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Sir Roland Wilson Pat Turner Scholarship

Full pay postgraduate scholarships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian public servants.

We offer one-to-three year postgraduate scholarships to high performing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian Public Service (APS) employees from APS 4 to Senior Executive Service Band 1. Our scholarships develop research, analytical and leadership skills, and support scholars to study topics of national significance and strategic importance to the APS at either The Australian National University (ANU) or Charles Darwin University (CDU).

Our scholars and alumni build connections between academia and the APS, and drive the development of evidence-based public policy.

An image of sculpture, Winged Harvest, by Fiona Foley
Winged Harvest by Fiona Foley

From 2023, we are offering an additional intake for Sir Roland Wilson Pat Turner coursework scholarships only.

Intake 1

Candidates wishing to begin a postgraduate coursework program at ANU or CDU in semester 2 of 2023 should apply to their chosen university by 31 December 2022.

Intake 2

Candidates wishing to begin any level of postgraduate study (coursework or research) at ANU or CDU in semester 1 2024 should apply to their chosen university by 31 March 2023.

Please find further details below.


To be eligible for the Sir Roland Wilson Pat Turner Scholarship, applicants must:

  • be a substantive APS 4 to SES Band 1 level Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander employee
  • be employed by the APS with at least three years' service
  • have been accepted into a postgraduate coursework or Higher Degree Research program at ANU or CDU.

Scholarship program selection process overview and key dates

Stage 1: ANU or CDU application
  • October 2022

    Online information session held between October 2022 and February 2023

    27 October 2022
    1 December 2022
    2 February 2023

    PhD and MPhil research proposal writing workshop

    14 December 2022

    Please register to attend via the links above.

    ANU and CDU applications open for scholarship applicants

    All candidates need to apply for an ANU or CDU postgraduate coursework or Higher Degree Research program.

    ANU: Candidates can find out more about studying a Master by Research or PhD, including details on how to apply, via the ANU website. Candidates wanting to study at Master by coursework at ANU can apply through UAC, or, depending on the program or course, directly to ANU.

    CDU: Candidates wanting to study a Master by Research or PhD at CDU can apply through the Office of Research and Innovation. Candidates wanting to study a postgraduate qualification by coursework at CDU can apply through SATAC or UAC.

    All higher degree research candidates, including Master of Philosophy and PhD, need to develop a research proposal. The research topic should be of national significance and strategic importance, or have immediate relevance to specific agencies or the APS. For more information about topics to consider, refer to the Scholarship Information Pack.

    Higher degree research candidates should identify an academic supervisor and liaise with them as they develop their research proposal.

    Once you submit your application, email the Foundation with your ANU or CDU application number.

    Applications for Intake 1 close 31 December 2022 - this is for postgraduate coursework programs beginning in semester 2 2023 at ANU or CDU only.

    Applications for Intake 2 close 31 March 2023 - this is postgraduate coursework programs, PhD and Masters by research beginning in semester 1 2024. 

Stage 2: Agency application
  • Intake 1: January - February 2023

  • Intake 2: April - June 2023

    Internal agency selection processes.

    Once you have a letter of offer confirming you have been accepted into the program from your chosen university, you need to apply through your agency.

    Complete the Scholarship Application Form and submit it to your agency with supporting documents.

    Agencies will select the candidates they wish to put forward for shortlisting and interview by the Sir Roland Wilson Foundation selection panel.

    Agencies look for the following attributes when selecting applicants for shortlisting:

    A record of high performance within the APS and leadership potential (commensurate with the level and duration of employment).

    A demonstrated commitment to the pursuit of a career in the APS.

    Possession of academic credentials and a capacity to conduct high quality, sustained study/research, with acceptance into an approved program at ANU or CDU.

    Identification of an area of study/research that is of priority public interest, of relevance and enduring interest for the APS.

Stage 3: Foundation shortlisting and interviews
  • Intake 1: April 2023

  • Intake 2: August 2023

    Agencies send endorsed applications to the Foundation

    The Sir Roland Wilson Foundation selection panel reviews the nominations and invites shortlisted candidates to interview.

    Shortlisted candidates attend interviews.

Stage 4: Outcomes
  • Intake 1: April 2023

  • Intake 2: September 202

    Candidates notified of outcomes

    Successful candidates will be offered a Pat Turner Scholarship to commence in July 2023 (Intake 1) or February 2024 (Intake 2).

  • Intake 1: May 2023

  • Intake 2: November 2023

    New scholar orientation

  • Intake 1: July 2023

  • Intake 2: February 2024

    Scholars start the scholarship program and their studies

Administrative arrangements

Scholars and their agency enter into a Deed of Agreement.

Scholars are paid their salary by their agency for the duration of their scholarship. Taxation, superannuation and other employment conditions continue to apply and are outlined in the Deed of Agreement. The Australian Public Service Commission can provide advice on individual Deeds of Agreement to scholars and agencies.

All scholars are awarded scholarships in accordance with ANU Conditions of Award.

Scholarship Enquiries
The Sir Roland Wilson Foundation is a partnership between The Australian National University, Charles Darwin University and the Australian Public Service.