FAQs - Future Leaders

General

General

1. What is a Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship?

The Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship supports Australia’s future leaders by providing an enriching postgraduate experience for talented individuals to study at one of Australia’s leading universities, participate in a bespoke leadership program and form a global network of connections.

2. How many Scholarships will be awarded each year?

There will be up to 17 Scholarships awarded each year. 

3. What is the value of each Scholarship?

The Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship will provide funding of up to $120,000 to support study, research, global experience and access to the Leadership Development Program. The value of your proposed program of study or research may be less than $120,000, and will depend on the type of course or research program. 

4. Who will the remit funds to the Scholars?

The scholarship funding, with the exception of the Leadership Development Program component, will be distributed by the universities to scholars. 

5. What is the duration of the Scholarship?

While typically the duration of the Scholarship will be 2-3 years, it will depend on the proposed program of study. It could range from 1.5 years to 4 years, including an international experience of up to 6 months. Masters by Coursework programs typically range from 1.5 years to 2.5 years; Masters by Research typically range from 2 years to 3 years; PhD programs typically range from 3 years to 4 years. 4 years is the maximum funding period for PhD applicants.

 

Academic Requirements

Academic Requirements

1. Do I need academic qualifications to apply for a Scholarship?

Yes, you must have completed an undergraduate degree within the last 5 years, or will complete by December 2017. In this degree you must have achieved or are on track to achieve an average result of H1 or H2A equivalent.

You must now want to undertake a Masters by coursework or research or a PhD at one of our participating university partners.

2. What fields of study are applicable for the scholarship?

For PhD and Masters by research applicants only, your proposed area of research must be in a field of research at a participating university with an Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) four digit Field of Research (FOR) rating of 5. For a comprehensive list of FOR codes by university, visit the Australian Research Council's website.

For Masters by coursework applicants only, your proposed area of study must be in area of world-class standing. This may be demonstrated by drawing on resources from the University or other ranking resources.

Your proposed program of study must contribute to the future of Australia in one of the Foundation's priority funding areas: Technology and innovation, Strengthening Australia-Asia ties or Enabling positive social change.

3. Do I need to already have received an offer of a place at a participating Australian University prior to submitting an application?

A candidate does not need to have received an offer of a place at a participating Australian university prior to submitting an application, however, if an applicant is successful in being selected for a Future Leaders Scholarship, the award of the Scholarship will be conditional upon receiving official confirmation from a participating university of a place in the proposed program of study.

 

Eligibility

Eligibility

1. Who can apply?

We’re looking for Australia’s best and brightest. Your ability matches your drive – giving you the potential to make a lasting difference to Australia’s future. We want to help you realise this potential. To be eligible to apply, applicants must:

  1. be an Australian citizen or permanent resident;
  2. have completed an undergraduate degree within the last 5 years, or will complete by December 2017;
  3. have achieved or are on track to achieve an average result of H1 or H2A equivalent;
  4. have chosen to undertake a full-time Masters by coursework or research or a PhD at one of our participating university partners;
  5. have a field of study which, for PhD and Masters by research applicants has an ERA four digit FOR rating of 5 and Masters by coursework applicants, your proposed area of study must be in area of world-class standing. See FAQ number 7;
  6. commence study in 2018. Current postgraduate students are not eligible;
  7. Your proposed program of study must contribute to the future of Australia in one of the Foundation's priority funding areas: Technology and Innovation, Strengthening Australia-Asia ties or Enabling Positive Social Change;
  8. include in your proposed program of study international opportunities which will develop your leadership skills and global networks, such as; study tours for the purpose of research, attending a short course or conference, a period of internship or volunteering;
  9. have a worthy and viable post-study plan that benefits Australia;
  10. supply two letters of reference, one academic reference and one personal reference; and
  11. be able to attend the National Selection Panel to be held in Sydney 12 and 13 December 2017.
2. Which Universities are participating in the program?

The Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship program is offered in the areas of world class standing at the following universities:

  • Australian National University;
  • Monash University;
  • The University of Adelaide;
  • The University of Melbourne;
  • The University of Queensland;
  • The University of Sydney;
  • University of New South Wales;
  • University of Tasmania; and
  • University of Western Australia
3. Can I apply if I have already have another scholarship?

No, except for Australian Postgraduate Awards or where the existing scholarship is equity based.

4. Can I submit more than one application in a year?

An applicant may only submit one application per year. 

5. If successful, can I defer the Scholarship?

No. Recipients will be notified in December 2017 and the study must commence in 2018.

6. Can I apply in the future if I am unsuccessful?

As long as you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for a Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship in future years. 

7. Can I apply if I have already commenced my postgraduate study?

No, the scholarship is only available to students expecting to commence their postgraduate studies in 2018.

8. Can I apply in the future if I have already received a Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship?

No, you can only receive one Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship. 

9. Do I need to be a Westpac customer or employee?

No. The Scholarship is open to all Australian citizens or permanent residents who meet the eligibility criteria.

10. Can I apply if I am a Westpac employee or related to one?

Yes. The Scholarship is open to all Australian citizens or permanent residents who meet the eligibility criteria.

11. What is the definition of a fulltime workload?

For PhD and Masters by research applicants, for a fulltime workload your standard working pattern would be 9 to 5pm, 48 weeks per year. For Masters by coursework applicants it would be no less than 3/4 of the maximum fulltime load.

 

Funding

Funding

1. How do I determine my funding request?

You are required to prepare a draft Scholarship Budget as part of your application. If your application is successful, the university where you will be taking up your study or research will work with you to finalise the value of your scholarship. The Scholarship Budget should include the following costs (excluding GST):

  • Leadership Development Program;
  • university course fees, which may include the fee balance of  a Commonwealth-supported place (CSP) course or fee-paying coursework program;
  • if applicable, Personal stipend or Australian Postgraduate Award top-up;
  • conference  and short course fees;
  • equipment and consumables;
  • travel; and
  • publication and dissemination costs.

 

2. Can I use the Fellowship to cover (or partially cover) the course costs at a University or educational institution?

Yes, the funding can be used for program fees or tuition where relevant; however, this component is to be no more than 80% of the total funding budget.

3. What sort of activities can be included in the international component?

Scholarship includes funding for an international component. Overseas travel may include study tours for the purpose of research, attending a short course or conference, a period of internship or placement at an overseas organisation, volunteering. 

4. Are there any countries that cannot be included in the international component?

Travel to countries with a Level 3 (Reconsider your need to travel) or Level 4 (Do not travel) rating by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are not to be included in a Development Plan. Countries Alert Levels are listed on the smartraveller.gov.au website

5. Will Scholars be required to hold travel insurance whilst their international component?

Scholars and spouse, partner or dependent(s) must be covered by appropriate health and travel insurance (including coverage for existing conditions) for the duration of their time overseas.  

6. Will the Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship cover travel for my spouse, partner or dependent(s)?

No. Scholarship funding will only cover costs for the Scholar.

7. How should I calculate the expenses for travel budget?

There is a $50,000 maximum for your travel component. All flights should be costed based on economy airfares and accommodation on reasonably priced (3-4 star) hotels or serviced apartments. You should also include allowances for transport, conference fees or short course fees that enhance your studies.

8. Can the scholarship cover my living expenses?

You can include an allowance for living expenses the program that equal to the Australian Postgraduate Awards stipend amount ($25,849 for 2015, indexed annually). If you are the recipient of an APA, you are still eligible to apply however the stipend for the Future Leaders Scholarship is limited to a maximum of 75% of the APA stipend amount.

9. Are there any other guidelines for components of my program budget?

In addition to the travel and living expenses, there is a mandatory cost of $12,000 to attend the nine month Leadership Development Program to be included in Year 1. Any cost allocated to publication and dissemination are to be no more than 2% of total budget. Also, do not include GST on any items.

Capital items/operational infrastructure costs or costs not directly related to studies (e.g. gym membership, professional association fees, fees for patent applications, costs of dependents, mobile phones) are not to be included in budget.

10. Will Westpac Bicentennial Foundation provide Scholars with taxation advice?

Scholars are responsible and encouraged to seek taxation advice regarding their individual circumstances. Westpac Bicentennial Foundation makes no representation or warranty in relation to the taxation implications of any funds provided by the Foundation to a Scholar.

 

Application & Selection

Application & Selection

1. When can I apply and when do applications close?

Applications open on Thursday 15 June 2017 and close at midnight (AEST) on Tuesday 5 September 2017.

2. How do I apply?

All applications must be submitted through Westpac Bicentennial Foundation’s online application system to be considered valid. This online system is accessed via the Westpac Future Leaders webpage.

Before submitting your application please ensure you have checked your answers and supporting documents as applications cannot be re-submitted or amended after submission. 

3. What is required to be a strong applicant?

Selection is based on a candidate’s outstanding academic achievements, world-class program of study, and focus on one or more of the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation's priority areas. Successful candidates will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • academic excellence and achievements to date;
  • the ability to articulate how their proposed program of study has the potential to contribute to the future growth and prosperity of Australia in one of the Foundation’s priority funding areas;
  • the attributes of a Westpac Future Leaders Scholar (see Appendix A in the Scholarship Guidelines); and
  • a strong sense of connection to Australia and the desire to give back.
4. What supporting documentation is required?

The following support documentation is required to be submitted with the online application:

  • CV of no more than two pages of 10 point arial font and line spacing 1.5.
  • All university academic transcripts.
  • Two references are required using the reference templates which are located on the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation website. The referees you select should be people who consent to being contacted by the Foundation.

                              i. the first is an academic reference and needs to be completed by a person who is familiar with your academic record and understands the importance of your study program;

                             ii. the second is a personal reference and needs to be completed by a person who can demonstrate that you have the attributes of a Westpac Scholar.  This can be a previous work colleagues or manager, however should not be a family member or a person who currently or previously reported directly to you.

  • You may be required to present proof of citizenship or permanent residency at any time during the selection process.
  • Applications received without the above mentioned supporting documentation will not be considered by the Foundation.
5. What makes a good application?

A good application takes time to develop. There are comprehensive Scholarship Guidelines which you should review prior and whilst you develop your application. In addition there are a number of questions within the application that contain guidance to assist you in formulating your response. Please be aware many of the sections have specified word limits.  

6. Can you please provide an overview of the selection process

The selection process is a comprehensive approach that draws on a range of online assessment tools and the expertise of selection panels within the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation, the universities and the National Selection Panel. It will consist of five stages:

  • Stage 1: First Round Shortlisting
  • Stage 2: Online learning agility assessment
  • Stage 3: Second Round Shortlisting - University shortlisting
  • Stage 4: National Assessment Centre (interviews) – 12 / 13 December 2017
  • Stage 5: Notification - 20 December 2017

Please refer to the scholarship guidelines for more detail. 

7. How do I know if the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation has received my application?

Once you have submitted your online application, you will receive an email confirming that your application has been received. This email will include your application number along with a copy of your application. 

8. When will applicants find out if they are successful?

Applicants will be notified if they have been successful in obtaining a Scholarship in December 2017. 

9. I missed the application window, can I still apply?

No, late applications will not be accepted.

10. Can I get feedback on my application if I am unsuccessful?

Unfortunately Westpac Bicentennial Foundation is unable to provide individual feedback due to the volume of applications we receive. 

11. I am having technical problems with the online application system, who can I contact?

Please contact our online system provider, SmartyGrants, during business hours on 03 9320 6888 or email service@smartygrants.com.au

12. I need more help with my application, who can I contact?

Please be sure to review the Scholarship Guidelines thoroughly. If you still need help with your application and your problem is not a technical system one, please email westpacscholars@westpac.com.au and we will get back to you as soon as possible.