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The Department of Psychological Medicine welcomes Doctoral students                  from both clinical and non-clinical backgrounds, who wish                  to pursue research training in mental health topics. The importance of mental health to the productivity and well being of society has been repeatedly demonstrated by large epidemiological studies world-wide and is accepted by most governments. A higher degree in mental health topics is a sought after qualification by policy, education and research sectors.

Supervision of the PhD degree must be primarily undertaken by                  one academic staff member of the University of Otago. However                  it is a requirement that students will also have an advisory panel                  of others who offer research or clinical expertise in the chosen                  field. Members of the advisory panel may be staff at other universities                  or in other agencies.

For students wishing to work  across disciplines it is usually possible                  to arrange supervision across Otago University campuses and even                  between Universities. These arrangements can work well for students                  but need careful planning and early consultation with the Associate                  Dean of Research and Postgraduate Studies (email                is strongly recommended.

View postgraduate research opportunities in the Department of Psychological Medicine

Funding sources

Personal support

Students are eligible to apply for PhD scholarships through the                  University of Otago. There are a number of scholarships available                  to postgraduate students.

The regulations, the scholarships and awards currently offered                  by the University of Otago as well as other sources of scholarship                funding, are available on the University of Otago website at

Interested students should discuss the options for PhD funding                  with their potential supervisor. If you need help finding a suitable supervisor, please speak with Professor Sarah Romans, Acting Head of Department, Psychological Medicine.

You will also need to contact                  the Postgraduate Studies Office at the School. Email as early as possible (before the third term of the year preceding                  commencement of the PhD).

Most sources of personal support for PhD students funding are                  very competitive and close before the end of the academic year                  preceding the beginning of the PhD course.

Project support

PhD projects often require external funding and in recent years                  this has come from a wide variety of sources including the Health                  Research Council, Cancer Society of New Zealand, Lotteries foundation,                  Schizophrenia Foundation, Wellington Medical Research Foundation,                  and Kidney Foundation. Please discuss this with potential supervisors.


The Department offers designated workrooms for PhD students,                  with individual computer workstations. The common-area                  facilities at University of Otago, Wellington                  have been completely rebuilt, with a large extension to                  library and new teaching facilities.

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