The Otago Institute Postgraduate Student Travel Award




Application Guidelines

The Otago Institute is pleased to offer travel scholarships to assist young Otago/Southland researchers to travel as part of their postgraduate study. The first place award is worth $1000, and the second place award is worth $500, both for the purpose of conference and research-related travel.

Applicants must:

  • be a member of the Otago Institute. Alternatively, a supervisor can sponsor a student for $50, which makes both supervisor and student full members.
  • be a post-graduate student, and be based in Otago or Southland.
  • be traveling to a conference or visiting a collaborating researcher.
  • be presenting original research in oral or poster format if attending a conference AND endeavour to visit collaborating researchers during the travel period.

Documentation required

There is no official application form for this award. Applicants should provide one electronic copy of the following items to the address below:

  • The name of the conference you will attend (or research group you will visit), location, and dates of travel.
  • Your curriculum vitae, and a statement (1-2 sentences) that indicates your area of research interest/expertise.
  • A clear description of your research (no more than 200 words).
  • An explanation (no more than 200 words) of how/why the proposed travel would be of particular value.
  • If attending a conference, the title and abstract of the research you will present, whether it will be an oral or poster presentation, and an indication of whether it has been accepted.
  • If visiting a collaborator's research group, evidence of invitation or other communication demonstrating the planning of the visit.

Nature of assessment

Assessment proceeds in two rounds. First, submitted materials will be judged by three academic members of the Otago Institute. Applicants will be assessed for their ability to communicate clearly: (1) the nature and significance of their research; (2) the importance of the proposed travel. You will be notified of the outcome of this round on or before 5 May 2017. Second, the four top-ranking applicants will be selected to give an oral presentation on 19 May 2017 at 12 noon (venue to be advised). Oral presentations will be 10 minutes each followed by an approximately 3 minute question  period. Oral presenters will be judged for enthusiasm and the ability to communicate their research clearly and concisely.

The winner and runner-up will be announced shortly after the presentations.

Further commitments

Upon completion of travel the successful applicants will be required to provide a short report on the meeting for publication in the Otago Institute's newsletter.
Applications close on 21 April 2017, and should be emailed with the subject line "submission: Otago Institute 2017 postgraduate student travel award" to:

Dr. Kourken Michaelian
Otago Institute Council
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Congratulations to our 2016 winners!

Winner (Otago Institute General Postgraduate Award): Kate Brookie (Psychology), "Does an Apple a Day Keep the Psychologist Away?"

     $1000 towards conference travel

Winner (Otago Institute Applied Research Award): Prashanth Thevkar (Microbiology and Immunology), "Identification of a Novel Antiviral Host Factor of Influenza Virus"

     $1000 towards conference travel


Congratulations to our 2015 Winners!

Winner: Imogen Roth (Pathology), “Tumour suppressor gene or wolf in sheep’s clothing?  A p53 isoform story”

$1500 towards conference travel and multiple collaborator visits

Runner-up: Jaz Morris (Botany), “The acid test: genome mutation confers pH-stress tolerance in a cyanobacterium deficient Photosystem II”

$500 towards conference travel and collaborator visit


Congratulations to our 2014 Winners!

 Winner: Jill Assawasuwannakit (Pharmacy)

     $1500 towards conference travel.

Runner-up: Chris Niebuhr (Zoology)

    $500 towards travel for field research.


Congratulations to our 2013 Winners!

 Winner: Abhishek Gulati (Pharmacy)

     $1500 towards travel to Scotland and Greece for conferences and collaborator visit.

Runner-up: Maria Pozza (Law)

    $500 towards travel to Cambridge, UK to undertake a prestigious fellowship.


Congratulations to our 2012 WINNERS!

Winner: Cleo Davie-Martin, Chemistry Department, "Modelling the vapour drift potential of current use pesticides"

Runner-up: Owen Jones, Psychology Department, "Long range communication between synapses- a role for astrocytes"