Research underpins the credibility and effectiveness of strong educational organisations and in particular our degree programmes.

We recognise that we need to be at the leading edge of our subject fields, teaching valuable research skills to our students and disseminating knowledge to all of our stakeholders. Evidence based research allows us to continually improve all aspects of what we offer by constantly gathering evidence to determine what works, ensuring continual improvement.

Our research focus is to produce quality-assured, applied research and wherever possible collaborate with enterprise and our community to create economic and social impact. We ensure that we build the academic robustness and credibility of our research, but retain our focus on applied research that benefits our stakeholders.

Developing staff research capabilities

In our new learning delivery approach we define the research aspect of our degree tutor role to ensure research time is protected and available for tutors to engage in high-quality research. Research is integrated into all aspects of the degree tutor role including performance, career progression, development and recruitment. We develop and recruit staff who are committed to research and support them to be as effective as possible, for example by providing time for research, a working environment conducive to research and the opportunity to progress to research professor roles.

Integrating research within our curriculum

We design our degree course offerings to utilise meaningful industry-focused research projects as an educational tool, which directly link our research efforts and our educational provision. We continue to fund research to ensure we grow capability. We are focusing on providing research as a service for industry partners, partially funded through the Callaghan Innovation 33 funding schemes. Although not directly applicable within the next 3 years, NMIT has made a commitment to participate in the 2018 PBRF round with the benefits of both additional research funding and a quality target to strive for.

What kind of research does NMIT do?

  • Most of the research at NMIT is focussed around our degree and diploma programme areas. Key areas include: Aquaculture, Arts & Media, Business, Education, Health, Fitness, Social Sciences, Technology, Tourism, Viticulture & Wine. 
  • There's a strong focus on good quality applied research that is relevant to our community and region. 
  • Our research tends to be more applied than theoretical and tutors and students work on real-world projects to help disseminate information in the community where it can be useful. 
  • Our range of expertise in research is wide-ranging - everything from accounting to aquaculture. Our research links with other institutions in several countries also contribute to developing evidence and guidance on global problems. 
  • We have highly qualified experienced researchers who mentor and assist other staff with research. 

Ellen Cieraad

Research and Innovation Manager

Ellen Cieraad

As the Research and Innovation Manager, Ellen looks forward to boosting the positive impact of NMIT’s research, through facilitating and fostering both the NMIT research community and collaborations with community and industry partners.

Applied research and innovation not only underpin and inform vocational education, they also ensure that our education programmes remain relevant and at the forefront of where the community and our industry partners are heading. 

As a quantitative ecologist, Ellen contributes to varied research projects in New Zealand and around the world, which are centered around the impacts of human activities on biodiversity, including the effects of climate change, pesticide use, and light pollution. She studies how to minimise the effects that these human impacts have on interactions between species, and the services that nature provides to people (such as pollination). 

Born in the Netherlands, Ellen came to New Zealand while studying biology. She was a Technician and later Research Scientist at Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research, before becoming an Assistant Professor in ecology and Director of Education at the Institute of Environmental Sciences at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Recently, the lifestyle opportunities and natural environment in New Zealand have drawn her back. Read more about Ellen here.(external link)

Meet our researchers

Many of NMIT's academic staff are involved in conducting research.

Research Professors

Dr Eric Buenz completed his Doctorate in Biomedical Science at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, his Master of Business Administration at the University of St. Thomas, and his Master of Agriculture at the University of the South Pacific in Samoa. He is an expert in natural products, immunology, neurology, drug discovery and business development. He has secured United States Food and Drug Administration Investigational New Drug status for novel compounds and directed the associated clinical trials for these compounds at Mayo Clinic. Dr Buenz has authored numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts, many in high-impact journals such as The British Medical Journal and Trends in Pharmacological Sciences; his work has also been covered in the popular press in publications such as The New York Times, The Economist, Wired, and The Scientist. He has a wide range of business management experience from successfully securing venture funding for start-up organisations, to serving on non-profit boards, advising governments and running departments of multinational firms. Dr Buenz served as the Director of Global Medical Affairs and Scientific Marketing in a private-equity held firm that was sold to Terumo, one of the largest medical companies, for 2.63B USD in 2012.

Dr Gareth Parry completed his medical degree at the University of Otago in 1970 and was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 1976. He completed neurology training at the University of Pennsylvania and held faculty positions at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of California, San Francisco, the Louisiana State University in New Orleans and the University of Minnesota. He was Chairman of the neurology department at the University of Minnesota and continues to hold an emeritus position there. He is an international authority on autoimmune diseases of the nervous system, particularly Guillain-Barre syndrome and multiple sclerosis. He has written or contributed to over 120 peer-reviewed publications in prestigious journals and has written two books and several book chapters.  He has been principal investigator in numerous research studies.  In 2009 he was awarded the NZ Order of Merit for his contributions to neurology.

Need some research done?

We encourage you to get in contact to discuss how we may be able to assist with your research needs. There are many ways we can help - ranging from student projects to contract research. We can also assist with accessing government research funding.

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