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Māori Postgraduate Support Adviser

Rachel Sizemore

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Rachel Sizemore (Ngāi Tahu) is the Māori Postgraduate Support Adviser within the Graduate Research School supporting Māori Postgraduate students.

Ko Hikaroroa te māunga, ko Waikouaiti te awa, ko Takitimu te waka, ko Ngāi Tahu tōku iwi, nō Ōtepoti ahau. Ko Rachel Sizemore tōku ingoa.

Kia ora. I am Rachel Sizemore and as well as being the Māori Postgraduate Support Advisor with the Graduate Research School, I am also the Kaiāwhina Māori in the Otago Business School. I come from a scientific research background. I have a BSc (Otago) in Zoology and Anatomy, an MSc (Otago) in Anatomy and a PhD (Otago) in Neuroscience. I am passionate about making sure you have a successful tertiary experience.

Rachel is able to assist you with some of the challenges you may face as a postgraduate student by:

  • acting as a link to the resources offered by the University;
  • offering workshops, regular research hui and seminars;
  • acting in an advocacy capacity;
  • offering support to individual students;
  • offering advice on scholarships; and
  • providing opportunities for you to meet other Māori postgraduate students and staff at Otago and nationally.

If you are struggling and would like someone to talk ideas over with, please feel to contact Rachel:

Tel +64 3 479 8082
Office: G.02, 103 St David Street
— Wednesday, 8:30am to 12 noon
— Thursday and Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm

Events, services and opportunities

The purpose of the Māori post graduate support programme is to encourage the development of excellent scholars, researchers and future leaders through various support mechanisms, including seminars, workshops and training. As part of this programme, there are regular writing days, retreats, hui and workshops.


Hui are held throughout the year from noon to 2:00pm. Lunch is provided at in person events so it is important to register your attendance for catering purposes. If you have special dietary requirements it is important to let us know.

Hono Mai – 15 July 2021

Hono Mai is a one-day online wānanga for Maori Doctoral students involved in MAI and will involve Zooming, as a group, with other MAI sites around New Zealand. There will be guest speakers, panels and lots of interesting information for you to listen to. It’s also an opportunity to be with other PhD students for the day. Lunch will be provided. There will be limited individual links available for distance students.

Register for Hono Mai

Māori Writing Days

There are regular Writing Days for Māori postgraduate candidates scheduled for those enrolled in a thesis who wish to get together for a chance to write in a group setting. Many candidates find this process extremely useful. Lunch is provided.

The Writing Days for 2021 are listed below. To register your attendance please click on the date(s) you prefer and you will be taken to the booking site.

Friday 16 July 2021
Thursday 12 and Friday 13 August 2021
Thursday 16 and Friday 17 September 2021
Thursday 14 and Friday 15 October 2021

If you would like to know more about these writing days, please contact:

Rachel Sizemore

Multi-day writing retreats

Writing retreats are an opportunity for Māori postgraduate candidates to work together in a quiet, peaceful location and realise writing goals.

Writing is done either in solitude or in a group setting with timed blocks of writing and regular breaks. Meals are provided. Distance students may be assisted with travel costs.

We are offering a Writing Retreat from 23 to 25 June here in Dunedin.

Register your attendance

For more details, please contact:

Rachel Sizemore

ZOOM Writing Sessions for Māori and Pacific Postgraduate Students

These monthly Zoom writing sessions, specifically for Māori and Pacific Island postgraduate candidates enrolled to write a thesis, offer an opportunity to write in an online group setting. These are perfect for those studying at distance or for students on campus who would like a shorter session in which to write. In these sessions there is a chance to meet others and share about what you are writing.

Click on the dates below to register for these writing sessions:

Tuesday 20 July, 9:00am to 12:00pm
Tuesday 17 August, 9:00am to 12:00pm
Tuesday 21 September, 9:00am to 12:00pm
Tuesday 19 October, 9:00am to 12:00pm
Tuesday 7 December, 9:00am to 12:00pm

Upcoming postgraduate workshops

Few students arrive at a thesis knowing exactly what to do and how to do it. Most find it beneficial to attend some of the many courses offered.

These courses help you to work smarter, understand the process and expectations and give you helpful practical advice on everything from software, to the research process to writing and publishing.

Graduate Research School

To find out about all the workshops and events offered to Doctoral and Master's Thesis candidates by the Graduate Research School.
Visit the Graduate Research School Workshops and Events page

Higher Education Development Centre and the Student Learning Development

Find out about the many workshops on offer through HEDC and the Student Learning Development:
Visit the HEDC workshop registration page

Here you'll find workshops on a number of topics including getting started, what is entailed in the research journey, tips for procrastinators, how to structure a thesis, how to start a thesis and how to finish it.

There are also a number of resources available to download on the actual writing of a thesis.
Visit the Writing of a Thesis page

The Library

Every semester the library runs workshops specifically for Postgraduate students.

ITS Training

ITS run numerous courses on using the computer software that may be of use to your research, including EndNote for bibliographies, Word for long documents and conference poster preparation.
Visit the ITS training page for more about courses that might help you