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Top researchers get funding boost

16 February 2006

Top researchers get funding boost

High quality New Zealand research undertaken by our smartest scholars is getting a near $6m boost thanks to the latest round of Bright Future Scheme scholarships.

Seventy-two graduate and postgraduate students have been awarded Enterprise Scholarships and 47 PhD students have been awarded Top Achiever Doctoral Scholarships by the Tertiary Education Commission.

The newly funded Enterprise scholars will receive almost $600,000 over the next three years, while newly funded Top Achiever Doctoral scholars will receive more than $5 million over the next 36 months of their study.

"The Bright Future Scheme helps young researchers turn good ideas into innovative new products and services," Minister for Tertiary Education Dr Michael Cullen said.

"It is a good example of government's commitment towards building a knowledge economy based on highly skilled people. The scheme supports quality research and fosters strong relationships between tertiary education institutions and businesses."

Top Achiever Doctoral Scholarships help PhD students to undertake first-class research in all disciplines in New Zealand or overseas. On the completion of the scholarship, students doing the research overseas must return to New Zealand for a period equal to that of the scholarship.

The Enterprise Scholarships encourage graduate and postgraduate students to study and research in New Zealand in partnership with New Zealand-based private companies or public organisations, such as crown research institutes. As a result their annual stipend is funded jointly by companies and the government.

Research supported by the scholarships include:

- the development of a tool to control blood sugar levels in premature babies;

- analysis of the bioactive components of manuka honey that have therapeutic properties;

- monitoring the social environment of rail and bus public transport to improve useage.

"Enterprise Scholarships help students get work-based experience and give businesses the opportunity to train potential future employees and up-skill current employees," Dr Cullen said.

Applications for next round of funding for Enterprise Scholarships close on 22 March 2006 and for Top Achiever Doctoral Scholarships on 28 April 2006.

Detailed information about the Bright Future Scheme can be found on the Tertiary Education Commission website at:

www.tec.govt.nz/funding/scholarships/index.htm

A full list of scholarship winners can be found at:

www.tec.govt.nz/funding/scholarships/bright-future-recipients.htm

ENDS


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