H B Higgins Scholarship

This scholarship supports Honours, graduate coursework or research students undertaking advanced studies in poetry.

Applications open

13 Mar 2023

Applications closed

1 May 2023

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 $5,160

Applicable study areas

Language, literature and cultural studies

Number of scholarships awarded

One or more

  • Kiara Lindsay
    "Aside from significant funding for this project, this scholarship also gave me a new sense of confidence. Since receiving the scholarship, I have gone on to be published in Rabbit Journal Issue 26, Marrickville Pause Issue 5 and Voiceworks’ upcoming Issue 113. I was also invited to take part in ACCA’s workshop Writing in the Expanded Field. Receiving the H.B. Higgins Scholarship was the push I needed to continue working as a poet."
    - Kiara Lindsay
  • Eligibility & selection criteria


    To be eligible for this scholarship, you must:

    • be an Honours, graduate coursework or research student undertaking advanced studies in poetry at the University of Melbourne.

    Selection criteria

    The scholarship will be awarded to the applicant who demonstrates:

    • demonstrated creative ability and the intention of the applicant to engage in future advanced studies of poetry during the tenure of the scholarship;
    • the quality and feasibility of the submitted research plan;
    • academic merit; and,
    • the skills, experience and aptitude required to carry out the proposed project as evidenced by the application.
  • Application process

    Eligible applicants must complete the online application form, including:

    • a 300-500 word proposal outlining advanced poetry studies;
    • proposed travel itinerary, if relevant;
    • an indicative budget;
    • at least one academic reference;
    • current academic record from the University of Melbourne;
    • academic transcripts of all tertiary education to date; and,
    • any other documents or information which may assist the faculty in making its decision.
  • About the donor

    Henry Bournes Higgins, KC

    The H B Higgins Scholarship is awarded for the purpose of enhancing the study of poetry.

    The donor, the Honourable Henry Bournes Higgins KC (1851-1929), politician and judge, was born in 1851 at Newtownards, Down, Ireland, and the family moved to Melbourne in 1870. Starting his education in Ireland and after emigrating, studying at the University of Melbourne where he graduated in law (LL.B., 1874; M.A., 1876). Higgins had an outstanding record at university in languages, logic, history, political economy and Shakespeare. He practised at the Melbourne bar from 1876, eventually becoming one of the city's leading barristers and a Kings Counsel in 1903. He was active in liberal, radical, and Irish nationalist politics, as well as in many civic organisations. He was also a noted classical scholar.

    In 1885, Higgins married Mary Alice Morrison. They had one child, Mervyn Bournes (1887-1916) also an alum of the University of Melbourne. Once his success at the Bar was established, Higgins turned to public affairs. Holding public office at a colonial level in the late 1800s and moving to Federal politics in 1901, which ultimately led to a position as a Justice of the High Court of Australia from 1906 to 1929.

    Higgins maintained a broad range of cultural interests. He served on the Council of the University of Melbourne in 1887-1923, supporting the admission of female graduates to all privileges and advocating a university extension system. He was privately generous in financial support of students and in 1904 provided a gift for a poetry scholarship. Poetry was his particular love. As early as 1885 he lectured to the Melbourne University Union on 'The Muses in Australia', and he was quick to recognize the contribution of the Bulletin to Australian literature. Alfred Deakin acknowledged him as 'one of the parents; if not the chief parent' of the Commonwealth Literary Fund. His strong ties with his niece Nettie Palmer helped to sustain these Australian cultural interests.

What are the benefits?

Up to $5,160. Several scholarships may be awarded from these available funds.

Recipients are required to:

  • accept award online within 21 days;
  • submit the relevant travel documents if using the scholarship for travel; and,
  • submit a final report.

Recipients may use the scholarship for travel.



Legal (PDF)

For complete listings of faculty-specific scholarships, please see individual faculty websites.

The information listed here is subject to change without notice. Where we have listed information about jointly run scholarships programs, please also see our partners' websites. Information describing the number and value of scholarships awarded is indicative.