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Research Awards

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University of Otago Distinguished Research Medal

Professor David Murdoch is the 2020 recipient of the University of Otago Distinguished Research Medal.

Professor Murdoch is an internationally esteemed infectious diseases expert with an outstanding publication record. His research accomplishments have, moreover, been attained against a backdrop of outstanding leadership and collegiality within the University.

The University of Otago Distinguished Research Medal award aims to promote research at Otago and to give recognition to outstanding performance of individual researchers or research teams. A medal commemorating the award will be presented to each recipient at a public lecture given by the recipient. Up to two such awards may be given in any one year. 

Any academic staff member of the University of Otago who holds an appointment at the level of Research Fellow, Lecturer, Senior Research Fellow, Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor, Professor or Professorial Research Fellow, or a team comprising such individuals may be eligible.

The basis for selection will be outstanding scholarly achievement, including the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge, the development of innovative technology, or the development of concepts that lead to significant advances in activities of the University.

Past recipients of the University of Otago Distinguished Research Medal

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The Rowheath Trust Award and Carl Smith Medal

Associate Professor Anne-Marie Jackson and Dr Louise Bicknell are the 2020 winners of the Rowheath Trust Award and Carl Smith Medal.

Associate Professor Jackson is a champion of mātauranga Māori and kaupapa Māori methodologies. She has won numerous awards for research and leadership, including the Royal Society Te Apārangi Te Kōpūnui Māori Research Award, and was recently profiled in Nature for the inclusive and innovative nature of her research.

Dr Louise Bicknell is an outstanding molecular geneticist with a burgeoning international reputation. A Rutherford Discovery Fellow, Dr Bicknell’s publication record includes joint first authorship of a Nature Genetics article and (to date) six other co-authored publications in Nature or Nature Genetics.

The late Sir Carl Smith was a prominent Dunedin businessman and member of the University Council who set up the Rowheath Trust to support the University’s work.

The Rowheath Trust Award aims to promote research at the University of Otago and to give recognition to outstanding research performance of Early Career Staff. Any staff member of the University of Otago who has been on the staff of this University for a period of at least two years and who has held a career research appointment for less than a combined total of ten years at this and other research institutes may be eligible.

The basis for selection will be outstanding scholarly achievement, including the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge, the development of innovative technology, or scholarship for an emerging researcher.

Past recipients of The Rowheath Trust Award and Carl Smith Medal

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Early Career Awards for Distinction in Research

Five up-and-coming University of Otago staff have been announced as the 2020 recipients of Early Career Awards for Distinction in Research. 

Dr Htin Lin Aung (Microbiology and Immunology); Dr Rebecca Kinaston (Anatomy); Dr Khoon Lim (Orthopaedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Medicine); Dr Rachel Purcell (Surgery); Dr Stefanie Zollmann (Computer Science) have been selected for the award on the basis of their outstanding research achievements.

Early Career Awards for Distinction in Research recognize outstanding research achievements by early career staff. Full-time academic staff who have held an appointment as Senior Lecturer, Lecturer, Senior Clinical Lecturer, Clinical Lecturer, Research Fellow or Senior Research Fellow at the University of Otago for a period of at least two years, and who have held an academic appointment for less than a combined total of six years at this and other universities, are eligible for the Awards. An Award may not be made to any one individual on more than one occasion.

The basis for selection will be outstanding research achievement, with emphasis being given to achievement during the nominee’s appointment at the University of Otago.

Nominations are to be submitted to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise) through the nominee’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor. Nominations should be accompanied by a supporting statement that describes the nature and impact of the nominee’s distinguished research achievements, plus a curriculum vitae.

Past recipients of Early Career Awards for Distinction in Research

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Research Group Award

Christchurch Heart Institute is the 2020 recipient of the University of Otago Research Group Award. 

From its formation in the 1980s, the Christchurch Heart Institute has been internationally recognised for its work on the humoral regulation of human circulation in health and cardiovascular disease, with particular recognition given to its work in the biology of cardiac natriuretic peptides.

The University of Otago Research Group Award recognises outstanding research performance at a high international level by a research group led from the University of Otago.

The basis for selection is outstanding scholarly achievement that enhances the understanding, development and well-being of individuals and society including the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge, the development of innovative technology, or the development of concepts that lead to significant advances. The award recognises achievement during the previous five years.

Past recipients of the Research Group Award

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The University of Otago Arts Fellowships

The University of Otago recognises the importance of providing authors, dancers, artists, and composers with financial support and resources to enable them to explore their creative talents. The Arts Fellowships cater for a wide variety of artistic styles that reflect the diversity of writing, art, composing and dance in New Zealand.

The University offers the following Fellowships:

  • The Robert Burns Fellowship
  • The Caroline Plummer Fellowship in Community Dance
  • The Frances Hodgkins Fellowship
  • The Mozart Fellowship
  • University of Otago College of Education Writer in Residence

Further information can be found on the Otago Fellows website.

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Divisional and Departmental Awards

Internal funding of research occurs both at the Divisional and Departmental level. Please contact your Divisional Office directly for further information.