Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

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:


^ Top of page

Upcoming events

Professional Development Series 2022

This lunchtime series of interactive workshops will be conducted via Zoom.

To receive the Zoom link to one or more workshop or for more information, please contact an EMCR PD facilitator:


Workshop dates and topics – Wednesdays 12–1pm

  • Session 1: Getting the most out of mentorship: Tips for Mentors and Mentees
    Wednesday 9 March, 12–1pm
  • Session 2: You can’t do it all: Strategies to achieve work/life/family balance
    Wednesday 11 May, 12–1pm
  • Session 3: Imposter syndrome and coping with failure
    Thursday 7 July, 12–1pm
  • Session 4: Grant writing tips and tricks
    Date TBC
  • Session 5: Put yourself out there: Tips about the subtle (and not so subtle) art of networking
    Date TBC, 12–1pm

Early and mid career academic development

Early and mid career academic development planning guide 2022 (semester 1) (PDF)

Division workshops

Further details and Zoom links

  • Rutherford Discovery Fellowship
    Tuesday 15 March, 11am–12pm
  • HRC Projects
    Thursday 24 March, 11am–12pm
  • Marsden Fast-Start Full proposal
    Tuesday 10 May, 11am–12pm
  • Hercus Health Research Fellowships
    Monday 16 May, 11am–12pm
  • Marsden Fast-Start EoI and Full proposal
    Thursday 3 November, 11am-12pm

Division of Health Sciences Accelerator Grant 2022

Our 2022 Accelerator Grant round is now closed and we have awarded 17 researchers (12 early career; 5 mid-career) with grants that will be used to kickstart and support their awesome research ideas.

You can read more about the grants and the recipients here.

Keep an eye out for upcoming information on the individual recipients, and for future Accelerator Grant rounds.

Previous EMCR Accelerator Grant rounds

In 2021, in our inaugural EMCR Accelerator Grant round, we awarded approximately $53,000 to EMCRs.

Read about successful projects

^ Top of page

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 11 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

Htin Lin Aung

Htin-Aung imageSir Charles Hercus Health Research Fellow
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Biomedical Sciences

Twitter handle: @DrHtinLinAung
Htin Lin Aung'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

Matthew Jenkins

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

Twitter handle: @Dr_MattJenkins
Matthew's profile page

Laura Joyce

Laura Joyce imageSenior Lecturer
Emergency Medicine, Department of Surgery

Laura's profile page

Jithendra Ratnayake

Jithendra Ratnayake imageLecturer
Department of Oral Science, Faculty of Dentistry, Dunedin

Jithendra'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

^ Top of page


For more information, please contact:


^ Top of page

Links and resources

Internal Resources already available to EMCRs

External links


^ Top of page