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Early and Mid-Career Researchers Group

Te Kahui Houhare Rangahau Hauora

The Early and Mid-Career Researcher (EMCR) Group aims to support EMCRs to achieve research excellence by facilitating networking and promoting career development opportunities within the Division. We can be contacted here:


Our Mission: Promote research excellence and sustainability within Aotearoa’s unique research environment

Research careers are dynamic, exciting and hugely rewarding, but can also be daunting and precarious, particularly when starting out.

The Division of Health Sciences Early and Mid-Career Researcher (EMCR) Management Committee was set up by a group of passionate EMCRs in order to support colleagues across the division to develop research excellence at the University of Otago. As EMCRs ourselves, we understand the trials and tribulations that come with this ultimately rewarding career and want our researchers to achieve excellence while maintaining a holistic life balance.

Working with the Divisional Research Committee, we aim to strengthen our research community across all areas of health science and organise and promote career development opportunities for our EMCRs within the Division. To achieve this, we hold regular symposia, listen to, promote and advocate for EMCRs, and support EMCRs with funding, networking opportunities, and professional development workshops.

We also have a dedicated Blackboard page that includes a calendar of events and other useful information, from grant peer review support, funding opportunities, guides for research impact, Māori Health Advancement, and Vision Mātauranga, and much more. The link is in the Resources section of this page. If you have any problems gaining access to Blackboard, just email us at the address below.

We want to hear from you to know what you need to cultivate a satisfying research career. If you would like to know more, or have any ideas about how we can better support EMCRs, feel free to email us or catch us on Twitter:


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Upcoming events

Professional Development Series 2023

Details coming soon.

Early and mid career academic development

Early and mid career academic development planning guide (PDF)

Division support

Drop-in sessions

Drop-in sessions available for feedback on your Māori Health Advancement and/or Research Impact section(s) of your grant application(s).

Weekly sessions are available with:

  • Howard Maxwell, Scientific Officer for Māori Health Advancement on Tuesday and Wednesday 11:00am and 11:30am
  • Maria Larcombe, Research Fellow in Research Impact on Monday 1:00pm and 1:30pm and Thursday 2:00pm and 2:30pm

Additional sessions are available close to HRC and MBIE deadlines.

Book a session.


2022 seminars are available to watch on Echo360.
Rutherford Discovery Fellowships, Marsden Fast-Start, Hercus Fellowships, HRC Project Grants.

To access Echo360, check the HS EMCR Support group on Microsoft Teams or email:

Division of Health Sciences Accelerator Grant 2023

The Accelerator Grants 2023 round is now open!

Please read the memo and submit your application using the provided application form by Thursday 6 April, 5.00pm to:

This year one of our grants will be allocated to a parent returning from parental leave.

2023 Memo (PDF)
2023 Application form (DOCX)
NZ-RST-CV Template (DOC)

If you have any questions about the Accelerator Grants, please email Catherine:

Previous EMCR Accelerator Grant rounds

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EMCR Management Committee members

Each Management Committee member is involved in two areas of focus and strategic oversight is provided by the Chair.

The EMCR Management Committee currently comprises 8 members from across the three main campuses.

Catherine Collins (Co-Chair)

Catherine Collins imageLecturer
Department of Anatomy, School of Biomedical Sciences

Twitter handle: @cjcollins_nz
Catherine's profile page

Claire Henry (Co-Chair)

Claire Henry imageResearch Fellow
Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Women’s Health, Wellington Campus

Twitter handle: @DrClaireHenry
Claire's profile page

Sarah Appleby

Sarah Appleby imageResearch Fellow
Christchurch Heart Institute, Christchurch

Sarah's profile page

Abigail Bland

Abigail Bland imageAssistant Research Fellow
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Dunedin

Twitter handle: @AbbyBland8
Abigail's profile page

Michael Garelja

Michael Garelja imageAssistant Research Fellow
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Dunedin

Twitter handle: @MGarelja
Michael's profile page

Matthew Jenkins

Matthew Jenkins image Senior Research Fellow in Mental Health
Department of Psychological Medicine, Wellington

Twitter handle: @Dr_MattJenkins
Matthew's profile page

Sarah Rhodes

Sarah Rhodes imageLecturer
School of Physiotherapy, Dunedin

Twitter handle: @sarah_rhodes_PT
Sarah's profile page

Makhdoom Sarwar

Mak Sarwar imagePostdoctoral Fellow
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Christchurch

Twitter handle: @makmedicine
Makhdoom's profile page

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For more information, please contact:


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Links and resources

Internal Resources already available to EMCRs

External links


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