Swell of research success

Victoria is riding a wave of success, with 24 researchers receiving highly competitive Marsden Fund grants in 2014—the largest number ever for the University.

The grants, worth $12 million combined, are administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand on behalf of the Government. Marsden is regarded as the hallmark of excellence for research in New Zealand, allowing the country’s most talented researchers to explore groundbreaking ideas. Victoria researchers received 15 standard grants, as well as nine Fast-Start grants, which are allocated to up-and-coming researchers.

The awards continued a successful period of research at Victoria, with two academics, Professor Phil Lester and Professor Geoff Whittle, receiving highly sought-after James Cook Research Fellowships and 84 students being awarded PhDs in the December graduation ceremonies—also the most ever.

The following pages showcase Victoria’s standard Marsden-funded research projects.

Uncovering New Zealand’s ‘secret world’

State surveillance of New Zealand citizens is increasingly in the spotlight, but little has been written about how and why intelligence gathering began and developed in Aotearoa.

Calling the shots

Calling the shots When Dr Bridget Stocker sent two internationally renowned scientists an email outlining her ideas, she was hardly expecting a reply.

Moving mountains

Moving mountains At 3,500 kilometres, the Transantarctic Mountain range in Antarctica is the third longest on Earth.

Painting China modern

China modern Until the twentieth century, there were no words for ‘art’ or ‘fine art’ in the Chinese language.

Filling in the gaps

Unlike a video camera, the human brain cannot record a perfect replica of an event.

Shedding light on black holes

The mathematics and physics underlying black holes is both elegant and excruciatingly technical.

Beyond the battlefields

War in the nineteenth century had a dramatic and lasting effect on New Zealand.

All but forgotten

Dr Sydney Shep, director of the Wai-te-ata Press, will identify and analyse Colenso’s published writings and letter correspondence to understand his extensive local and international connections.

Barriers to change

When news broke of the ‘roast busters’ sex scandal in 2013, people were shocked and outraged.

Challenging rape mythology

Despite reform of law and process over many decades, adult rape complainants’ experience of the criminal justice system has not improved.

Competition of Roman politics

Before they were ruled by emperors, Romans conducted annual elections at which they picked an elite group of the privileged social class to govern their city and command their armies.

Piecing together a polar puzzle

The extent of sea ice in Antarctica is confusing climate scientists.

Understanding investment behaviour

How, when and why do firms invest? Graeme Guthrie, Professor of Economics and Finance, will investigate these questions as part of a $400,000 Marsden-funded study.

Tools of the trade

Whether you really are supporting small-scale producers and farm workers in developing countries when you opt to buy fairtrade products is coming under scrutiny in a Victoria-led study.

Educating for emigration?

Education is widely regarded as a one-way ticket out of poverty.