The Department of Women's and Children's Health trains postgraduate research students in PhD and masters' degrees. Some of the main areas of academic interest and postgraduate research are:
- Child obesity
- Clinical and molecular genetics
- Clinical pharmacology
- Clinical reasoning, learning environments, patient and student experiences, family care
- Development of self-regulation in early childhood, attachment, behavioural changes
- Ethical issues
- Family violence
- Reproduction and infertility
- Long acting reversible contraception
- Māori health
- Obesity in pregnancy
- Sleep disorders
- Sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI)
- Vaccine evaluation and infectious diseases
- Vitamin K and bone health
- 3D printing in medicine and surgery, surgical instrumentation
- Other child health topics (endocrinology, children's issues, and child mortality)
- Other women's health topics (sexual health, contraception, menstrual disorders)
Postgraduate research can also be done in conjunction with supervisors in different departments and units of the university, and also with different universities.
Potential students interested in studying at the Department of Women's and Children's Health can consult our current list of research supervisors, their current projects, topics of expertise and interest, and other departments we have collaborated with:
While many students in the department have a medical background, a medical degree is not necessary for postgraduate study with us. Our research covers many different aspects of women's and children's health, and students from a range of undergraduate backgrounds can contribute to research in our department.
University regulations govern admission to Master's and PhD study. Acceptance into the supervisor's area of study is usually on a case-by-case basis with the suitability of undergraduate training addressed as a priority. Each student has a primary and, in most cases, a secondary supervisor. Secondary supervisors may be members of staff in other departments.
Each PhD student has a Thesis Committee comprising their supervisors and a convenor. The convenor chairs regular university progress report meetings and any discretionary meetings. Convenors have knowledge in the relevant research practice, but are not involved in the study. It is common practice for PhD projects to also have an advisor who can be called upon to provide independent specialist advice.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) (PDF 355 KB) for each new research student and their and supervisor(s) is recommended. This covers the expectations that the Department and University have of students and supervisors. Students and supervisors should look at the MOU independently before meeting to complete the MOU together.
Submission of Thesis
University of Otago Master's and Doctoral scholarships
Applications can be made to the University of Otago for a Master's or Doctoral scholarship at any time of the year. Please talk to your supervisor and the Graduate Research School regarding eligibility.
Dunedin School of Medicine scholarships
The Dunedin School of Medicine (DSM) also have scholarships advertised mid-year. Please refer to the link below or contact the DSM's Administrative Assistant for further information.
Other helpful scholarship pages:
- Postgraduate scholarship in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (Microsoft Word 46 KB)
- Freemasons Health Research Fellowships
- Freemasons Child Health Research Fellowship information form (PDF 98 KB)
- The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology have a number of scholarships on offer
- The Royal Australasian College of Physicians advertise available scholarships and fellowships
Additional funding available
The Department of Women's and Children's Health also allocates some funds to support PhD, Master's, and BMedSc students with the direct costs of their research.
Conference and travel support
Every PhD student in the University of Otago is offered funding towards the cost of presenting their research at a relevant international conference. The Division of Health Sciences will accept applications for this scheme at any time of the year. Applications must be received at least three months prior to date of travel.
Once a student is enrolled in postgraduate study, the Department of Women's and Children's Health can offer financial support for students to attend one scientific conference each year.
Postgraduate research support
Some supplementary funding is available to support students' postgraduate research from the Department Research Committee. This application for financial support would need to be endorsed by their supervisor(s).
Women's and Children's Health Research Committee application form for travel funds (Microsoft Word 33 KB)
Women's and Children's Health Research Committee application form for Grant-in-Aid (Microsoft Word 34 KB)
Dunedin School of Medicine “Finishing your PhD” Research Grants-in-Aid
The purpose of these grants is to support students entering the last year of their research towards a PhD within the Dunedin School of Medicine (DSM). The grants are designed to provide some funding for those who have had financial support during their PhD which has now come to an end, and still require additional time to complete their degree.
"Finishing your PhD" grant application form (Microsoft Word 22 KB)
Fees support for PhD students entering their fourth year of study
The purpose of this award is for Dunedin School of Medicine school-wide fees support for PhD students entering their fourth year of study. The award is to facilitate and incentivise degree completion within 3.5 years.
For terms and conditions check out the Postgraduate study at the Dunedin School of Medicine page .
Postgraduate Student Support
The Department of Women's and Children's Health has developed a policy to support PhD students with fee payments.
Students must meet certain criteria to be eligible.
View or download the eligibility criteria (PDF 205 kB)
Postgraduate Publishing Bursaries are available to support candidates to complete papers arising from their research. Applications may be submitted at any time provided that they are received no later than one month following submission of the thesis.
- Ben Wheeler - Vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy, lactation, and childhood
- Rebecca Harding - Prevalence and factors associated with Sleep Disordered Breathing in children with learning problems
- Noni Allison - Understanding antiepileptic medicine exposure in pregnancy
- Bryan Simpson - Personalised medicine through information technology (PerMIT)
- Harriet Harrex - Assessing sleep behaviour in infancy and adolescence
- Amelia Gill
- Catherine Sherwin
- Associate Professor Jean Hay-Smith
- Helen Paterson
- Glenda Oben
- Mary Gray
- Louise Bicknell
- Rebekah Luo
- Priya Kannan
- Laurelle Smith
- Sarah Maessen
- Antoinette Righarts
- Emma Wade
- Emma Salis
- Liz Goodin
Graduates from the Department of Women's and Children's Health have entered into positions which include:
- Academic research management
- Health-related advisory roles with the Ministry of Health
- Health-related advisory roles with the Ministry of Social Development and University of Otago
- Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Cincinnati and University of Cambridge
- Senior position in genetic counselling
- University clinical teaching
To find out more about postgraduate study in the Department of Women's and Children's Health please contact Sarah-Jane Robertson:
Tel 64 3 470 9574