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.
There will be up to 17 Scholarships awarded each year.
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.
The scholarship funding, with the exception of the Leadership Development Program component ($12,000), will be distributed by the universities to scholars.
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 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.
Yes, you must have completed your first undergraduate degree within the last 5 years, or will complete by December 2021. In this degree you must have achieved or are on track to achieve an average result of H1 or H2A equivalent or approx 75 WAM. You need not have completed an honours year.
You must now want to undertake a Masters by coursework or research or a PhD at one of our participating university partners.
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 “well above world standard”. Exceptions to this will be considered for FOR ERA rating of “above world standard”, provided the university Letter of Support accompanying your application comments on why the area of research should be considered and is above world standing. 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 an area “at or above world standard”. 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.
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.
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:
- be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (New Zealand citizens are not eligible);
- have completed first undergraduate degree within the last 5 years, or will complete by December 2021;
- have achieved or are on track to achieve an average result of H1 or H2A equivalent or approx 75 WAM;
- have chosen to undertake a full-time Masters by coursework or research or a PhD at one of our participating university partners;
- have a field of study which, for PhD and Masters by research applicants has an ERA four digit FOR rating of "well above world standard" and Masters by coursework applicants, your proposed area of study must be in area of world-class standing;
- commence study in 2022. Current postgraduate students are not eligible;
- 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;
- 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;
- have a worthy and viable post-study plan that benefits Australia;
- supply two letters of reference, one academic reference and one personal reference;
- be able to attend the National Selection Panel to be held in Sydney on 7-8 December 2021;
- be able to attend the Future Leaders Scholars Leadership Development Program in Sydney on 13-18 February 2022; and
- be able to attend the 2022 Westpac Scholars Summit on 7-8 April 2022.
The Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship program is offered 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 Western Australia; and
- University of Tasmania.
You may only apply for one university program.
No, except for Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship or where the existing scholarship is equity based. Note that for PhD candidates, the Future Leaders Scholarship provides a top-up of 75% of the RTP stipend, over and above the RTP award received.
An applicant may only submit one application per year.
No. Recipients will be notified in December 2021 and the study must commence in 2022.
As long as you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for a Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship in future years. However, you can only apply up to two times.
No, the scholarship is only available to students expecting to commence their postgraduate studies in 2022.
No, you can only receive one Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship.
No. The Scholarship is open to all Australian citizens or permanent residents who meet the eligibility criteria.
Yes. The Scholarship is open to all Australian citizens or permanent residents who meet the eligibility criteria.
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.
For Masters by coursework applicants only, you must not have already completed a graduate certificate or diploma in the same area of study. However you may have completed another Masters program in a different area of study.
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.
MD, juris doctor programs or any masters by coursework program longer than two years are also excluded.
Yes, provided you meet all of the eligibility criteria. You may undertake another Masters in a different area of study, or continuing on to a PhD - either of these options is acceptable.
An honours year is considered undergraduate, not postgraduate.
You are required to prepare a draft Scholarship Budget up to $120,000 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 RTP Scholarship top-up;
- conference and short course fees;
- equipment and consumables;
- travel; and
- publication and dissemination costs.
Please note that your application is not assessed on the amount of your request, but rather the thought and consideration behind your plans (particularly the international component).
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.
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. The international component must be no more than $50,000 of your budget.
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. Countries Alert Levels are listed on the smartraveller.gov.au website.
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.
No. Scholarship funding will only cover costs for the Scholar.
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.
You can include an allowance for living expenses the program that equal to the Research Training Program (RTP) stipend amount ($28,597 for 2021, indexed annually). If you are the recipient of an RTP, you are still eligible to apply however the stipend for the Future Leaders Scholarship is limited to a maximum of 75% of the RTP stipend amount. Note that this is over and above the RTP (e.g. you would receive $21,448 for the Future Leaders Scholarship + $28,597 for the RTP = total of $50,045 annually).
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.
Scholars are responsible and encouraged to seek taxation advice regarding their individual circumstances. Westpac Scholars Trust makes no representation or warranty in relation to the taxation implications of any funds provided by the Trust to a Scholar.
Application & Selection
Application & Selection
Applications open on Thursday 17 June 2021 and close at 11:59pm (AEST) on the night of Thursday 2 September 2021.
All applications must be submitted through the Westpac Scholars Trust’s online application system. This online system is accessed via the Westpac Future Leaders webpage.
A PDF version of the application is available to download in the application portal to make it easier to plan your answers. Note that you will be unable to progress to next section of the application without text in the fields and recommend that you create a text placeholder to allow you to progress if you'd like to work ahead.
Before submitting your application please ensure you have checked your answers and supporting documents as applications cannot be re-submitted or amended after submission.
Selection is based on a candidate’s outstanding academic achievements, world-class program of study, and focus on one or more of the Westpac Scholars Trust'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 Funding Guidelines); and
- a strong sense of connection to Australia and the desire to give back.
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 Scholars Trust's website. The referees you select should be people who consent to being contacted by the Trust.
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 colleague or manager, however should not be a family member or a person who currently or previously reported directly to you. At the time of the application, you must have known this person a minimum of two years.
- For PhD and Masters by Research applicants, you must also supply one letter of support from either your supervisor, dean of the faculty or head of school or equivalent.
- Recent photo - high resolution image of a headshot is preferred (note this is not not part of the assessment, it is an identification tool to assist assessors in later stages of the selection process)
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 Trust.
A good application takes time to develop. There are comprehensive Funding 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.
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 Scholars Trust, the universities and the National Selection Panel. It consists of four stages:
- Stage 1: Eligibility and quality checks
- Stage 2: Online assessment
- Stage 3: University shortlisting
- Stage 4: National Assessment Centre (interviews) – 7-8 December 2021
- Notification - 16 December 2021
Please refer to the Funding Guidelines for more detail.
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.
Applicants will be notified if they have been successful in obtaining a Scholarship by 16 December 2021.
No, late applications will not be accepted.
Unfortunately the Westpac Scholars Trust is unable to provide individual feedback due to the volume of applications we receive. However we will provide feedback for candidates who attend the National Assessment Centre.
Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please be sure to review the Funding Guidelines thoroughly. If you still need help with your application and your problem is not a technical system one, please email email@example.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Access the answers to the questions raised on the 2019 information webinar here.