Universitas 21 Scholarships for Professional Staff

The Universitas 21 (U21) Scholarship Scheme provides awards to professional staff of the University of Melbourne to undertake a management development activity across U21 institutions. The Scheme is designed to encourage visits and exchanges of key professional staff across participating institutions.

The scholarships recognise outstanding performance by professional staff of the University of Melbourne, provide development opportunities for the recipients and benefit the University through the advancement of its administrative and management practices. The scholarships have the key objectives of enabling professional staff to develop their expertise further, pass on what they have learned for the benefit of the University of Melbourne, and strengthen links with other U21 institutions so that other staff and students can benefit from mobility across the U21 network.

The Selection Committee awards makes an allocation of up to $12,500 to support each scholarship. Scholars will be funded to spend up to two months engaged in a management project at U21 institutions and any additional universities outside the consortium and, where appropriate, to attend a relevant international conference or development program. The undertaking of a significant management project will be a core component of each award. Scholarships will be taken up within twelve months of receipt of the award. Eligibility for awards will be limited to professional staff of the University of Melbourne at the HEW  8, 9 or 10 levels.

Read more about Universitas 21.

2017 winners

Ms Barbara Slattery, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences

Ms Lisa Cornish, Mr James Cornish and Ms Therese Kosmer, Faculty of the Victoria College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music

2016 winners

Dr Gen Ford, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning

Ms Georgia von Guttner, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences

Nomination process

Heads of Departments are asked to be responsible, in the first instance, for identifying potential applicants. They should encourage applications from suitably qualified members of professional staff.

Staff may, however, initiate applications through discussion with their Head of Department. Further advice regarding their proposed scholarship project can be obtained in discussion with the Senior Vice-Principal. Staff should submit their application to their Dean, who should then forward these with a covering memorandum to the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education (contact details below). The grounds on which they have ranked the various applications should be provided in the memo. Particularly for the purpose of judging management performance, account should be taken of matters such as the outcome of management projects, success in reaching strategic objectives, and other evidence of excellence. Divisional Heads will be responsible for approving the final project details for successful nominees, and may be required to contribute additional funds to ensure the proposed program can be fulfilled.

Priority areas

Applicants are encouraged to propose projects that are aligned with areas of strategic importance for the University in achieving its aims to: deliver greater impact through research; enhance the student experience in a digital world; and integrate the strands of teaching and learning, research and engagement. Projects should emphasise how these aims can be achieved by supporting people, organising infrastructure and aligning resources.

Projects may involve benchmarking and the sharing of information that leads to new possibilities for the University, the development of collaborative projects and the creation of resources that might be used across the U21 network.


Applications are now closed.

Applications must be concise (no longer than three pages responding to the selection criteria) and include a separate letter/email of support from the Divisional Head and abbreviated curriculum vitae of no more than two pages.

Applicants should provide sufficient details to enable the Committee to make judgments according to the selection criteria.

Selection criteria:

  • Proven record of excellence and innovation
  • Capacity for further career development
  • Ability to be an excellent ambassador for the University of Melbourne
  • How they would use the experience of visiting other universities to:
    1. further their understanding of excellence in administrative/management practices. The
      Committee encourages scholars to become involved in benchmarking programs of the
      University with equivalent ones at other Universitas 21 universities
    2. foster mobility for staff and students of the University of Melbourne or enhance their  engagement with other institutions.
  • Applications must include:
    1. an outline of the proposed program which is to be completed by the end of the  following calendar year
    2. details of visits to at least three Universitas 21 universities
    3. a nominated date by which a report will be submitted and a presentation given
    4. an outline of other ways in which the findings of the project will be shared with  colleagues at the University.
  • The particular dimension of administrative/management practices on which the scholarship  would focus. Applications must include the theme and details of the administrative/management project and any professional development program to be undertaken as part of the award
  • The ways in which the scholarship would be used to improve the quality of  administrative/management practices, not only in their faculty/division, but at the University of Melbourne in general upon their return
  • How the proposal would reinforce the broad program themes of Universitas 21 –outlined here: http://www.universitas21.com/content/docs/110622Strategicfocuswithimage.pdf.

Applications received from staff without a letter/email of support from the Divisional Head will not be considered. Only one copy of the application is required. Materials submitted with the application will not be returned. It is expected that the number of non-U21 universities to be visited will not exceed three and/or the number of U21 universities to be visited. Submit to Erin Turner, erin.turner@unimelb.edu.au.

Selection process

Selection of Fellows is conducted by the Universitas 21 Fellowship and Scholarship Selection Committee (the Committee), the membership of which includes the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Undergraduate), the President of the Academic Board, a Pro Vice-Chancellor from Research, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International) or nominee and the Executive Director, Human Resources.

The Committee has resolved that scholars should be representative of a wide range of backgrounds, including in terms of expertise and seniority (across HEW levels 8-10). Accordingly, the Committee will take into account a number of factors in appointing scholars so as to ensure that, over time, a range of appointments are made. The departments of previous appointees will be taken into account, as will the spread of seniority, gender balance and the projects of other recent appointees.

Above all, scholars will be appointed on the basis of demonstrated excellence in management and their potential to use the scholarship to further the administrative/management practices of the University of Melbourne. The Committee will look favourably upon those whose projects foster mobility of staff and students at the University of Melbourne.

Scholarship requirements

The successful staff members who are awarded a scholarship are requested to undertake the following steps in preparation for, and subsequent reporting on, their scholarship.


After receiving written confirmation of the award of a scholarship, scholars will be invited to attend a Universitas 21 luncheon hosted by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Undergraduate) to discuss the planning of individual scholarship programs and exploring ways to maximize the benefit to the University.


The Committee will make an allocation of up to $12,500 to support each Scholarship. Approval of funding rests with Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Undergraduate) Professor Richard James. Therefore, after the successful fellow and the Dean have agreed upon a program and associated activities at the University of Melbourne, the recipient must submit a travel itinerary and detailed budget which outlines how funds will be expended to Professor James for final funding clearance.

Funding will be released to the recipient's department after the Melbourne CSHE receives a copy of the authorising memo/email and the associated budget. Departmental Finance Officers should contact the Melbourne CSHE melbourne-cshe@unimelb.edu.au or call 8344 4605 with any queries about accounting arrangements.


Following their return from overseas, scholarship recipients will be expected to deliver an open seminar for the University of Melbourne about their project and experiences at other Universitas 21 institutions. The seminar will be arranged by the Melbourne CSHE.

Scholarship Report

Successful applicants are required to submit a report within six weeks of completion of their Scholarship activities to the Melbourne CSHE.

The report should summarise or synthesise the main findings of the project that will be of benefit to the University of Melbourne and the broader Universitas 21 community. The report should be in the form of advice to the University on opportunities for enhancing administrative/management practices, including recommendations as appropriate.

This report should normally be of no more than 12 pages and should include:

  • An executive summary of approximately 300 words
  • An appendix listing the activities undertaken as part of the project.

The report should indicate that the grant funding has supported the activities proposed in the application and should identify where there were variations, if any, to the original proposal. The report should be of a standard suitable for placement in the e-Prints repository.

Privacy policy in relation to nominations

The information we are asking you to provide will be available to and used by the Committee, the Secretariat Officer, administrative staff and where necessary professional advisers in order to assess candidates for the Fellowships. The University of Melbourne has a comprehensive policy addressing issues related to the responsible use, collection and security of, and access to personal information. You are entitled to access personal information held by the University of Melbourne under freedom of information laws. Please read more about information privacy on the University's Privacy page.

Further information

Questions regarding the Scholarships should be directed to:

Erin Turner


Universitas 21 website
Universitas 21 student exchanges