How to apply
Thank you to everyone who has applied for a Research scholarship. Applications are now closed for 2022 activity. The Learning and Development round will open for application in August.
Further information - Research scholarships
Where applications specify that ethics approval is required, evidence of this approval must be produced, either before or during the scholarship period.
Where applications specify that a higher degree must be undertaken, evidence of this enrolment must be produced before 1 January of the year of the scholarship, unless otherwise agreed.
Unless otherwise specified, preference will be given to research conducted at an approved research institute in Australia or New Zealand.
If the application is from the lead researcher of a project team or group (rather than an individual) please submit an abbreviated CV (biosketch) of no more than two pages for each member of the team. Clearly state who is the lead researcher in your application.
Further information - Learning and development grants
Unless otherwise indicated, applications include:
- A brief CV (maximum three pages) demonstrating any leadership experience and research or teaching background
- Proposed travel itinerary
- Proposed studies or site visits
- Envisaged benefits of the activity to the applicant, RACS and the surgical community
- Written references
- An appointment confirmation letter (as applicable)
- Details of any financial support or funding already secured (for example, research grants, sponsorship and/or other grants)
- The proposed use of the funds.
Travel applicants must not have commenced their travel before the closing date of applications, except in approved circumstances.
Who can apply?
The Scholarships and Grants Program is open to RACS Fellows, SET Trainees and applicants, Specialist International Medical Graduates and non-RACS members.
With the exception of Global Health opportunities, and unless otherwise stated in the eligibility requirements listed for each opportunity, applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of Australia or New Zealand.
Active Fellows of RACS may apply for scholarships, grants and Fellowships. Some opportunities are advertised as early-career and are available only to Fellows who have attained Fellowship within the past ten years.
Surgeons who have applied and are awaiting admission for Fellowship may apply for eligible opportunities open to Fellows, unless otherwise stated on the scholarship or grant webpage.
Surgical Education and Training (SET) trainees may apply for scholarships and grants with the written support of their Training Board. Trainees and SET applicants must notify their specialty board and/or appropriate department to advise them of their potential deferral or interruption if successful. A copy of this communication must be provided with their scholarship application.
Doctors may apply for eligible grants available to SET Trainees in anticipation of their acceptance into the SET Program, unless otherwise stated on the scholarship or grant webpage. They must be accepted into the SET Program by 1 December in the year of application and have the written support of their Training Board.
Specialist International Medical Graduates (SIMGs) who are in the SET program may apply for scholarships and grants that are open to SET Trainees.
Non RACS-members may apply for some scholarships and grants.
The selection and approval process
Applications are assessed through a robust process aimed at granting the opportunity to the candidate who best meets the selection criteria. Selection is based on the written application with some opportunities providing for candidates being invited to interview.
Selection – Research
The assessment of an application is based on academic record, postgraduate training, research experience, publication history, demonstrated plan of proposed training or study, written support from the administering institution, the project's likely impact and references.
Selection – Learning and development
Selection is based on the written application including the applicants’ demonstrated abilities and experience, proposed activity and use of the funds, the merit of the activity and the extent to which it will benefit surgical or clinical skills, the individual, other surgeons and/or the relevant community.
Some scholarships require proposed supervisors to provide written references certifying they are willing to accept the role of supervisor of the named research study. This reference is to be provided as part of the application process.
Preference will be given to applicants who will undertake the research study at an approved research institute in Australia or New Zealand. However, consideration will be given to applicants who wish to undertake all or a proportion of their research in an overseas institution. In such a case, an applicant is required to submit a strong justification in their application and supply the names of two supervisors, one of whom must be from the approved institution in Australia or New Zealand. Written approval is also required from the Head of Department at the intended overseas institution.
Expert selection panel
Each application is assessed by an expert selection panel whose members have knowledge and experience relating to the respective opportunity.
Before assessment, personally identifiable information is redacted from the application. Panel members then independently review applications and submit their scores against the selection criteria to the RACS scholarships and grants department who rank applicants and undertake due diligence on preferred candidates.
Some scholarships and grants require short-listed applicants to participate in a short telephone interview. Selected applicants may be interviewed by an expert selection panel. Assessment will be based upon the candidates understanding of the project.
Interviews will focus on the candidate's understanding of the proposed project or activity.
To finalise selection, candidates are vetted through a due diligence assessment that includes checking registration and if the candidate is, or has been, the subject of sanctions, dismissals, suspensions or complaints.
The ANZ Scholarships and grants committee (ANZSGC) considers the outcomes from the expert selection panel/s and findings from the due diligence assessment to make final selection recommendations. The list of recommended candidates is endorsed by ANZSGC and noted by the RACS Professional Development Standards Board.
Accepting an offer
All applicants are notified by email of the outcome of their application. Round 1 Research applicants are notified in August, and Round 2 Learning and development applicants are notified in December. Some candidates may be advised they are ‘reserve’ candidates – this means there is still a possibility they will offered the scholarship or grant should another candidate not be able to take up the offer.
Successful candidates will be advised to sign and return the acceptance form to RACS by the due date. In so doing, the recipient acknowledges and agrees to the general conditions and recipient obligations stipulated on the respective opportunity’s webpage.
Research candidates are required to return the acceptance form signed by their Head of Department. In the case of the recipient being a project team, the chief investigator must complete the acceptance documentation.
Commencement and tenure
Unless otherwise stated on the respective program opportunity’s webpage, the period during which the scholarship or grant may be undertaken commences on 1 January following the year of application.
The tenure is one calendar year and activity must be completed by 31 December unless otherwise stated or negotiated. The exception to this is the multi-year Research opportunities, which may vary from two to three years.
Frequency of scholarships and grants
Generally, subject to funding, scholarships and grants are offered annually. Multi-year Research opportunities may be offered once over the period for which it extends – for example a two-year opportunity may be offered once every two years.
Multi-year Research scholarships
Multi-year Research opportunities are renewable annually for between two and three years. Renewal is subject to the recipient meeting the conditions of the Scholarships and grants program, and opportunity-specific conditions and recipient obligations, as well as the recipient displaying satisfactory progress as determined from the midyear scholarship report.
RACS may fund up to three years of a higher degree. Recipients who have completed a portion of their higher degree prior to receiving the scholarship may be funded for the remaining duration of their degree, providing it does not exceed three years.
Taking leave from the program
Recipients can apply for leave for unplanned special circumstances that are beyond their control and that affect the successful completion of the scholarship or grant. Such circumstances include, but not limited to, illness or injury, natural disasters, parental or family needs. For further information, please refer to the Scholarships and grants program leave policy (PDF 31.92KB).
When accepting a Research scholarship or Fellowship, or at any time during the opportunity’s tenure, recipients may apply to undertake the activity in a part-time capacity.
For further information, please refer to the Part-time research scholarships policy.