Research Fellowship

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About the Research Fellowship

Fund your vision to shape Australia

Westpac Bicentennial Foundation is partnering with Australia’s leading research universities to offer two Westpac Research Fellowships valued at a minimum $400,000 over three years. This unique fellowship supports outstanding early career researchers whose ground-breaking work has the potential to make a difference in one of the Foundation's focus areas:

1. Technology and innovation

2. Strengthening Australia-Asia ties

3. Enabling positive social change

Fellowship recipients will be exceptional people, chosen for their intellectual ability, leadership qualities, and commitment to the community.

The Fellowship has been co-created with our university partners to focus on the specific needs of our research Fellows, and covers each early career researcher’s full-time salary plus professional development and global experiences.

View or download the Research Fellowship brochure.

A new holistic approach to supporting your research

The Fellowship aims to free you from the need to apply for multiple sources of funding, allowing you to focus on your research. It includes:

1) Salary support for your position

The Fellowship will fund your fulltime salary and on-costs for a period of three years from the date of award.

2) Opportunity for professional development and global experiences

Leadership demands an ability to view situations and circumstances from a variety of perspectives. The Fellowship provides the opportunity to add a global context to your research and undertake professional development. This may include attending conferences, courses, travel for research, an internship or volunteering.

Funding is available in 2019 for a maximum of three years. Fellows must start their research by 30 June 2019.

Earning a Fellowship is just the start

Money can help launch a vision but it takes a network of inspired and inspiring people to sustain it. That’s why every Westpac Research Fellowship recipient is invited to join the Westpac 100 Scholars Network.

This program offers more than just membership of a network that will help your career. It’s an incredible platform enabling you to join a diverse group of inspiring peers and mentors and providing opportunities for practical support.

Growing by 100 scholars a year across our five scholarship programs, this network will connect those with bold ideas to build a better future for all Australians.

“No other program provides access to other researchers from such varied fields, introductions to the people and companies in the business world or provides the resources that this fellowship offers.”

Key dates


15 June 2018: Applications open

27 August 2018: Applications close

6-7 December 2018: National Assessment Centre in Sydney

14 December 2018: Notification of outcome


April 2019: Westpac Scholars’ Summit


We're ready to help you change the world

Securing a Fellowship will make an immense difference to your research, resulting in lasting benefits for Australia.

To be a successful candidate, you will need to demonstrate how your proposed research contributes to the growth and prosperity of Australia in at least one of the Foundation’s focus areas.

Who can apply?

Fellowship applicants must demonstrate:

  • Academic excellence and achievements to date.
  • A supportive and high quality research environment.
  • A desire to be part of and contribute to the Westpac 100 Scholars Network.


  • You are an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  • You have been awarded a PhD between 1 September 2012 and 1 September 2015; or have obtained an Eligibility Exemption from the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) or equivalent if your PhD was awarded prior to 1 September 2012.
  • Your proposed area of research is in a field of research at a participating university (refer to Our Partner Universities below) with an Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) four digit Field of Research (FOR) rating "well above world standing". For a comprehensive list of FOR ratings by university, visit the Australian Research Council’s website.
  • You are able to commence your research by 30 June 2019.
  • Your proposed research will contribute to the future of Australia in one of the Foundation’s three focus areas (please note: funding requests for the purpose of medical research as defined in the ARC Medical Research Policy available on the Australian Research Council website will not be considered).
  • Your proposed research includes international opportunities to develop your leadership skills and global networks, such as; study tours for the purpose of research, attending a short course or conference, an internship or volunteering.
  • You are able to supply two letters of reference, one academic reference and one personal reference; and a letter of support from the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research).
  • You are able to attend the National Assessment Centre held in Sydney on 6/7 December 2018.
More Questions? Go to our FAQs

Our Partner Universities

The Westpac Research Fellowship is offered at four leading Australian universities:

  • The Australian National University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • The University of Queensland
  • The University of Sydney

Your proposed program of study can be in any field of world class standing at one of these universities, and must be relevant to the Foundation’s focus areas.

“Already I've met so many people in the W100 who encourage me and inspire me. I have been able to find potential areas of research collaborations, and am able to pass on some advice to the next generation of young researchers.”

Research Fellowship Selection Panel

The National Selection Panel comprises senior industry and academic leaders responsible for the final selection of Westpac Research Fellows and Future Leader Scholars. Through the rigorous selection process, the Panel is dedicated to recruiting Australia's best and brightest leaders, innovators and pioneers from all walks of life.

Professor Aidan Byrne (2016 - 2018)

Provost and Senior Vice President, The University of Queensland

Philip Coffey (2015 - 2018)

Chairman, Westpac Bicentennial Foundation

Dr Nicholas Farrelly (2015 - 2018)

Associate Dean, Development and Impact, College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University

Professor John Shine AC (2015, 2016, 2018)

President Australian Academy of Science, Professor of Medicine and Professor of Molecular Biology, University of NSW, and Chairman, CSL Limited

Dr Heather Smith (2016 - 2018)

Secretary of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Australian Government

Jon Nicholson (2016 - 2018)

Director, Westpac Bicentennial Foundation

Professor Tanya Monro (2017, 2018)

Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation, University of South Australia

Professor Judy Raper (2017, 2018)

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation – University of Wollongong

Professor Ian Smith (2017, 2018)

Vice-Provost (Research & Research Infrastructure), Monash University

Ann Sherry AO (2018)

Chairman of Carnival Australia

Enquire Now

Applications for the 2019 Westpac Research Fellowship are now closed.



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