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

PhD positions at the School of Pharmacy

The following PhD projects are currently on offer. If interested in any of these projects, please:

  1. Read the general information about PhD study at the School of Pharmacy
  2. Contact the relevant supervisor and gain their approval to apply for the position
  3. Contact the Research Administator for assistance with your application

PhD opportunities in Formulation and Drug Delivery

I am accepting new PhD students. Scholarships are available for an international or New Zealand candidate to work on projects related to Respiratory drug delivery. Projects can be any of the following areas. The overall direction of the project will depend on the strengths of the candidate.

• Development of powder formulations: Powders, intended for pulmonary delivery to treat local diseases (such as tuberculosis, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma), will be developed different pharmaceutical processing techniques (e.g., spray drying, milling, mixing). The effect of various pharmaceutical processing parameters on the pulmonary delivery of the particles will be studied.

• Solid surface characterization to optimize and stabilize powders formulations. This will require an understanding of the surface chemistry of particles, interactions between particles using different solid state characterization techniques.

• Understanding the dissolution of drugs in the lung: In the lung, a monolayer of lung surfactant covers a small volume of aqueous surface lining fluid that exists on the surface of the alveolar epithelium. In the aqueous subphase, various liquid crystalline phases are present. The project will look into the interactions of drugs with lung surfactant monolayer and the influence of different liquid crystalline phases on the dissolution of drugs.

The work will be based within the School of Pharmacy at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand (, and primarily supervised by Dr Shyamal Das.

The candidate will hold a degree in Pharmacy, Physical Chemistry, Biophysics or related discipline and will be enthusiastic and passionate about research. Preference will be given to students with an outstanding academic record and a proven track record of research productivity. Publications in international high impact factored journals are an advantage.

To apply: Please contact Dr Das ( to explain your interest, mentions the project of your interest and how this relates to your previous experience. Please include a copy of your CV (You must mention degrees with grades, technical expertise, your contribution to the publications, job experiences, academic transcript, and the names of three referees.)

RiPE research in pharmacoepidemiology

Haere mai, welcome to RiPE: Research in Pharmacoepidemiology (Investigating and analysing real-world population data and trends in drug utilisation).

PhD Opportunities

The RiPE group at the School of Pharmacy, University of Otago invites applications for conducting cutting edge pharmacoepidemiological research.

The RiPE group aims at research involving the use of real-world data to evaluate health outcomes at a population level. The RiPE group covers a broad scope of research investigating drug utilisation, prescribing trends, prescription adherence, guidelines adherence, and comparative effectiveness.

Essential requirements:

  1. Completed a Masters degree in Pharmacy or Public Health or Statistics and obtained A+ grade at undergraduate and/or postgraduate level
  2. Expression of interest
  3. IELTS score of 6.5 in the academic module (no individual band below 6.0) or TOEFL score 587 and Test of Written English 4.5

Desirable qualifications:

  1. Previous experience in clinical data management, pharmacoepidemiology or pharmacovigilance
  2. R programming
  3. SPSS and STATA expert-level user

Further information:

  • To learn more about the group's activities visit the RiPE group

Enquires should be made as follows:

Non-medical prescribing in New Zealand

Prescribing of medicines by health professionals other than doctors (non-medical prescribing) is growing throughout New Zealand in response to recent legislative changes.

There are a number of projects available within this area, including investigating:

  • The types of medicines being prescribed
  • The settings that non-medical prescribers are working in
  • How prepared non-medical prescribers are to begin prescribing
  • Continuing professional development opportunities available
  • Patients and other health professionals opinions of non-medical prescribing and patient satisfaction with this type of care

These projects will help to inform future planning, prescribing practice and policy for this new model of care.

These projects would suit students with a health background.

These projects are conditional upon the successful candidate obtaining a University of Otago postgraduate scholarship.

For further information, please contact:

Medicinal chemistry

For more information, interested applicants should contact one of the following supervisors: