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Centre for Integrated Research in Biosafety

16 October 2023

UC's Centre for Integrated Research in Biosafety (INBI) aims to contribute to increased understanding and more effective management of emerging biotechnologies. Learn about the Centre for Integrated Research in Biosafety.


The Centre for Integrated Research in Biosafety (INBI)'s research is:

  • Independent - We are practiced in the techniques associated with recent and emerging biotechnologies, but we have no financial interest in their development or prohibition.
  • Transdisciplinary - INBI brings together scientists skilled in biotechnology research and safety assessment and social scientists with experience in the evaluation of the ethical, social, cultural and political impacts of novel technologies. This team is committed to working collaboratively across disciplinary boundaries and to modelling new forms of integrated research.
  • Collaborative and International - When conducting capacity-building activities in the developing world, we offer our own expertise while also working with the knowledge and specific needs of the country or region.
  • Committed to Biosafety - The Centre participates in the national biosafety framework of New Zealand and supports, to the degree that we are able, the research needs of citizens, civic leaders, NGOs, scientists and others who are participating in their national biosafety frameworks.

What do we do?

INBI is engaged in assessing whether and how various products of biotechnology may pose risks to humans and the wider environment. Our focus is biosafety (or, biosecurity as the term is most commonly used in New Zealand). We make the results of these assessments available freely to the public.

We are also involved in biosafety capacity-building in developing countries under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. This has taken the form of independent advice and courses in the assessment and evaluation of biotechnologies. 

About us

We are a multidisciplinary team, with a wide range of professional backgrounds and diverse nationalities. Expertise in the Centre includes molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, post-genomics, political science, social studies of science and technology, participatory technology assessment, and the social dimensions of risk.

The Director of INBI is Professor Jack A. Heinemann, a professor of molecular genetics with interests in biosafety, risk assessment and education. The Deputy Director is Dr Joanna Goven, a social scientist with expertise in the areas of risk assessment and public participation.

International Students

Who should Apply

INBI welcomes project students from France and Germany. Arrangements can be made, funds permitting, for students from France, Germany and the universities listed on Our goal is to secure funding to provide short-term research opportunities of undergraduate and postgraduates from the third world, particularly our neighbours in and around the Pacific. At this time, the Centre cannot provide stipends (per diems) or contribute to travel, accommodation costs or fees. On a case-by-case basis, the Centre may be able to provide support for research costs.

How to Apply
  1. Contact the Director of the Centre ( who can advise you on the ability of the Institute to support your project. In this first contact,. provide a brief description of why you want to work at the Institute and the type of research you plan to do (eg, molecular biology, social science etc.).
  2. Provide the Director with the names and contact details, including email addresses, of two referees from your university.
  3. Upon confirmation of a place at the Institute, you will need to make application for enrolment at the University of Canterbury. The Institute cannot support project students who do not enroll. Usually, students enroll for a COP.
  4. Apply for a student VISA to enter New Zealand (this may be done after arriving in New Zealand, but it is recommended that you apply before leaving your country).
  5. When you arrive at the University of Canterbury, the Department in which you work can apply for a scholarship to cover your domestic fees. (The agreements between the New Zealand and both France and Germany allow French and German students to study in New Zealand under the same fee structure as New Zealand students. Relief from these fees is normal, but not guaranteed.)
Need More Help?

You can contact the International Students Office at any time to assist you with applications, scholarships, VISA and accommodation needs. Write to them at

Press Release

GE high lysine corn - 20 December 2007

LY038, high lysine corn, is an animal feed. It is the first GE corn overtly designed to be substantially different in its nutritional profile; a profile designed for animals and not people.

Brochures and promotional material

A549 is an application to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to amend the Food Code to allow foods derived from corn line LY038 to be sold in Australia and New Zealand. LY038 has been genetically modified to accumulate higher levels of the amino acid lysine compared to non-GM corn.

In July 2007 the Centre calls for NZ to opt out of impending adoption of FSANZ recommendation to allow high lysine corn into the human food supply.

See INBI's position regarding the pending approval of LY038 (PDF/44KB)

In June 2006 INBI (NZIGE) wrote a submission on LY038 as part of the consultation process for the FSANZ Draft Assessment Report. For more information see:

Press release (PDF 25kb)

In February 2005 INBI (NZIGE) wrote a submission on LY038 as part of the consultation process for the FSANZ Initial Assessment Report. For more information see:

Centre for Integrated Research on Biosafety

School of Biological Sciences
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
New Zealand

Phone +64 3 364 2500

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