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A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


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Academic background
Business, Health Sciences, Humanities
Host campus
Master's, PhD, Postdoctoral
Preventive and Social Medicine (Dunedin)
Dr Rebbecca Lilley


Injury is part of the human experience – every single one of us will sustain a range of injuries during our lifetime. While many injuries are minor some may have more serious injuries which require emergency or hospital care, some may develop permanent disability or die. Injuries and their burden have a significant impact on the individual, on families/whanau and on society.

Postgraduate students are welcomed to undertake research that contributes to Public Health by reducing the incidence, severity and adverse consequences of injury in New Zealand.

Postgraduate research opportunities exist across many areas of injury prevention including unintentional injury, intentional injury (i.e. self-harm and assault), outcomes of injury, and injury prevention.

Research projects may be based on settings where injury occurs, such as the home, the road, or workplace; on general injury populations and on particular groups within the population who are at risk, such as children, Māori, workers, or older people. Particular types of injury, such as hip fractures and traumatic brain injury, as well as differing mechanisms of injury, such as drowning and road traffic crashes, provide further research opportunities.

Injury surveillance, examination of cross cutting issues such as alcohol and drug use, and the consequences of injury such as disability are all potential areas for development of post-graduate student research projects.

Specific areas where existing data are available for in-depth analytical projects include:

  • the provision of Emergency Medical Services in an out-of-hospital setting following trauma;
  • trends in work-related fatal injury in workers, bystanders and commuters;
  • patterns and trends in fatal injury using Coronial data (including mass casualty events);
  • trajectories and predictors of work disability following injury; and
  • geographical access to Emergency Medical Services for out-of-hospital care following trauma.

Previous students have examined inequities in work-related fatal injury for Māori, trends in drowning fatalities, fire fatalities in the Elderly, the contribution of weather events on the burden of work-related injury, the reliability of toxicology reports for injury surveillance purposes, and the level of preparedness of Emergency Road Ambulance Services for high impact natural events.


Rebbecca Lilley
Tel +64 3 479 7230

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