Rutherford Foundation early-career researcher fellowships announced

The 2019 Rutherford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships and a Cambridge-Rutherford Memorial PhD Scholarship have been awarded to 11 early-career researchers.

And hurrah for the ag/hort sector – we spotted a Plant and Food Research scientist among the recipients.

The 2019 Postdoctoral Fellows will be exploring a diverse range of research topics, including:

• pathogen-resistant kiwifruit that do not require metal-based pesticides (the ag/hort success);

• metamaterials that could potentially turn every glass window into a transparent solar panel;

• improved earthquake hazard resilience in Aotearoa;

• new methods for producing personalised cancer therapies that enable the patient’s own immune system to search for and destroy cancerous cells.

The Rutherford Foundation Fellowships and Cambridge-Rutherford Memorial PhD Scholarships seek to build human capability in research, science and technology, including social sciences and the humanities.

The funding opportunities support early career researchers who demonstrate a passion for research and have a strong sense of the purpose and benefits of research to New Zealand.

Receiving a Rutherford Foundation award is expected to have a significant value in the future career development of the supported scholars and postdoctoral fellows and help them to establish a foundation on which to embark on an independent research career.

Royal Society Te Apārangi President Professor Wendy Larner said the society was pleased to award fellowships and scholarships to these outstanding early-career researchers.

“The Society seeks to support all New Zealanders to explore, discover and share new knowledge. We look forward to hearing what these talented researchers uncover with their research.”

For 2019, the Royal Society Te Apārangi Rutherford Foundation has announced ten Postdoctoral Fellowships and one Cambridge-Rutherford Memorial PhD Scholarship.

Two-year New Zealand Postdoctoral Fellowships have been awarded to:

• Dr Maedeh Amirpour, University of Auckland, for research titled Toward tailored 3D printed bio-based human interfaces – rational design by predictive modelling.
• Dr Nick Brettell, Victoria University of Wellington, for research titled Matroids representable over all fields of size at least four.
• Dr Emma Davison, University of Auckland, for research titled Automated flow technology for the synthesis of personalised cancer vaccines.
• Dr Anna Gosling, University of Otago, for research titled Understanding the genetic origins of gout and metabolic disease in Pacific populations: an evolutionary approach.
• Dr Lisa Hamm, University of Auckland, for research titled Learning to see: identifying visual processing challenges through innovative assessment tools.
• Dr Azadeh Hashemi, University of Canterbury, for research titled Developing a simple and effective method for directing the differentiation of stem cells in the lab.
• Dr Jay Jayaraman, Plant & Food Research, for research titled A strategy towards durable kiwifruit immunity to Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa).
• Dr Rodrigo Martinez Gazoni, University of Canterbury, for research titled Novel and easily-scalable metamaterials for energy and environmental applications.
• Dr Lisa Pilkington, University of Auckland, for research titled Data science QSAR strategies and tools for medicinal chemists.
• Dr Brook Tozer, GNS Science, for research titled Improving New Zealand’s hazard resilience through seismic imaging of Earth’s most dangerous faults.

The Rutherford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship will enable recipients to undertake full-time research programmes for two years within New Zealand in any area of research, science and technology, including social sciences and the humanities, at an eligible New Zealand research institution. Each year, the Fellow will receive a stipend of NZ$75,000 and NZ$10,000 (GST exclusive) to support direct and indirect research costs.

Three-year Cambridge-Rutherford Memorial PhD Scholarship has been awarded to:

• Benson Chen, Emory University, for research titled Deep phenotyping and genotyping in inherited optic neuropathies.

The Cambridge-Rutherford Memorial PhD Scholarships are jointly funded by the Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International Trust and the Rutherford Foundation.

The Scholarship pays a living allowance as well as course and college fees to enable recipients to complete a PhD at the University of Cambridge.

The Rutherford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships and PhD Scholarships are supported by New Zealand government funding and administered by Royal Society Te Apārangi.

You can read more on the latest Rutherford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships and PhD Scholarship recipients HERE. 

Source:  Royal Society Te Apārangi.

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