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A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


Close date
Thursday, 9 November 2023
Academic background
Health Sciences, Sciences
Host campus
Professor Catherine Day


One PhD scholarship is available for a talented student interested in studying the biochemical properties of ubiquitin E3-ligases in Prof. Catherine Day's laboratory in the Biochemistry Department, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

My research group is interested in understanding the process of ubiquitin transfer. This post-translational modification influences many important cellular processes yet regulation of activity is poorly understood. Our research is largely aimed at understanding how RING E3 ligases are regulated and build ubiquitin chains of distinct linkages. In this project you will investigate the activity of a RING E3, undertake structural studies to identify critical interactions and elucidate how the assembly of chains is regulated.

The aim of our research is to understand E3 ligase function at the molecular level. The position offers opportunities to start a career in an area of increasing importance in biological research.

The University of Otago is the top ranked universities in New Zealand. The Biochemistry Department is well equipped for protein based research and houses state-of-the-art research platforms for mass spectrometry, crystallography and protein analysis (ITC, SPR, CD). My laboratory is interactive and well resourced.

The successful candidate will hold a BSc(Hons) or MSc in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, or related discipline (GPA of 8.0 or greater), and be passionate about collaborative research.

Starting date is flexible but preferably by early 2018.

If interested, apply by email to, include in your application the following:

  • A copy of your CV
  • A copy of your academic transcript
  • A pdf copy of your research dissertation or thesis (if available)
  • A written statement (300-500 words) outlining why this project interests you
  • Evidence of English language ability. Please note that the university has strict requirements with regards to this, and there are no exceptions.

University of Otago English language requirements

Funding Notes:

The PhD position requires the applicant to be eligible for admission to the PhD programme at the University of Otago and to be eligible for a scholarship. A GPA of 8.0 or greater is essential.

PhD scholarship eligibility

Funding for the PhD scholarship is NZ$25,000 pa for three years. This scholarship is tax free and tuition fees are waived.

International PhD students pay tuition fees at the New Zealand domestic rate, provided that the students reside in New Zealand and study under a New Zealand student visa.


Otago Biochemistry PhD applications coordinator
Tel +64 3 4797704

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