The Otago Institute Postgraduate Student Travel Award

2020 Otago Institute travel awards cancelled

Due to the uncertainty around travel arising from COVD-19 border closures we regret that the 2020 rounds of the Otago Institute travel awards are cancelled. However, we remain committed to supporting postgraduate arts and sciences in the Otago region and are discussing alternative support. Stay tuned for updates!

2019 Round Two application guidelines

 Applicants must:

  • Be a member of the Otago Institute for the Arts and Sciences
  • bBe a postgraduate student and be based in Otago or Southland
  • Be travelling to a conference or visiting a collaborator.
  • Be presenting original work in oral or poster format if travelling to a conference

Documentation required

There is no application form for the award. To apply, combine the following documents into a single pdf in the order listed here. Send your complete application as one pdf via email attachment to the address below:

  • A curriculum vitae (at most two pages in length), including a brief statement (one or two sentences) of your area of work.
  • A description (at most two hundred words in length) of the nature and significance your work.
  • An explanation (at most two hundred words in length) of how and why the proposed travel would be of value to you and your career and to your home institution. Please include the conference you will attend or the collaborators whom you will visit, along with location and dates of travel.
  • If attending a conference, the title and abstract of the work you will present, an indication of whether it will be an oral or a poster presentation, and an indication of whether it has been accepted. If visiting a collaborator, provide evidence of invitation or other communication demonstrating the planning of the visit.

Nature of judging Award judging proceeds in two rounds:

Round One – applications will be judged by three members of the Otago Institute for the Arts and Sciences. Applicants will be assessed for ability to clearly communicate in written form: (1) the nature and significance of their project and (2) the value of the proposed travel to you and to your home institution. Four finalists will be chosen, with applicants notified of the outcome of this round 12 November 2019.

Round Two – The four finalists will each give 10 minute oral presentations, starting at 12:00 on Monday 25 November 2019 in the Barclay Lecture Theatre at the Otago Museum. Finalists will be judged by different members of the Otago Institute for the Arts and Sciences for the ability to communicate clearly about the project to a diverse, non-specialist audience. The winner of the $1000 Travel Award will be announced immediately after the presentations. The other finalists will each receive a $150 gift voucher.

Further commitments

Upon completion of travel the successful applicants will be required to provide a short report for publication on the Otago Institute's website (

NEW Deadline

Applications are due before 11:00 pm on Sunday 27 October 2019. Email your application as one single pdf attachment with the subject line "submission: Otago Institute 2019 postgraduate student travel award" to: Andrea Liberatore This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

For queries, contact Professor Nancy Longnecker, Otago Institute Council member. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Congratulations to our 2018 winner!

The winner of the 2018 Otago Institute Postgraduate Student Travel Award is Manon Knapen (Centre for Science Communication, University of Otago), The value of evidence in health decision-making.

Congratulations also to the other finalists:

  • Jeremy Simons (National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago) Riding a 3-horse solution down the path of natural healing: transformative justice among Indigenous communities of Mindanao, Phillipines
  • David Wang (Department of Computer Science, University of Otago) Shhh... Let your brainwave talk!
  • Geoffrey Weal (Department of Chemistry, University of Otago) From Biology to Nanotechnology: Using Darwin's Theory of Evolution to Discover New Catalytic MaterialsP80608-131340.jpg



Congratulations to our 2017 round two winners!

  • Adam Denny, "High-density lipoproteins - more than just the good cholesterol"
  • Jason Lew, "An exercise a day, keep the heart disease away! Is it true?"

Honourable mention:

  • Houman Alimoradi, "Overcoming biological barriers using a nano-sized Trojan horse"
  • Manjula Devananda, "A Primary Health Care Data Model to Support Population-based Workload Analysis"


Congratulations to our 2017 winners!

 1st Prize: Nick Shields (Pathology): Living drugs: Harnessing the power of T-cells to combat cancer

    $1000 towards conference travel

2nd Prize: Chloe Wall (Philosophy): Knowing (From) Me, Knowing (From) You: Are Memory and Testimony Analogous?

     $500 towards conference travel

Honourable mention: 
Stephanie Junior (Geology): Analysing Gold in Earth's Mantle: a Petrological and Geochemical Study of Au in New Zealand Peridotites
Sophie Gangl (Chemistry): Global ocean anoxia during ancient 'greenhouse' climates: Prospects for a warming world


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"