Skip to Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Research Opportunities

Opportunities for PhD Research

PhD students are always welcome.

Suitably qualified students, from all countries, are eligible to apply for a University of Otago PhD scholarship (continually assessed) which covers tuition fees and provides a generous emolument for living expenses.  If you are interested in this possibility please also make contact with me early on.

Students from other countries can also apply for a New Zealand International Doctoral Research Scholarship (rounds close on 15 July, NZ time, each year). Also check to see whether NZ residency is a possibility at Please also make contact with me early on.

Opportunities for Postdoctoral Research

A variety of funding is available to support research/postdoctoral fellows, although some such funds are easier to access if a good postdoctoral fellow has already expressed interest in the project – so please contact me early on if you are interested so that we can explore such funding opportunities. Other funding possibilities include:

  • German citizens can apply to the Humboldt Foundation for a Feodor Lynen Research postdoctoral fellowship to work with an ex-Humboldt Fellow such as myself. See
    Fellowships can also be obtained from the DAAD or the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (see recent postdocs Dr Holger WillmsDr Markus Weitzer and Dr Robyn Handel).
  • Swiss citizens can apply to the Swiss National Science Fund for a postdoctoral fellowship (see postdoc Dr Laszlo Mercs).
  • British citizens can apply to the Leverhulme Trust, Royal Society (see recent postdoc Dr Graham Motson – although I don’t think the Royal Society offers International Outgoing Fellowships to Australia, Canada and New Zealand anymore) and British Council, for postdoctoral fellowships. Another option is the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, information on which can be found at
  • EU citizens can obtain funding from the EU, under the Marie Curie Actions umbrella, to come to New Zealand (NZ):
    Please note that in ‘EU-speak’ non-EU countries like the USA, Japan and New Zealand are referred to as ‘third countries’. An example of such funding, for example for an EU citizen to come to NZ as a postdoctoral fellow, is a Marie Curie Outgoing International Fellowship (OIF):
  • Canadian citizens can apply for NSERC postdoctoral awards.

Opportunities for Other Research Activities

German students interested in coming here for a semester or so, for example during their Diplom or PhD studies (see recent group members comments: Vikas AggarwalFrederik KloewerMichael JuchumChristian Herold and Katja Dankhoff), can check out the following websites for sourcing funding to do this:

USA students interested in coming here for 6 months collaborative research during their PhD studies should get in touch with Sally, providing her with their CV, at the earliest opportunity. Funding can be gained, for strong candidates, from “East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes for U.S. Graduate Students (EAPSI)”. JJ Hrudka (Florida State) was here on one of these in 2015.

Southampton University students interested in coming here for 6 months research for their MChem should get in touch with Sally, providing her with their CV, at the earliest opportunity.

Opportunities for NZ Citizens to Study Overseas

  • Chevening PhD Scholarship in UK
    The Chevening Scholarship, which is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, is open to one New Zealand student for post graduate study at any British University. The scholarship is worth £18,000 and covers airfares, tuition and living expenses. The scholarship is designed to encourage the development of future leaders and the successful applicant will need to demonstrate the personal, intellectual and interpersonal attributes to realise this potential. Applicants should be aware that their course of study should be aligned to British Foreign Policy goals such as the promotion of a low carbon, high growth global economy, International Institutional Reform, the prevention and resolution of conflict and the study of counter terrorism and weapons proliferation. There is full information about the scholarship and the application process here.
  • MSc (mostly) in Europe. Check out the Erasmus Mundus scheme – which could allow you to spend some time in NZ as part of your MSc degree in Europe.
  • Woolf Fisher PhD Scholarships – The Woolf Fisher Trust offers up to three Scholarships each year tenable at the University of Cambridge or the University of Oxford for three or four years of postgraduate research leading to a doctoral degree or equivalent. Woolf Fisher Scholars will have shown outstanding academic ability and will possess many of the qualities admired by Woolf Fisher: integrity, kindness and generosity, leadership, boldness of vision and exceptional zeal, keenness and capacity for work. Administered by the NZ Vice-Chancellors’ Committee.
  • Variety of study in Germany options. I’m happy to talk with you about the many options – which include spending some time in Germany as part of your degree here – but please also have a look the following websites:
  • Postdoctoral fellowship at UBC, Vancouver, Canada. Candidates for a Killam postdoctoral fellowship must be nominated by a faculty member (deadline is ca. November). More information is available from me and/or from the website:,000,000,000
  • Clarendon PhD Scholarships to Oxford University. The Clarendon Fund is the University of Oxford’s flagship scholarship scheme. Awards are based on academic excellence and potential. The awards are sponsored by Oxford University Press and are only available at the University of Oxford. Clarendon scholarships are tenable at any college of the University. However, over half of all colleges offer awards linked to the Clarendon Fund and in these cases scholars are offered a combined College linked Clarendon scholarship tenable only at the college offering the linked award. Applicants may state a preference for up to two colleges when applying to Oxford, and the availability of a College linked Clarendon scholarship in your subject area/nationality may influence your choice of colleges. If your application to the Clarendon Fund is successful, please note that we may move your application to a college offering a College linked Clarendon scholarship, even if this is not your first or alternative choice college. Due date: early-mid Jan each year.
  • Rhodes (PhD) Scholarships to Oxford University. The Rhodes Scholarships are postgraduate awards supporting exceptional all-round students from diverse countries who go to study at the University of Oxford. Established in the will of Cecil Rhodes in 1902, the Rhodes is the oldest and perhaps the most prestigious international scholarship program in the world. Over 7,000 Rhodes Scholars have gone on to serve at the forefront of government, the professions, commerce, the arts, education, research and other fields. They are well-known advocates for expanded social justice, and have advanced the frontiers of science and medicine. NZ applicants should go to the NZVCC website for information specific to NZ applications Value: £11,500 sterling per year personal allowance. Fees are paid directly by the Trust to the College and University. Three (NZ) scholars are elected each year.
  • Ramsay Memorial Fellowships for Chemical Research (Postdoctoral).
    The Ramsay Trustees will consider applications for the award of one or more General (British) Ramsay Memorial Fellowships, which may be co-sponsored by a university department, a company or another body approved by the Trustees. The Fellowship(s) will normally be tenable in the United Kingdom for two years. Candidates will generally be expected to have had some postdoctoral experience of research, although this should normally not have exceeded two years. Further information and application forms are available online at
  • Newton International Fellowships. This is an initiative of the UK’s leading academies – the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society. The scheme has been established to select the very best early stage post-doctoral researchers from all over the world and enable them to work at UK research institutions for a period of two years. The Scheme covers researchers in all disciplines covered by the three academies – natural and social sciences, engineering and the humanities. Applicants should be working outside the UK and should not hold UK citizenship at the time of application. Researchers already based in the UK are not eligible to apply. For further information, please see the attached pdf and the Newton International Fellowships website at