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We welcome enquiries from potential collaborators, particularly in the area of uisng linked data for mental health research, including exploring use of the New Zealand Integrated Data Infrastructure and the potential for international comparison.

PhD Opportunities within the Department of Public Health and EleMent

The Department of Public Health at the University of Otago, Wellington offers a flexible range of postgraduate study programmes on-campus in Newtown, Wellington. More information surrounding the study programmes can be found here.

EleMent welcomes Doctoral students. To fit with the team, you will need a strong academic record and an interest in pursuing research within mental health themes. A postgraduate degree in mental health topics is a highly sought after qualification by policy, education and research sectors.

You will be supervised by academics with expertise in: epidemiological methods, mental health ethics, lived experience research, data science, big data and public health. Please see our wide research interests here.

If you are interested in discussing undertaking a PhD within the EleMent team, please contact the director of the research group, Ruth Cunningham (email: to discuss supervision.

PhD inquiries are particularly welcomed in the areas of ethnicity, physical health and severe mental illness, the lived experience of physical health care in the context of mental illness, and using linked data to explore health and social outcomes of marginalised populations.

Funding Sources for PhDs

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. Further information on scholarships offered by the University of Otago can be found here.

You will also need to contact the Postgraduate Studies Office at the School. Email as early as possible. PhD studies can be commenced at any time during the academic year. 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. This will be discussed with potential supervisors.

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