Archived Newsletters can be accessed here.

May 2020

Level 2

We have now been in level 2 for about a week now. Things are starting to return to normal but with more sanitizer and contact tracing. While University comms have used the term "encourages to return", as a School we would like to emphasise that this comes with the caveat of health and safety. To ensure our processes are as safe as possible, please only come in if you feel safe to do so. If you can maintain working from home, we encourage you to continue - this makes coming on to campus safer for our colleagues that need to. Make the transition slowly if you can, it may take time for us to perfect the changes we are making to our operations and movements on campus.

Graduate Labs

Graduate labs are now open to those with assigned desks (MSc and PhD students). Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee santization and frequent cleaning of the hotdesks as individual users of these spaces are responsible for the cleaning of the desks they use so we have made the decision to make these desks unavailable until level 1 or in special circumstances. If you do not have a desk but cannot work from home, please get in touch with the Office to make arrangements for you.

The operation of these labs has also changed slightly to enable appropriate social distancing. All desks have been numbered with 1 or 2. These numbers correspond to the "activation" of your desk an active desk means it can be used that day. A schedule has been made to indicate which numbers are active on which days. This schedule is on a 2 week cycle to ensure equal opportunities to access the labs.
Week StartSortSort MondaySortSort TuesdaySortSort WednesdaySortSort ThursdaySortSort FridaySortSort
18 May 1 2 1 2 1
25 May 2 1 2 1 2
1 Jun 1 2 1 2 1
8 Jun 2 1 2 1 2
15 Jun 1 2 1 2 1
22 Jun 2 1 2 1 2
28 Jun 1 2 1 2 1
You can check what number your desk is here:
CO437

CO437 Desks Numbers.png

CO540

CO540 Desks Numbers.png

If you have a prior arrangement with the School to access the labs on days that your desk is "inactive", you will need to use one of the desks marked with an H that are active on that day. This is too allow your colleagues to access their workstations safely.

You are responsible for cleaning the work station you are at. This means using the disinfecting wipes to clense the desk, keyboard, mouse, desk, chair and any additional things that you have touched at that station. Each graduate lab has a hygiene pack with masks, gloves, sanitizer and wipes. If any of these supplies are running low, please let the office know so we can top it up for you.

On the door of each lab is a QR code, please use these to sign in and out of the labs as you need to. If you cannot scan the codes you can access the entry survey here and the exit survey here.

School Office

The School Office is operating on a reduced schedules. We will be open from 9am-3pm every weekday until further notice. We will only have a walk up window at reception - you cannot enter the reception area. Please respect this as this is for our safety.

Kitchens

The kitchen on level 3 will be operating with a one way system. Enter through CO350 and exit to the hallway. Wait for others to exit the kitchen before going in. We are discouraging eating in communal apces - eat at your workstation if you can. There will be no tea, coffee or milk until level 1 - please bring your own until it is safe for us to leave there shared supplies in communal spaces.

We also discourage use of the fridge if possible. We cannot guarantee the handles will be santized after every use as they are not covered by our current cleaning schedule.

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.

UniQ

UniQ has started up a Discord server to make it easier for you to connect with their service. If you want to join - this is the invite link. UniQ is a safe and accepting space providing social and support services to queer and rainbow students on campus. Feel free to get in touch if you have questions, want to hang out in a safe space or even if you want to contribute to supporting our rainbow and queer community on campus.

Scholarship Opportunities

The Sir Hugh Kawharu Masters Scholarship for Innovation in Science

The Sir Hugh Kawharu Scholarship for Innovation in Science, administered by Royal Society Te Aparangi, is a $10,000 scholarship for study at masters level in the sciences. The Scholarship is applicable across a broad range of science disciplines including the physical, mathematical and computational, earth, environment, marine, social, health, biological, biomedical, human, and behavioural sciences. The Call for Applications is now open with a closing date of 31 August 2020. Information about how to apply is available on the Society’s website.

Raewyn Good Study Award for Māori and Pasifika Social Science Research

The Raewyn Good Study Award for Māori and Pasifika Social Science Research is an award of $6,000 for a Māori and Pasifika postgraduate student undertaking a Master’s which involves social sciences research. The study award, tenable at any New Zealand university/wānanga for one year is available to students, who at the time of application, are engaged/enrolled in or applying for a Master’s degree which involves undertaking social sciences research. The Call for Applications is now open with a closing date of 31 August 2020. Information about how to apply is available on the Society’s website.

RHT Bates Postgraduate Scholarship

The RHT Bates Postgraduate Scholarship is a study award of $6,000 for a PhD in the Physical Sciences and Engineering in a New Zealand university. Preference will be given to those whose research aims to apply information/image processing to studies in medicine, the physical sciences, astronomy or engineering. The Call for Applications is now open with a closing date of 31 August 2020. Information about how to apply is available on the Society’s website.

Job Opportunities

Intermediate data scientist - Haast Energy Trading - Auckland

Haast Energy Trading is a boutique trading firm with a focus on wholesale electricity and gas markets in the Asia-Pacific region.

We’ve got an opening for an intermediate data scientist here at Haast Energy Trading. We’re a boutique trading firm with a focus on wholesale electricity and gas markets in the Asia-Pacific region.

The job description is still being fleshed out, but at its core the role will involve using data science techniques to forecast the price and underlying drivers of electricity derivatives.

A few things we offer:
-We only hire the best and pay accordingly. This includes a generous performance-based bonus.
-Flexible hours and the opportunity to work from home.
-Awesome Auckland waterfront location.
-Exciting industry (finance/derivatives trading).

What we’re after:
-Exceptional academic ability. Your GPA should be >=8.
-2-4 years’ work experience.
-A very strong statistical background.
-Self-directed, driven and pragmatic.
-Ideally a post-graduate qualification in a quantitative subject (preferably statistics).

For more information, visit the CareerHub listing. Applications close - 14th June 2020.

Professional Teaching Fellow in Mathematics - The University of Auckland, Department of Mathematics - Auckland

This position is 20 hours part-time, permanent.

The successful applicant will particularly be focused on the Tuākana programme, which provides learning support for Māori and Pasifika students. You would join an extremely talented, diverse and collegial team of Professional Teaching Fellows with backgrounds ranging from PhDs in mathematics to stellar teachers from the secondary education sector.

Your duties may also include teaching mainstream courses in the department. You will develop high-quality content and course materials, investigate novel strategies and technologies to enhance student learning and engagement, and support diverse styles of teaching and learning.

You can view the job description here.

View the job listing on Seek. Applications close - 7th June.

Statistical Modeller: Sea Level Rise - GNS Science - Wellington

GNS Science's work in Environment and Climate focuses on sustainable management of the environment, and effective adaptation to a changing climate. We take an integrated approach combining environmental change, climate change and groundwater. This work plays a vital role in informing management and adaptation strategies for the future.

We seek a highly motivated person for a Statistical Modeller position specialising in Sea Level Rise. The focus of the Sea Level Rise position is to establish a new probabilistic model that can be used by stakeholders in Pacific Island Countries to assess sea-level-rise-related hazards. The primary objective of this project is to provide an evidence-based assessment of present and future sea level-related risks for the southwest Pacific region. The project will consist of a pilot study focusing on the atoll islands, including Tarawa in Kiribati, with the aim to be transferrable to other locations in the southwest Pacific. This position will be primarily responsible for the development of a probabilistic, graphical model to understand the probability of future coastal inundation in 2050 and 2100. Communication and training with stakeholders is an important aspect of this role’s responsibilities as the model is intended to be usable by non-experts. This position is required to will assist with, and participate in, several expert elicitation workshops in the Pacific Islands.

The ideal candidate will have the following:
  • A PhD in Geoscience, Physics, Computer Science, Statistics or a related discipline
  • A strong foundation in scientific coding and data handling
  • Experience with geospatial data
  • A strong foundation in statistics
  • Project management skills
  • A background in the impacts of climate change and sea level rise in coastal environments is highly desirable.
The position will be a fixed-term appointment for two years.

View the job listing on Seek. Applications close - 12 June 2020.

Senior Research Statistician - Fonterra - Palmerston North

As New Zealand’s largest business, and a world-leading dairy exporter, Fonterra’s high-quality dairy ingredients and branded dairy products are consumed in over 100 countries around the globe.

Located in Palmerston North, New Zealand, the Fonterra Research and Development Centre (FRDC) is home to a highly collegial team of around 300 qualified scientists, technologists and engineers – many of whom are the world’s leading experts in dairy science – and it is investing in new techniques with cutting edge technology right now!

As a highly skilled Statistician, you will provide expert and end to end advisory and analysis services across our Research and Development Centre, based in Palmerston North.

This role provides key support to the Fonterra scientific teams by coaching, developing and promoting statistical best practice within Fonterra. Engage with colleagues, understand their requirements, provide strategy/execution and present the insights back to the teams.

You will take the lead in data management and usage in a variety of projects and act as a champion for good data stewardship. From building models through to advising on the use of data, you will truly be an expert in the team.

We would consider a recent Masters or PhD graduate for this role, ideally with commercial internship experience. We are also willing to discuss flexible work arrangements for the right candidate.

For more information check out the job listing on their website. Applications close when the role is filled.

Internship Opportunities

Opstech Coordinator Intern - HelloFresh - Auckland

At HelloFresh, we want to change the way people eat. Our weekly recipe boxes full of exciting recipes and lovingly sourced, fresh ingredients have blossomed into a community of inspired, energised home cooks that expands across the globe. We are one of the fastest growing meal kit businesses and are active and growing in 12 different countries across 3 continents.

This role is a fantastic opportunity for a recent graduate with a data science / developer background and someone with experience in using Python and Java Script. You must be eligible to work Full-Time (Monday to Friday) for a duration of 6 months. We are looking for a driven, communicative person with a passion for coding. Must be able to start as soon as possible.

You will...

- Working with the ops tech team
- Responsible for maintenance of tech tools
- Development of new features for local applications
- Support the management in the launch and management of new projects, ensuring follow up and delivery on time
- Communicating on a regular basis and exchange ideas and best practices with our global teams from around the world
- Mandatory requirements

You have...

- A Degree in Engineering, Computer Science or Mathematics
- An outstanding level of numerical and analytical thinking with a very logical approach
- Extensive hands-on experience working with Python, Celery and Javascript at an advanced level, with the aspiration to expand your skills to other development tools
- Deep understanding in database management and ideally experience with RabbitMQ or Kafka
- The ability to manage a project from start to finish and deliver on time
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with both technical and non-technical individuals

You are ...

- Obsessed with food!
- Passionate about our business
- Proactive, ambitious and assertive
- Motivated by being part of an extremely fast-paced business

What we offer...

- Heavily discounted HelloFresh boxes
- You work in a passionate and dynamic environment
- Flat hierarchies, constant learning with plenty of room for personal growth
- Duration: 6 Months paid internship. You must be able to commit Full-Time (Monday to Friday 9 am - 6 pm). You must have the right to work in New Zealand for the duration of the contract.

For more information, visit the CareerHub listing. Applications close - 30 Jun 2020.

Things To Do During Lockdown

Check out White Mirror

White Mirror is a free online series that considered how machines can be used to create a positive human impact. There are currently 5 articles, with the latest following Monica Gerth and the work she is doing to eradicate Kauri dieback using VR. Check out the series here.

Research Seminars

During lockdown Linus has been attending seminars held online in the UK and Colombia. He recommends anyone interested in attending some seminars takes a look at the Research Seminars website. The times can be a bit odd for some of the talks (usually during the night in NZ) as they aim to run them when a majority of countries around the globe can attend during the day.Linus recommends emailing the organiser before you jump in to confirm they are ok with you popping in. But he has had no problems so far.
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