The Otago Institute Postgraduate Student Travel Award


Application Guidelines

The Otago Institute for the Arts and Sciences is pleased to offer travel scholarships to assist Otago/Southland-based researchers to travel as part of their postgraduate study. The winner will receive $1000 for the purpose of conference attendance and/or other research-related travel.

We received many strong applications for these awards in 2017 and applicants who were unsuccessful last year are encouraged to apply again.

Applicants must:

  • be a member of the Otago Institute for the Arts and Sciences. (Alternatively, a supervisor can sponsor a student for $50, which makes both supervisor and student full members.)
  • be a postgraduate student and be based in Otago or Southland.
  • be travelling to a conference or visiting a collaborating researcher.
  • be presenting original research 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:

  1. A curriculum vitae (at most two pages in length), including a brief statement (one or two sentences) of your area of research.
  2. A description (at most two hundred words in length) of the nature and significance your research.
  3. An explanation (at most two hundred words in length) of how and why the proposed travel would be of value to you. Please include the conference you will attend or the research group you will visit, along with location and dates of travel.
  4. If attending a conference, the title and abstract of the research 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's research group, provide evidence of invitation or other communication demonstrating the planning of the visit.

Nature of assessment

Award assessment 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 their ability to clearly communicate: (1) the nature and significance of their research and (2) the value of the proposed travel. Four finalists will be chosen, with applicants notified of the outcome of this round 24 May 2018.
  • Round Two – The four finalists will give oral presentations, starting at 12:00 on 8 June 2018 in the Barclay Lecture Theatre at the Otago Museum. Oral presentations will be ten minutes each, followed by a three-minute question period. Presenters will be judged for enthusiasm and the ability to communicate clearly about their research. The winner of the $1000 Travel Award will be announced immediately after the presentations. The other three 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 (


Applications are due before midnight on Sunday, 6 May2018. Email your application as one single pdf attachment with the subject line "submission: Otago Institute 2018 postgraduate student travel award" to Andrea Liberatore at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Key dates

  • application deadline: midnight, 6 May 2018
  • notification of finalists: 24 May 2018
  • oral presentations by finalists: noon, 8 June 2018

Further information ​

Congratulations to our 2017 second round winners!

The winners of the second 2017 round of the Otago Institute Postgraduate Student Travel Award are:

  • 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?"P71027-130520.jpg

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"