BRNZ awards Māori and Pacific Summer Research Scholarships

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BRNZ awards Māori and Pacific Summer Research Scholarships


In 2019, Brain Research New Zealand once again awarded Māori Summer Research Scholarships. These scholarships aim to support Māori students in completing a 10-week neuroscience research project at one of our four partner universities. We have received impressive applications and are excited to see that year-on-year, an increasing number of Māori students are interested in taking on summer research project at our Centre of Research Excellence. Six students received BRNZ funding for the following projects: 

Grace Heays (Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Awa), Supervisor Prof Suzanne Purdy: Te Tino Rangatiratanga o te Mate Ikura Roro (Empowering Stroke Survivors): Te Whare Oranga Tonutanga – consultation with stroke survivors, whānau, iwi and hauora. 

Isaac Samuels (Tainui), Supervisor Prof Alan Barber: The Long-Term Effects of Endovascular Clot Retrieval on Māori and Pacific Stroke Patients. 

Jasmyn Williams (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Uenuku, Ngāti Apa, Ngāti Rangi), Supervisor Dr Tracy Melzer: Integrity of the corpus callosum as a marker of cognitive decline in Parkinson’s disease. 

Maddison Moore (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu), Supervisor Prof John Dalrymple-Alford: Internet-based assessment of cognitive function in older Māori. 

Te Waka Smit (Ngāti Porou), Supervisor Assoc Prof Nicola Kayes: Building a culturally responsive sensory experience for Māori with dementia. 

Tori Diamond (Ngāpuhi), Supervisor Dr Makarena Dudley: Analysis of the Māori Assessment of Neuropsychological Abilities (MANA) tool. 

For the first time, Brain Research New Zealand also awarded a round of Pacific Summer Research Scholarships, which support Pacific Island students to complete a 10-week neuroscience research project. We were encouraged to have received high quality applications and are excited to hear about the outcomes. Our first Pacific summer students are: 

Ileana Lameta (Samoan), Supervisor Prof Pauline Norris and Dr Rose Richards: How do mainstream providers engage with Pacific families?

Jordan Quensell (Tongan), Supervisor Assoc Prof Liana Machado: The Effect of high-intensity-interval-training on the Mood States in Ageing Adults. (Read more about Jordan’s project here!) 

Lolomani Kalauta (Tongan), Supervisor Dr Sarah Cullum: Do Māori and Pacific families living with dementia have increased economic burden compared to Pākehā families?