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Careers and Opportunities


Careers in Genetics

Genetics Otago and the Genetics Teaching Programme are both often asked: “What can I do with a degree majoring in Genetics?” While the answer is not quite “Anything!” it is pretty close.

The sectors requiring genetics graduates are only expanding: you could be a researcher, lab technician, innovator, genetic counsellor, bio-science marketer, forensic scientist, agricultural consultant, museum professional, science writer or journalist, policy advisor, environmental worker, teacher, patent specialist, and more.

In an attempt to show the diversity of jobs available to our graduates we hold an annual Career Evening in collaboration with the Department of Biochemistry and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Since 2019 these evenings have been recorded and you can watch a small selection of these presentations here.

You can watch more science graduates talk about their careers on this Careers Information Evenings YouTube playlist

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Current Opportunities

If you would like to advertise a project, job or opportunity please get in touch with us here.


  • PhD Position in IDEA Lab, Biochemistry Department – open from early 2024

    Depending on student interest, this project could focus on population genetics, quantitative approaches, or more embryology-centred questions. The project will include opportunities to work closely with industry bodies and Māori stakeholders. To start approx. February 2024, domestic fees and stipend included. For more information, please contact Nathan Kenny ( or pop by Rm 324, Department of Biochemistry

    Kenny PhD Position – Green Lipped Mussel Resilience to Climate Chance

  • The MAppSc (Quantitative Genetics) is looking to establish and maintain a list of research projects appropriate for their APPS597 (Supervised Independent Study) paper ( Projects should be broadly statistics based, connecting genotype with phenotype and be of a suitable scope for a 40-point paper. Supervision is open to all University of Otago campuses and to industry and research institutes (supervisors need not be academic staff). If you have a project you would like considered please contact Dr Phil Wilcox (



    • None Currently


    • Genetics Otago is looking for Science Communication Interns to help with content creation for our blog, YouTube channel, and annual magazine. You do not need to have formal science communication training, just an interest in the area of either genetics or science communication. Your work will be fully credited and viewed by our members, university leaders, high school students and the general public. If you are interested or would like to know more please contact us.



      • Apply for a Genetics Society of AustralAsia student research grant

        We are delighted to announce that the annual Genetics Society of AustralAsia (GSA) student research grants have now expanded to TWO grants, doubling the likelihood of success! These grants provide an opportunity for postgraduate students to win some free sequencing and library construction. Please forward this information to students.The student winner will receive an Illumina NovaSeq 6000 S1 300-cycle flowcell (up to 1.6B reads/480Gb data) and library construction (choose either WGS prep of up to 24 samples OR Total RNA-seq of up to 16 samples OR mRNA-seq of up to 24 samples), valued at ~$15,000.

        We have two grants available, generously supported by IlluminaThe Ramaciotti Centre for Genomics (Australia) and by AgResearch (New Zealand), along with GenomNZ from AgResearch:

        -students based in Australia can apply for The Ramaciotti Centre for Genomics Illumina Award

        -students based in Aotearoa or other Asia-Pacific countries can apply for The AgResearch Illumina Award

        Applicants must be a current member of GSA and must be enrolled in a postgraduate degree at an institution in the Australasian region. Applications for the grant are due by 5pm AEDT on 30th November 2023.The application form and further information can be found here. If not currently a member, it would be advisable to apply for our reduced rate student membership as soon as possible. Note the requirement that DNA/RNA samples or libraries must be submitted to the relevant sequencing centre and pass quality check before 1st March 2024.

      • The Livestock Improvement – Patrick Shannon Scholarship Programme:  Honours and Masters Scholarships are now open for applications. Link to apply via our website The Patrick Shannon Scholarship | Careers at LIC



    None Currently



    • Division of Sciences Outreach Certificate – If you are a student who would like to earn hours towards an outreach certificate please get in touch. We have opportunities to write for our Blog, to participate in school outreach and to help in the organisation of hubs and events.
    • Professor Martin Kennedy, EDGI NZ co-lead Investigator, is looking for any New Zealander, aged 16 and over, with first-hand experience of an eating disorder, to volunteer for an important genetics study. For more information or to volunteer, visit or email
    • Biomedical Research Community Survey: Biomedical Research Community Survey

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