NZ$25,000 per annum is being offered for a three year Doctoral (PhD) Scholarship to support the Research Strategy of Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ).  The PhD Scholarship will be provided through a partnership with the University of Otago, School of Physical Education and is now open to suitably qualified applicants.
 
Matt Claridge, General Manager, WSNZ “Research is a vital function of our organisation. It is absolutely paramount that the water safety sector continues to invest in knowledge and information to combat the drowning toll and inform the development of initiatives that will ensure New Zealanders have the necessary safety skills to use and enjoy the water”.


To ensure that the research needs of the organisation and the community are being met WSNZ established a Research Advisory Group (RAG) in 2008. The RAG is charged with identifying, prioritising and addressing gaps in current information sources to enhance the evidence base of effective interventions and programmes in New Zealand. Together with the membership of WSNZ the RAG established a Research Strategy, to ensure alignment with the Strategy it is considered necessary that the PhD Scholarship is aligned to three key priority areas:
 
1. The impact of socio-economic and cultural factors on water safety;
2.    Prevention and survivability;
a.    Research into preventing the cause of drowning incidents;
b.    Research into increasing the survivability of drowning incidents;
3. Producing ‘tools’ to monitor and evaluate water safety strategies.
 
The two research priorities are:
1.    Reducing the risk of drowning in young and old males;
2.    Learn to swim and survive.
 
Claridge concludes ‘WSNZ are internationally recognised for the knowledge base we have developed but we are conscious that the need for targeted, relevant research will be ongoing.  By having an upfront focus on the big drowning issues – males and the ability to swim and survive, we want to ensure relevant programme development and evolution immediately.”

http://watersafety.org.nz/assets/pdfs/PhD-Scholarship-WSNZ-UO2010.pd

For more information or interview contact:
Matt Claridge
General Manager
Phone:        (04) 801 9600
Mobile:       (027) 478 1836
Email: