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2015 Division of Sciences Awards

About the Awards

The Award recipients were presented with one of these.The Division of Sciences held its inaugural Awards celebration on Friday 20th of November 2015, with a suite of awards acknowledging the excellent work done in many different areas of university life and work : research, teaching, community engagement, technical and administrative support.

The awards and their recipients are listed below. Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Keith Hunter commented on how difficult the task of selection was, given the high calibre of all of the nominations. This resulted in a number of double awards.

Research awards

Researcher of the Year 

The Researcher of the Year Award recognizes outstanding research performance by a Principal Investigator within the Division of Sciences. Recognition will focus on scientific impact of research outputs over the course of 2015 - 2016.

2015 Recipient:Professor Keith Gordon (Chemistry)

Early-Career Researcher of the Year

The Early-Career Researcher of the Year Award recognizes outstanding research performance by an emerging researcher within the Division of Sciences. Academic staff (e.g. Lecturers, Research Fellows) who have held an appointment 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 this Award. Recognition will focus on scientific impact of research outputs over the course of 2015 - 2016.

2015 recipient: Dr Damian Scarf (Psychology)

Research Group of the Year

The Researcher Group of the Year Award recognizes outstanding performance by a collaborative research team within the Division of Sciences. Recognition will focus on scientific impact of research outputs over the course of 2015 - 2016.

2015 Recipient: The Ocean Acidification Research Theme

Best Research Paper - academic staff 

The Best Research Paper Award recognizes outstanding scholarship associated with a single research paper (first published online in 2015) led by an Academic staff member within the Division of Sciences.

2015 Recipient: Professor Phil Seddon (Zoology/Wildlife Management)

Best Research Paper - postgraduate student 

The Best Research Paper Award recognizes outstanding scholarship associated with a single research paper (first published online in 2015 - 2016) by a postgraduate student within the Division of Sciences.

Recipients for 2015 - Dr Jamie Lewis (Chemistry), Catherine Collins (Zoology)

Engagement awards

Industry Links Award

The Industry Links Award recognizes outstanding commercialisation outcomes of a researcher’s invention and/or exceptional R&D collaborations between a researcher and Industry. Any research staff in the Division of Sciences whose invention was made at the University of Otago and commercialised may be eligible. Selection will be made on the basis of the nominal value of the commercialisation or R&D project and its likely impact on society (e.g., number of people affected by the invention).

Recipients for 2015 - Moratti and Hanton Group (Chemistry), Pat Silcock (Food Science)

Community Engagement Award - academic staff  - 

The Community Engagement Award gives recognition to engagement with and service to the general public, whether locally, nationally or internationally.
Any staff member (general, academic) in the Division of Sciences who has met the research and teaching performance expectations, but excelled beyond expectation in the area of community engagement may be nominated for this Award. Engagement recognition will focus on leadership, initiative and impact of community engagement.

Recipients for 2015 - Dr Dave Warren (Chemistry), Dr Julien Gross (Psychology)

Community Engagement Award - general staff 

The Community Engagement Award gives recognition to engagement with and service to the general public, whether locally, nationally or internationally. Any general staff member in the Division of Sciences who has excelled beyond expectation in the area of community engagement may be nominated for this Award. Engagement recognition will focus on leadership, initiative and impact of community engagement.

Recipient for 2015 - Sally Carson (Marine Science)

Teaching awards

Senior Teacher of the Year 

The Senior Teacher of the Year Award recognises sustained outstanding tertiary teaching by a staff member within the Division of Sciences. Recognition will focus on demonstrated commitment and creativity in the delivery of high-quality teaching that engages students and results in exceptional learning experiences.

Academic staff members who have held an appointment for a period of more than six years at this and other universities are eligible for this Award.

Recipient for 2015 - Dr Rachel Zajac (Psychology)

Early-Career Teacher of the Year 

This award recognises outstanding tertiary teaching by an emerging teacher within the Division of Sciences. Recognition will focus on distinction in the delivery of high-quality teaching that engages students and results in exceptional learning experiences.

Academic staff members who have held an appointment 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 this Award

Recipients for 2015 - Dr Carla Meledandri (Chemistry), Dr Federico Baltar (Marine Science)

Innovation in Māori or Pacific Islands Course Content

This award recognises new initiatives to include Māori and Pacific content in a sustained way in the teaching of sciences.

Any member of teaching staff within the Division of Sciences, including Teaching fellows, Professional Practice Fellows and postgraduate students involved in teaching blocks of courses, is eligible for this award.

Recipients for 2015 - Dr Anne-Marie Jackson & Dr Hauiti Hakopa (PESES)

Support staff

Outstanding Technical Support Award 

This Award recognises technical staff members who have made an outstanding contribution to the Division of Sciences. Criteria for selection centre around workmanship, and both aptitude and attitude of the staff member.

Any member of general staff in the Division of Sciences who holds an appointment to provide technical support for the Division or one of its Departments is eligible for the Award.

Recipient for 2015 - Luke Easterbook (Geology)

Outstanding Administrative Support Award 

This award recognises administrative staff whose work has made an outstanding contribution to the smooth running of teaching, research and Divisional business. Criteria will focus on sustained excellence, innovation and initiative.

The Award is available to anyone working as a general staff member for .5 FTE or higher.

Recipient for 2015 - Cara Duffy (Psychology)

Outstanding Student Support Award - advising and mentoring

This award recognises the work of any staff member within the Division of Sciences – academic or general staff – who has provided exceptional student advice and support throughout the year.

Recipients for 2015 - Dr Willem Labuschagne (Computer Science), Madeline Sim (Human Nutrition)


awards groupRecipients of the 2015 Division of Sciences Excellence awards