General news

The scholarships provide a balance of hands-on learning experiences and scientific excellence
25 October 2016

Cawthron Foundation inaugural summer scholars announced

Two New Zealand university students have been awarded prestigious scholarships from the Cawthron Foundation to undertake research at the Cawthron Institute this summer.

The successful scholarship recipients are Cicely Barron, who is studying at the University of Otago, and Grace Newson, who is studying at Victoria University.

Chairperson of the Cawthron Foundation, Dr Morgan Williams, says “it is important for our young emerging researchers to gain experience with practicing scientists working on ‘real life’ projects and the summer scholarships are a way to achieve this”.

“The scholarships are specifically designed to provide a balance of hands-on learning experiences and scientific excellence. While at Cawthron, students will undertake fieldwork, analysis techniques and learn what it means to work as a professional scientist”.

The scholarships are named after agricultural chemist Sir Theodore Rigg and mycologist Kathleen Curtis  – two highly-regarded scientists who contributed a remarkable amount to both Cawthron Institute and New Zealand. Coincidentally, they both relied heavily on scholarships early in their careers.

Kathleen Curtis and Sir Theodore Rigg

Cicely Barron, the Sir Theodore Rigg scholarship recipient, has completed her third year of a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in biochemistry. She grew up in Nelson and attended Nelson College for Girls College. Cicely is excited by the opportunity to be involved in prestigious local research organisation that adds value. She has been inspired by the Cawthron Institute from a young age, competing in the local science fair and visiting Cawthron facilities as part of her NCEA Biology course.

Grace Newson, the Kathleen Curtis scholarship recipient, has completed her third year of a Bachelor of Science degree and is majoring in marine biology. She is seeking a career in science and will pursue postgraduate studies next year. Grace has been driven by a young age to conserve, protect and learn about the natural environment. She has volunteered on Sommes Island with local conservation projects in the North Island.


Listen to Dr Morgan Williams talk about the Cawthron Foundation

As well as being high academic achievers, Dr Williams says “both scholars have contributed to extracurricular activities by supporting young people and the community to engage in science, and have participated in volunteer activities”.

Dr Williams says that “we received 29 applications for the two inaugural Cawthron Foundation scholarships and next year hope to be able to offer a third scholarship”.

The Cawthron Foundation supports research developed at Cawthron Institute. It raises donations, bequest and endowments towards public-good science and scholarships.

To find out more about the Foundation go to or contact:

Elizabeth Bean – Foundation Secretary
Phone +64 3 539 4336
Mobile: +64 27 414 8781