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Point-of-care, non-destructive assessment of tissue for disease diagnosis


   Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Point-of-care, non-destructive assessment of tissue for disease diagnosis is desirable to enable clinicians to make immediate treatment decisions. This project involves the development, assessment and deployment of a fibre optic probe for deploying vibrational spectroscopic methods for point-of-care detection and diagnosis of precancerous tissue in the gastrointestinal tract. This position will be based within the Department of Chemistry, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, in collaboration with computer sciences and the medical school. Knowledge of at least one scientific area used in this work is required, these scientific areas include optics/spectroscopy, machine learning and medicine. The ideal candidate will have a Honours or Master degree in the physical, chemical, computer or medical sciences or a closely related field.

The wider context

The Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies is a national Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE)and a world-class organisation which builds on Aotearoa-New Zealand’s (NZ) internationally acknowledged strength in the fields of quantum optics, photonics, ultracold atomic gases, and precision atomic physics. Photonics, the manipulation of the quantum building blocks of light, and the precision control of matter at the atomic scale through the use of light, underpin technological development in areas such as computing, advanced sensing technologies and medical imaging, and communication.

The Dodd-Walls Centre, hosted by the University of Otago, involves six universities in NZ. Your PhD project while based at one institution will allow you to collaborate with researchers from across the Centre. More information about our Research Centre can be found here: https://doddwalls.ac.nz/

The Dodd-Walls Centre mission

  • To solidify our position as a Research Centre that is recognised as one of the world’s leading organisations in the field of photonic and quantum technologies,
  • To train and develop skilled staff and students to the highest international standards,
  • To capitalise upon the international investment in quantum and optical sciences for the benefit of New Zealand,
  • To support the rapidly growing high-tech industry sector, thus ensuring New Zealand’s economic diversification and providing career pathways for the outstanding people that we train,
  • To provide support for New Zealand’s climate action through improved environmental measurement and monitoring, and,
  • To ensure that the benefits of advances in science and technology, especially in photonics and quantum technologies, are available to all.

Eligibility requirements

Applicants must meet University of Otago entry requirements for admission to a PhD. Award of the scholarship is conditional on the university accepting your enrolment. The successful applicant will be guided through the process of formally applying for admission.

This is an interdisciplinary project so applicants from a wide range of academic backgrounds will be considered. Applications should have strong undergraduate knowledge in some of these areas:

  • Knowledge of at least one scientific area used in this work is required, these scientific areas include optics/spectroscopy, machine learning and medicine.
  • The ideal candidate will have a Honours or Master degree in the physical, chemical, computer or medical sciences or a closely related field.

This project is based in Dunedin, New Zealand and is available for immediate start.

How to apply

To express your interest in this scholarship and PhD research opportunity, please prepare the following items:

  • A brief CV including qualifications, academic achievements, list of publications, work history, and references.
  • A copy of your academic transcript(s).

Please submit your application via email to the main supervisor of this project to Dr Sara Miller () who will guide you through the scholarship application process.


Funding Notes

The successful applicant will receive a PhD scholarship of NZ$28,500 stipend per annum plus fees. The stipend is for three years. The scholarship is tax-free.
We also provide funding to support research, including for travel to visit collaborators and attend conferences.

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