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Victoria students win Top Doctoral Scholarships

MEDIA RELEASE


21 February 2006


Victoria students win Top Doctoral Scholarships

Victoria University staff and students have awarded six prestigious Bright Futures Top Doctoral Scholarships worth almost $1 million in the latest round of awards from the Government-funded scheme.

Forty-seven students nationwide received Bright Futures Top Achiever Doctoral Scholarships in the December 2005 round to study either at a New Zealand or overseas university. About $6 million was distributed in this round, which is administered by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Neil Quigley, said the scholarships recognise and reward the best postgraduate students and ensure they have the support they need to undertake research.

“One of Victoria’s key strategic objectives is to substantially increase the proportion of postgraduate students in the next decade and so success in external scholarship rounds is critical to achieving that goal. Increasing the number of postgraduate students not only further enhances our research culture but also the University’s revenue through the Performance-Based Research Fund.”

Three students received Bright Futures Top Achiever Doctoral Scholarships to study at Victoria University. The scholarships are worth more than $265,000 in total. They were received by:

- Julia de Bres, a student in the School of Linguistics & Applied Language Studies, holds a BA(Hons) and Graduate Diploma of Arts from Victoria. She plans to research the promotion of positive attitudes towards the Māori language among non-Māori in New Zealand.

- Andrew Mahoney, a student in the School of Art History, Classics & Religious Studies, holds a BA(Hons) from Victoria. He plans to undertake research on the use of theological expressions as costly signals of religious commitment.

- Kyle Chard, a student in the School of Mathematics, Statistics & Computer Science, holds a BSc(Hons) from Victoria. He will be carrying out research into the efficient use of grid resources for network computer services.

Two students and one staff member have also received Bright Futures Top Achiever Doctoral Scholarships to study at an overseas university. The scholarships are worth more than $730,000 in total. They were received by:

- Caroline Morris, a Lecturer in the School of Law, holds an LLB(Hons) from Victoria. She has received a scholarship to study at King’s College, London, and will be researching the regulation of parliamentary representation.

- Kirsten McEwen, a student in the School of Biological Sciences, holds a Bachelor of Biomedical Science degree with Honours from Victoria. She has received a scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge and will be investigating how stem cells change into different tissue types.

- Mina Razzak, a student in the School of Biological Sciences, holds a Bachelor of Biomedical Science from Victoria and has also received a scholarship to study at Cambridge. She will be researching the synthesis of novel anti-cancer agents from marine natural products.

A further two students have also received Bright Future Enterprise Scholarships worth more than $52,000 in total. These scholarships are linked to businesses which match the government funding. They were received by:

- Rachel Ryan, a student in the School of Architecture, holds a Bachelor of Building Science degree with Honours from Victoria. She has received a scholarship to undertake her Master’s degree, with support from Terralink International Ltd, into the creation of 3D interactive, web-enabled, multilayered model of Wellington city.

- Jared Thomas, a student in the School of Psychology, received a scholarship to undertake doctoral research, with the support of Opus International Consultants, into the social environment within public transport.


More information on the Bright Futures scheme can be found on the TEC website at: http://www.tec.govt.nz/funding/scholarships/index.htm


ENDS

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