Current Scholarships

Ben Houlton

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

Current opportunities

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’re 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’ll need to demonstrate an aptitude to learn a broad range of new skills, including those outside your existing discipline.

PhD topics available include:

Molecular Biography of Lamb Meat

We are offering a great biochemistry PhD research project (Molecular biography of lamb meat, as influenced by diet and extensive farming) that aims to provide evidence that non-industrial farming leads to verifiably different meat.

You will need to use advanced analytical techniques to understand the pathways in animals that lead to specific fingerprints in meat. The project will involve proteomics and metabolomics, and will require skill in experimental design and data analysis/bioinformatics. Background advantages include knowledge of biochemistry and experience of analytical techniques and the ability to analyse complex data. Note that the project will suit a candidate comfortable with handling sheep meat.

The annual stipend is $28,000 and the course fees will also be covered. The project will be based in Lincoln, Canterbury, New Zealand.

To apply, please contact Associate Professor James Morton, with a CV and statement that includes:

  • Your reasons for pursuing this research
  • Your academic achievements
  • Evidence of your previous experience in the field
  • Your career aspirations

Applications close 22 January 2021. Research starts in March 2021 and you must meet the requirements of applying for a PhD.

Transforming industrial food waste for a carbon zero future (scholarship details)

Currently, over 2 million tonnes of food waste from industrial processing in New Zealand is deposited in landfill or applied as raw compost each year, adding to national greenhouse gas emissions that prevent the industries from achieving carbon zero status. This PhD programme will test the proof-of-concept that adding waste materials amended with clay minerals to grassland will increase soil carbon storage, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the achievement of food for a carbon zero future by progressing carbon zero supply chains at the regional scale.

The PhD will be supervised by staff from University of Canterbury, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, Lincoln University and Plant & Food Research.

The PhD candidate must be currently in New Zealand and be able to start in March or April 2021.

For more details or to apply, please contact Professor Brett Robinson or David Whitehead.

Carbohydrate Chemical Biology (scholarship details)

Applications are invited for a fully funded 3-year PhD scholarship ($21,000 per annum plus coverage of all fees) in Carbohydrate Chemical Biology to work under the supervision of Prof. Antony Fairbanks (UC supervisor) and Dr Andrew Muscroft-Taylor (Callaghan Innovation Supervisor), available to start on immediately, or as soon as possible thereafter, on a UC Connect Scholarship, co-funded by Callaghan Innovation. This exciting interdisciplinary research opportunity, which will combine aspects of synthetic organic chemistry and modern chemical biology, has potentially wide reaching implications throughout biology and medicine.

Candidates will have an NZ BSc Honours degree in Chemistry or Biochemistry, (minimum classification 2.1), or an MSc/MChem or an equivalent postgraduate research qualification. Applicants will have a particular interest in Organic Chemistry and its applications to problems in biochemistry and medicine. Relevant research experience in synthetic organic chemistry and / or biochemistry / molecular biology will be particularly advantageous.

Further details and application forms are available from Ria Chapman. The closing date for applications is 15 January 2021.

Diagnostic devices for winemaking (scholarship details)

The New Zealand wine industry is an important part of our economy and is striving for the best quality wines possible. The industry tells us that it needs better control of the winemaking process, which requires real-time diagnostics of key wine analytes. The UC research team lead by Associate Professor Volker Nock (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering) and Professor Ren Dobson (School of Biological Sciences) have recently demonstrated and patented a way of passively switching flow in capillary microfluidic circuits using novel off valves. This project will explore the application of the valves to a variety of real-world assays in winemaking.

The scholarship will cover living expenses at NZ$30,000 per year for three years, tuition fees and conference travel. For more information, please contact Associate Professor Volker Nock or Professor Ren Dobson.

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.

Other support

There are a number of small grants and scholarships available to current postgraduates to help with research costs, travelling to conferences, or just a top up of personal money. Of particular interest to BIC postgraduate students:

Renwick Dobson

BIC Director
Professor
Julius von Haast 620, School of Biological Sciences
Internal Phone: 95145

Matt James Watson

BIC Deputy Director
Professor
Link 402, Department of Chemical and Process Engineering
Internal Phone: 93803

Rebecca Hurrell

BIC Institute Manager
On secondment to Research Development Lead
Julius von Haast Rm 617
Internal Phone: 93979

Ria Chapman

3D Printed Endeavour Programme Manager
Acting BIC Institute Manager
Internal Phone: 90403

Miharu Nock

Administrative Assistant
Internal Phone: 91336

Jennifer Crowther

Research Advisor
Internal Phone: 91439