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2022 Summer Scholar Suzannah Henty taking a photo of a screen displaying a microfilm newspaper
2022 Summer Scholar Suzannah Henty.  Photo: Adam McGrath

Applications for the 2024 National Library of Australia Scholarships are now closed.  Applications for the 2025 Scholarships program will open on 29 April 2024.

The National Library is undertaking a review of its Fellowships and Scholarships Program to ensure it meets the needs of researchers, PhD students and creators. This review may result in changes to some of the opportunities offered beyond 2024.

Please also read Information for Applicants.

Be inspired by the work of previous National Library of Australia Scholars.

Guidelines for the 2024 National Library of Australia Scholarships

The National Library of Australia Summer Scholarships program (formerly known as the Summer Scholarships) supports PhD students who require access to the Library’s collections to assist their postgraduate research.

What Scholarships are offered in 2024?

These scholarships are made possible through the generosity of National Library Patrons and donors, including Dr John and Mrs Heather Seymour AO, Professor Robert and Josephine Shanks, Dr Bennie Ng, Dr Michael Martin and Mrs Elizabeth Popovski.

Six scholarships are available:

  • The Seymour Scholarship - for biographical research
  • The Professor Robert and Josephine Shanks Scholarship - for research on any subject
  • The Dr Michael Martin and Ms Elizabeth Popovski Scholarship - for research relating to travel, exploration or the natural world, within Australia or the Pacific, during the 18th, 19th or early 20th centuries
  • The Dr Bennie Ng Scholarship - for research in the National Library’s maps collection
  • The National Library of Australia First Nations Scholarship – for research on any subject by a First Nations’ scholar
  • The National Library of Australia Scholarship - for research on any subject, with preference given to First Nations scholars

What do National Library of Australia Scholars receive?

Scholarships are available to researchers who require onsite access to the Library’s uniquely held or extensive collections to advance their PhD research.

Scholars will receive:

  • $6000 for use as a stipend, travel and accommodation support
  • supported access to collections
  • full office facilities and a personal workstation in the Fellows Room
  • high resolution digital copies of collection materials if required for publication or other public uses (within set limits and according to access and copyright conditions).

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

Who can apply?

The scholarships are open to students who:

  • have commenced PhD study, and
  • are Australian citizens or permanent residents.

In addition to the above:

  • applicants for the Seymour Scholarship must be under the age of 35 at 31 December 2023. This age limit is a condition requested by the donors.
  • the National Library of Australia First Nations Scholarship is open only to Australian First Nations scholars
  • the National Library of Australia Scholarship is open to applicants of any age but preference is given to Australian First Nations scholars. If no suitable First Nations applications are received, this Scholarship will be awarded to a non-Indigenous scholar.

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

What are the selection criteria?

The Fellowships Advisory Committee will assess Scholarship applications against the following criteria:

  • the applicant’s academic potential and capacity for research
  • the value and quality of the proposed research at the Library
  • the relevance and value of the National Library's unique, rare or comprehensive collections to the proposed research.

In assessing against the criteria above, the Committee will also consider:

  • the demonstrated need to make extensive use of, and requiring onsite access to, the National Library's collections. Please note that collection items that have been digitised and are available online will generally not meet this criteria.
  • whether a clear explanation of research goals and expected progress during the Scholarship has been provided.
  • the feasibility of access to collection based on rights and access conditions, and the physical condition of materials.
  • the protocols surrounding the use of Indigenous cultural material.

What is expected of a Scholar?

Scholars will be required to:

  • give a presentation to Library staff and invited guests at the end of their Scholarship on the progress of their research
  • acknowledge the support of the National Library and their Scholarship donor in forums, presentations and publications resulting from the Scholarship.
  • assist the Library to promote the Scholarship program through media and public communications, including through contributions to social media.
  • provide a report within one month of the agreed end date of their Scholarship outlining their experience, which will inform Council and the Fellowships Advisory Committee.

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 Scholarship will proceed.

The Library will negotiate and confirm the residency dates with Scholars. The duration of the residency is expected to be 6 consecutive weeks.

For further information or assistance: fellowships@nla.gov.au or 02 6262 1099.

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