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Dr Elizabeth Craig, of the Department of Women's and Children's Health, and Prof Robert Walker, of the Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, will both receive $50,000 to spend over the next two years.
Dr Craig is establishing a child and youth health policy research unit, while Prof Walker plans to draw together international expertise and research for his kidney health and disease research group.
They received their awards on Tuesday at the fifth annual function organised to acknowledge the work of health researchers within the University of Otago's school of medicine and the Otago District Health Board.
As well as the major awards, professional development grants of about $5000 went to each of 14 researchers to enable them to attend international conferences in their particular fields.
Researchers must apply for the major investment awards.
About eight applications were received this year, research advisory group chairman Prof Andrew van Rij said yesterday.
Supervisors nominated staff for the other awards.
Medical School dean Dr John Adams said it was "good to get out and celebrate" research, the end result of which would be better health.
Staff awards went to. -Research support person: Victoria Farmer (Edgar National Centre for Diabetes Research).
Research publications: Dr Erik Landhuis (preventive and social medicine); Dr Rachael Taylor (medical and surgical sciences); Prof Jim Mann (medical and surgical sciences).
PhD publication: Margriet van Kogelenberg (paediatrics and child health).
Research posters: Michael Jennings (medical and surgical sciences); Prof Anthony Molteno (medical and surgical sciences); Dr Markus Melloh (medical and surgical sciences).
Excellence in research: Dr Mathew Zacharias (anaesthesia and intensive care).
ODHB research project initiative: June Woolford (child and family service).
Super summer studentships: Boomi Kwon (pathology); Sarah Missen (medical and surgical sciences).
Dunedin School of Medicine clinical training scholarship: Dr Frederiek Eva Vos (medical and surgical sciences).
Gil Barbezat summer studentship prize: Emma Dickinson (pathology).