Woolf Fisher Scholars Announced
New Zealand students receive prestigious scholarships to Oxford
October 19, 2006
Three of New Zealand’s top university graduates have been awarded the 2007 Woolf Fisher Scholarship for doctoral study
at either Cambridge or Oxford University. The prestigious scholarships are among the most valuable scholarships awarded
in New Zealand and are each worth up to $100,000 annually for three years of study
First class honours graduates Matthew McCormick (University of Auckland), Chris Fisher (Victoria University, Wellington)
and Naomi Matthews (University of Canterbury) have been given the opportunity to study for a doctoral degree at Oxford
University by the Woolf Fisher Trust, a New Zealand-based organisation that recognises and rewards excellence in
The scholars will each receive full payment of their University and College fees, a maintenance allowance of $27,000 per
year, and an annual London-New Zealand return airfare.
Matthew McCormick will be working towards a Doctorate of Philosophy at Oxford, investigating computational methods for
discovering new drugs to treat heart disease.
He plans to work under Dr Nicolas Smith at the Department of Computational Biology.
Chris Fisher will be studying for a Doctorate of Philosophy at Oxford, exploring the relationship between faith and
medicine in Renaissance prose, particularly in the writing of John Donne (1572-1631). Chris plans to work under Dr Peter
McCullough in the Faculty of English.
Naomi Matthews will be working towards a Doctorate of Philosophy at Oxford, investigating the magmatic processes and
volcanological history of supervolcanic systems in the Taupo volcanic zone in New Zealand. Naomi plans to work under
Professor David Pyle in the area of volcanology at the Department of Earth Sciences.
Secretary of the Woolf Fisher Trust, Dr Nigel Evans, says the calibre of applicants for the 2007 scholarships was
“The standard of the top graduate students in New Zealand is extremely high and we are delighted to be able to make it
possible for three of these exceptional students to continue their studies at the highest level at one of the world’s
great universities. It is also exciting to see the diversity in the fields of their research which reflects the depth of
New Zealand academia today. We’re also pleased that all the scholars have expressed a strong desire to return to work in
New Zealand upon the completion of their studies,” he says.
While the scholars have first-class academic records, Dr Evans also highlighted the broader entry criteria for the Woolf
“Sir Woolf Fisher admired integrity, kindness, generosity, leadership and boldness of vision, along with exceptional
zeal, keenness and capacity for work. Naomi Matthews, Chris Fisher and Matthew McCormick display many of these qualities
and thoroughly deserve their scholarships.”
This is the fifth year the Woolf Fisher Scholarships have been awarded.