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At the University of Otago, Christchurch we are committed to providing doctoral level research training of the highest calibre. Completion of doctoral (PhD) study indicates that a student has undertaken a piece of original research at a level which develops the chosen discipline and contributes new knowledge to society. In doing so the student develops as an independent researcher and as a potential intellectual leader in his or her field.

Current PhD research

Profiles of current and recent students

PhD opportunities on the Christchurch campus

We have internationally recognised research strengths in a number of areas including heart disease, indigenous health, infectious diseases, genetics, cancer, biomedical engineering, nursing, mental health and public health. All of our 14 departments are research active, with more than 30 well-established research groups.

Potential PhD candidates are invited to either find a research project through our database, or browse our research groups to find a potential supervisor.

Join a research group

Find a research project

If you find a topic of interest, email the potential supervisor with your curriculum vitae and academic transcript to discuss a project further.

PhD study at Otago

The University's Graduate Research School website has information and resources for prospective and current PhD candidates:

University of Otago PhD programme

Regulations for the PhD degree are on the PhD qualification page:

Regulations for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Information about postgraduate scholarships, and the searchable University of Otago scholarships database can be found on the Graduate Research School website:

University of Otago postgraduate scholarships

How to apply

Information about the PhD application process can be found on the Graduate Research School website:

PhD application process

Once you have confirmation from a supervisor and department, you can apply at any time throughout the year through the University's online eVision student portal.

Apply via the PhD qualification page

Contact us


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