The Dunedin Study - DMHDRU

Age 45 Assessment Phase

Invitation to study members

The age 45 assessment phase, which included brain imaging and a number of new and interesting assessments, commenced on 1 April 2016 and ran through to 1 April 2019. Below is the information provided to our study members for attendence at Phase 45. 

For more information on the brain imaging (MRI) Study, click here.

Explanation of procedures

A copy of the Explanation of Procedures can be viewed online/downloaded here.

Making your appointment

Please complete a New Zealand or International Booking Form, indicating your preferred appointment day and any travel requirements you may have. As at age 38, we have more flexibility around when we need to see you. However, we strongly prefer you book your appointment within nine months of your 45th birthday if at all possible. We will send you an appointment card when we confirm your booking. We would like to see you for a whole day, from 8.10 a.m. sharp to about 5.25 p.m.

We would prefer to see you during the working week, Monday to Friday. If this is not possible, we do plan to have some Saturday assessments (the first and third Saturdays of most months). Study members will also need to allow one half day extra in which to complete the MRI Brain Imaging Study.

If you have or are parenting a teenager turning 15 or 16 during Phase 45, please follow this link for information on the Next Generation Study.

Accommodation in Dunedin

Please note that accommodation is practically impossible to obtain in late March 2018 due to the Ed Sheeran concert. Other dates that could be difficult are 30 January (Roger Waters concert), 16/17 March (Robbie Williams concert) and 1 Sept (Pink concert). It might be wise to avoid these dates if you are travelling from anywhere outside the Dunedin area and you require accommodation.

Otherwise, if you need somewhere to stay, we can book you into our official providers’ accommodation (the University of Otago Executive Residence and the Aurora on George Motel (previously Cargill’s but now extensively and beautifully refurbished) for bed and breakfast for one/two nights (New Zealand-based Study members) or three nights (Australian/Overseas Study members) as necessary.


A light continental breakfast is available at the Executive Residence on request and will be charged back to the Research Unit for the Study member.  There is no on-site dining available at the Aurora on George, but breakfast is available at The Oaken Café behind the motel - a breakfast voucher will be available for the Study member on check-in. Settlement for other family members’ breakfast charges can be made on check- out from either venue.

As neither accommodation provider has on-site evening dining available, Study members will be compensated a set price for their evening meal(s).

We will pay accommodation and meal costs for the Study member only. It may be possible to accommodate other family members in the Study member’s room.


Study members living in New Zealand but outside Dunedin will need to travel the day or evening before the assessment date. Those living overseas will need to allow sufficient travel time to arrive at least one day before their appointment and, if travelling long distances, to recover from “jet lag”. Study members will also need to allow one half day extra in which to complete the MRI Brain Imaging Study.

If you prefer to make your own travel arrangements, PLEASE DO NOT DO SO without first discussing your plans with the Study Member Assessment Co-ordinator, Jen Knox (phone +64 3 479 8507 or 0800 479 8507; email Jen needs to be able to ensure we have appointment times available to see you on the days you plan to come to Dunedin. She can also discuss reimbursement options with you at the same time.

Travel By Bus/Car

If you live outside the Dunedin metropolitan area in the South Island and wish to travel by bus, please make the necessary bookings and we will reimburse you for your fares. It is essential you bring your tickets with you to the Unit for reimbursement purposes.

Similarly, should you prefer to drive to Dunedin, we will reimburse your travel costs to the value of the lesser amount of either the University’s per km rate (72 cents) for use of private vehicles or the price of a flexi-time return airfare from the nearest airport to your place of origin.

Travel by Air

We are happy to make air travel arrangements for you, taking the most direct route available from your departure point to Dunedin. However, if you prefer to make your own flight bookings, it is essential you first discuss your plans with Jen Knox.

If you live in New Zealand and require flights to Dunedin, please complete the travel section of the NZ booking form, noting any preferences or special requirements you may have, and email it to

Similarly, if you live overseas, please complete the travel section of the Int Booking Form, providing passport details, etc., and noting any preferences or special requirements you may have. Please note that should you want a different route to the most direct one we have sourced and/or extra stop-overs, we are happy to book this for you but you will have to pay any associated difference in costs. There is no time limit on how long you intend to stay during your return visit to New Zealand. We want you to have as enjoyable a trip as possible.

We are happy to co-ordinate air travel for anyone who might be accompanying you to Dunedin. Making these bookings can take a bit longer to organise, so please complete the relevant sections on the appropriate Booking Form and let us know as soon as possible if you wish us to do this.

Please feel free to give specific flight details.

We will post or email your itinerary and electronic ticket (ET) once the bookings are finalised.

Airport Shuttles

Please use the Dunedin Airport shuttle services to come into town. The cost per person can vary a little from $20.00 per person (Kiwi Shuttles) to $25.00 per person (Supershuttle) one way from the Airport to the city. Some firms have a cheaper rate if there are a number of you travelling. We will reimburse the reasonable costs of the Study Member on production ofreceipts.

Getting time off work

We have prepared a letter for your employer addressed “To Whom it May Concern”. You may wish to give this letter to your employer when asking for time off to attend the Study.

Child care

Unfortunately, we are no longer in a position to provide child-care facilities at the Unit. If you do need to make such arrangements, please contact us to discuss.


We have limited parking available at the Unit.  Please indicate on the booking form or let us know in advance if you wish to reserve a car park.


We are able to offer the following to help reimburse you for your time:

Standard reimbursement for everyone who comes to the Unit for Assessment


Additional reimbursement for being a “standby” person who comes to the Unit at short notice (Dunedin residents only).


MRI Scan reimbursement (plus any games winnings)



You will be reimbursed for any reasonable travel or other expenses incurred in coming to the Unit (e.g. bus fares, departure tax), but please note that receipts are essential for these reimbursements. Reimbursement will be by cash or cheque at the end of the assessment day.

If you foresee any barriers that may prevent you from taking part in the Study this time, please let us know as soon as possible. We will try our best to ensure you are able to attend this important assessment.


Again, lunch is provided on Assessment day.

How to contact us

If you are unsure of anything or have any questions, please get in touch.  We can be contacted by telephone from 8.30am until 5.00pm Monday to Friday, or leave a message on our voice mail.  Our telephone numbers in Dunedin are:

                Free phone:       0800 479 8507

                Overseas:            0064 3 479 8507 (Please call us collect)

The Assessment Co-ordinator, is the person responsible for bookings, and other Unit staff are always available to help.

Or you can contact us by email

We look forward to seeing you during the age 45 assessment phase.