The multidisciplinary and collaborative nature of Maurice Wilkins Centre research provides an excellent training environment for the young scientists and students who are our future science leaders. Emerging scientists like these are invited to join the Centre as affiliate investigators.
PhD student support
One of the Maurice Wilkins Centre's goals is to support talented postgraduate students throughout New Zealand, whose work may help find new ways to tackle major human diseases. The Centre supports a large cohort of PhD and MSc students within its associated research groups by providing funds for stipends, working expenses and travel, as well as opportunities to access specialised research equipment and facilities. Its students work on cutting-edge scientific projects, from developing new drugs for immunosuppression or tuberculosis, to mapping genes involved in cancer. The first Maurice Wilkins Centre PhD students graduated in 2008 and in 2013 the Centre has to date provided full or partial scholarships for 28 PhD students.
Flexible Research Seeding Programme
The Centre’s Flexible Research Seeding Programme, available to its investigators, helps seed ground-breaking early-stage projects that are collaborative, multidisciplinary and develop new lines of research. The aim is to spark new projects that will grow into highly innovative and sustainable research programmes. Over the last five years the scheme has supported more than 100 projects involving investigators around the country.
Much of the programme is earmarked to support PhD scholarships and working expenses for students . Other components of the programme available to the affiliate investigators help them to access advanced research equipment, and (since 2011) travel to international workshops and laboratories to train in cutting-edge technology and share what they learn with their New Zealand colleagues.
Future Science Day
The Centre’s annual Future Science Day, initiated in 2010, promotes networking and interdisciplinary understanding, and provides career advice for young scientists who are part of its network.
At the most recent event, in late 2012, delegates heard from eminent New Zealand scientist Dr Jim Watson, Chair of the Maurice Wilkins Centre Scientific Advisory Board, on science careers in this country; the Science Media Centre on science communication; Maurice Wilkins Centre PhD students on their research; and affiliate investigators who have benefited from the flexible research seeding programme.
Image: Delegates at Future Science Day 2011