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Top Doctoral awards for Wellington's brightest

Top Doctoral awards for Wellington's brightest students

Three Victoria University PhD students have been awarded Top Doctoral Achiever Scholarships at an average value of $99,300.

Administered by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), the scholarships are awarded to the top 10 per cent of PhD candidates nationwide, and provide financial support for three years of research at both New Zealand and overseas universities.

A fourth Oxford University student who completed her undergraduate degree at Victoria has also received a Top Doctoral Achiever Scholarship to the value of $109,400.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Neil Quigley says that Victoria University students are leaders in their respective fields, as acknowledged by their consistent success in the annual TEC scholarships.

"These scholarships acknowledge the value the Government places on the importance of these outstanding students to New Zealand's future. They recognise the cutting-edge research underway at Victoria that will see breakthroughs in medicine, industry and law among other areas," Professor Quigley says.

The Top Doctoral Achiever scholarship recipients are:

Teresa Vaughan—School of Chemical & Physical Sciences

Theresa Vaughan's PhD research will develop new catalysts that are water-soluble—making them more environmentally friendly—but that act in ways comparable to traditional catalysts. The successful synthesis of active water-soluble catalysts will enable two-phased catalyst systems. It will also solve two major problems encountered in the use of homogenous catalysts—product separation and problems recovering the catalyst.

Funded $98,316

Rebecca Bednarek—Victoria Management School

Rebecca Bednarek's PhD research looks at the strategic balancing of salient and contradictory stakeholder demands. She will examine how organisations can best be strategically managed in an environment of complex, competing and, at times, contradictory demands and requirements. Her research will address a significant gap in academic analysis of organisational legitimacy.  

Funded $98,904.

Emma Dangerfield—School of Chemical & Physical Sciences

Emma Dangerfield's PhD will examine potential new cancer therapies that may offer treatment without debilitating side-effects. She will determine at how the modification of glycolipids in relation to the enhancement of anti-tumour immunity—glycolipids are fat-soluble substances particularly abundant in nervous system tissues.

Funded $100,812

Chelsea Payne—Oxford University, graduated from Victoria University in 2005

Chelsea Payne's PhD will examine the rule of law and transitional justice in post-conflict society. Her research will look at how foreign governments and partners should engage with those involved with local ownership—financially, technically and strategically. She will also examine how, when and to what extent local ownership should be supported.

Funded $109,443



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