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Welcome to the Summer Studentship programme at the University of Otago, Wellington

Every year the University of Otago, Wellington hosts the Summer Studentship Research Programme which takes place over the November to February period and is made up of 10 weeks.

Participating students will get an introduction to research methods in fields that are of interest to them, such as public health, clinical or laboratory-based research.

The programme is heavily dependent upon the financial generosity of external organisations, individuals and UOW departments that contribute funding for projects.

The Scholarship is to the value of NZ$5,000 this is paid as a non-taxable educational grant during the studentship; with the aim of encouraging students to take up a research career in New Zealand.

The Summer Research Scholarships are open only to undergraduate students who are returning to study at the University of Otago or other New Zealand Universities the following year. Students who have graduated, or currently hold a Doctoral or Masters are not eligible for a Summer Research Scholarship.

2019/2020 Project Listing

updated: 18 Oct. 2019

Summer Research Scholarships provide practical opportunities for students to learn about research by working on projects under supervision over the summer period of November to February.

These are projects available so far. More projects will be released at a later time; we recommend bookmarking the webpage, if you have not done so already – register your interest and sign up to the UOW summer student database to receive recent updates on newly released projects.

To register on our database for email-outs please go to:


The Summer Research Scholarships are open only to students who are returning to study at a New Zealand University in the following year.

  • Students must not be receiving alternative scholarship support for the same project or any other project over the same time-frame. Students may hold only one Summer Research Scholarship for the period.
  • Students who have graduated, or currently hold a University of Otago Doctoral or Master’s Scholarship are not eligible for a Summer Research Scholarship.
  • We encourage you to read the student handbook before applying

    NB: At this present time, we are in the process of securing funding for some projects. Once funding is secured the project will be listed. As projects are filled, the online table will be updated. The deadline for project funding and placement is 29th October.


  • Students should select which project/s they are interested in applying and send with the cover letter a brief one page CV to the contact email address of the supervisor listed on the project. If a supervisor has listed more than one project, it would be helpful to include the project reference #
  • Students are asked to provide the name of a referee (Supervisor or Dean of School) if you are not currently studying with the University of Otago.
  • No # Project Title Supervisor Closing Date
    19/183 Delivering Primary Care for Refugees and Refugee-Like Migrants: Qualitative Experiences of Health Professionals in General Practice Dr. Jonathan Kennedy 24-Oct
    19/186 Choosing Opioids Wisely- quantitative assessment of current discharge prescribing practice at CCDHB and qualitative assessment of attitudes towards discharge opioid prescribing amongst medical staff. Dr. Nick Rogers 24-Oct
    19/148 Acceptability of Mirena in asymptomatic women for endometrial protection Dr. Clare Henry 24-Oct
    19/149 Endometrial cancer in Wellington: the impact of ethnicity and other factors in management and outcomes: 2012-2017 case analysis Dr. Clare Henry 24-Oct
    19/146 Radiation Therapy Students Perceptions of Peer Group Supervision Gay Dungey 24-Oct
    19/185 Whakapakari ngā hā o ngā Tamakiri- Improving Respiratory Health for tamariki in the Hutt Valley. Dougal Thorburn 24-Oct
    19/184 Survey of Point of Care Testing (POCT) in the MidCentral DHB region Nilofer D’Sousa 24-Oct
    19/189 Superior glenoid wear in cuff tear arthropathy – a radiological study Dr Justin Chou 24-Oct


    No # Project Title 
    19/147 Testing for ganglion cells stress in optic disc drusen [project filled]
    19/182 Evaluation of Choosing Wisely advice to GPs [project filled]
    19/155 The role of intercellular signalling in fat graft retention post-mastectomy in breast cancer patients [project filled]
    19/178 Exploring Māori views on alcohol taxation and other alcohol interventions: a literature review [project filled]
    19/177 A comparison of NZ alcohol data sources [project filled]
    19/173 Hyper-Acute Stroke Service Provision in NZ [project filled]
    19/156 Cardiovascular biomarkers in preterm-born offspring following a novel cardiovascular stress test [project filled]
    19/155 The role of intercellular signalling in fat graft retention post-mastectomy in breast cancer patients [project filled]
    19/172 Meeting Stroke and Neurology Care Needs of Maori patients in the Wellington Region [project filled]

    2018/19 Summer Studentship Oral Competition

    We would like to acknowledge and thank the University of Otago, Wellington for the financial contribution towards the Summer Studentship Oral Presentation prize.

    The written reports were all evaluated to produce a list of the top four best reports.

    The four finalist students were:

    • Andrew Leighs
    • Joy Hu
    • Matthew Shum
    • Bridie Laing

    Summer studentship oral presentation competition finalists 650px

    Bridie Laing was judged the overall winner of the 2018/19 Summer Studentship Oral Presentation Competition. Bridie investigated the Reformulation Preferences of Children and Young People receiving regular BPG injections for Rheumatic Fever Prevention under the supervision of Dr Dianne Sika-Paotonu; this educational stipend was part of the HRC CDA Scholarships for Pacific Health Research Summer Studentship.

    The runner-ups are:

    • Joy Hu under the supervision of Dr Juliet Elvy and Dr James Taylor.
    • Matthew Shum under the supervision of Dr Erin Mahoney and Dr Kate Naysmith.
    • Andrew Leighs under the supervision of Associate Professor Anna Ranta.

    We also thank Dr Clint Gray and Associate Professor Rob Siebers for undertaking the difficult task of assessing the final reports.

    These reports are a small reflection of the enormous amount of work and commitment by the students, staff, departments and sponsors. 

    The process

    The process begins in late-April of every year, when a call for proposals is sent out to all UOW campus staff and CCDHB staff who have an affiliation to the University of Otago, Wellington.  

    Projects approved by a select-panel will be released in the first week of August on this web page. [Please note: Some projects released may not already have funding secured.] 

    Students are encouraged to apply directly to the project’s supervisor with a  cover letter and a one-page CV. The successful student, will receive an email from the programme administrator with the necessary paperwork to complete. 

    Some projects will require assistance in securing funding, the programme administrator will start approaching seasonal funders once a list of approved projects are confirmed. The cutoff date for projects that require assistance in obtaining funding is 31st May; late submissions will be declined and only considered if funding is confirmed.  Once funding is secured all parties will be notified and the project can go ahead in November.

    The time-frame of the Summer Studentship Programme is from November to February (10-weeks excluding the Christmas and New Year public holidays).  The judging of the final reports is done in mid-to-late-March.

    One of the conditions in the programme is at the end of the studentship the Student must have submitted a final report (consisting of a lay report and a scientific report) to the programme administrator by the February deadline. 

    A select-panel will review the reports submitted and choose three or four finalists to take part in the oral presentation competition in early-March. 

    The competition takes place at the University of Otago, Wellington. The finalists will present a 15-minute talk. The winner of the Oral Presentation Competition will be awarded the University of Otago, Wellington Summer Studentship Prize.

    Information for supervisors

    Supervisors must remember that projects need to be in the health-related field.  Projects submitted must have a University of Otago, Wellington academic staff member as the main supervisor. 

    If Ethics is required for a project, supervisors should seek ethics approval when they submit the project application. 

    Full ethical approval must be obtained before the project can be advertised to any students. A copy of the current letter of ethical approval must be provided to the programme administrator.

    Application forms are completed online. If you require assistance please email Tina Uiese at

    Supervisors must read the Summer Studentship Handbook to ascertain the rules of the studentship programme and supervisor's obligations under the scheme. 

    Information for students

    Students must read the Summer Studentship Handbook and agree to the terms and conditions. 

    Occasionally the programme administrator will be sending out information, updates and reminders to students interested in possible projects.

    To register on our database for these email-outs please go to:

    Projects will be listed on this webpage as they become available between August and October.  

    Who can apply for the Summer Studentship programme?

    The Summer Studentship is open to any undergraduate student who is currently enrolled at the University of Otago and at any New Zealand universities.

    The purpose of the studentship is to encourage undergraduate students into research careers and therefore is not designed for those with PhDs, master's or who have already graduated.

    Contact details

    Tina Uiese
    Summer Studentship Programme Administrator

    Associate Professor William Levack
    Associate Dean (Research)