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The Department's two primary sections, Paediatrics and Child Health, and Obstetrics and Gynaecology, maintain a strong focus on research that informs clinical practice, with active research investigation in the following areas:

  • Clinical genetics
  • Clinical pharmacology
  • Clinical reasoning, learning environments, patient and student experiences, and family care
  • Diabetes
  • Ethical issues
  • Family violence
  • Incontinence
  • Infertility
  • Māori health
  • Obesity
  • Sleep disorders
  • Sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI)
  • The development of self-regulation in early childhood, attachment, behavioural changes
  • Vaccine evaluation
  • Vitamin K and bone health
  • 3D printing in medicine and surgery, surgical instrumentation

Read or download the Department of Women's and Children's Health research supervisors, current projects, expertise and areas of interest (PDF)

The Department holds positions of national leadership in the form of:

These three units have been brought together under the banner of the Child Youth Policy Research Support Service (CYPRSS).

Research proposals and ethics

Research process in the Department of Women's and Children's Health

Students should work with their supervisors throughout the process of designing and commencing a new research project. The guide below can assist students when commencing a project within the department.

Ethics applications

All studies require ethical approval. Applications to the relevant committee should be completed in consultation with your supervisors. The University of Otago Council provides advice to guide you through the process of confirming which ethics committee you will be approaching, with the relevant application forms:

A component of the national Health and Disability Ethics Committee (HDEC) application is a scientific review. In the Department of Women's and Children's Health, this is performed by the WCH Research Committee and is co-ordinated by Professor Stephen Robertson.


Sources of funding support

Research and Enterprise Office

Health Research South

Research Committee

Below are the forms to be used to apply for funding from the Department of Women's and Children's Health Research Committee:

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