April 2020

Level 3

From Monday 27th April at 11:59 we entered Level 3 of the lock down. The inital plan was to have a day where graduates could schedule in to collect anything from campus. However, the university provided a date and time for this at very short notice. As a result you will now need to apply for access to campus. If you still need to collect anything from campus, please email Caitlin to arrange access. We ask that you complete a contact tracing form with all the places you go to on campus along with any details of people you have contact with. ECS has put together a digital contact tracing form that you can use. You will find it here. We also recommend that you maintain a personal contact tracing journal while on campus.

Access to Library Resources

For many of us, continuing our research from home has been challenging during lockdown. Level 3 sees us moving towards a greater level of interaction with the . Some key takeaways from : All fines for late returns of books have been waived for this period, and thus if you have physical items to return, please hold on. to them for right now. If you have any questions, or require any assistance please email the library at library@vuw.ac.nz.

Software Issues

If you are having difficulty completing your work due to software issues or the inability to access software you need. Please email Caitlin to make arrangements for access.

Candidate Development Plans

If you are a PhD student, you should have received an email from the Faculty of Graduate Research regarding your Candidate Development Plan. We require these forms to be completed every 6 months during your registration. These forms are used to:
  • support your requests for suspensions or extensions
  • ensure you are making satisfactory and consistent progress on your PhD
  • ensure continuation of scholarship payments
  • support grant and scholarship applications
It is especially important that you complete your CDP this time around. We have all been working under exceptional circumstances for the last few weeks and this is your chance to provide a formal record of how this experience has impacted you. It also allows your academic support team to put the wheels in motion if you need a little bit of extra help to get through.

You will be able to access your CDP on Research Master using the link provided to you in the email from FGR. CDPs will be open from the 1st May to 31st May.

Please email FGR at progressreports@vuw.ac.nz if you are having trouble with your report or if you have any questions on completing the report.

Online Security

During the course of the lockdown, there have been a few security scares. The main form of these scares have been spam emails going out masquerading as SMS-Office. All university emails will come from an address with the suffix @vuw.ac.nz. If the email is coming from a gmail, yahoo, hotmail or any other email suffix - it is NOT a university email. We recommend that you screenshot any of these emails pretending to be the university and send them through to us so we can work on blocking the addresses.

Similarly, some students have had security scared unrelated to the university involving phishing, keylogging and other spam. This is a great time to ensure your anti-virus software is up to date and that your passwords have been recently cycled. LastPass is a great free option to store your passwords if you are worried about forgetting any of them. Making use of 2 factor authentication is also a great option if possible.

Please make sure you are following best practice, do not share Zoom links (or any private information) in the public domain.

Falling Walls Lab New Zealand Competition

Falling Walls Lab is an international forum for the next generation of early-career innovators, trailblazers, creators, and visionaries. Its aim is to promote exceptional ideas and connect promising scientists and entrepreneurs from all fields on a global level. Participants, also known as Labsters, are given the opportunity to present their research, business model, or initiative to peers, a high-calibre jury of experts from academia and business, and the general public – in just 3 minutes.

Each year, academic institutions host local Falling Walls Labs to showcase the quality, diversity, and passion of their region’s most innovative minds. The winners of these Labs travel to the global Finale in Berlin on 8 November. 100 Labsters present their work in front of a distinguished jury and showcase their solutions to some of the biggest challenges of our time. All finalists win a ticket to attend the Falling Walls Conference, where they meet the world’s movers and shakers of science, business, and policymaking. The three winners of the Lab Finale in Berlin are awarded the title “Falling Walls Young Innovator of the Year”. They receive a prize money and the opportunity to pitch their idea once again on the grand stage of the Falling Walls Conference.

Applications to present your research are open now. Applications close 11 June 2020 at 5pm. If successful you will present your research on 8 September 2020. The successful applicant will also present in Berlin on the 8 November.

For eligibility information and to apply, visit this page.

Faculty Vacancies

PGSA is looking for representatives on various Faculty committees. Currently there are vacancies on:
  • Faculty of Science Faculty Board
  • Faculty of Science Academic, Teaching and Learning Committee
If you would like more information on representing Postgraduates in these roles, email PGSA.

Scholarship Opportunities

Latin American Academic Achievement Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to encourage and support by offering $5000 fees for Latin American international students b enrolling in a full time undergraduate or postgraduate course of study at Victoria University of Wellington.

Closing date: 31 May for Trimester 2 applications. For more information on the Scholarship, visit this page.

PGSA Academic Conference Grant

The purpose of the PGSA Academic Conference Grant is to provide current Victoria University of Wellington postgraduate students with funds to assist with travelling for international academic conferences.

Applications close on the 1st of each month. For more information, email the PGSA at pgsa@vuw.ac.nz.

Nga Manu Trust Research Scholarship

The scholarship has been established by the Ngā Manu Trust. This scholarship is to support science students conducting research in the Ngā Manu Nature Reserve.

Aplications close on the 31st May. For more information, visit this page.

Wellington Doctoral Submission Scholarships

These are available for the three month period immediately prior to submission of the PhD thesis only.

Applications close on the 1st of each month. Visit this page for more information.

Wellington Doctoral Hardship Scholarship

This scholarship is to assist doctoral candidates who are experiencing unexpected financial hardship. Priority will be given to candidates who are nearing completion or who are under examination.

There is no closing date for this scholarship, applications are accepted year round. Visit this page for more information.

Internship Opportunities

GIS Intern - Eagle Technology (Wellington)

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provide real world solutions to real world problems by integrating hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analysing and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.

We would like to hear from you if you have recently completed a degree or post graduate study specialising in GIS, Geography or Computer Science and you are:

- Technically capable with good analytical and communication skills.
- Keen to learn about geospatial information technologies.
- Interested in working within a structured development programme with training in New Zealand’s leading GIS software.

Eagle Technology is offering a selected graduate a six month paid internship position in our Wellington office.

Applicants must already be entitled to work in New Zealand and CV’s via recruitment agencies will not be accepted.

Applications close on 26th May. Visit the CareerHub listing for more information.

Job Opportunities

Graduate Performance Researcher - Optiver Australia Pty Ltd (Sydney)

What you’ll work on:
Performance Researchers use data science, reverse engineering and computing fundamentals to improve the success of our trading systems. You'll develop hypotheses about how to improve our competitive success and test them experimentally under real-world conditions and constraints. You'll direct development efforts and build tools to optimise our low-latency strategies. You’ll work with cutting-edge technology, from custom FPGA hardware and nanosecond precision latency to microwave communications and more. You'll analyse terabytes of systems and network capture data to process and discover hidden patterns.

Who you are:
You are a creative, critical thinker, who takes ideas apart to understand the ‘why’. You're an inquisitive sceptic who is excited to test yourself in one of the most competitive areas of the financial markets. In addition, you:
  • Love getting into the details of problems and understand how to decompose big challenges into solvable pieces.
  • Enjoy utilising technology, programming or maths in your daily life to solve problems
  • Possess programming experience in any language (C, C++, Python, Basic, Java, etc.);
Much of the technical skill set for this role can be learnt. What we truly value is your aptitude, growth mindset, drive for success and passion for collaborative problem solving.

  • You study a highly quantitative or technically focused degree - Maths, Statistics, Physics, Elec / Mechatronic / Software Engineering, Computer Science, Applied/Quantitative Finance or Econometrics.
  • You’re a final-year/Honours/Masters/PhD student or a recent graduate (up to 4 years).
  • An Aus or NZ Citizen, Aus Permanent Resident or able to secure working rights after graduating.
This role will start from mid-2020 through to Feb 2021. Applications close 11 May 2020.

For more information, visit the job listing on CareerHub.

Junior Quant Trader - Tibra Capital (Austinmer)

This is an entry level role open to recent University graduates - Vacancies open for September 2020 or February 2021 commencement in Austinmer, NSW

About the role:
At Tibra our graduates get exposure to the development of real world trading systems and the associated quantitative finance methods in one of the most challenging environments: proprietary trading in Financial markets.

You will be analysing large data sets, finding patterns and exploring market dynamics. You role will include researching, implementing and analysing signals and algorithmic strategies and will contribute to the implementation and evolution of the firm's trading strategies.

We offer a competitive graduate salary and attractive employee benefits. At Tibra, you will also have the opportunity to undertake extensive training and learning via our in-house Tibra University programs in addition to on-the-job training and mentoring.

This role is based in Austinmer, NSW.

Experience required:
  • Degree in Mathematics, Computer Science or related subject
  • Development experience – preferably C++
  • Experience in data analysis a bonus but not essential
Applications close on 30th June 2020. For more information, visit the CareerHub listing.

Things To Do During Lockdown

PGSA events

PGSA has transferred many of their gatherings and workshops online if you would like to attend.
  • Writing to finish: Runs every Wednesday from 9am to 12:30pm. You will need to register online.
  • Breakfast Social: Every Friday from 9am, just jump on to the Zoom link here.
  • Postgrad Talks: Gives you a chance to hear what others are working on. Next session is on 19/5 - just join the Zoom link here.

Student Learning Workshops

Student Learning have transferred many of their workshops online. They have drop in sessions if you just have a couple of questions, targetted skill development workshops and support sessions for Maori and Pasifika students. If you are interested in checking out some of their workshops, pop over to LibCal to see what is running and to sign up.

Predator Free NZ Webinars

Many of us are interested in conservation and other environmental work. Predator Free NZ has kindly put on a series of free webinars on various topics if you are interested.

There are 7 in total and you can view them here.