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Dodd-Walls Centre opportunities

Agnes Blackie Memorial Research Fellowship

Agnes Blackie was the first female physicist appointed as a lecturer in a New Zealand university. She started service at the University of Otago (at the time a constituent college of the University of New Zealand) in 1919 and continued teaching even after retirement in 1958. More information on Agnes Blackie and her career can be found at the Royal Society Te Apārangi website (

The Dodd-Walls Centre calls for applications for the inaugural award of the prestigious Agnes Blackie Memorial Fellowship. The award of this Fellowship coincides with the 125th anniversary of universal suffrage in New Zealand in 2018 and the 100th anniversary of Agnes Blackie’s appointment as the first and only female physics lecturer at the University of New Zealand.

The Fellowship will be tenable at any of the six university partners of the Dodd-Walls Centre – Otago (host), Auckland, Canterbury, Massey, Victoria or AUT – and in any research area that aligns with the aims and research themes of the Dodd-Walls Centre. Details of the Centre’s research are found at and spans areas of physics, chemistry, mathematics and computer science. The Fellowship will be tenable until 31st December 2020 and appointment will be made on the appropriate university’s Research Fellow or Senior Research Fellow scale depending upon experience. Recruitment and appointment procedures and approvals will follow those of the employing university. There may be a possibility for the position to be held in conjunction with a fixed-term lectureship subject to negotiation with the host university.

Candidates are responsible for identifying and obtaining an endorsement from an academic mentor within the department where they wish to hold the Fellowship. The academic mentor must be a Principal or Associate Investigator within the Dodd-Walls Centre, a list of whom can be found at For candidates whose research is laboratory-based, this mentor must also indicate that they have space available in their lab and that proposed work can be undertaken in that setting.

The intention of the Fellowship is to bring an emerging, yet outstanding early career researcher to the Centre, either to enhance research strengths or bring new ideas and directions. The criteria for selection are research excellence and candidates must outline how they will spend 10% of their time supporting and leading diversity efforts in support of under-represented groups in STEM education and research.

Further information can be obtained from our website or via email from the Deputy Director, Professor Neil Broderick at

Applications including a CV with structured reference list, one page research proposal abstract suitable for a broad assessment panel, a cover letter that also details future diversity-related activities, and a letter of support from your mentor endorsed by the head of the host department must be submitted via email to no later than 5:00 PM (NZ Standard time), Monday 5th November, 2018.

The Dodd-Walls Centre is committed to meeting its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi and achieving equity outcomes for staff and students in a safe, inclusive and equitable environment. We encourage applications from traditionally under-represented groups including women, Māori, Pacific, LGBTI, and people with disabilities.

Business Development Manager

The Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies (DWC) is looking for an experienced and well networked business development manager to join our Industry Team. The position can be based at Auckland or any other major centre. We are a national Centre of Research Excellence administered from the University of Otago with research investigators and students across New Zealand. We are passionate about research excellence, training a highly-skilled workforce for New Zealand, working with companies to grow and commercializing IP.

We are looking for a dynamic individual, preferably with a background in the sciences or engineering, that has a demonstrable understanding of how university-based research is commercialized and how researcher resources can be leveraged by external stakeholders. The appointee will play a key role in developing and strengthening internal and external relationships with industry and government agencies. Our ideal candidate will have at least five years of experience in a business development role with primary responsibility for forming and managing relationships with external stakeholders and will have had good exposure to new product and IP commercialization in New Zealand including perhaps previous experience with institutional tech-transfer offices, private equity and venture capital, and start-ups.

The position can be based in any main centre in New Zealand and regular travel is required. The ability to work effectively with a dispersed team with members across the country is vital. We are open to either making a fixed-term appointment (to the University of Otago) or engaging the successful candidate as a contractor. We expect to appoint on a fractional time basis of 0.3–0.4 FTE starting as soon as possible and until the end of 2020.

For a copy of the job description please contact Paul Hoskin (paul.hoskin @ or download here Job Description Business Development Manager and Advertisement for Business Development Manager.

Applicants should submit a cover letter that addresses key criteria in the job description along with a CV by email October 7th, 2018, to Paul Hoskin. Interviews by Zoom will happen on October 23–26, 2018.

Please note that applicants must be able to work in New Zealand.

Research Fellow in Biophotonics

 The department of Physics is seeking a highly motivated researcher to work as part of a team across a range of projects from optical coherence tomography (OCT) to spectroscopic fluorescence. The successful candidate will be expected to design, model, build and process data from biomedical imaging systems. More importantly, the candidate is expected to apply these techniques in situations relevant to medical practitioners and/or industry.

The key accountabilities of the role include:

  • Develop and maintain an up-to-date academic knowledge of the fields of biomedical imaging relevant to research projects
  • Undertake an active, appropriate and viable research programme.
  • Publish papers, high quality conference outputs or other scholarly works with the wider Faculty of science and University collaborative teams, in high quality peer-reviewed scientific journals; including both original data and systematic reviews
  • Maintaining stocks of optical components and consumable necessary for research tasks and ensure equipment needed is maintained and/or repaired in a timely fashion.
  • Contributing to the supervision of graduate students.
  • The successful candidate is expected to have deep understanding of the basics of light matter interactions. Previous experience with optical coherence tomography or spectroscopy methods would be advantageous.

Our ideal candidate has:

  • A PhD in physics, biomedical optics, spectrometry or a related discipline
  • Experience in Optical Coherence Tomography or spectroscopy techniques.
  • A demonstrated track record of research and skills in biomedical optics, and a substantive record of publications in high impact journals.

Other welcome attributes include: a strong track record of delivering successful outcome in scientific research, excellent communication and presentation skills and an accurate and independent approach to research. For more information, please view the position description and apply through the University of Auckland's website.

Masters Project (experimental) Available

The Light and Matter Group at Otago Physics is looking for a motivated masters level student to work in our Marsden-funded Rydberg Quantum Optics project, where the aim is to store single photons in distant ensembles of ultracold atoms.  Photons do not normally interact with each other.  Our photons - stored as Rydberg excitations of the atoms - interact with each other extremely strongly (see graphic in document below).  This provides an exciting platform for photonic quantum manipulation and nonlinear optics at the single photon level.

Kjaergaard Masters_project (1.03MB)

The proposed masters project will involve building up a laser system to address the Rydberg states of fermionic 40K and perform spectroscopy of its Rydberg states. This will be followed by demonstrations of storage of photons in ultracold fermionic ensembles and their efficient retrieval. An ultracold atom machine producing degenerate fermionic samples of 40K and con gurable arrays of ultracold atoms trapped using optical tweezers already exist in our lab (see figure), and so does the building blocks of the relevant laser system. 

If you are enthusiastic student who loves photons, atoms, lasers and cool gadgets, this can be an ideal project for you. Please contact or if interested to get a lab tour.  Honours and PhD projects also available.

Postdoctoral Fellowships available for 2018

The Dodd-Walls Centre is appointing postdoctoral researchers to begin in 2018-19, and we welcome applications from researchers and students nearing completion of their PhD.

Postdoctoral candidates should have experience of working in photonics, quantum physics, or a related discipline, and a strong track record of publications. We will post information here as postdoctoral fellowships become available.

All positions are offered through our partner universities and applications are processed through the universities. Full application instructions can be found with each position.

Read the current list of DWC Postdoctoral Fellowships here