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Support for PhD and other DoctoralCandidates

PhD Gown

Promoting Connection

The University appreciates that distance PhD and other doctoral candidates are not able to participate as frequently as residential candidates in the various on-campus activities which are available (for example journal clubs, departmental symposia, social functions, guest lectures, tutoring, demonstrating, etc.). You are encouraged, however, to visit the appropriate campus (Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington or Dunedin) whenever possible to connect with staff and fellow candidates and to make the most of online resources and social networks.

Keeping in touch regularly with your Supervisors

As your office is not just down the corridor from your supervisors, keeping in touch with them on a regular basis is really important. Apart from the required formal annual progress reports (six-monthly in your first year), we suggest you consider:

  • Updating your supervisors regularly (perhaps weekly) via email regarding your progress and plans.
  • Making regular phone calls to your supervisors.
  • Using Skype to discuss matters with your supervisors.
  • Visiting the campus whenever possible to meet with your supervisors (and others).

If you have any particular needs, please do communicate them to your supervisors in the first instance.

The PhD Handbook, webpage, Facebook and Twitter

A valuable source of information is the PhD Handbook which is available online at The PhD webpage ( also provides other important information for candidates. To foster and support the Otago graduate community, the Graduate Research School uses Facebook and Twitter. Social media is used to keep in touch with doctoral candidates, to advertise events and to share helpful information. It also provides another avenue to keep in touch with other candidates as well as University staff. You can find us on and

The Graduate Research School also has a Blackboard page which contains copies of the slides from the various workshops we deliver. There is also a discussion board which can be used to ask questions and connect with other candidates.

Key contacts

For administrative or enrolment queries, please do not hestitate to contact the Doctoral Office:


The Manager of Graduate Research Services

For advice should you have particular issues you wish to discuss.
Her contact details are:
Claire Gallop

If she is not the right person to talk to about your particular issue, she can direct you to the right place!

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