Tag Archives: awards

Innovation Jumpstart momentum builds as all colleges jump in

At a time when the Innovation Jumpstart Competition is branching out into exciting new territory, UC Research & Innovation were thrilled to received 20 entries the second highest number of entries in six years of running the competition. 

This comes at a time when the competition branches out into brave new territory.  Formerly Tech Jumpstart, the new name refocuses the concept of innovation across all of UC’s disciplines and colleges.

Applications came from every college 

ENGINEERING                          11  = 55%

SCIENCE                                         6 = 30%

ARTS                                                  1 = 5%

BUSINESS and LAW                  1 = 5%

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT    1 = 5%                                                                                                          

Digging deeper:

  • 10 submissions (50%) were from individual researchers
  • 10 submissions (50%) were contributed by two or more researchers as a team
  • 36 academic staff in total
  • 7 staff (19%) had submitted in the previous 2017 Tech Jumpstart Competition
  • 29 staff (81%) were submitting for the first time.

What’s next?

Shortlisting is happening Tuesday  21 August by a group of external and internal judges followed by the top entries presenting their proposals on Thursday 13 September.

The top five projects will receive $20,000 funding each to help with innovation and technology development, as well as commercialisation support from Research & Innovation (R&I) and possible access to additional funding sources for continued development.

Awards ceremony – reminder that the Innovation Jumpstart Competition 2018 Awards Ceremony will be held on 3 October, 6:00pm – 7:30pm in the UC Council Chambers, Matariki Building.
Applicants and others interested are invited to attend. RSVP information will be provided closer to the time.

Thesis-in-three champ shares joys and challenges of competition

How do you distill the complexities of your postgraduate research into one slide in just three minutes, and in a way that will interest strangers?

It’s s not for the fainthearted  –  but that’s what the three winners of UC’s Thesis-in-Three finals did this week.

Congratulations to:

  • Best Doctoral student presentation – Samantha Bodman (Physical and Chemical Sciences)
  • Best Masters student presentation – Chris Boniface (Law)
  • Third place winner – Kseniia Zahrai (Management, Marketing & Entrepreneurship)


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Chris Boniface shares some insight into the competition  and responds to the UC Comms Team’s own challenge: describe your research in one paragraph, 30 words.

The Effects of Artificial Intelligence on the New Zealand Healthcare System  – Chris Boniface

Why did you enter Chris?  – As a whole, I’m not a fan of, or at all experienced in public speaking or presenting but I want to pursue postgrad to its limits, including seminars, conferences, publications and more to get the career I want. Thesis in Three offered the opportunity to practice those skills in a fun, competitive environment. 

What proved challenging? – Trying to fit my research into only three minutes, in a clear and succinct way. My speech only really covered one of four major aspects of my research, because if I tried to include everything it would be a rushed mess, and I had to make sure a part was engaging and interesting, but still concise! 

One paragraph, 30 words. Can you do it? –  When you’re in a vulnerable healthcare situation, knowing things are ready to help you when they go wrong is vital – the robots are coming, we need to be prepared!

Photo:  Chris is congratulated by Deputy Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Tuarua Ian Wright. 

Dr Ronán Feehily wins UC Business School Early Career Researcher Award

The 2018 recipient of the UC Business School Early Career Researcher Award is Dr Ronán Feehily, senior lecturer in the Department of Accounting and Information Systems.

Ronán has worked as an academic on three continents, and his research profile reflects the global reach of his publications.

His research interests lie primarily in the field of international commercial dispute resolution. Additional research interests include corporate governance, international trade and legal education.

He is the author of 17 peer reviewed journal articles in leading journals in the USA, UK and South Africa (including 7 A, 2 B, and 6 C ranked publications).

He has also edited a book and co-authored a new edition of An Introduction to the Law of Contract in New Zealand. He has delivered nine conference papers at leading conferences in the UK and Africa covering various aspects of his research interests.

While his publications have been cited on numerous occasions by various authors, there are two references that are particularly noteworthy. The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Regional Head for Asia and the Pacific, cited the article ‘Confidentiality and Transparency in International Commercial Arbitration: Finding the Right Balance’, published in the Harvard Negotiation Law Review (Volume 22, Spring 2017, 275-323), as a major contribution to the advancement of rule-based commerce and to the promotion of multilateral trade and investment laws.

The proposals for regulatory and law reform contained in the article dealing with costs sanctions published in the South African Law Journal in 2009, were cited by Prof Alan Rycroft, who mentioned in particular that Dr Feehily’s prediction was accurate that commercial mediation would not become a prominent form of dispute resolution in South Africa until heavy costs penalties are deployed by the courts (see Alan Rycroft ‘What should the consequences be of an unreasonable refusal to participate in ADR?’ (2014) 131 South African Law Journal 778).

Ronán’s research has also contributed to proposals for law reform in Ireland, and his proposals were incorporated by the Irish Law Reform Commission in their report ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution: Mediation and Conciliation’.

The report ultimately led to the enactment of the Mediation Act 2017, introducing a legal framework for the use of mediation in civil and commercial disputes in Ireland.

He is currently involved in an interdisciplinary project with Julia Wu, an ACIS lecturer in accounting, involving an investigation into institutional investors/shareholders and their experience with audit committees, and the impact it has on corporate governance in New Zealand.

The project has received Business School funding and will result in an article in a highly ranked peer-reviewed corporate governance journal and at least one conference paper.

Please join us in congratulating Ronán on this well-deserved recognition of his research success.

Prime Minister’s Science Prizes – applications close on 5 September

Aotearoa New Zealand’s most talented established and emerging scientists, science teachers and science communicators able to apply for awards worth a combined value of $1 million across five categories.

The major prize, worth $500,000, is presented to an individual or team whose research has had significant impact in New Zealand or internationally. Previous winners have been recognised for research in areas ranging from health to climate change to new energy technologies.

The Prime Minister’s Science Prize categories are:

The Prime Minister’s Science Prize, $500,000

This will be awarded to an individual or team for a transformative scientific discovery or achievement, which has had a significant economic, health, social and/or environmental impact in the last five years on New Zealand or internationally

The Prime Minister’s MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist Prize, $200,000

This will be awarded to an outstanding emerging scientist who has had their PhD conferred, within the past eight years (i.e. from 1 January 2010 onwards)

The Prime Minister’s Science Teacher Prize, $150,000

This will be awarded to a registered teacher who has been teaching science, mathematics, technology, pūtaiao, hangarau or pāngarau learning areas of the New Zealand curriculum to school-age children in a primary, intermediate or secondary New Zealand registered school.

The Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize, $100,000

This will be awarded to a practising scientist who can demonstrate an interest, passion and aptitude for science communication and public engagement, or to a person who has developed expertise in public engagement with, or communication of, complex scientific or technological information to the public or science community.

The Prime Minister’s Future Scientist Prize, $50,000 tertiary scholarship

This will be awarded to a Year 12 or Year 13 student for outstanding achievement in carrying out a practical and innovative science, mathematics, technology or engineering project.

To find out more and to lodge entries visit:


New funding package – Wood Industry and Education Trust

The Wood Industry Development and Education Trust (WIDE Trust) has provided a funding package that supports students and post-doctoral fellows at UC.

  • Two undergraduate scholarships for 1st Year BForSc valued at $10,000
  • Two undergraduate scholarships for 1st Pro BE(Hons) Forest Engineering valued at $10,000

Closing date 15 August. More info here>

  • The WIDE Trust Post Doctoral Fellow in Geospatial Technologies – this has been awarded and commenced 16 July.
  • One PhD Scholarship – the WIDE Trust PhD Scholarship in Timber Engineering ($125,000 over three years) which has been awarded to a candidate who will commence study in May 2019.
  • A Timber Design Prize that will be awarded for five years to students enrolled in ENCI427 Timber Structures, commencing in 2019. The overall value of that prize is $10,000 and there will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes. 

    This timber design prize is for the civil engineering students taking the 3rd pro paper ENCI427 Timber Structures.

    The students need to participate a timber design competition, also part of their course assessments. They need to provide drawings, structural calculations and a final presentation. A judge panel will be formed to select the top three groups for the prize (1st prize $1,000, 2nd prize $600, 3rd prize $400).

    Contact the School of Forestry>