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The University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship provides funding to support doctoral students studying at the University of Otago. The Scholarship is available to both domestic and international students. The scholarship consists of an NZ$ 25,000 per annum stipend and student fees are waived for successful candidates. For the formal requirements please see the Regulations and notes for University of Otago postgraduate research scholarships.

If you are interested in a PhD in Botany and feel you would be competitive for an Otago Scholarship please browse our staff pages, identify a potential supervisor and contact them. We will from time to time invite candidates to apply for an Otago Scholarship on a theme identified by members of Academic staff.

2017 Botany Summer Studentships 

The Department of Botany will be offering and facilitating a number of Summer Studentships during the summer of 2017/2018.

Summer Studentships provide support to students who intend to enrol for study at the University of Otago in 2017. These Summer Studentships enable you to engage in some form of research based either within the Department of Botany or, through the Department’s links, within the Crown Research Institute, Landcare Research. A Summer Studentship can be a very good way to gain practical experience in botany and they can often lead to further research opportunities.

To apply, please download and complete the application form

Applications can be submitted via email to, or delivered/posted to Department of Botany Office, 479 Great King Street, Dunedin.

Closing date
Closing date for applications is no later than 3 pm, 29th September 2017

Studentship value
maximum $5,000 (tax‐free) for 10 weeks over summer commencing around 20th November 2016 with the latest finishing date being 23rd February 2018.

Calvert Flora Trail Studentship.

Develop a plant guide that covers the Flagstaff‐Swampy Summit area extending to Mt Cargill. The guide will be used to design a Flora Trail.

The student will be supervised by Professor Kath Dickinson together with Dr Cathy Rufaut (Department of Botany) in association with Honorary Associate Professor Ilse Breitwieser (Allan Herbarium, Landcare Research, Lincoln), and with the support of the Dunedin City Council.

Landcare Research (Dunedin) Studentship on vegetation in dryland ecosystems.

Subject to funding a summer studentship will be offered to undertake a vegetation survey of native grass‐shrubland remnants in the Canterbury Plains.

This vegetation type is now one of the rarest in New Zealand and what remains has undergone major shifts in species presence and abundance over a 40 year span. The remaining areas are small in extent (typically a few ha up to c. 50 ha) and surrounded by intensive agriculture. Spillover of water and fertiliser from adjacent land uses has the potential to extensively modify the functionality of these ecosystems, facilitating exotic plant invasions and lowering native species diversity. Such edge effects in these communities, and more widely in dryland New Zealand, are poorly characterised and this lack of understanding hinders the implementation of appropriate management actions to maintain their natural integrity.

The successful applicant will obtain experience in ecological field work, plant identification skills, data presentation and archiving. The successful applicant would need to have a keen interest in plants and be available for fieldwork in mid‐November and early December.

The student will be supervised by Adrian Monks, Gretchen Brownstein and Susan Walker (Landcare Research).

Two ORC Summer Studentships.

The student summer scholarship for 2017/2018 will be based in Dunedin at the Otago Regional Council, working with Kirk Robertson, Environmental Officer – Biosecurity.

The work will consist of a combination of fieldwork and office work, focused on the management, mapping, and control of terrestrial and marine plant weeds within the city boundaries. Start and finish dates are negotiable. A familiarity with botany and/or plant ecology and a driver’s licence would be an advantage but not essential.

D. Landcare research Manaaki Whenua Summer Studentship.

Subject to funding a fantastic opportunity to get some on‐the‐ground work experience with Landcare Research Manaaki Whenua is available via this summer internship position.

Landcare Research is New Zealand's biggest Crown Research Institute involved with terrrestrial ecology and big land‐based environmental projects.

You will work alongside Robyn Simcock, ecologist & soil scientist, and her team, as they visit different restoration and land management sites during this summer’s field season. These sites have been set up to determine/measure revegetation success and habitat development following catastrophic disturbances.

Your main duties will involve field‐ and office‐based research assistant activities, primarily centred around data collection & processing.

The duration of the internship will be approximately from November 2017‐February 2018, with exact start/finish dates to be negotiated. Statutory holidays over Christmas and New Years will be observed.

Useful Equipment

It would be of benefit if you had all or some of the below:

  • drivers licence
  • first aid
  • laptop
  • really good field gear!

Downloadable PDF copy of 2017 Summer Studentships application form.

Downloadable PDF copy of information about the Summer Studentships.

2017 Peter Bannister Student Field Grant

Closing date for applications is 18 August 2017

Applications are invited for a grant from the Peter Bannister Student Field Grant Fund to assist those enrolled for a PhD, MSc, BSc (Hons) or PGDip at the University of Otago and whose thesis deals with some aspect of botany.

The research project to be supported will be chosen on the basis of appropriateness to the objectives of the Society, namely to encourage the study and knowledge of botany.

  • The grant is for fieldwork related expenses.
  • It will not support equipment purchases or attending conferences.
  • The grant will be administered through a supervisor's University of Otago account.
  • A copy of the application form and rules may be downloaded from the Botanical Society of Otago website.

Contact for enquiries:

PBSFG Administrator
Botanical Society of Otago
P O Box 6214
North Dunedin, 9059
New Zealand

Information on Prior Scholarships is available for review.