Ernest Scott Prize

This prestigious prize, worth approximately $13,000, is awarded to original published research that contributes to the history of Australia or New Zealand or to the history of colonisation in these countries.

Applications open

7 Oct 2019

Applications closed

31 Dec 2019

Application type

Application required
How to apply

Benefit type

Single payment
Full benefit details

Citizenship requirements

Australian / domestic student
International student

Total value

up to $13,000

Applicable study areas

Historical, philosophical, political and social studies

Number of scholarships awarded


  • Billy Griffiths
    "It is an honour to awarded the 2019 Ernest Scott Prize for Deep Time Dreaming. This year’s shortlisted books display the richness, depth and diversity of histories about Australia and New Zealand. They also mark a growing awareness of, and respect for, First Nations peoples’ knowledge, histories and cultural expression. When we talk about the past 231 years of Australian history, we do so in the context of over 60,000 years of human experience on this continent. My book is about coming to terms with that deeper story."
    - Billy Griffiths
  • Eligibility & selection criteria


    To be eligible for this scholarship, you need to:

    • have published original research on the history of Australia/New Zealand (edited or republished works are not eligible)
    • live in Australia or New Zealand or the respective external territories

    Recipients are required to:

    • accept award online within 21 days
    • the winner will be invited to attend the announcement at the Kathleen Fitzpatrick Lecture at the University of Melbourne
    • the winner will also be invited to present the 'Ernest Scott Lecture' at the University of Melbourne

    Selection criteria

    Work must:

    • be based upon original research, which is, in the opinion of the judges, the most distinguished contribution to the history of Australia or New Zealand or to the history of colonisation in these countries
    • have been published during the two calendars years immediately prior to the first day of January of the year in which it is to be awarded
    • be entered by publishers. Authors are advised to request their publishers to enter their books on their behalf if they wish to enter

    Read about the 2019 award-winning publication Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia (Black Inc Books) by Dr Billy Griffiths here.  A full list of past winners can be found here.

  • Application process
    • submit an online application form
    • mail a copy of the book to each of the two judges. The postal addresses will be supplied via email alert after the online entry form has been successfully submitted
    • attach a cover page to each book stating the publisher, publisher contact name, position, email address, contact phone number, book details, author, date published and ISBN number.

    Books submitted will not be returned.

  • When will I know the outcome?

    Shortlisted entries will be announced late March or early April 2020.

  • About the donor

    Emily Scott

    Emily Scott founded this prize to perpetuate the memory of her husband Emeritus Professor Sir Ernest Scott, KB.

    Ernest Scott was Professor of History at the University for Melbourne for 23 years, from 1913-1936. The prize commemorates his interest in the development of Australian historical studies.

    Born outside wedlock, raised by his grandparents and enjoying no higher education, he worked as a journalist for 20 years. As a young Fabian and Theosophist, he married the daughter of Annie Besant and migrated to Melbourne in 1892.

    His books on Australian exploration history made Scott into a professional among amateurs and antiquarians. He inspired his students to do archival research and to ask critical questions of popular historical mythologies.

    A generation of young Australians learned about the country's past from his notable Short History of Australia (1916).

What are the benefits?

Approximately $13,000


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