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Doctoral scholarship allocation moves year-round

Graduates throwing trencher

Wednesday 7 April 2010 1:47pm

In a first for New Zealand, the University of Otago moves this month to a new, year-round system of allocating PhD scholarships, including for the new Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree.

The new system is aimed at streamlining the admissions process, and will provide candidates with much greater certainty around funding for their doctoral studies.

“This new funding initiative reflects the University’s wider commitment to a research-focused culture that is designed to recruit and foster high calibre postgraduate students,” says Professor Harlene Hayne, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise).

“The opportunity to earn a scholarship at any point during the academic year will facilitate our efforts to recruit and retain the very best postgraduate students from New Zealand and from overseas.”

Historically, decisions on doctoral scholarships have almost always been made in a single 'main round' at the end of each year. But from now on they will be made throughout the year as part of the ongoing doctoral admission process.

Doctoral candidates tend to start their study throughout the year, rather than just at the beginning of semesters, Graduate Research Services Director, Dr Charles Tustin, explains.

“They finish their pre-requisite qualifications at various times throughout the year and want some certainty around funding at the same time as applying for admission to PhD study. The new system better reflects this reality. It’s an exciting initiative for Otago.”

As well as providing more flexibility and funding certainty for students, the scheme will also assist decision-making on the part of the University, where there are currently over 1,100 doctoral candidates enrolled.

“With a single, end-of-year allocation of doctoral scholarships, departments and the University's Scholarships Committee were considering over 400 doctoral scholarship applications all at once,” says Doctoral and Scholarships Office Group Leader Chris Stoddart.

“The continuous scheme will provide decision-makers, including academic departments, with more time to consider each application, and more comprehensive information with which to make their assessments.”

Scholarships for prospective Masters’, Doctor of Clinical Dentistry and Doctor of Education candidates will continue to be awarded in an annual round at the close of each year.

For further information, please contact

Chris Stoddart
Group Leader
Doctoral and Scholarships Office
University of Otago
Tel 64 3 479 9779

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