October 2020

Congratulations Soon-to-be Dr Ankit Patel

Earlier this month Ankit completed the examination and editing process for his thesis, fulfilling all the requirements for the conferrment of his PhD. Ankit's thesis is titled: "A Novel Framework for Constructing Sport-Based Rating Systems".

The School looks forward to hearing about Ankit's future endeavours! Congratulations soon-to-be Dr Patel.


Rachel Fewster's Inaugural Professorial Lecture - 5:30pm-7pm Monday 30th November in CO431

Rachel Fewster's Inaugural Professorial Lecture was due to take place earlier in the year. Howver, the secondary lockdown in Auckland put the talk on pause for a few months. Louise has now announced that a new date for the talk has been chosen and we have a venue for the live stream. The stream will be held in CO431 from 5:30pm on Monday 30th November. See the abstract below:

Statistics is all about making sense of data. The ecological sciences are a statistician’s paradise, continually generating new types of data that need to be made sense of, due to a surge in innovative technologies for studying the populations and behaviour of wild animals.

Imagine if kiwi populations could be monitored simply by leaving microphone recorders in the forest for weeks, taking them back to base … and then what? Or if a few samples of DNA could reveal the launch pads of swimming rats invading sanctuary islands; or if whales could be monitored using photos from satellites? What has counting whales got to do with road traffic modelling? And how can New Zealand’s team of five million contribute to conservation analytics? Professor Fewster will give a taste of the diversity of statistical problems in the ecological domain, introduce a charismatic cast of creatures, and give insights into how we can – sometimes – convert baffling volumes of data into interpretable conclusions.

Rachel Fewster started life as a nature-mad youngster. After studying mathematics at Cambridge, she returned to nature with a PhD in statistical ecology at St Andrews. She moved to New Zealand for a two-year postdoc in 1999, and is somehow still here. She works in all aspects of ecological statistics, from applied to mathematical, and runs the citizen science project CatchIT involving several thousand members of the NZ public. She is also an enthusiastic educator, and won a national teaching excellence award in 2009.


Goal Setter Awards 2021

Top flight achiever? Drive to support others? Overcome obstacles? In year 2 or more of tertiary study?The Rotary Club of Port Nicholson Inc. invites applications from top-flight goal-setter achievers for its annual Goal Setter Awards.

If you are already in at least your second year of tertiary education, can show a history of goal setting and goal achievement, while contributing service to others (individuals, groups or the community at large) and doing so while having to overcome significant barriers we urge you to apply for a Goal Setter Award 2021.

$3500 cash award

Two or more award winners will personally receive their awards at an award presentation function at the InterContinental Hotel, Wellington in March 2021.


by 1st December 2020

The application form is available from our web site http://www.rotaryportnicholson.club or from your Course Information Centre. It provides details for the submission of completed applications.

Applications close Sunday 1 December 2020.


Eligible students are those who, at the time of application, are undertaking tertiary study in the Wellington/Kapiti area towards completion of an undergraduate or post-graduate degree, a National Certificate, or structured workplace learning for completing a New Zealand Apprenticeship.

Please do not apply if your course of tertiary study only started in 2020 or has yet to start.

Selection is based on written submissions and an interview process for the top applicants. This will be held in Wellington on Thursday 11 February 2021. There is no age limit for applicants. You must be available in person for an interview and to attend the presentation breakfast on 6 March 2021

MacDiarmid Institute Discovery Scholarship Programme

The MacDiarmid Institute is delighted to announce the continued funding of its Discovery Scholarship Programme, for Māori and Pasifika students in tertiary science. This is an extension of our long running DiscoveryCamp programme, to support students studying in the physical sciences, chemical/materials engineering, Māori sciences or sciences related to sustainable innovation.

The scholarships will pay university fees up to $8,000 for the 2021 academic year, and a one-off cash award of up to $3,000. The Institute welcomes applications from all Māori and Pasifika students from all backgrounds and abilities, and will award a number of scholarships at each year of undergraduate study, Honours/PgDipSci, and Masters study. Students who are studying part time are also encouraged to apply. In addition to the financial award, Discovery Scholars will be eligible for the same kinds of ongoing support as our current DiscoveryCamp Alumni cohort, such as summer studentships and access to a range of MacDiarmid Institute events.

There are multiple awards available, including:

  • Te Kainga Rua Award - Second Chance Learner Award - This category is for mature students either returning to tertiary education after having some time away or those that are undertaking tertiary courses for the first time. If you are passionate about the natural sciences or you wish to return to tertiary studies and would like help with reaching your goals and potential, we encourage you to apply.
  • Piki Ake Award - Step It Up Award - This category is for students who are passionate about science but have found it challenging to achieve highly. This award is to help enthusiastic students reach their potential and step up into achieving.
  • *Te Taumata Award - High Achiever Award* - This category is for students who have excelled in their studies and are looking toward continuing their study in the field.
  • Te Mātauranga Pūtaiao Award - High Achiever in Māori Science Award - This category is for students who have excelled in Mātauranga Māori Science and are looking toward continuing their study in the field.
  • *Te Huarahi Ki Mua Award* - This category is for students who have been previous recipients of a Discovery Scholarship Award and are continuing their study in a relevant field (This is the only award previous recipients will be eligible to apply for).

Students must be enrolled in a STEM course related to Physical Sciences, Chemical and Materials enginering, Māori Sciences or Sustainable Innovation Sciences. For more information, visit the Application Page.

Wellington Master's By Thesis Scholarship

This scholarship is to encourage postgraduate research at VUW, the University offers scholarships to students about to begin a full-time, research focused Master's degree. Applicants must be eligible to enrol in a Masters by thesis worth 90 points or more by trimester 2 the year following their application. There are some exceptions and exclusions so please read the eligibility criteria on the scholarship listing. Applicants must also be studying full time.

This scholarship includes a $15 000 tax free stipend and tuition for one year. Applications are due by the 1st November. Apply via the scholarship listing linked above.

Wellington Doctoral Submission Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to enable doctoral candidates to fully concentrate on completing their thesis. Applicants and their supervisors must carefully consider the amount of time required to completion as the scholarship is only available for the final three months before submission of the thesis for examination. Full-time or half-time candidates may apply, but candidates who are currently registered half-time will be required to change their registration to full-time. The scholarship will provide a stipend of $2,000 per month for up to three months less any outstanding tuition fees.

Applications are due at the closing date of every month. For more information, visit the scholarship listing.

Wellington Doctoral Hardship Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to assist doctoral candidates who are experiencing unexpected financial hardship. The budget for this fund is limited and priority will be given to candidates who are nearing completion, who are under examination or who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The value of this scholarship varies depending on the needs of each student. Applications are accepted year around.

For more information, visit the scholarship listing.

Job Opportunities

Postdoctoral Research Fellow (4 positions) - University of Melbourne

The School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Melbourne has four two-year research positions available for exceptional early career researchers in the mathematical sciences, whose research has the potential to have a significant impact, either in fundamental research or toward practical applications. The School maintains activity in all areas of the mathematical sciences, and the positions can be related to any area.

The successful applicants are expected to have the potential to lead a vigorous research program in their area with the promise of significant impact. The University of Melbourne is located in one of the greatest cities in the world, provides ample opportunities for the supervision of strong Master’s and PhD level research students and offers a wide range of opportunities for research collaborations within the School, the Faculty of Science as well as the broader University community.

The School has an ongoing commitment to improving our gender balance and has demonstrated success with a recruitment program that is focussed on creating gender balance and diversity. Women and persons belonging to minority groups are strongly encouraged to apply for these positions.

These positions are full-time fixed-term for 2 years. Applicants must have existing working rights in Australia and the ability to travel to Melbourne to be eligible to apply.

For more information, have a look at the job listing.