Two people are pictured amongst shelves of books. They have a trolley in front of them piled with stacks of leather-bound volumes.
2022 Asia Study Grants recipients Ms Younghye Whitney and Dr Mei-Fen Kuo. Photo: Adam McGrath 

Applications for 2023 Asia Study Grants are closed. Applications for the 2024 program will open 1st May 2023.

2023 Guidelines

With the support of the Harold S. Williams Trust Fund and private donors, the Asia Study Grants program provides researchers and PhD students with the opportunity to research the National Library of Australia's Asian language and Asia-related collections.  Up to six grants will be available in 2023.  These grants offer a four-week period of intensive research at a negotiated time during 2023, where scholars have privileged access to the Library’s materials, facilities and staff. More information on our rich and varied Asian collections is available here

What assistance is offered?

Asia Study Grant recipients will receive an honorarium of $5000 for use as a stipend, travel and accommodation support.

Recipients also receive in-kind support consisting of:

  • special and supported access to collections
  • use of the Fellows room, with full office facilities and a personal workstation
  • copying of collection materials (within set limits and according to access and copyright conditions).

Please note: Grants are awarded to an individual. Funding will be paid directly to the individual for the purposes of supporting their grant. Payments will be made in week 1 of the recipient’s residency at the Library.  Any other arrangements between the individual and their employer are the individual’s responsibility. As the grant may have tax implications, it is recommended Asia Study Grant recipients seek professional financial advice.


Asia Study Grants are open to researchers and PhD students who:

  1. are residing in Australia
  2. are attached to an Australian academic institution
  3. have not received a Fellowship or Scholarship from the Library in the past five years
  4. need access to the Library's Asian language or Asian-related collections that are not available online or in their own region or institution.

Researchers may be in the early or later stages of a project, and can explore the extent of our collections or focus on specific materials. The grant may also be used to undertake preliminary investigations in developing a larger or related project that may assist in attracting further research funding or work.

Preference for all grants is given to applicants who would otherwise find it difficult to access the Library's collections.

Note: the Library will accept repeat applications but an Asia Study Grant can only be awarded once. Former recipients, however, are still eligible to apply for a National Library Fellowship. PhD students may also wish to consider applying for a National Library Summer Scholarship.

Completing the application form

Applications must be submitted using the online application form. Hardcopy or offline applications will not be considered.  

Applications close on Tuesday 26 April 2022 at 5pm. Late applications or support material will not be accepted. You should allow for any time difference, and internet connection or submission issues.  Results of the selection process will be made public by December 2022.  

Before you begin your application, you must research the Library's collections to identify the primary (NLA Asian Collection) and supplementary (Asian-related) collections that you will access at the Library.

Mandatory fields, and word and file size limits apply. You will not be able to submit your application if the mandatory fields have not been completed or limits are exceeded. You can preview the form before starting an application, which will show you where limits apply. Once started, please save your form regularly. You can save and edit the application, however, no changes are possible after you have submitted.

To complete the application, you will need to provide:

  • a short biographical statement
  • a CV (maximum two A4 pages)
  • proposed start and end dates. Dates are indicative only and will be negotiated and confirmed with successful applicants.
  • a research plan that provides a synopsis of your proposed project, the aim, goals, outcomes, and a list of the collection materials you wish to access
  • timeline for the four-week residency
  • contact details of two referees. Provide referees with a copy of your application, which can downloaded or printed. Referees of shortlisted applicants will be contacted by the Library.

Assessment process

National Library staff read and shortlist applications against the eligibility criterion. An independent assessment committee is provided with the shortlisted applications and a list of all applications. Committee members can call into consideration applications that are not on the shortlist. Members of the Committee include representatives from the Library’s Fellowships Advisory Committee, relevant academic organisations, and Library staff. 

In selecting scholars, the assessment committee will consider:

  • the value and quality of the proposed research
  • the relevance of the Library's collections to the research
  • the value of the experience to the applicant's academic progress (for PhD or early career researchers), or to the development of future research
  • protocols surrounding the use of Indigenous cultural material (if applicable) 
  • the capacity of the applicant to communicate their research to a wider audience (e.g., public talks, blogs etc).

Priority will be given to those with a demonstrated need to access the Library's Asian language collections and who do not have such collections in their own region or institution. This may include other special Asia-related collections, such as cartographic or manuscript materials using Asian languages and requiring specialist staff expertise.

What is expected of an Asia Study Grants recipient?

Successful applicants will receive a letter of offer along with a conditions of appointment agreement that must be signed and returned. These documents outline the terms and conditions under which the grant will proceed.

The Library will negotiate and confirm the residency dates with grant recipients.  The duration of the residency is expected to be 4 consecutive weeks.  In exceptional circumstances this may be varied slightly, but no further financial support will be offered.

Funding is paid directly to the individual in week 1 of their residency. As this support may have tax implications, it is recommended that Fellows seek professional financial advice.

All intellectual property rights (including copyright) in any work produced by the recipient during their residency will vest in the recipient on its creation.

The copyright status of items in the Library’s collection varies. Before downloading, copying, adapting, publishing, distributing or otherwise reusing any of the items found in the Library’s collection, you are responsible for determining the copyright status and terms of use applicable for such items, and checking with and/or obtaining the copyright owner’s consent before using or reproducing such content.

Recipients will be required to:

  • spend at least 75% of their time at the Library over four weeks
  • give a presentation to Library staff (as applicable) that highlights the work undertaken during the residency and research-in-progress
  • provide a report within one month of the agreed end date of their grant outlining their research experience at the Library, which will inform the Library’s Council and the Asia Study Grants selection committee
  • acknowledge the support of the National Library in forums, presentations and publications resulting from the research
  • assist the Library to promote the Asia Study Grants through media and public communication
  • support the Library's donor relations activities as required.

Recipients are encouraged to inform the Library of any research outcomes of the residency, and deposit material in the Library’s collection if appropriate. 

For further information: or 02 6262 1099 

Privacy and confidentiality

The Library is committed to protecting your privacy. We are bound by and comply with our obligations under the Australia Privacy Principles outlines in Schedule 1 of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth.)

When you submit an application for a fellowship, we may collect personal information from you such as your title, name, address, telephone number, email address, age group, name of your organisation, employment and education details, as well as any other information you include in your application. We may also collect sensitive information about you including whether you self-identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin.

We may give the personal information we collect from you to our employees, contractors, members of the relevant Fellowship, Scholarship or Grant Advisory Committee, and by any government or governmental body, authority or agency having authority over the Library, so we can:

  • assess your application and manage the Fellowships, Scholarships and Grants programs;
  • contact you to seek additional information about your application;
  • where selection restrictions apply, informing assessors of the Fellowship, Scholarship or Grant program of your geographic location or age group;
  • provide you with information about future Fellowships, Scholarships and Grants programs which may be of interest (you can opt out of these updates at any time); and
  • research, assess, monitor and analyse our fellowship programs and activities.

Successful applicants’ names, title, position, employer, title of the fellowship project and the Fellowship, Scholarship or Grant awarded may be published on our website and social media platforms.

If you do not provide us with the above personal information, we will not be able to:

  • consider you for any Fellowship, Scholarship or Grant you may wish to apply for;
  • provide you with information on upcoming Fellowship, Scholarship or Grant rounds.

We use SmartyGrants, a cloud-based grant management system, to collect and store Fellowship, Scholarship and Grant applications. In providing this service, SmartyGrants may collect personal information submitted as part of an application form. SmartyGrants uses Amazon’s cloud-based filed storage system AWS S3, which is encrypted. All files stored within AWS S3 are located on servers controlled and managed by Amazon and are physically located in Australia.

The Library’s Privacy Policy, published on our website, contains more information about how we collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information, how you can access and correct this information and how you can contact us with any questions or privacy related complaints.

Confidential Information

We will keep any information in connection with your application for a Fellowship, Scholarship or Grant confidential to the extent that it meets all of the three conditions below:

  1. you clearly identify the information as confidential and explain why we should treat it as confidential;
  2. the information is commercially sensitive; and
  3. revealing the information would cause unreasonable harm to you or someone else.

We may disclose confidential information:

  • to members of the Fellowship, Scholarship or Grant Advisory Committee and the Library’s employees and contractors, to help us manage the Fellowship, Scholarship or Grant programs effectively; and
  • to employees and contractors of the Library so we can research, assess, monitor and analyse our programs and activities.

We may also disclose confidential information if:

  • required by law, or as required of the Library by any government or governmental body, authority or agency having authority over the Library;
  • required in connection with legal proceedings;
  • necessary for the proper discharge of the Library’s public accountability or reporting functions, including for the provision of information to a Minister, Parliament or a parliamentary committee;
  • required for the purpose of conducting an audit;
  • you agree to the information being disclosed; or
  • someone other than us has made the confidential information public.