Dean of Postgraduate Research
Vice-Chancellor’s Office
Extension: 7285
Email: [email protected]
Thesis Students
Lucy Johnston, Dean of Postgraduate Research
4th May 2015
Thesis Student News
In this edition
Prime Ministers Science Prizes: MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist prize
Rutherford Foundation Trust PhD Scholarships and Postdoctoral Fellowships
University Challenge
Thesis in Three
SOAR Peer Advisors
Data analysis/Statistics Workshops Semester 1
Library Skills Sessions – Semester 1
Upcoming Scholarship Application Deadlines – closing dates before end July 2015
Postgraduate Coordinators
Useful Contacts
1. Prime Minister’s Science Prizes
The Prime Minister’s Science Prizes are New Zealand’s pre-eminent annual awards for
excellence in science. One of the five prizes is The Prime Minister’s MacDiarmid Emerging
Scientist prize: An outstanding emerging scientist undertaking research for a PhD in New
Zealand, or within five years of the date of the award of their PhD
To find out more about the prizes or to enter, visit Closing Date is 5pm July 31st 2015
2. Rutherford Foundation Trust PhD Scholarships and Postdoctoral
The Rutherford Foundation Trust aims to build human capability in science and technology
by providing early career support for New Zealand’s brightest and most promising
researchers. For 2015, the Trust offers the following funding opportunities:
New Zealand Postdoctoral Fellowships will enable recipients to undertake full-time
research programmes within New Zealand in areas of science, technology, engineering or
mathematics at an eligible research institution. This year there are up to five positions on
offer. Researchers whose doctoral degrees were conferred no more than 4 years prior to the
application closing date are eligible to apply.
Freemasons Roskill Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship will enable recipients to
undertake a full-time research programme within New Zealand. This Fellowship is
concerned with advancing knowledge in areas that are related to ageing and this year there is
one position on offer. Researchers whose doctoral degrees were conferred no more than 3
years prior to the application closing date are eligible to apply.
Cambridge-Rutherford Memorial PhD Scholarships are jointly funded by the Rutherford
Foundation Trust and the Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International
Trust. These Scholarships are intended to provide full support to enable completion of a PhD
at the University of Cambridge in pure or applied science.
International PhD Scholarship (a grant-in-aid) will contribute towards a student’s fulltime study for a PhD in any area of science, technology, engineering or mathematics at an
eligible host research institution. The award intends to provide a financial contribution
towards the support of a PhD scholar at a prestigious international research institution in their
chosen field of study. The Scholarship is not intended to cover all of the costs associated with
studying towards a PhD abroad. Applicants are expected to negotiate with the host research
institution or other charitable funding organisations to reduce course fees or provide
additional financial support to cover any shortfall in funding.
Instructions for how to register and use the Proposals on-line portal can be found on the
Rutherford Foundation website
3. University Challenge – audition to be on TV!!
University Challenge is a game show in which eight universities from around the country
compete in a knowledge-based quiz. The game show is filmed and broadcasted on mainstream television. Four players from each university compete against the other universities
with a reserve player from each team, who acts as the team manager and substitute player.
The University of Canterbury won the last Challenge so we looking to back it up.
The Information and Preliminary Quiz is being held on the 14th of May at 5:30pm in
Laws108 Lecture Theatre. Those interested in being part of the team will take part in a timelimited 100 question Quiz. The top 10 scoring candidates will have an interview, and from
there 5 students will selected for the team.
The competition is filmed and held at a film studio in Invercargill so will you need be
available between the 23rd to the 29th of August. Flights, accommodation and food is all
paid for.
For more information go to or email James Addington at
[email protected]
4. Thesis in Three
The 2015 Thesis in Three Final will be on Thursday August 13th. Keep an eye out for notices
about your department/school and College heats. It is a great opportunity for you to present
your research in a supportive and fun environment and to learn about research being
undertaken by other students across campus.
Three students from each College will be selected to participate in the University final.
Format: Students have 3 minutes only to describe WHAT (they are doing); WHY (they are
doing it – the importance/impact of the research) and HOW (they are doing it).
Only a single PowerPoint slide (no slide transitions), no additional electronic media (e.g.
sound and video files) and no additional props (e.g. costumes, instruments [musical,
laboratory etc]) are permitted
Judging: 3 criteria are used:
1. Communication style: was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language
appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience?
2. Comprehension: did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
3. Engagement: did the presentation make the audience want to know more?
5. SOAR Peer Advisors
The advisors are senior PhD candidates from across campus and each can offer support on a
variety of different topics related to doctoral study. For further information and to book an
appointment go to I
encourage doctoral students to use this free service to get additional support and advice
related to your studies!!
The sessions will be held in the Thesis Student House (39A Creyke Road).
6. Data Analysis and Statistics Workshops Semester 1
A series of workshops are being offered in Semester 1 as detailed below. The sessions are to
be run by Dr Elena Moltchanova and Dr Daniel Gerhard from the Statistical Consulting Unit
(School of Mathematics and Statistics). If you have signed up for a session please let us know
if you cannot attend!
A flyer with abstracts for each session is provided at the end of this memo. Please ensure that
you register for each session that you wish to attend by following the link after each abstract.
There is no limit on attendance at the seminars but there are for the lab. Streams are limited to
20 people per stream – if you sign up and are subsequently unable to attend please ensure that
you let me know ASAP so that I can open the place up to another student.
Generalised linear regression and
Seminar (1hr)
+ lab (1 hr)
Bayesian modelling: Introduction
to WinBUGS software
Seminar (1hr)
+ lab (1 hr)
Thursday May 28; 204pm
Seminar – Room 103, Wheki Building, Dovedale
Labs – Rooms 101 and 103 Kotuku, Dovedale
Thursday June 18; 2-4pm
Seminar – Room 103, Wheki Building, Dovedale
Labs – Rooms 101 and 103 Kotuku, Dovedale
7. Library Skills Sessions
The Library is offering a number of workshops on various research tools for students in
Semester 1. More information and the registration form can be found at:
Introduction to Endnote
Keeping Current using RSS
Introduction to Research Data
6-May-15 11:00am
14-May-15 11:00am
30-Jun-15 10:30am
Central Library Den
Central Library Den
Central Library Room
8. Upcoming Scholarship Deadlines
Listed below are scholarships with a closing deadline approaching. Please consult the
Scholarships website for details, eligibility and closing dates and information about other
Betty Wignall Scholarship in Chemistry
Eligibility: PhD students of Chemistry
Closing Date: 15 May 2015
Canterbury Scholarship
Eligibility: Doctoral studies
Closing Date: 15 May 2015
Royal Commonwealth Society, Canterbury Scholarship
Eligibility: Commonweath master's and PhD students
Closing Date: 15 May 2015
UC Doctoral Scholarship
Eligibility: Doctoral students
Closing Date: 15 May 2015
UC International Doctoral Scholarship
Eligibility: Doctoral studies
Closing Date: 15 May 2015
UC Master's Scholarship
Eligibility: Master's students
Closing Date: 15 May 2015
UC Matariki Doctoral Scholarship
Eligibility: Maori research-doctoral students
Closing Date: 15 May 2015
UC Pasifika Doctoral Scholarship
Eligibility: Pasific Island research-doctoral students
Closing Date: 15 May 2015
Auckland Council Chief Economist's Research Scholarship in Economics
Eligibility: Postgraduate students in urban economics or related field
Closing Date: 30 May 2015
Lighthouse Vision Trust Susan Barnes Memorial Scholarship
Eligibility: Enrolled students with low vision
Closing Date: 31 May 2015
Murray and Company Investment Banking Scholarship
Eligibility: Students wishing to pursue a career in finance
Closing Date: 31 May 2015
Canterbury Chemeca Trust Fund
Eligibility: Assistance for conferences and workshops
Closing Date: 30 Jun 2015
Vice Chancellor's Excellence Award
Eligibility: Full-time domestic undergraduate students and full-time domestic doctoral
Closing Date: 13 Jul 2015
NZIDRS New Zealand International Doctoral Research Scholarship
Eligibility: International (not Fijian) PhD students
Closing Date: 15 Jul 2015
9. Postgraduate Coordinators and other contacts
The following is a list of the Faculty Deans, College Academic Managers, College PG
Committee Representative and the Postgraduate Coordinators in each department/school. PG
students should feel comfortable to approach these people with any questions or comments
regarding thesis work.
Faculty of Engineering and Forestry: Professor Conan Fee (Dean); Lisa Carter (Academic
Faculties of Arts: Dr Jonathan Le Cocq (Dean); Associate Professor Lyndon Fraser
(Associate Dean – Postgraduate); Liz Bond (Academic Manager); Azeen Tashakkor (Student
Faculty of Science: Associate Professor Catherine Moran (Dean); Tracey Robinson (Senior
Academic Advisor)
Faculty of Education: Dr Julie Mackey (Dean); Marion Macneil (Academic Manager)
Faculty of Commerce: Dr Ross James (Dean); Annette Wanty (PA to the Dean)
Faculty of Law: Associate Professor John Hopkins (Associate Dean); Heather Couch
(School Administrator)
College of Engineering: Associate Professor Philippa Martin (Electrical and Computer
College of Arts: Associate Professor Lyndon Fraser (Sociology)
College of Science: Dr Sarah Masters (Chemistry)
College of Education: Professor Lindsey Conner (Educational Development and
College of Business & Law: Professor Karen Scott (Law)
ACIS: Associate Professor Annick Masselot
ART HISTORY & THEORY Dr Barbara Garrie
CINEMA: Dr Mary Wiles
CLASSICS: Dr Patrick O’Sullivan
ENGLISH: Dr Christina Stachurski
HISTORY: Dr Jane Buckingham
PHILOSOPHY: Professor Jack Copeland
FINE ARTS: Associate Professor Aaron Kreisler
MUSIC: Associate Professor Glenda Keam
THEATRE AND FILM STUDIES: Associate Professor Peter Falkenberg
HUMAN SERVICES: Associate Professor Kate van Heugten
LANGUAGES AND CULTURES: Professor Henrietta Mondry
LINGUISTICS: Professor Jen Hay
EUROPEAN STUDIES: Professor Martin Holland
SOCIAL WORK: Dr Jane Maidment
BIOCHEMISTRY: Professor Ian Shaw
CHEMISTRY: Dr Sarah Masters
CIVIL ENGINEERING: Dr Ricardo Bello-Mendoza
COMMUNICATION DISORDERS: Dr Rebecca Kelly-Campbell (Audiology); Dr
Maggie-Lee Huckabee (Speech and Language Pathology)
COMPUTER SCIENCE: Professor Andy Cockburn
ECONOMICS & FINANCE: Associate Professor Alfred Guender (Economics); Professor
Glenn Boyle (Finance)
EDUCATIONAL STUDIES AND LEADERSHIP: Professor Lindsey Conner (Doctoral);
Trish McMenamin (MEd)
ELECTRICAL AND COMPUTER ENGINEERING: Associate Professor Phillipa Martin
(PhD); Dr Chris Hann (ME)
FORESTRY: Professor David Norton and Jeanette Allen
GATEWAY ANTARCTICA: Professor Bryan Storey
GEOGRAPHY: Dr Deidre Hart (PhD); Dr Femke Reitsma (Masters)
GEOLOGY: Dr Ben Kennedy (PhD); Dr Stefan Winkler (MSc)
HEALTH SCIENCES: Dr Arindam Basu (Masters); Professor Ann Richardson (PhD)
HIT Lab: Dr Christoph Bartneck
LAW: Professor Karen Scott
MANAGEMENT: Dr Sarah Wright
MAORI: Associate Professor Jeanette King
MATHS & STATS: Dr Miguel Moyers-Gonzalez
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING: Dr Sid Becker and Associate Professor Mark Jermy
PACIFIC STUDIES: Associate Professor Lyndon Fraser
PSYCHOLOGY: Associate Professor Roeline Kuijer
SPORT AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION: Associate Professor Jeanne Kentel (doctoral);
Trish McMenamin (MEd)
TEACHER EDUCATION: Dr Brigid McNeill (Doctoral); Trish McMenamin (MEd)
10. Useful contacts
Postgraduate Enrolment and Fees: ([email protected])
Scholarship issues: Scholarships Office ([email protected])
Student support and advice: Student Advisors, Room 214 James Hight Library (9:00-4:30).
After hours 0800 823 637
 Postgraduate Students Association (PGSA): [email protected] or
Careers, Internships & Employment - [email protected]
Support for Maori Postgraduate Students – see
 Support for Pacific students – see
 UCSA Welfare and Advocacy: [email protected] or call 03 364 2652 x
3910 to make an appointment
UCSA Help (Students can come in with any issues they may be facing that have the
potential to impact their studies)
Food Bank (Students can access the food bank once per term when struggling financially)
Hardship Grant (Unforeseen costs that may impact on their studies at UC)
Student Advocate (Supporting students to navigate the University administration system)
Emergency Dental Scheme (Students that are in acute pain and cannot afford to access
UCSA Dental Clinic (Basic dental care – check-ups, x-rays, fillings, extractions)
Budgeting Advice (Teaching students to live on a low income and tools for their future)
Mickle Fund (An interest-free loan available for students with large accommodation costs
or postgraduate students struggling financially)
PhD Student Mentoring Scheme: Jane Hall ([email protected])
Statistics/Data Analysis Workshops 2015
1. Experimental Design and Planning statistical analysis for your thesis (2h, including questions)
It is a common misconception, that experimental design is all about data collection and that
there is no serious need to think about statistical analysis before one actually has the data.
During this seminar we will talk about the importance of correctly formulated research
question, and how it largely determines both, the data required and the method of analysis.
We will also discuss sample size and power calculation, some issues with survey planning,
and the meaning of randomization and stratification of a sample in some real-life situations.
Ample time will be left for questions.
2. Basic statistical concepts, tests and exploratory data analysis. (1h seminar; 1 hr lab – SPSS/R)
What does ‘random’ sample really mean? How can one get to know the data? How is sample
mean different from expected value and what is the difference between standard error and
standard deviation? Can we ever accept the null hypothesis? Is Kruskal-Wallis the same as
basic one-way ANOVA? A review of basic statistical concepts and tests, which are necessary
to understand more complex methods.
The lab will provide an introduction to the software and is therefore particularly
recommended if you have not previous experience of R/SPSS.
Register here to attend one of the lab streams
3. Linear regression analysis and ANOVA (1h + 1h lab in SPSS/R)
Multiple regression and ANOVA are among the most frequently applied statistical methods.
In this seminar we will go through the four steps of the regression modelling: (i) exploratory
data analysis, (ii) model fitting, (iii) diagnostics, and (iv) interpretation of results. Model
selection within ANOVA framework will also be considered.
Register here to attend one of the lab streams
4. Generalised linear regression and ANOVA (1h+1h lab in SPSS/R)
Logistic linear regression is a special case of generalised linear modelling, when the response
is binary, i.e. ‘sick/healthy’, ‘improved/did not improve’, ‘yes/no’ ,’species 1/species 2’ etc.
It is frequently used in many fields. We will discuss various aspects of logistic regression
fitting, paying special attention to the concepts of odds-ratios and interpretation of results.
We will also briefly consider Poisson responses, i.e. counts such as ‘how many people came
to class’ or ‘how many traffic accidents happen each day’.
Participation in this session assumes familiarity with the principles of regression analysis and
ANOVA. (see previous seminar).
Register here to attend one of the lab streams
5. Bayesian modelling (1h+1h lab in WinBUGS)
There is more to statistics then frequencies and maximum likelihood estimation. In 1750s, Rev.
Thomas Bayes started developing a theorem which became the basis for a whole new way of doing
statistics. In the last three decades, Bayesian statistics has become widely used thanks to the
improvements in computing and to WinBUGS – free and relatively user-friendly software for
Bayesian inference. In the seminar, we will briefly go through the principles of the Bayesian statistics
and some examples of its applications in practice. Special attention will be given to the situations
where classical statistics does not quite work.
Register here to attend one of the lab streams

4th May 2015 Thesis Student Memo