Careers

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

There are no scholarships currently being offered.

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:

The role of bacterial cell-envelope proteinase enzymes in plant-based protein fermentations: Towards new foods

This is an opportunity to be part of the plant-based protein revolution, which underpins multi-billion dollar industries, while reducing environmental harm.  

This project aims to elucidate the molecular basis by which enzymes from fermenting bacteria catalyse the breakdown of plant-based proteins. Understanding this molecular mechanism will allow us to engineer these enzymes for the purpose of making new plant-based foods.

The global boom in plant-based proteins is driven by an increasing awareness of the environmental impact of our food production systems, changes in lifestyle, and the health effect of foods. This change in consumer interest is now moving to dairy-like alternatives, such as yoghurt and cheese substitutes. Fermentation is the critical step for the development of structure, texture and flavour in these products.

A key step in fermentation is breaking up protein polymers, which is accomplished by proteolytic enzymes called proteinases. This process dictates the texture and flavour development of fermented foods. Because the production of plant-based foods uses existing proteinases, the sensory and textural properties of fermented foods are different to animal based counterparts. This project will study cell-envelope proteinase enzymes from lactic acid bacteria as a novel alternative for plant-based dairy alternatives.

The Scholarship comprises a $28,000 pa stipend and will cover university tuition fees.

This project is part of the Joint Postgraduate School: Food Transitions 2050, in partnership with Plant and Food Research: Food Transitions 2050.

Supervisors: Ren Dobson – University of Canterbury (send correspondence to renwick.dobson@canterbury.ac.nz), Vanessa Morris – University of Canterbury, Gert-Jan Moggré – Plant and Food Research.

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 Ria Chapman.

Expressions of interest and to find out more

If you’d like to have an informal conversation to find out more about our work and the postgraduate opportunities available, please email Ria Chapman.

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.