Get up to $400,000 for Australian Early-career Researchers in the Westpac Research Fellowship 2021

Apply or nominate someone for the Westpac Research Fellowship 2021 if you are/know an early career researcher doing outstanding work to receive funding and recognition.

In a joint effort to actively help influence positive change in Australia, Westpac is collaborating with some of the best universities in Australia to invest in not just Australia’s best and brightest early career researchers, but those who are passionate about making a mark that’ll exist long after them. 

Demonstrate how your proposed research contributes to the growth of Australia in at least one of Westpac’s focus areas and you could be one of 2 Westpac Research Fellows who will be awarded funding, receive access to the community of over 100 Westpac Scholars and granted the opportunity promote your research.

Application Deadline: August 25, 2020


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The fellowship provides 2 fellowship awards to 2 selected applicants. Other benefits granted to fellows include:

  • A fully flexible funding, which involves a minimum of $400,000 over 5 years
  • Fellows get to build their profile, develop leadership skills, and expand their networks. 
  • Access to strong Westpac experiences that will advance the fellow’s research
  • Access to Westpac’s extensive networks for ongoing professional development and opportunities, as well as having direct access to senior business leaders and industry-based experts
  • Invitation to take part in a Leadership 360 program with the current Fellows to enhance leadership capabilities and foster cross-sector collaboration to support innovation in Australia
  • Opportunity to become an integral part of the Westpac Lifelong membership 100 Scholars Network, granting fellows access to one of Australia’s most diverse community of like-minded go-getters
  • Opportunity to make a lasting positive impact for Australia.


To qualify for consideration in the fellowship program, the applicant 

  • Must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident 
  • Must hold a Ph.D. obtained between September 1, 2014, and September 1, 2017; OR
    • Obtained an Eligibility Exemption from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) or equivalent if the Ph.D. was awarded prior to September 1, 2014.
  • Must be a self-directed, hands-on curious thinker who has the passion, drive and ideas to change Australia, and subsequently the world, for the better


  • The 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 “well above world standing” in the ERA 2018 exercise. For a comprehensive list of FOR ratings by university, visit the Australian Research Council’s website 
  • Applicants must be available to commence the Fellowship by June 30, 2021.
  • Researchers who hold other awards are eligible to apply for a Westpac Research Fellowship
  • The proposed research will contribute to the future of Australia in one of the Foundation’s three focus areas (please note: 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)
  • The proposed research includes international opportunities to develop leadership skills and global networks, such as; study tours for the purpose of research, attending a short course or conference, an internship, or volunteering.
  • Applicants must be available to attend the National Assessment Centre set to hold in Sydney on December 8-9, 2020
  • Fellowship applicants must demonstrate:
    • Academic excellence and achievements to date.
    • A supportive and high-quality research environment.
    • An interest to be part of and contribute to the Westpac 100 Scholars Network.
    • A strong sense of connection to Australia and commitment to improving the lives of others.
    • The attributes of a Westpac Research Fellow.
  • Nominations are allowed

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Application Instructions

To apply, 

  • Applicant are required to submit 
    • 2 letters of reference(1 academic reference and 1 personal reference) 
    • A letter of support from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).
  • Click here to apply or here to nominate someone.

About the Westpac Research Fellowship

With just 2 Fellowships awarded annually, the Westpac Research Fellowship is a program focused on supporting Australia’s most outstanding early-career researchers with resources needed to make in-depth growth to their research in order to change the world and contribute lasting benefits to Australia. 

The fellowship helps researchers build their portfolio and expand their networks. It is a program that requires its fellows to be as ambitious as it is. 

In order to brand Australia as a global center of excellence in research and higher learning, capacity-building activities,  talent, and leadership skills, Westpac team up universities in the country that share its goals of facilitating positive change in Australia. These partner universities offer the Westpac Research Fellowship. 

The Westpac foundation established a rare $100 million scholarship fund solely committed to offering 100 scholarships annually in a bid to realize its goal of enabling an improved, just and more inclusive Australia.

Discover more opportunities from Westpac foundation.

Key Dates and Order of Program

-Applications will no longer be accepted by 25th August 2020 

-The National Assessment Centre in Sydney will  hold by 8th-9th December 2020 

-Results  will be released by 15th December 2020 

-The Westpac Scholars Summit will take place by 25th-26th March 2021 

-The Fellowship will commence by June 30th, 2021

-Application for the 2022 fellowship session will open by June 2021

Applications will be reviewed and evaluated by the Research Fellowship Selection Panel. 

The National Selection Panel comprises senior industry and academic leaders responsible for the final selection of a diverse and strongly qualified Westpac Research Fellows and Future Leader Scholars. 

 The men and women on the panel include:

  • Professor Larissa Behrendt (2016): Professor of Indigenous Research and Director of Research at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology – Academic category
  • Professor Aidan Byrne (2016 – 2019): Provost and Senior Vice President, The University of Queensland
  • Philip Coffey (2015 – 2019): NED – Lendlease, Macquarie Group, and Clean Energy Finance Corporation
  • Professor Suzanne Cory AC (2015, 2016): Laboratory Head, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
  • Professor Andy Dong (2015): Warren Centre Chair for Engineering Innovation, Faculty of Engineering and IT, University of Sydney
  • Professor Nicholas Farrelly (2015 – 2019): Head of Social Sciences, University of Tasmania
  • Professor Sandra Harding (2015, 2017): Vice-Chancellor and President, James Cook University
  • Professor G.Q. Max Lu (2015): Provost and Senior Vice President, The University of Queensland
  • Helen Lynch AM (2015, 2016): Director, Westpac Scholars Trust
  • Professor Tessa Morris Suzuki (2015, 2016): Professor of Japanese History, School of Culture, History, and Language, Australian National University
  • Professor John Shine AC (2015, 2016, 2018): President Australian Academy of Science, Professor of Medicine and Professor of Molecular Biology, University of NSW, and Chairman, CSL Limited
  • David Thodey AO (2015, 2016): Chairman, CSIRO and Chair of Jobs NSW
  • Dr. Angie Kings-Lynne (2016): Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship Program Ambassador
  • Dr. Heather Smith (2016 – 2019): Secretary of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Australian Government
  • Jon Nicholson (2016 – 2019): Director, Westpac Scholars Trust
  • Professor Edwina Cornish AO (2016, 2019): Former Provost and Senior Vice-President, Monash University
  • Professor Tanya Monro (2017, 2018): Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation, University of South Australia
  • Deena Shiff (2017): Chairman BAI Communications
  • Professor Judy Raper (2017, 2018): Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation – University of Wollongong
  • Professor Ian Smith (2017, 2018): Vice-Provost (Research & Research Infrastructure), Monash University
  • Ann Sherry AO (2018): Chairman of Carnival Australia
  • Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington (2019): Professor of History, the Australian National University
  • Professor Veena Sahajwalla (2019): Founding Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) at UNSW
  • Assoc Professor Elizabeth New (2019): 2016 Westpac Research Fellow, University of Sydney
  • Dave Curran (2018, 2019): Chairman, Westpac Scholars Trust

The National Assessment Centre will hold in Sydney

The Westpac Research Fellowship is offered at these 4 leading Australian universities:

  • The Australian National University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • The University of Queensland
  • The University of Sydney

The proposed program of study can be in any field of world-class standing at one of these universities, and must be relevant to the Foundation’s focus areas.

Networking and Partnership Opportunities

The Westpac Research Fellowship is supported by a diverse array of institutions that share its objectives and intents. The University partners include :

  • Founding partners
    • The University of Melbourne
    • The University of Melbourne
    • The University of Sydney
    • University of Wollongong
  • Other Partners
    • Queensland University of Technology
    • The University of Adelaide
    • The Australian National University
    • Monash University
    • The University of Queensland
    • RMIT University
    • UNSW
    • The University of Western Australia
    • Murdoch University
    • Western Sydney University
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Babajide is a content writer and site admin at Camberene. He majored in zoology and is also a tech enthusiast proficient in the use of python, R and other data analytics tools.

Babajide is looking into using machine learning and artificial intelligence in the near future.

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