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About us

Leading graduate research study in New Zealand

The Graduate Research School oversees graduate research study at the University of Otago. We provide policy advice for doctoral and research Masters’ degrees, have oversight of all administrative matters related to the PhD programme, provide targeted support for Māori postgraduates, have a Graduate Wellbeing Coach to support postgraduate study, have oversight of postgraduate researcher and supervisor development, and work with the University community to enhance the graduate research culture.

The School is part of the University’s Research Division. We have a dedicated team of managers, administrators and advisers ready to assist you.

Find out more about our team and how they can assist you

How can we help you?

The Graduate Research School:

Dean's welcome

Rachel Spronken-Smith

Engaging in graduate research is often a life-changing experience. Most graduate research candidates find a real passion for their research, and the skills they develop on their research journey make them well placed for a range of careers.

Here at the University of Otago, we pride ourselves on having some of the best submission and completion rates for PhD study in the world! We offer doctoral and Masters’ research degrees across a range of disciplines in health science, science, humanities and commerce, and the University has three main campuses for graduate research study in Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington. From world-class researchers and research facilities, through to superb library and student services, we help to ensure that you achieve to the best of your ability, as well as enjoy your time studying. The Graduate Research School (GRS) is just one part of this wide community that will support your study.

The Graduate Research School provides leadership and oversight of graduate research degrees. We have a strong focus on community-building and work in partnership with staff and students to foster vibrant postgraduate communities. We provide friendly and helpful advice for graduate research candidates and staff, as well as promoting scholarships and prizes.

We enhance the retention and progression of graduate research candidates by providing assistance with research training through workshops, courses and resources. For example, we offer a range of workshops and short courses to support your research journey, developing not only your research skills, but also a host of transferrable skills such as project management and communication skills.

We also provide a range of social events to ensure you have opportunities to network with your peers and colleagues. If you complete in a timely fashion (within 4 equivalent full-time years for a PhD or 1.5 years for a master’s research degree) you will likely gain a scholarship to support publishing your research!

I hope that you find this website helpful. It is designed to provide information about our research degree programmes and the wealth of support available to you. If you still have unanswered questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Thank you for choosing the University of Otago for graduate research and I wish you all the best with your study.

Professor Rachel Spronken-Smith
Dean, Graduate Research School