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Sir Roland Wilson Scholarship

Full pay PhD scholarships for Australian public servants.

We offer three year scholarships to high performing EL1 and EL2 Australian Public Service employees to complete a PhD on a topic of national significance at ANU.

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


To be eligible, applicants must:

  • be a substantive Executive Level 1 or 2 employee
  • be employed by the Australian Public Service, with at least 3 years' service
  • have been accepted into a PhD program at ANU.

Scholarship program selection process overview and key dates

Stage 1: ANU Application
  • October 2019

    Info Sessions at ANU and government agencies.

    ANU Higher Degree Research applications open.

    Develop a research proposal for your PhD. The research topic should be of national significance and strategic importance to the Australian Public Service. For more information about topics to consider, refer to the Scholarship Information Pack .

    Once you have a proposal, identify and contact an ANU academic supervisor.

    Then apply for admission into an ANU PhD program through ANU Higher Degree Research admission office.

    Email the Foundation and provide us with your ANU application number.

  • March 2020

    ANU Higher Degree Research Applications close.

Stage 2: Agency Internal Selection Process
  • May 2020

    Sir Roland Wilson Foundation inform agencies which scholars have successful Higher Degree Research applications.

  • May – July 2020

    Internal agency selection processes.

    Once you have a Letter of Offer into a PhD program at ANU, you need to apply through your agency.

    Agencies select candidates who meet the selection guidelines for interview with the Sir Roland Wilson Foundation selection panel.

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

    Outstanding potential for senior leadership in the Australian Public Service and/or specialised professional or technical leadership in their field.

    A record of high performance.

    A research proposal in an area of national significance and strategic importance to the Australian Public Service.

Stage 3: SRW Scholarship Selection Process
  • July 2020

    Agencies send nominations to the Foundation.

    Agencies send their supported nominations to us.

    The Sir Roland Wilson Foundation selection panel review the nominations and invite shortlisted candidates to interviews in Canberra.

Stage 4: Outcomes
  • August 2020

    Interviews in Canberra.

    Candidates notified of outcomes.

    Successful candidates will be offered a Sir Roland Wilson scholarship to commence the following February.

  • November 2020

    New scholar orientation.

  • February 2021

    Scholars start the scholarship program and their studies.

Administrative arrangements

Scholars and their agency enter into a Deed of Agreement that outlines what the scholar and their agency agree to while they are on scholarship.

Scholars are paid their normal salary by their agency. 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 Sir Roland Wilson 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.