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Business scholarships

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Business scholarships

Screenshot from 2017 scholarship recipient Brendan Darby's alumni video

Screenshot from 2018 scholarship recipient Brendan Darby's alumni video

Since 2017 we have offered a limited number of competitive business scholarships to our alumni each year to enable them to undertake further postgraduate study in business-related areas. Qualifications include Master of Business Development, Master of Business Administration, Master of Innovation and Commercialisation, and other courses.

The students are able to bridge academia and industry and enhance their business acumen. The aim is for scholarship recipients to use their new knowledge to identify new investments and innovative solutions and contribute to New Zealand’s high-tech manufacturing ecosystem.

Applications are for the 2022 round have closed

The Alumni Business Scholarships are for alumni who completed their PhD under the supervision of a MacDiarmid Institute investigator. The scholarships can be used for qualifications and courses relating to business, innovation, and entrepreneurship. It is intended that the scholarships will cover tuition fees, or part thereof.

Questions about the Alumni Business Scholarships can be directed to:
Associate Professor Geoff Willmott
Deputy Director, Commercialisation and Industry Engagement, The MacDiarmid Institute

Previous scholarship recipients are profiled below:

2021

Maryam Shojaei

Postgraduate Certificate in Business at University of Canterbury

With this scholarship, Dr Shojaei intends to develop the skills in 2022 that are required to take her science to a commercial space, enhancing her interest in the intersection between science and industry. 

Samuel Martin Treceno

Postgraduate Certificate in Business (Professional) at Victoria University of Wellington

With this scholarship, Dr Treceno (Policy Advisor at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employmentintends to build on his business acumen and lead strategic conversations in the policy space.

2020

Anna Farquhar

Master of Business Development at the University of Auckland

With this scholarship, Dr Farquhar (Senior Scientist at Aeroqual) intends to gain skills in business, product management and leadership to help develop New Zealand’s reputation in the global air quality industry.

Stephen Lo

Postgraduate Diploma of Bioscience Enterprise at the University of Auckland

With this scholarship, Dr Lo (Commercialisation Analyst at UniServices) intends to go further and also complete the Master of Bioscience Enterprise. He is really looking forward to developing the knowledge and skills required to bring valuable products from scientific research towards the commercial space.

Udbhav Ojha

Postgraduate Certificate in Business Administration at Victoria University of Wellington

With this scholarship, Dr Ojha (Senior Analyst Developer at FNZ) intends to gain skills in business, product management and leadership to help develop New Zealand’s reputation in the global air quality industry.

Davoud Zare

Postgraduate Certificate in Business Administration with a specialisation in Technology Commercialisation at the University of Auckland

With this scholarship, Dr Zare (Research Scientist/Engineer at Fonterra) can further develop his managerial abilities and business acumen and unify it with his existing scientific skillset.

2019

Lita Lee

Postgraduate Certificate in Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Auckland

With this scholarship, Dr Lee (Senior Scientist at Mint Innovation) hopes to gain a better understanding of the challenges involved in the commercialisation process. She’s keen to be able to help start-up companies with their commercialisation journey.

Amy Zheng

Postgraduate Certificate in Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Auckland

Dr Zheng (Research Fellow at the University of Auckland) plans to use this scholarship to gain practical tools and a solid commercialisation mindset. She is keen to pursue a long-term R&D and science-led commercialisation career with a focus on translating biomaterial research into products that can benefit human wellness and social wellbeing. 

2018

Eldon Tate

Advanced Management Program offered by Melbourne Business School

After completing his PhD at Victoria University of Wellington, Eldon co-founded and became CEO of Inhibit Coatings Ltd. In his role as CEO Eldon hopes to use the skills learnt through The Advanced Management Program to develop his leadership capabilities and build Inhibit Coatings into a successful deep tech company.

Akshita Wason

Masters of Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship, University of Auckland

Akshita did her PhD at Canterbury, worked at the start-up Hi-Aspect, and is currently with the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor. She will use the scholarship to develop skills to incorporate the challenges faced by typical deep-tech projects from local market launch to establishing a global presence.

Sam Yu

Professional development short courses in governance and leadership management from the Institute of Directors & Icehouse

Sam is heavily involved in business development and marketing for start-ups to commercialise technologies such as nanopore-based diagnostic tools and agricultural products. 

Hannah Zheng

Postgraduate Diploma in Global Business at AUT

Hannah is currently working as a Materials Scientist at Nanolayr (previously Revolution Fibres). She is keen to learn more about global business, to reinforce the technical knowledge she currently brings to the projects.

2017

Nihan Aydemir

Final course for Masters of Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship, University of Auckland

Nihan will take what she learns to the start-up, SpotCheck, which won the 1st place in the Velocity 100k Challenge in 2016.

You can read more about Nihan in our alumni stories - Dr Nihan Aydemir and bees

Dr Brendan Darby

Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration, Victoria University of Wellington

The diploma helped Brendan develop his career as an emerging commercial scientist by giving him the fundamental corporate operations and business practice knowledge he needs as a founder of start-up MaramaLabs.

You can read more about Brendan in our alumni stories - Dr Brendan Darby and cloudy liquids

You solve hard problems and you try and do something that hasn’t been done before and apply that to an industry.

Dr Brendan Darby MacDiarmid Institute alumnus Former MacDiarmid Institute Postdoctoral Fellow Victoria University

Manmeet Kaur, PhD 2016

Masters of Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship, University of Auckland

Manmeet is using her scholarship to bridge academia and industry, identify new investments and solutions, and make sense of the ever-present uncertainty associated with early stage ventures and start-ups.

Matthew Cowan, PhD 2012

Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration, College of Engineering, University of Canterbury

Matt is using the scholarship to boost him towards his goal of introducing innovative technologies to transform the petrochemicals industry. He’s passionate about making a positive impact on the environment and society by adding to New Zealand’s high-tech manufacturing ecosystem.

You can read more about Matt in our alumni stories - Dr Matthew Cowan and solar energy