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Wool Industry Postdoctoral Fellowship

Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand Inc and New Zealand Wool Industry Charitable Trust fellowships support people undertaking qualifications that allow them to pursue a career in the wool processing, manufacturing and marketing industry and in related service industries such as research and development. Wool Research now supports its investment in Post Doctoral Fellowships through its subsidiary research consortium, Wool Industry Research Limited.

About the Fellowship

This prestigious Fellowship is offered to holders of PhDs who have achieved an excellent academic record, possess good interpersonal skills, are passionate about science and who are keen to apply their specialist skills to enhance the performance qualities and manufacturing processes of wool based products and/or contribute to the development of knowledge and new products using wool as a raw material.

The Fellowship will be available for either one or two year terms. Fellows will be provided with facilities and support to assist them in undertaking research that contributes to the sustainable development of the New Zealand wool industry. A focus of the Fellowship is to support research at the AgResearch Ltd Lincoln Research Centre, which is located near Christchurch in the South Island (see The textile group is a leading international textile research group. However, consideration will be given to applications for study at other appropriate New Zealand institutions including universities as well research associated and managed within commercial industrial or marketing organisations.

The organisers also offer a Postgraduate Scholarship and reserve the right to award either or both awards in any one year subject to applications being of a sufficiently high standard.

Application form and process

Currently all available funds have been allocated. Given this level of investment it is unlikely that further Fellowships will be awarded for commencement in 2012, however to confirm whether opportunities are available, enquiries can be directed to:

Ian Cuthbertson
Research and Scholarships Manager
Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand Inc and New Zealand Wool Industry Charitable Trust Scholarship Programme
PO Box 7271
Christchurch 8022
New Zealand

Phone: +64 3 337 2030
Fax:     +64 3 3372030

Post Doctoral Application form 2010

Study and research topics

Applications are invited for study and research in topics related to wool. Priority will be given to research on specific topics in the following areas, but novel areas of research not shown will be considered:
Protein chemistry, proteomics and wool ultrastructure
  • New non-traditional uses for fine and coarse wool
  • Studies on photoyellowing, photobleaching and photodegradation of wool
  • Basic chemistry and physics of the wool fibre surface
  • Effects of processing (mechanical and chemical) on proteins
  • Basic keratin protein science including:
                    Cell component composition (eg identity of proteins in the surface layer)
                 •   Variability in protein composition in relation to wool traits.
Process chemistry and materials science
  • Fibre surface modifications
  • Smart materials incorporating nanoscience/nanotechnology
  • Biopolymers/biomaterials/biocomposites
  • Polymer grafting, copolymerisation and polymerisation
  • Electrochemical applications
  • Applying electrochemical treatments to wool
  • Electrochemical treatments of waste streams.
Wool carpet and carpet yarn innovations 
  • Aerodynamic fibre/yarn manipulation
  • Improving the efficiency of yarn and carpet manufacturing operations
  • New carpet tufting actions
  • Developing methods of enhancing wool carpet performance using advanced materials such as polymers, hybrid organic/inorganic materials and nanoparticles
  • Quantifying and enhancing wool carpet's contribution to human comfort and safety, for example acoustics, ergonomics and resistance to slip and fall injuries.
Environmental issues
  • Built environments and public health
  • Interaction of interior textiles and pollutants
  • Respiratory health research
  • Mycology/microbiology research
Apparel innovations
  • Fibre modifications
  • Technical (eg water repellent) textiles
  • Smart (or intelligent) textiles
  • Wool and wool blends in the clothing/human interaction
Applicants for these awards (especially those from overseas who have not had the opportunity to explore possibilities with New Zealand-based research organisations) should in the first instance identify the project in the list that most closely matches their interest and expertise or define a novel area of research, and present a brief case to Ian Cuthbertson (see 'application process' for contact details) on why they should be considered for this project. Previous training and experience should also be detailed.


Applications are invited from citizens of any nationality who have a passion for research and who are keen to apply their specialist skills to enhance the performance qualities and manufacturing processes of wool based products and/or contribute to the development of knowledge and new products using wool as a raw material. Opportunities may be available for Fellows to continue a career in New Zealand or with an offshore entity involved in using New Zealand wool such as research and development, manufacturing or marketing.

Fellowship benefits

The Fellowship will be available for a one- or two-year term. Successful applicants will receive a stipend of between $NZ60000 and $NZ75,000 per annum, depending on experience. Travel costs to take up the position are to be met from this sum. In addition, a research grant of $10,000 per annum will be made available to the research organisation or university to support the Fellow's research programme.


The Fellowship will normally continue for the duration of the programme but is subject to the applicant demonstrating satisfactory progress during the research programme. There will be agreement between the applicant, the host institution and the providers of the Fellowship on the nature of the research programme and milestones, ownership of intellectual property generated during the research and other matters, prior to the Fellowship being awarded. Six-monthly reports confirming good progress of the applicant towards completing contract milestones must be provided along with a final report on completion.

Applicants should demonstrate a commitment to providing benefit to the New Zealand wool industry after the study period. Applicants must provide a written report on the outcome of their research and also be willing to present their work to the industry.

Selection process

The Fellowship will be awarded on the recommendation of a Wool Scholarship and Fellowship Selection Committee.
Criteria for selection includes:
  • Academic merit of both the candidate and of the proposed project
  • Research capability
  • The value of the study to the New Zealand wool industry
  • Evidence of and/or planned activity to support the New Zealand wool industry
  • Agreement to attend a one- or two-day seminar to improve understanding of the wool and related sectors
  • Agreement to contribute to the development and promotion of New Zealand wool industry (eg school/university promotional visits, career days etc)
  • Agreement not to accept any other fellowship without prior discussion.


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