Master's study

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Master’s research at BIC is usually done through the Master of Science (MSc) or Master of Engineering (MEng) programmes. Our academics generally recruit Master's students to work on our flagship research projects. See our scholarships page for current opportunities. 

The steps below outline the process of finding out more about BIC's research projects and how to apply to the Master's programme:

The first step is to read about our research and see if your areas of interest are covered by BIC's research.

Next, find out which BIC staff are involved in your area of interest and get in contact with them to see if there is mutual interest in a research topic.

Then investigate the scholarships and other support that are available to help you study at BIC.

Finally, to take the next step to apply to study at BIC:


Current scholarships

Master of Engineering: Turning dairy organic waste into biohydrogen fuel using New Zealand extremophiles.

New Zealand’s dairy industry is increasingly pre-treating their wastewater using Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) technologies to decrease the environmental impact of industry practices. DAF processing of dairy wastewater, however, results in the production of DAF sludge; an organic by-product of high-solids content concentrated in dairy proteins (e.g. caseins, whey), sugars (e.g. lactose) and fats. This material has a high cost of disposal yet holds high potential for re-use.

The purpose of this research is to assess the potential application of New Zealand endemic extremophilic microorganisms to remediate and convert organic wastes (e.g. DAF dairy sludge) into biohydrogen. This project is part of the Sustainable is Attainable programme, a collaborative effort between food production and manufacturing companies in South Canterbury to reduce or re-utilise their by-products and waste streams.

The project, beginning in February 2022, will be supervised by Dr Carlo Carere in the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering at UC. The scholarship, co-funded by the Biomolecular Interaction Centre and the NZ Product Accelerator, includes fees and a $20k stipend.

Please contact for more information.


A circular economy for the wellbeing of Aotearoa New Zealand

Summer Scholarship/Master of Commerce opportunity

Āmiomio Aotearoa is a transdisciplinary, multi-partner research project funded by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). Āmiomio Aotearoa is a novel socio-economic concept that is cyclical in nature and regenerative by design. Bringing together Mātauranga Māori and western science, the concept aims to move beyond linear extract-produce-use-dispose material and energy flow models in order to optimise the value and use of products, components and materials over time.

3D printing offers the potential for localised, bespoke, and just-in-time manufacture of products within communities (for individuals, businesses etc.). While 3D printing has been touted as an alternative to the existence of large-scale manufacturing plants, the potential impact on supply chain consequences and overall sustainability outcomes from distributed manufacturing capabilities enabled by 3D printing is largely unknown.

We’re offering a $5000 scholarship to a talented final year Commerce graduate to explore these questions as a 10-week summer project. If a student is successful in the summer project, they will be awarded a $20,000 stipend plus domestic fees for enrolment in the UC Master of Commerce to continue the project during the 2022 academic year.

Alongside this, we are offering a second $5000 scholarship for a 10-week summer project.

The successful applicants will work with Associate Professor Diane Mollenkopf (UC Business School) and Professor Conan Fee (School of Product Design) to understand and mitigate the impact of distributed 3D printing for a range of case studies by:

  • Modelling the environmental costs (materials, energy, end-of-life disposal/recycle, redundancy) of building 3D printer hardware and distributing to end-user locations for point-of-use additive manufacturing
  • Modelling the environmental costs of distributing raw additive manufacturing materials to end-user locations for point-of-use additive manufacturing
  • Comparing the above distributed printer metrics with a centralised, single-point manufacturing plant, as a function of production volume and location for a range of chosen end products and printer technologies.

Who is eligible? To be eligible, potential students must:

  1. Qualify for admission to the Master of Commerce at UC.
  2. Have completed their most recent study at UC, prior to April 2022.
  3. Exhibit a minimum of B+ average across 60-points of their third-year discipline-specific papers.

It is anticipated that the summer project will start after 1 November 2021 and be completed by 18 February 2022.

To apply, please submit your CV and a one-page covering letter outlining your interest in the research project and why you are the best candidate for the scholarship to A/Prof Diane Mollenkopf Applications are due to Diane by 15 October 2021. Please contact her with any questions you have.

More information

For further information about the UC Master's programme see these pages:

PhD study

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The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree involves extensive, sustained and original research and study, with the results being presented in a thesis which will contribute to intellectual knowledge of the field.

Enrolment in a PhD requires completion of an honours or master’s degree to a high standard (typically first-class or second-class division one). You must have completed an independent research project/dissertation or thesis as part of your previous degree(s).

The first step is to read about our research and see if your areas of interest are covered by BIC's research.

Next, find out which BIC staff are involved in your area of interest and get in contact with them to see if there is mutual interest in a research topic.

Then investigate the scholarships and other support that are available to help you study at BIC.

Finally, to take the next step to apply to study at BIC:

Our academics regularly recruit PhD students to work on our flagship research projects. See below for our current opportunities.

Current scholarships

BIC offers an excellent training environment and state-of-the-art equipment for our graduate students.

PhD topics available include:

Food Protein Interactomics: How do Proteins Interact with other Polymers in Food Crops?

We are looking for a motivated student with experience in biochemistry and chemistry to study the interactions between food proteins and other food polymers.

The ‘protein transition’ towards plant-based foods in our diet is a key requirement for addressing the ecological and societal challenges we face. This research will define the interactions between proteins and plant molecules (such as polyphenols or carbohydrates) in protein-rich plant materials and will determine how new food processing techniques influence or change these interactions. Insight into these interactions is crucial, as they alter expected physicochemical properties of proteins, including protein solubility and bioavailability of essential amino acids. This project will develop methods to characterise these interactions in protein-rich plant material as a first step in the route to new plant-based foods.

The student we are seeking will have a high-quality Honours or Master’s degree in chemistry or biochemistry, and be able to work independently. Experience with food proteins, bioinformatics, and mass spectrometry is an advantage.

This is a funded PhD scholarship for the Joint Postgraduate School | Food Transitions 2050. The successful applicant will be enrolled at the University of Canterbury, but the project will be conducted across the University of Canterbury and AgResearch (Lincoln).  International students pay domestic fees and the University can assist you to obtain a student visa. The scholarship includes an annual tax-free stipend of $28,000 p.a. (paid in monthly instalments) plus tuition fees, for three years. To apply for the scholarship, your grades preferably need to be A- average or better (GPA of 7/9 or better).

If English is not your first language, you must have passed English exams with scores that meet the requirements for postgraduate study in New Zealand, for example, an IELTS score of at least 6.5 overall, and no less than 6.0 in each band.

If interested, please send your CV and transcript to:

Ren Dobson:

Evelyne Maes:

Simon Loveday:

Applications will close on Dec 1st, 2021. The student must be enrolled and ready to commence their programme along with the rest of the cohort on 1 March 2022.


3D printed porous media for process engineering (scholarship details)

We are seeking highly motivated PhD applicants to join our ambitious research programme exploring how 3D printing can revolutionise manufacturing processes in chemical engineering. We are looking for applicants with excellent academic records and strong written skills. We want people who can demonstrate outstanding ability in numerical methods, lab-based measurements, machine learning or computer graphics, or some combination of these. You will need to demonstrate an aptitude to learn a broad range of new skills, including those outside your existing discipline.

Hosted by the Biomolecular Interaction Centre at the University of Canterbury, this ambitious research programme is a collaboration with Victoria University of Wellington, University of Otago and Callaghan Innovation. It is funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment through their Endeavour Fund. 

As a PhD student in our programme, you will join an interdisciplinary team of more than 25 academics, postdocs and PhD students. Depending on your skillset and experience, combined with your research and career ambitions, we have opportunities based in Christchurch, Wellington and Dunedin.

The scholarships are $27,500 per year for three years plus all fees. To find out more, please contact

We have a specific opportunity available now that will focus on heat transfer in our 3D printed heat exchangers. We’re looking for a candidate who can start by September 2021 and who is either in New Zealand or willing to apply for Critical Worker exemption to be able to enter New Zealand under the current border restrictions. This PhD project is experimental and so there is not an option to work remotely. For more info, please see: 3D printed porous media: heat exchangers at University of Canterbury on


Expressions of interest and to find out more

If you’d like to find out more about our work and the postgraduate opportunities available, please email


More information

For further information about the UC PhD programme see:

Postdoctoral research

When available, vacancies will be advertised here and on our social media channels.