Skip navigation

Sir Roland Wilson Scholarship

Full pay PhD scholarships for Australian public servants.

We offer three-year full pay PhD scholarships to support high performing EL1 and EL2 Australian Public Service (APS) employees to complete PhD research on topics of national significance at The Australian National University (ANU).

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

University Avenue
University Avenue


To be eligible for the PhD Scholarship, applicants must:

  • be a substantive Executive Level 1 or 2 employee;
  • have at least three years’ service in APS; and
  • have been admitted to a PhD program at ANU, commencing in Semester 1 2025.

Scholarship program selection process overview and key dates

Stage 1: ANU Application
  • October 2023 - March 2024

    Online information sessions held between October 2023 and February 2024

    11 October 2023
    23 November 2023
    1 February 2024

    PhD and MPhil Research Proposal Writing Workshop

    9 January 2024

    Please register to attend via the links above.

    ANU applications open for scholarship applicants

    Candidates need to develop a research proposal. The research topic should be of public interest and strategic priority, of relevance and enduring interest to the APS. For more information about topics to consider, refer to the Scholarship Information Pack.

    Candidates should identify and liaise with an academic supervisor as they develop their research proposal.

    All candidates need to submit a completed application for an ANU PhD program by 31 March 2024. More information about applying to ANU is available on the ANU website. Please allow enough time to prepare your ANU PhD application so that it is complete by 31 March 2024.

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

  • 31 March 2024

    PhD applications close for scholarship applicants.

Stage 2: Agency application
  • April – July 2024

    Internal agency selection processes

    Once you have a letter of offer confirming you have been accepted into the program you have selected at ANU, you need to apply through your agency. 

    Complete the Sir Roland Wilson Foundation Scholarship Application Form and submit it to your agency with supporting documents.

    Agencies select candidates 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.

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

    - possession of academic credentials and a capacity to conduct high quality, sustained research, with acceptance into an approved PhD program at ANU.

    - identification of an area of research that is of public interest and strategic priority, of relevance and enduring interest to the APS.

Stage 3: Foundation shortlisting and interviews
  • August 2024

    Agencies send nominations to the Foundation

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

    Shortlisted candidate interviews

Stage 4: Outcomes
  • September 2024

    Candidates notified of outcomes

    Successful candidates will be offered a Scholarship to commence the following February.

  • November 2024

    New scholar orientation

  • February 2025

    Scholars start the scholarship program and their studies

Administrative arrangements

Scholars and their agency enter into a Deed of Agreement stipulating the agency’s conditions of release for you to participate in the scholarship.

Sir Roland Wilson scholarships are full-pay scholarships. Scholars receive financial support from their agency, paid either as salary (at the scholar’s substantive grade) or as an equivalent financial payment. Taxation, superannuation and other employment conditions continue to apply, as per the relevant enterprise agreement. The Australian Public Service Commission provides advice to scholars’ agencies regarding the drafting of the Deeds of Agreement.

Scholarships are awarded 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.