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Otago Museum is offering a new $5000 fellowship to boost research involving biological classification, and also plans to establish two scholarships for University of Otago postgraduate students later this year.
The Otago Museum Linnaeus Taxonomy Fellowship had been set up in consultation with the university, organisers said.
Its advent also marked the recent 300th anniversary of the birth, in 1707, of Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist who is considered the father of biological classification, museum organisers said.
This fellowship supports taxonomic research on any group of organisms, but especially those occurring in Otago and Southland, and applications involving use of Otago Museum collections were "particularly encouraged".
Applications to the university doctoral and scholarships office close on May 23 and Otago postgraduate students are welcome to apply, but this fellowship is not limited to university students.
The museum and the university are also developing two other $5000 scholarships, one in geology and the other in zoology, in association with the respective university departments.
Experience and development director Clare Wilson said the fellowship and scholarships were funded from museum trust funds that were specifically tagged for research and could not be applied to general museum purposes.
The fellowship and scholarships, which each run for one year, reflected the museum's recently updated research and publication strategy, which had reaffirmed the importance of museum-related research and publications.
The museum had long enjoyed close links with Otago University, and the research-related funding would help provide valuable new information on the museum's geology and zoology collections, and on classification research.