Completing a PhD involves uncovering new knowledge, exploring fresh ideas and developing advanced skills in a specific area. Discoveries made by PhD students can even end up changing society for the better..
That’s why Lincoln University offers Doctoral Scholarships, to help make life easier for its intrepid student researchers.
One of the most prestigious postgraduate scholarships available, it has a current stipend value of $28,000 per year, plus domestic tuition fees for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Lincoln University for a maximum of three years.
This enables PhD candidates to focus wholeheartedly on making important discoveries that could solve real-world issues.
Current Doctoral Scholar Alexia Marr is working towards a PhD in plant pathology after completing her Master’s in plant protection. She hopes her research will assist growers to safeguard their crops from pests and diseases that threaten food production and the New Zealand economy.
Alexia originally came to Lincoln to study for a Bachelor of Science in Conservation and Ecology, during which she chose several plant disease and protection papers.
“I realised I wanted to pursue this area of study, so I went straight into a Master’s,” she says. “I have now enrolled in a PhD to refine and develop technical skills for industry employment and I get to design research based on the questions I want to answer.”
Alexia describes her studies as “industry-focused”, which means she can develop her existing skills and acquire new ones.
“The support provided by my supervisors and other staff is also incredible, and working closely with other students in the department makes it easy to build friendships,” she says.
The scholarship has allowed her to focus on her study without the added stress of juggling a job or taking on debt.
For the same reason, Doctoral Scholar Cameron Marshall is finding the scholarship immensely helpful. He’s using the opportunity to investigate ways of breeding cows that will put less strain on the environment.
His research, which has attracted national media attention, indicates that some dairy cows are genetically predisposed to excrete less nitrogen into soil through their urine. This discovery could have major implications for farmers.
“By focusing on animals with a low breeding value for the gene that produces nitrate in urine, farmers can start breeding for cleaner, greener dairying,” he says.
Cameron recently won the 2020 Lincoln University Three-Minute Thesis Competition, which challenges postgraduate students to describe their research to an intelligent but non-academic audience in only three minutes. He will represent Lincoln at the Virtual Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition on 1 October.
Before embarking on his PhD, Cameron gained a Bachelor of Agricultural Science with First Class Honours from Lincoln.
The Doctoral Scholarship can also help international students to realise their dreams of gaining a PhD. Scholar Samuel Seba, from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, completed a Master’s degree at Lincoln, then returned to complete his PhD.
He’s concerned about the performance of horticultural supply chains in Ethiopia and other transitional economies and is focusing his research on this.
“The supply chains are known for stagnant production growth and poor smallholder producers, resulting in high malnutrition and lack of food security in these countries.
“Interventions by government and others need to be devised and implemented to address these challenges."
Samuel loves Lincoln because it’s welcoming, supportive and a small but vibrant community.
“It’s enjoyable to build and tap into long-lasting and genuine friendships. The courses are very relevant to the current world and business challenges.”
The scholarship is available to both domestic and international students, although this year, applications are only open to applicants who are onshore in New Zealand before the closing date of 1 October 2020. For more details, see the Lincoln University Doctoral Scholarship webpage.