Ehara tāku toa i te toa takitahi, ēngari he toa takitini
My strength does not come from me alone but from the collective

Applications are invited for a fully-funded PhD studentship to examine the scientific community of Aotearoa New Zealand in the context of the Kindness in Science movement.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, diverse participation in the science community – including the participation of Māori and Pasifika scholars – remains low. The scientific community urgently needs to develop and adopt a culture of inclusion, or kindness, which sustains the robust discourse essential for science and does not come at the expense of the dignity of those who participate. Our hypothesis is that such a culture will not only enhance wellbeing for all members of the science community but will also lead to better science outcomes by enabling much broader participation and diverse knowledges to be considered. This project will explore how marginalisation takes place for many groups, including Indigenous Peoples, as well as practices and contexts that enable and engender participation in science.

With our support, you will learn how to analyse data using a mixed-methods approach to undertake a comparative study grounded in the Kindness in Science movement, which originated in Aotearoa New Zealand. It will build on previous work by Te Pūnaha Matatini on the impact of science funding and the dynamics of scientific citation patterns, and include a documentary source analysis to be conducted in an aligned project.


This scholarship is only open to current residents of New Zealand and Australia. We are happy to consider students from a diverse range of fields including geography, anthropology, and sociology, and a familiarity with mixed methods research is desirable. The successful candidate will hold, or expect to complete soon, an honours or masters degree, or similar, in their disciplinary area. Most importantly, you will enjoy working with data and as part of a collaborative and inclusive team.

Applicants from all countries and backgrounds are actively encouraged to apply. Members of underrepresented groups are very welcome, as are students with families. Our research group aims to achieve work-life balance within a productive and supportive scientific environment.


Ideally you will be based in Auckland at the University of Auckland, although the University of Canterbury in Christchurch may also be an option. You would be jointly supervised by Dr Emma Sharp (University of Auckland), Associate Professor Tammy Steeves (University of Canterbury), Professor Shaun Hendy (University of Auckland), and Dr Leilani Walker (AUT).

The PhD position will be embedded within Te Pūnaha Matatini, the Aotearoa New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence for Complex Systems. Te Pūnaha Matatini brings together ‘many faces’ – different disciplines, ways of thought, methods, and crucially, people – to define, and then solve, society’s thorny interconnected problems.

Te Pūnaha Matatini has an active whānau group which supports early career researchers, committed to the Te Pūnaha Matatini values of manaakitanga and whakawhanaungatanga, offering supportive tuakana / teina learning environments.


Informal enquiries are welcome by email:

Financial details

  • Full tuition fees
  • Stipend of NZ$28,500 per year (tax free)

Start date

Start date is flexible but would preferably be between February 2022 and June 2022.

How to apply

Send an email expressing your interest, along with a CV, academic record, and list of three potential referees to Emma Sharp at

Due date

Applications will be considered until the position is filled. Applications received by 31 October 2021 will receive full consideration.