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A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


Close date
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Academic background
Health Sciences
Host campus
Master's, PhD, Postdoctoral


The Department of Nursing is involved in a broad range of research focused on the experiences of disabled people, particularly those who identify as living with a learning (intellectual) or developmental disability. A key aspect includes the areas of health, wellbeing and community access and connectedness.

These research collaborations have been undertaken with disabled people, including people with a learning disability, health service providers and/or health and disability research colleagues. All disability research undertaken is designed to contribute to the progressive realisation of disabled peoples’ rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

Researchers within the Department have a particular focus on achieving improved outcomes for people with a learning disability who, as a population group, are recognised as experiencing serious inequities in health status and access to health and disability services.

Within this theme we have a number of projects available for postgraduate nursing students and students from other disciplines who have a strong interest in disability-related research. We can also accommodate students who have a specific area of interest related to this theme.

Members of the research team have ongoing research projects and expertise in both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

Potential research topics:

  • Implementation of The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Aotearoa-New Zealand
  • Social models of accessibility
  • Health and ageing across the lifespan
  • Self-management approaches to long term conditions
  • Supported Decision Making – Understanding, implementation and evaluation
  • Experiences of service access and delivery for disabled tamariki (children) and rangatahi (teenager or young adults) in care
  • Access to justice for disabled people – Including the IDCC&R Act (2003)
  • Workforce education and development in the nursing and the disability sector
  • The effect of adolescent mental illness on siblings - the unseen casualties

Names of supervisors

  • Dr Henrietta Trip
  • Associate Research Professor Brigit Mirfin-Veitch
  • Dr Kelly Tikao
  • Dr Mandy Wilkinson
  • Dr Kit Doudney


Applicants must be eligible for admission to the PhD or MHealSc programme at the University of Otago.

Funding notes

Whether you are a domestic or an international student, the University of Otago has a range of Doctoral Scholarships available to you.
If you are a straight A student (GPA of 8 - 'A' grade) or higher, who has completed an honours or master's degree with an appropriate research component from a New Zealand university then you are likely to be guaranteed a University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship.

For more information, please contact us with a copy of your transcript and CV.


Contact name
Fran Cox, Co-ordinator student advisor
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