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Source: University of Canterbury – statements

27 November 2020

Dozens of the University of Canterbury’s best and brightest students have been awarded Aho Hīnātore | Accelerator scholarships in a new scheme worth more than $1.5 million.

  • UC Engineering student Claire Dong has been awarded an Aho Hīnātore | Accelerator Scholarship to pursue her PhD research, titled ‘Seismic protection of museum artefacts’.

The goal of the Aho Hīnātore | Accelerator Scholarship is to help transition high achieving UC Honours and Master’s students into doctoral studies. Originally offering 30 scholarships, this increased to 46 scholarships due to the strong response and calibre of more than 80 applications. Seven Māori students are among the 46 scholars in this inaugural cohort.

“This new initiative arose in response to Covid-19,” UC’s Dean of Postgraduate Research Professor Megan McAuliffe says, “and the need to ensure that students who show the greatest potential in research-based degrees are given the opportunity to really advance the world’s knowledge by completing a PhD in their chosen area. It also allows us to give these students certainty in a very uncertain time.”

Each scholarship consists of a $6,000 grant towards a small 12-week project. If this project is successfully completed, students are guaranteed a full UC Aho Hīnātore | Accelerator PhD Scholarship valued at $28,000 per year, plus tuition fees for 360 points of PhD studies.

The 46 funded scholarships were chosen based on the quality of the student, the supervisory team, and the alignment of the topic to UC’s Strategy.

Scholarships were awarded across all five colleges at UC, showing commitment to the diverse knowledge and research carried out.

Associate Dean of Postgraduate Research Professor Ekant Veer says, “The scholarships recognise the hard work and dedication these students, from across the university, have for advancing knowledge. We are very proud of all their achievements so far and look forward to seeing them flourish even more in the future.”

The Aho Hīnātore | Accelerator scholarship programme was made possible through increased investment by UC and the generous support of the Tait Foundation, UC Foundation and UC Trusts Funds.

Congratulations to the inaugural Aho Hīnātore | Accelerator scholars:


  • BLAND, Lauren
  • BONE, Reisha
  • BRETT, Samuel
  • NIHONIHO, Antony (BSC)
  • OGDEN-TRAVIS, Brittany
  • RIMBOVSKA, Bojana
  • SOLOMON, Darren
  • VERHEUL-CANE, Hannah
  • WOOD, Kimberley

Business and Law

  • DUNCAN, Shnece (BSC)
  • KENT, Avalon
  • McKEGG, Tessa
  • MOORE, Danielle (BA)
  • NEWTON-VESTY, Michael

Education, Health and Human Development

  • DEWAR, Hamish
  • LAWSON, Violet (BSC)
  • MAITLAND, Rachel
  • PEARCE, Jeanne


  • ADAMS, Ryan
  • CAMERON, Chris
  • COX, Adam
  • DE SCHOT, Luke
  • DELA CRUZ, Zoren
  • DONG, Siqi (Claire)
  • EDENS, Samuel
  • EMANUEL, Rebecca
  • HULBERT, Joshua
  • INWOOD, Amy
  • NGUYEN, Lisa
  • POOKE, Francis
  • ROYAL, Narottam


  • AVES, Alexandra
  • DENG, Bingyu
  • EADES, Caelyn
  • GNESKO, Laura
  • GOLDSMITH, Dylan
  • GOOCH, Eloise
  • HARRIS, Holly
  • HOWELL, Lucy
  • MILLAR, Olivia (BA)
  • STEEL, Emma
  • STEEL, Jamie
  • STEYN, Nicholas
  • STREVENS, Laura
  • WILLIAMS, Michael

For further information please contact:

UC Communications team,, Ph: (03) 369 3631 or 027 503 0168