Senior Indigenous Research Scholarships

Commencing in 2018 , this program seeks to strengthen Aboriginal engagement at the University of Tasmania by providing opportunity for senior Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to undertake higher degree research projects of importance to Aboriginal communities, particularly the palawa people of Tasmania. It provides a supportive pathway for Indigenous research, offering supervision from experienced Aboriginal researchers tailored to the individual needs of the candidate, ongoing skill-development workshops, and a generous stipend for the duration of the candidature (3 years for PhD, 2 years for MRes).

Topics which may be undertaken include, but are not restricted to: biographies and histories of Aboriginal people; organisations or communities; language; health; law; social or economic development; land; sea and; cultural resource management.

Value and Duration

The scholarship provides over $40,000pa for 3.5 years for a Doctoral degree, or 2 years for a Masters of Research degree.

Closing date

01 July 2023


The following eligibility criteria apply to this scholarship:

Applicants must:

  • be eligible to enrol in a full time Masters or Doctoral degree at the University of Tasmania in 2023, and
  • not be receiving an equivalent award, scholarship or salary to undertake the proposed program (equivalent being defined as greater than 75% of the stipend), an
  • meet the Australian Government’s definition of Aboriginality, which requires that an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person
    • is of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent;
    • identifies as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person; and
    • is accepted as such by the community in which he or she lives or has lived
  • complete the declaration of Aboriginality.

*These scholarships are subject to Exemption 13/09/033 that permits advertising for and awarding of the scholarships to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates only.

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic, professional, and/or community merit, and suitability to the project as determined by the College and the UTAS Indigenous Student Success Program (ISSP) committee.

The scope and value of the research proposal (see the Research Plan Guide below) encompasses 3 criteria:

  1. The extent to which the research will add value to the chosen field.
  2. The extent it will add value to community.
  3. The extent to which the research is viable.


The scholarship is funded by the University of Tasmania and the Indigenous Student Success Program (ISSP).

Drafting and Submitting Your Application

There are a number of stages that are required in order to prepare and submit your application, a checklist for this process may be found here (DOCX 23.0 KB).

The first task is to formulate a research topic and project which is relevant to Aboriginal communities and is appropriately sized to the selected program (PhD or MRes, for the difference please see here). Within this stage it is important to both align your research topic to a relevant discipline (e.g. sociology or history), consider which methods and methodology to be adopted (e.g. surveys, quantitative or qualitative) and ensure it is achievable within the time allotted time period (not too large or small).

We advise speaking with the HDR Support Person from the Office of the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Aboriginal Leadership (see below for contact details) or an academic known to you who may be able to assist you in this regard.

For the application process itself, there this an initial expression of interest to submit and, if this is approved, you may then prepare your research proposal and application (see Apply Now). The research proposal is a short two-page pitch for your project, outlining why it is important, how it will be undertaken and what it will seek to achieve. A set of resources are provided below to assist you to complete your proposal, including some proposals for research completed by Aboriginal researchers at the University of Tasmania. For further information, we recommend Social Research Methods edited by Distinguished Professor Maggie Walter.

After submitting your application for candidature, please contact with your name, application ID number and the name of the scholarship you have applied for.

More information

Please contact the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor of Aboriginal  Leadership for further information regarding Higher Degrees by Research (HDR):