Summer Studentships

What is a Summer Studentship?

Summer Studentships provide $5,000 to individual students to train during the summer break with a research team relevant to the CMRF objectives. Studentships are available to students from host universities carried out under the guidance of senior research mentors at the University of Otago, Christchurch and University of Canterbury Summer Studentship programme. Duration of the programme is usually 10 weeks, and the young researchers present their findings to the public at the end.

Why invest in a Summer Student?

Supporting a summer studentship provides invaluable return on investment, and for many individuals, businesses and charitable trusts, provides an accessible way to make a direct and significant difference to Canterbury’s health outcomes. We frequently hear that former junior researches are now national and international leaders in their research fields, recipients of prestigious and competitive grants, and would not have been able to follow this career path without the support of the CMRF and its investors via a summer studentship grant.


Case Study: Professor David Murdoch

From Summer student to world-renowned researcher

As an inquisitive 4th Year medical student in the mid-80s, Professor David Murdoch did a Summer Studentship project with paediatricians and nurses in the Christchurch neonatal unit. The project produced a scientific paper that is still referred to today, and prepared the now world-renowned infectious disease researcher and head of the University of Otago’s Christchurch health campus for a career in research

“Having a publication in such a highly ranked journal while still a student was a great achievement, and I think gave me the confidence to always have high aspirations,’’ says Professor Murdoch.

His Summer Studentship project recorded the handling of very low birthweight newborns in the Christchurch neonatal intensive care unit. He observed the babies and recorded their vital statistics for 6 hours each day. To avoid influencing nurses’ behaviour, neonatal staff were told the young researcher was observing sleep patterns.  His research gave neonatal staff a scientific summary of the situation and recommendations for minimising handling of their tiny patients.

Today, as the Dean of the Christchurch campus, Professor Murdoch sees contemporary Summer Studentships answering relevant clinical and scientific questions. He says the programme is beneficial for students, supervisors, sponsors and, often, the health care system.

“Summer Studentships provide a fantastic opportunity for students to have a taste of real research. They are great value for money given how productive they are over such a short period.”

David is now the Dean of the University of Otago, Christchurch; co-leader of The Infection Group, the co-director of One Health Aotearoa, a Senior Associate in the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, a clinical microbiologist at Canterbury Health Laboratories, and widely regarded as a world-leading medical researcher.

For more information on Summer Studentships, email or click the button above to invest in a summer student now.

Stay in touch with CMRF

// Get all the latest news and insights to your inbox