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University graduate wins Fulbright award

Media release
12 November 2008

University graduate wins Fulbright award

Jessica Rodrigues, a University of Auckland graduate, has been awarded a PhD scholarship worth NZ$350,000 by the Fulbright programme.

Jessica, who graduated with a Bachelor of Technology degree in May 2008, is one of only 40 students worldwide to been awarded the prestigious 2009 International Fulbright Science and Technology Award.

Jessica’s Honours research looked at the variability of wild and commercial yeasts and their ability to grow under different environmental conditions.

The Fulbright scholarship will allow Jessica to study for a PhD at a university in the USA. Her preferred destination is California, one of the world’s largest biotechnology hubs, where she hopes to research the biotechnology potential of plants and microbes. She will leave New Zealand for the US in August 2009.

The International Fulbright Science and Technology Awards are the US government’s most prestigious and valuable education scholarships, awarded to promising graduate students in science, technology or engineering. The awards cover full tuition and stipend for three years of PhD study, plus a return airfare to the US and allowances for books, equipment, research and conference attendance. Three other young New Zealanders are already conducting PhD research in the US with awards from the scheme, including Alana Alexander, another University of Auckland graduate, currently studying at Oregon State University.


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