Eligibility

Applicants should hold a degree relevant to one of the above listed research areas and/or have related professional experience. All applicants must have either an exceptional academic track record, and/or a proven track record of research productivity.

Scholarship applicants will be required to enrol in a full-time Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree through Massey University but can work up to 500 hours per year. Successful applicants will be supervised by members listed under the supervisory research team.

Amount awarded

The scholarship is valued at NZ$25,000 (tax free) per year. The scholarship will be tenable for one year in the first instance, but subject to satisfactory progress will be renewed for a second and a third year.

Application guide

Further information can be obtained from:

Dr Cath Conlon
Phone: 09 414 0800 extn 43658 | Email: c.conlon@massey.ac.nz.

Dr Pamela von Hurst
Phone: 09 414 0800 extn 43657 | Email: p.r.vonhurst@massey.ac.nz.

Apply by submitting a written letter of interest which includes your previous research interests and experience and email Cath Conlon, including curriculum vitae, academic transcripts, and the names and contact details of at least two referees.

Potential candidates will be interviewed in January 2018.

The PhD programme will commence in March 2018 although a later start is possible.

Applications close 19 January 2018

Sleep and Metabolic Health in New Zealand European and Pasifika Women

PROMISE Study

A full-time PhD scholarship is available to undertake research within the PROMISE Study based at Massey University, Wellington.

The overarching goal of this research is to advance our understanding of the sleep of New Zealand women and the relationship of sleep with metabolic health. A major aim of the study is to describe the sleep patterns and explore factors driving the characteristics of sleep in Pasifika women aged 20 to 40 years old.

The research will take on a partnership approach between the Pasifika participants, their communities and the research team. The expected outcomes are likely to bring new knowledge and potential changes in primary care, health promotion programmes and public health policy initiatives.

There is presently no published information on the sleep of Pasifika women. This study offers is an extraordinary opportunity to add to our basic understanding of sleep patterns in New Zealand women, particularly Pasifika women and the relationship of sleep to their metabolic health.

This project is based on our recently funded grant from the Health Research Council of New Zealand: “The gut microbiome: a new pathway to obesity prevention and metabolic health” (The PROMISE Study - Predictors linking obesity and gut microbiome).

Detailed analysis of the actigraphic sleep data collected during the PROMISE study (www.massey.ac.nz/promise) will be undertaken by the PhD candidate to allow the sleep of the participants to be described and compared.

Pasifika women from the PROMISE study will be invited to participate in a focus group on the factors that drive their sleep patterns. Thematic analysis will be used to identify factors that contribute to decisions about where and when Pasifika women sleep.

The final component of the study will utilise both sleep data and metabolic data collected from women participating in the PROMISE study to explore relationships between key aspects of sleep (duration and timing in particular) and indicators of dietary intake and eating behaviour, body composition and body fat profile, the gut microbiome and metabolic health.

Potential research areas

Sleep science, Pacific health research, Public health, obesity, nutrition and metabolic health, and qualitative research.

Supervisory research team

  • A/Prof Leigh Signal (Sleep Wake Research Centre, Wellington).
  • Dr Riz Firestone (Centre for Public Health Research, Wellington).
  • Prof Bernhard Breier (School of Sport, Exercise and Human Nutrition, Auckland)

Eligibility

Applicants should hold a degree relevant to one of the above listed research areas and/or have related professional experience. All applicants must have either an exceptional academic track record, and/or a proven track record of research productivity. Preference will be given to Pacific applicants.

Scholarship applicants will be required to enrol in a full-time Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree through Massey University. Successful applicants will be supervised by members listed under the supervisory research team.

Amount awarded

The scholarship is valued at NZ$25,000 (tax free) per year. Tuition fees are not included in the scholarship. The scholarship will be tenable for one year in the first instance, but subject to satisfactory progress will be renewed for a second and a third year.

Application guide

Further information can be obtained from:

Assoc/Professor Leigh Signal
Phone: 04 8015799 ext. 6327 | Email: T.L.Signal@massey.ac.nz.

Apply by submitting a written letter of interest and email Leigh Signal, including a curriculum vitae, academic transcripts, and the names and contact details of at least two referees.

Applications close 30 January 2018

Mathematics

PhD scholarship in mathematics

The Institute of Fundamental Sciences of Massey University, Palmerston North, invites applications for a PhD scholarship in mathematics.

The research will be in the area of dynamical systems, supervised by Dr. David Simpson. The scholarship covers all tuition fees for international and domestic students and includes a tax-free stipend of NZ$25,000 annually for up to three years.

The theory of dynamical systems seeks to explain the behaviour of natural and man-made systems, such as the weather, the stock-market, and biological and chemical processes, through understanding mathematical models of these systems. Dr. Simpson's research focuses on piecewise-smooth systems with diverse applications.

Eligibility

Applicants should have or expect to receive a BSc(Hons) or MSc or equivalent in mathematics. Previous graduate-level studies in dynamical systems is highly desirable. The starting date is flexible.

APPLYING

Applications including a CV, academic transcript, and cover letter should be sent to Dr. David Simpson, Institute of Fundamental Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, 4442, New Zealand, or by email to d.j.w.simpson@massey.ac.nz.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the scholarship is filled, so apply soon to avoid disappointment!

Applications close 12 March 2018

Engineering

Hemholtz resonance to measurement of degree-of-fill in topdressing aircraft hoppers

Fixed wing aircraft are widely used to apply a variety of granular fertilizers, both in pastoral and cropping agriculture. The fertilizer is contained in a wedge-shaped hopper built into the fuselage of the aircraft; loading is via a hatch at the top and discharge is controlled by a clamshell mechanism at the hopper exit. Knowledge of hopper fill is important in normal operation as in principle it provides real time data on application rate. Hopper fill level is also critical to decision making in situations demanding unplanned or evasive manoeuvres following mechanical failure or human error in navigating risky terrain.

The resonant frequency of a hard body cavity obeys is a simple function of the cavity volume. An object placed in the cavity, in this case the particulate fertilizer, changes the volume and hence the resonant frequency. Thus, in principle, measurement of the resonant frequency is a potential route to determination of fill level. There are however several technical challenges arising from the particulate nature of the fill material, and the working environment, a propeller-driven aircraft.

The successful candidate will likely have a background in physics or engineering and will provide evidence of well-developed mathematical skills and practical ability.

DURATION

The project will be carried out with an industrial partner (Ravensdown) and a stipend is offered for a duration of 3 years.

APPLYING

Applicants should provide their CV and a concise statement (maximum of 500 words on one A4 page, submitted both as a Microsoft Word document and PDF) stating why they should be the successful candidate for this opportunity to:

Professor Clive Davies C.Davies@massey.ac.nz
School of Engineering and Advanced Technology

Dr Miles Grafton M.Grafton@massey.ac.nz
Soil and Earth Sciences | Institute of Agriculture and Environment

Engineering

School of Engineering and Advanced Technology

The School of Engineering and Advanced Technology (SEAT) has four Massey doctoral scholarships to award each year. These are very competitive scholarships that are worth $25,000 a year for three years, to cover fees and living expenses. 

Given the very small number of scholarships SEAT will place emphasis on three criteria: 

  • the academic merit of the student; the University rules require a GPA of at least 7.5 out of 9 (A-) based on their last two years of study, together with research experience
  • the development of staff research experience, including having early career staff as co-supervisors
  • the fit of the proposed research with the strategic directions of Massey and SEAT (and therefore this is a good thing to comment on in the relevant sections of the form)

Please ensure that these criteria are addressed in the application.

How to apply

Applications need to be made in collaboration between supervisors and student. Initial applications should be on the Massey University form.  

Please send the form to Karen Pickering

The deadline for applications each year is November.

Veterinary Pathology

Masterate Scholarship in Veterinary Pathology

The purpose of this IVABS Masterate Scholarship is to encourage veterinary graduates who plan a career in veterinary diagnostic pathology to undertake university postgraduate study in this field. The Scholar will be expected to develop expertise in the diagnosis of animal diseases in preparation for seeking specialist qualifications in pathology, and to gain experience in tertiary education by providing laboratory and lecture instruction in veterinary diagnostic pathology.  

Amount awarded

The value of the scholarship will be $30,000 per annum (tax free) for two years. In addition to the emolument, the scholarship shall cover tuition fees for an MVSc or MVS. The scholarship shall be tenable at Massey University, Palmerston North.

Eligibility

The scholarship is open to students who hold a BVSc degree able to be registered in New Zealand and who qualify to register as a candidate for the degree of Master of Veterinary Studies (MVS). The scholar will be expected to participate in the routine necropsy service provided by IVABS Pathobiology Section, which includes a range of domestic and wildlife animal species. In addition, the scholar will be required to conduct a research project under the supervision of an IVABS pathologist. The academic programme will be directed towards preparing for American College of Veterinary Pathologists Board Certification. Candidates must be New Zealand or Australian citizens or permanent residents of New Zealand or Australia.

How to apply

Every person who wants to be considered for the IVABS Scholarship should apply on the application form provided by the Institute (obtained from W.L.Graham@massey.ac.nz) or Massey Contact, email: Contact@massey.ac.nz.

Informal enquiries can be addressed to John Munday (j.munday@massey.ac.nz) phone: 06 356 9099 ext 85172

New Zealand

Biomedical - tackling cancer, diabetes and infectious diseases

Biomedical - Tackling cancer, diabetes and infectious diseases

Research opportunities with the Maurice Wilkins Centre (MWC), Centre of Research Excellence

Bringing together world leading biomedical researchers from around New Zealand to tackle cancer, diabetes and infectious diseases.

One of our major roles is to train the country's next generation of leaders in biomedical research. The projects involve highly innovative biomedical research and are based at one of the following institutions:

  • Otago University
  • Massey University
  • The University of Auckland
  • The University of Waikato
  • University of Canterbury
  • Victoria University

Uniquely with these scholarships, you will also be eligible to spend time in other leading laboratories and training centres outside your home base, including overseas, and to access advanced equipment and facilities that can accelerate your research, wherever in NZ those facilities are based. Becoming part of the MWC brings the opportunity to interact with world-leading scientists right across the country, as well as their international collaborators.

How to apply

Before you contact MWC to express your interest, follow the steps below.

  1. Have a look at the available projects listed on the MWC website.
  2. Download the expression of interest form 
  3. Complete the form and send as a PDF file, along with your current CV, academic transcript and names of any referees, if requested.
  4. Email your expression of interest to maurice-wilkins-centre@auckland.ac.nz or to the project lead supervisor.

Eligibility criteria

You must be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident and have either an exceptional academic track record or have a proven track record of research productivity. If you have any doubts about your eligibility, you can phone MWC on 09 923 5533.

Minimising Gambling Harm

Minimising gambling harm

The Health Research Council (HRC) is administering the Preventing and Minimising Gambling Harm Career Development Awards, which are funded by the Ministry of Health.

Applicants are invited to apply for master's, PhD and postdoctoral awards to support the career development of emerging health researchers seeking to prevent and minimise gambling-related harm for Māori and Pacific populations in New Zealand.

Applicants will apply using the standard HRC Māori or Pacific career development forms, which will be available on the HRC's website.

Master's
Award components: Stipend of $10,000; course fees up to $10,000;
Working expenses of $1,600
Term of award: 1 year
Number of awards available: 1

Postdoctoral
Award components: Stipend and working expenses up to a total of $410,000
Term of award: 4 years
Number of awards available: 1

Overseas

Australia - Marine Biotechnology

Marine Biotechnology

Deakin University - Geelong, Victoria, Australia

Jointly funded by Deakin University and Plant and Food Research, Nelson, NZ.

Supervisors: Professor Colin Barrow, Chair in Biotechnology, Deakin University and Dr. Sue Marshall, Plant and Food Research.

At least one PhD scholarship is to be awarded to carry out a joint project with Deakin University in Geelong, Australia and Plant and Food Research, New Zealand. The scholarship of A$25,000 per annum will be awarded to a student graduating with a first-class honours degree in chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, or a related field. Applicants should be Australian citizens or permanent residents, or New Zealand citizens.

The project involves the discovery and development of new lipases for enzymatic concentration of omega-3 fatty acids from fish and microbial oils. These lipases will have application in functional foods and pharmaceuticals. Specifically, the project will have three parts. Firstly, the student will mine published and proprietary genomic databases to identify potentially useful lipases that will then be cloned and tested. Secondly, the student will isolate and test new lipases from fish and microbes. Thirdly, the student will take part in the development of novel immobilization technologies that will enable the new lipases to be used in a commercial setting.

The successful applicant will be expected to spend most of their time at Deakin University in Geelong, Australia, but may spend up to one year in Nelson, New Zealand. Applicants are encouraged to apply for Australian Postgraduate Awards (APAs) and Deakin University Postgraduate Research Scholarships (DUPRS).

APPLYING

Interested candidates please forward your CV and expression of interest to Professor Colin Barrow or Dr Susan Marshall

France - Eiffel Doctoral Scholarships for New Zealand students

Eiffel Doctoral Scholarships for New Zealand students - France

These scholarships are offered by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs to international students for doctoral studies in France. Since 2006, one of these scholarships per year has been offered to a New Zealand student. 

For further details visit: www.egide.asso.fr

France - Hexagon travel grants for New Zealand students

Hexagone travel grants for New Zealand students

Every year the French Embassy in Wellington allocates a few Hexagone travel grants to New Zealand students. The travel grant is for students who want to pursue their studies in France at honours or master's level. The travel grant consists of 2000 euros (approx NZ$3,800) per student.

Preference is given to Political Science, Law, Economics, Business and Management, Science or Engineering students.

Hexagone principal scholarship

Each year, one applicant will be awarded the Hexagone principal scholarship worth 12,000 euros, for studies in France at master's level.

A number of courses are taught in English. For a list of available courses, visit the Study in France page on the Campus France website.

How to apply for a travel grant

You must enrol at a French University or Grande Ecole for at least six months. Travel grants are offered in combination with a social security scholarship for the duration of the studies in France.

For further information, email culture.france@atrix.gen.nz

Related websites

Germany - Environmental Governance & Forest Ecology & Management

Environmental Governance and Forest Ecology and Management - Germany

Environmental Governance (MEG) and Forest Ecology and Management (FEM) International MSC Programmes at Freiburg University, Germany.

The MSc course 'Environmental Governance' focuses on socio-economic issues, whereas 'Forest Ecology and Management' concentrates on ecological aspects. Both courses are taught entirely in English and have a duration of two years.

For further information visit: www.meg.uni-frieburg.de and www.fem.uni-freiburg.de

Saudi Arabia - Undergraduate Scholarships for New Zealanders

Undergraduate scholarships for New Zealand students - Saudi Arabia

A limited number of scholarships are available for New Zealand students wanting to study in Saudi Arabia.

Two types of scholarships are available:

  • Muslim and Non-Muslim Students 1-2 Scholarships per year at King Saud Maile University
  • Muslim Students 2-3 Scholarships per year at Islamic Male University of Medina.

Criteria

Students must be:

  • between 18 to-25 years old and hold a valid NZ passport
  • required to undertake Arabic Language studies for two years.

After completion of language training, the scholarship holder may study undergraduate programmes at any Faculty (except medicine or engineering).

The Scholarship provides:

  • free tuition
  • free text books in Arabic language
  • single person accommodation
  • monthly stipend of NZ$400 per month
  • subsidised meals from University cafeteria
  • medical expenses
  • annual return air ticket.

Further information

You can contact:

Tony Davies
NZ Education Attache to the GCC, NZ Embassy, Diplomatic Quarter, Riyadh
Email: tony.davies@mfat.govt.nz

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