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Key information

Support and award opportunities

Graduate Research School support for staff

One-on-one advice for supervisors, Postgraduate Co-ordinators,  Heads of Department, and thesis examination conveners

Please contact the School for support, if you have a tricky situation with a candidate, or an examination. The Dean or the Manager can advise about supervision and progress issues. We are also happy to come to your department to provide staff with updates on policy and best practice.

Professional development workshops and courses

Together with the Higher Education Development Centre, Library, the Career Centre and others we offer a programme of professional development support for supervisors, postgraduate co-ordinators and examiners. Visit the Postgraduate professional and researcher development portal which includes a section for staff support.

Visit the HEDC website to find out what is coming up, and also see the HEDC offerings.

Research supervision resources

Resources for research supervision are available in OURDrive.

These resources include:

  • Attracting and recruiting research candidates
  • Key processes for supervisors
  • Building positive relationships with your candidates
  • Supervising the literature review
  • Assisting candidates with writing
  • Supervising the research methodology
  • Supervising international and culturally diverse candidates
  • Supporting distance and part-time research students
  • Fostering a vibrant graduate research
  • Examining a thesis

Book resource: Doctoral education in international context: connecting local, regional and global perspectives (PDF)

Postgraduate Research Culture Excellence Award

The purpose of the annual University of Otago Postgraduate Research Culture Excellence Award is to recognise and celebrate positive, creative, supportive and vibrant research communities developed by departments or faculties or schools or centres for their postgraduate research students.

There are two categories of Award:

  • Large departments: for departments comprising 30 or more postgraduate research students (EFTS)
  • Small departments: for departments comprising fewer than 30 postgraduate research students (EFTS)

The full application, due by 5pm on 30 September, involves departments submitting a portfolio that covers:

  1. Pre-arrival and orientation practices
  2. Supervision and research support practices
  3. Student participation in research activities (e.g., publication, conferences, journal clubs, departmental seminars / forums), including student-led initiatives such as peer-support groups
  4. Social activities for students
  5. Evaluative data for the postgraduate experience such as the University's Student and Graduate Opinion Surveys, departmental surveys, student testimonials, and informal feedback
  6. Other evidence (e.g., celebratory activities, completion rates)

More about this annual Award and the entry form:
Information sheet and the entry form (Word)

Expressions of Interest are due on 30 June 2021, with full applications due on 30 September 2021.

Past winners of this award

YearSmall departmentLarge department
2019Centre for NeuroendocrinologyTourism
2017Pathology (UOC)Geography and Zoology (joint winners)
2018Centre for SustainabilityTheology & Religion

OUSA Supervisor of the Year awards

These awards are run jointly by OUSA and the Graduate Research School. Each year, usually as part of the Graduate Research Festival, all thesis candidates are emailed requesting nominations for these awards. Nominations are considered by a panel consisting of the OUSA Postgraduate Representative and Postgraduate Representatives for each Division. The Awards include finalists (two) and a winner of each Division, as well as Overall Supervisor of the Year and New Supervisor of the Year (usually within 5 years of completing their doctorate).

Recent winners


Divisional winners:

  • Commerce – Associate Professor Julia Albrecht
  • Health Sciences – Dr Caroline Decourt
  • Humanities – Professor Merata Kawharu
  • Sciences – Dr Gert-Jan Jeunen

New Supervisor of the Year – Dr Caroline Decourt

Supervisor of the Year – Associate Professor Julia Albrecht


Divisional winners:

  • Commerce – Dr Julia Albrecht
  • Health Sciences – Dr Mike Garratt
  • Humanities – Dr Christina Ergler
  • Sciences – Professor Sheila Skeaff

New Supervisor of the Year – Dr Mike Garratt

Supervisor of the Year – Professor Sheila Skeaff


Divisional winners:

  • Commerce – Dr Sherlock Licorish
  • Health Sciences – Dr Charlotte King
  • Humanities – Dr Fairleigh Gilmour
  • Sciences – Dr Anna Garden

New Supervisor of the Year – Dr Fairleigh Gilmour

Supervisor of the Year – Dr Charlotte King


Divisional winners:

  • Commerce – Associate Professor Grant Dick
  • Health Sciences – Dr Alana Alexander
  • Humanities – Associate Professor Angela Wanhalla
  • Sciences – Professor James White

New Supervisor of the Year – Dr Alana Alexander

Supervisor of the Year – Associate Professor Angela Wanhalla


Divisional winners:

  • Commerce – Dr Helen Roberts
  • Health Sciences – Dr Charlotte King
  • Humanities – Dr Susan Wardell
  • Sciences – Dr Tina Summerfield

New Supervisor of the year: Dr Charlotte King

Supervisor of the Year: Dr Susan Wardell


Divisional winners:

  • Commerce – Professor Jin Zhang
  • Health Sciences – Dr David Reith
  • Humanities – Dr Sarah Stein
  • Sciences – Associate Professor Azam Ali

New Supervisor of the year: Associate Professor Azam Ali

Supervisor of the Year: Dr Sarah Stein


Divisional winners:

  • Commerce – Dr Sergio Biggemann
  • Health Sciences – Dr Shyamal Das
  • Humanities – Dr Gwynaeth McIntyre
  • Sciences – Dr Tamlin Conner

New Supervisor of the Year: Dr Gwynaeth McIntyre

Supervisor of the Year: Dr Tamlin Conner

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