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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.

Ecology Fund

The Ecology Fund was established in 1966 by M.J. and B.J. Marples to support students whose research is ecology in nature.

The fund is intended to assist with the following:

  • Conference attendance for students presenting a paper or poster at a conference with an ecological (maximum up to $200).
  • Workshops to learn necessary laboratory, fieldwork, or statistical skills (max. $200).
  • Fieldwork of laboratory costs that are beyond what can normally be met by the student's department (max. $200).
  • Visits to overseas institutions to learn skills and establish research contacts (max $200).

Who is eligible to apply?

Research students in any department studying for BSc Honours, MSc or PhD.

How to apply

Complete the application form (.docx). and either return a hard copy to Department of Botany, 479 Great King Street, or via email

Closing date

Applications close Friday 26th April 2019.

Botany Summer Studentships 2018/2019

The Department of Botany will be offering and facilitating a number of Summer Studentships during the summer of 2018/2019.

Summer Studentships provide support to students who intend to enrol for study at the University of Otago in 2019. These Summer Studentships enable you to engage in some form of research based within the Department of Botany. A Summer Studentship can be a very good way to gain practical experience in botany and they can often lead to further research opportunities.


The maximum value is $5,000 (tax‐free) for 10 weeks over summer commencing around 19th November 2018 with the latest finishing date being 24th February 2019.

How to apply

Please complete the application form, and submit it to:

Department of Botany Office
479 Great King Street.

Or via email to

Please enter submissions no later than 4 pm, 28th September 2018

Summer Studentships

Botany Summer Studentship - Effect of microplastics on the health and fitness of New Zealand copepods today and in the future.

A summer studentship will be offered to study the effect of microplastics on the health and fitness of New Zealand copepods. Microplastic particles pose both physical and chemical threats to aquatic organisms as they can block the digestion system and release harmful chemicals. The student will investigate how pristine microplastics and those pre-treated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons affect ingestion rates, survival, egg production, and biomarkers of cellular damage/stress of native New Zealand copepods under today’s and future ocean conditions. Further he/she will investigate to which degree copepods are able to detect and avoid microplastic particles and if their sensory abilities are affected by PAHs leaching from microplastics or by seawater pH and temperature conditions expected for the future ocean. The student will be supervised by Dr. Linn Hoffmann and Associate Professor David Burritt.

Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research (Dunedin) Studentship on productivity of New Zealand forests

Two summer studentships will be offered to undertake ecological fieldwork in native forests across New Zealand. Native bird populations in large New Zealand native forest are still rapidly declining, mostly due to predation by rats, stoats and possums. While we know how to prevent catastrophic bird declines in beech forest by timing predator control with beech masts; we don’t yet know how to intervene in the remaining 85% of forests (which potentially support our most diverse bird communities). To do this, we need to understand what food resources and underlying environmental factors drive spatial and temporal variation in predator abundance. This summer we will be carrying out fieldwork quantifying resource availability (e.g. of fruit, invertebrate, and soil measures) to help develop tools to forecast spatiotemporal rodent abundance in New Zealand forests. The successful applicant will obtain experience in ecological field work, plant identification skills, data presentation and archiving. The successful applicants will need to have a keen interest in plants and other forest biota and be available for multiday field trips to remote areas. The students will be supervised by Adrian Monks, Gretchen Brownstein and Susan Walker (Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research).

2018 Peter Bannister Student Field Grant


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 will be administered through a supervisor's University of Otago account.

The grant is for fieldwork related expenses. It will not support equipment purchases or attending conferences.
Closing date for applications is 18 August 2018

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 or email:

Information on Prior Scholarships is available for review.