Scholarships

Please read this - it is meant to save us all some time.

Firstly, how realistic is it for you to apply for a scholarship here?

Well, the sad fact is that we have VERY FEW scholarships and VERY MANY well qualified applicants, so the answer is - very often - not realistic.

OK, so some people will get scholarships. What sort of people are they? In the overwhelming majority they are students already with a Masters degree AND have publications IN JOURNALS THAT MATTER. By the latter, as a rule of thumb, it has to have a Scopus impact factor of - say - 1.2 or better to give you any chance against this pool of applicants.

Yes, the are some, very small number, of students without publications who will secure a scholarship. Are you going to be one of these? Not unless you have something OUTSTANDING about you. Be realistic - a somewhat above average (or even good) degree from a a respectable University (somewhere in the top 10% of Uni's in your country) still isn't going to cut it. You need outstanding results (straight A's and topping you cohort) - to even have a small chance. Assuming you have that, then MAYBE you have a small chance of securing a scholarship.

So you have read the above and decided you are not wasting your time and our time? Well the next thing to do is to LOOK THROUGH OUR STAFF PAGES and find a potential supervisor (someone with research interests close to yours) and then email them (no more than one or two) with PDF copies of relevant docs (transcripts of your studies, cv, etc) and a SHORT carefully written email outlining what you would like to do. THE WORST THING is to SPAMM everyone with an obviously hacked together FORM LETTER just inserting different addressees. This will likely invite the reponse it deserves - straight to trash can. Take the trouble to make the email as professional as possible - proof read it! Shorten it. Organise it.

If you get a positive response from one or more staff member then maybe it is worth applying. At that stage, look online for the forms and information. Email the postgraduate coordinator ONLY if you have looked carefully and you are absolutely sure the information you require is not available online.

Does this sound unfriendly? Sorry if so. It is not meant to be. However, I get so many approaches from potential students that I end up spending a lot of time (wasted in many cases) replying to things when the approach is either unrealistic or lazy and unprofessional (and sometimes all three). Think about it for the moment - you are asking this University to invest heavily in you. Not just our time but also financially. At the time of writing, the investment you are asking is about $30,000AUD per year for tuition waiver (unless you are an Australian citizen or PR) and about the same for a living stipend. For a 3.5 year PhD scholarship - that is approaching a quater of a million dollars investment. Yes, truly outstanding talent is worth it. But, sorry, simply good talent isn't worth it. There are lower ranked universities and there are universities with more scholarships (not always the same but often correlated) - maybe it is worth considering other Universities. There are also other agencies that offer scholarships to study here - the Australian Government currently offers Endeavour Scholarships. If you are a national of another country - look also to your own government schemes.

Good luck with a your search for higher education. It is fine to be ambitious but it is not fine to be unrealistic - assess your own cv and ask yourself what you offer that countless other graduates and likely applicants don't. If the answer isn't clear then to you then it won't be to a scholarship selection committee and so you are simply going to be wasting your time. If it is clear why you stand a good chance, then please proceed!

3rd Dec 2015