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Otago researchers awarded Rutherford Discovery Fellowships

Tuesday 15 October 2019 2:55pm

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Dr Olivia Faull

Two University of Otago researchers have been awarded Rutherford Discovery Fellowships and will receive NZD$800,000 each over five years.

The Fellowships, managed by the Royal Society Te Apārangi, seek to attract, retain and grow New Zealand’s most talented early-to mid-career researchers and support their career development by helping them to establish a track record for future research leadership. A total of 11 Fellowships were awarded this year, from more than 80 applicants.

Dr Olivia Faull, currently at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, has been chosen for research investigating the communication between brain and body to develop better coping mechanisms for those who suffer from anxiety.

Her project will build on breathing-related measurement techniques and innovative computational models Dr Faull has already developed. It will examine breathing perceptions within clinically-relevant anxiety.

A University of Otago alumnus, she will return to Otago to take up her Fellowship.

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Dr Damian Scarf

Dr Damian Scarf, from the University of Otago’s Department of Psychology, has been chosen for research examining loneliness, social identity and the sense of belonging.

His project will investigate the benefits of belonging by collecting data from a diverse range of populations to help gain a better understanding of social connection, and to rethink the role of belonging in our physical and mental health.

The Rutherford Discovery Fellowships receive government funding of NZD$8 million per annum and award NZD$800,000 over five years to each Research Fellow. There are at least 50 Rutherford Discovery Fellows supported at any one time.

More information on the new Rutherford Discovery Fellows is available at the Royal Society Te Apārangi's website.

For more information, contact:

Craig Borley
Communications Adviser (Division of Health Sciences)
Mob +64 21 279 4144
Email craig.borley@otago.ac.nz