Celebrating research excellence at the Summer Gold awards

From a digital collection of Proust’s letters to the ecology of tussock grasslands, this year’s Summer Gold awards celebrated a range of excellent research from the 2021–2022 Summer Research Scholars.

The Summer Gold competition invites students who took part in the Summer Research Scholarship programme to create a poster or video explaining their research project. The best posters and videos take home awards at the annual Summer Gold awards ceremony in a number of categories.

“This year we have both some stunningly designed work and work that does an incredible job at giving a glimpse into cutting-edge research in a way we can all understand,” says Professor Neil Dodgson, Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Research. “It is challenging to get both of these right, but we had some excellent entries this year. It was a challenge for the judges to select the winners.”

This year’s best overall poster went to Zoe Simpson. Zoe worked with Dr Yuri Cerqueira dos Anjos from the School of Languages and Cultures to create a digital edition of the letters of Marcel Proust.

The best video award went jointly to Madison Jones and Rachael Lockhart. Madison worked with Dr Gina Grimshaw from the School of Psychology on insights provided by virtual reality into attention in emotional states, while Rachael worked with Dr Nicola Day from the School of Biological Sciences on the ecology of tussock grasslands.

The best visual presentation award went to Madison Juriss, who was supervised by Jeongbin Ok from the Wellington School of Design Innovation on her project ‘Emotive products―evocative surface with embedded functionality’. The best demonstration of research award went to Patricia Ong, who worked with Jacqueline McIntosh and Dr Wallace Enegbuma from the Wellington School of Architecture on architectural changes that could improve access to healthcare.

Five other students were also acknowledged for their excellent work: Samara Maxwell, Liam Anderson, Ani Barr, Zoe Glentworth, and Courtney Powell.

Samara worked with Dr Davide Comoletti from the School of Biological Sciences on preparation of a large-scale library for ligand-receptor identification. Liam worked with Dr Natalie Plank from the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences on networks of nanowires for functional devices. Ani worked with Dr Alex Lo from the School of Geography, Environment, and Earth Sciences on papakainga, wellbeing, and community resilience.

Zoe worked with Carles Martinez-Almoyna Gual from the Wellington School of Architecture to study the harakeke (flax) collection at Te Papa Tongarewa.  Courtney also utilised Te Papa’s collections, working with Professor Charlotte Macdonald to study Aotearoa New Zealand—South Africa histories using the international history collections at the museum.

The Summer Gold entries for 2022 are on display in the Kelburn campus Hub until 14 April 2022.

Find out more about the Summer Research Scholarships.