Happy New Year

The revitalised and growing productivity of the collaborative inter-Institutional Centre that is the MacDiarmid Institute is evident with more than 200 MacDiarmid Institute Affiliated peer-reviewed research manuscripts being published in 2011.

  

Continued support of collaborative research by scientists who consistently perform and achieve at the highest level is essential for the future sustained and growing positioning of New Zealand in World markets.

This year is also the first contestable funding round in over two and a half years from MSI (previously FRST).  During this period there have been no opportunities in the physical sciences to apply for substantial funding of new programmes and there has been a significant shift in the focus of the Government with regard to science and innovation.  This coupled with the changes in the amount of money available in each of the funding categories and the large number of bids now all coming to an end at the same time, rather than in a staggered fashion, is going to have significant ramifications throughout the physical sciences community.  Collectively this highlights the need for scientists, scientific institutions and Government agencies to work towards a better mutual understanding of the working environments and demands of the different perspectives that all relentlessly impact on the New Zealand science environment.  The next few months will be frenetic for the many scientists working on bids.  The outcomes of these bidding rounds will change the lay of the land for many in science in New Zealand.

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This week we have been hosting 15 Nanocamp students at VUW.  Instigated by Assoc Prof Shane Telfer at Massey University four years ago, the event this year was organised by Prof Uli Zuelicke.  The students from across the country have participated in experiments, classes and tours including at IRL and GNS yesterday (related link).  Places in the Nanocamp are highly competitive and the students that participate are remarkable in their knowledge, enthusiasm and the high level of enquiry they constantly display.  Thank you to Uli and the large number of people who participated in the event this year to make it yet another success for everyone involved.

Today is also the final day for our seven Discovery Award students who have been spending the past couple of weeks working with Investigators on research projects.

Students from the two events came together today for a celebratory lunch allowing them to exchange their experiences and build networks that will continue into the future.

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Needless to say with the break we have a very large number of publications for everyone to peruse.

I look forward to working with you all this year and us continuing to perform and participate at the highest levels across science research and education, public outreach, government engagement and commercial exploration.

Regards, Kate

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