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‘What next? Life beyond PG studies’

August 13, 2021 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
BIG13, Ground floor Biochemistry

Tom Devine

Senior Advisor, Ministry of Health

‘What next? Life beyond postgraduate studies’


“Whaia e koe ki te iti kaurangi; ki te tuohu koe, me maunga teitei”; Seek the treasure you value most dearly, if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain.


Tom Devine, Senior Advisor in the COVID-19 Vaccine and Immunisation Programme at the Ministry of Health will be speaking at this special seminar on insights into career opportunities beyond postgraduate studies.  He will also discuss the place that research and science have at the Ministry of Health and its crucial role in the New Zealand COVID-19 Health System Response.  In the future, research and science should extend beyond universities and play more of a core role in government and the wider health sector.  More collaboration with academics and the sector is needed.


Tom Devine grew up in Whanganui as one of 11 siblings, before moving to Dunedin to study Microbiology at Otago University. In 2018 he finished top of his class in Microbiology receiving the John Miles Award.  Tom has been at the Ministry of Health since October 2020, where he started as an Advisor in the COVID-19 Strategic Operations Team.  He then received a promotion in April and currently works as a Senior Advisor in the COVID-19 Vaccination Operations team.


During his time at the Ministry Tom has written a report for the W.H.O on New Zealand’s pandemic response for the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness co-chaired by the RT. Hon. Helen Clark, written two academic articles on the nature of the virus that causes COVID-19 and has worked on the emergency management team responding to community cases and alert level changes.  He is now involved in rolling out the COVID-19 vaccination campaign throughout the country.


In September Tom will spend two years completing his Master of Public Health at one of Americas most prestigious Ivy League Universities: Columbia University in New York City. He has been awarded a Fulbright Science and Innovation Scholarship, William Georgetti Scholarship and Gordon Watson Scholarship to support his studies.

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