John and Eric Smyth Travelling Scholarship (Alumni)

The prestigious John and Eric Smyth Travelling Scholarship supports recipients who show potential as a researcher or teacher who, in the opinion of the University, can enrich the teaching profession and the work of the school by study abroad. The Alumni scholarship offers travel, accommodation and tuition fees (if applicable) for a period of up to two years. The recipient can use the scholarship in a variety of ways that relate to education: from a masters program to a study tour, from a professional development course to a subject or problem which directly relates to the work of a teacher, or which will help in the advancement of education in Australia.

Applications open

1 Sep 2023

Applications closed

30 Oct 2023

Application type

Application required
How to apply

Benefit type

General allowance
Full benefit details

Citizenship requirements

Australian / domestic student

Total value

$1,000 - $100,000

Applicable study areas

Education, teaching and training

Number of scholarships awarded


  • Rhiannon Simpson
    "As someone who grew up in a low-income household, the sheer amount of financial freedom the scholarship has provided is life changing. This is the first time in my life that I have been able to study without working full time concurrently, which has allowed me to solely focus on getting my academic pursuits to a higher standard."
    Read Rhiannon's story
  • Eligibility & selection criteria


    To be eligible for this scholarship, you must:

    • be under 30 years of age at the  time of commencing an application
    • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
    • have (or be close to completing*) one or more of:
      • an undergraduate degree at the University of Melbourne
      • a Master of Teaching (any stream) at the University of Melbourne
      • a Master of Education at the University of Melbourne
    • demonstrate an aptitude as a teacher or lecturer and an ability to research education (note: this may be demonstrated through strong performances in Professional Practice subjects completed as a part of your teaching qualification)
    • demonstrate to the University the potential to enrich the teaching profession and the work of MGSE by study abroad

    * You may apply if you are within one year of graduating.  The scholarship money cannot be paid until you have graduated, which means the program of travel you apply for must be after your date of graduation.

    Selection criteria

    You can apply to use the scholarship in a variety of ways:

    • to support a study program overseas to study education and allied subjects at a university
    • study education systems at work through a study tour
    • study a subject or problem which is directly related to the work of a teacher, or which will help in the advancement of education
    • take a professional development course/program that relates to your work as an educator

    Applicants will be assessed by a panel of three MGSE academics on the merit of their application.

    To assess your potential as a researcher or teacher, the selection panel needs to evaluate your teaching and/or research potential.  Some applicants will have a strong background in teaching, and others in research. Equal weighting will be given to each.  If you have strengths in both areas, each of these will be taken into account.


    It is a condition of the scholarship that you return to Australiasia within three years of the termination of the scholarship and hold a position in the field of education for a minimum of two years.  Failing which the recipient is to repay half the scholarship within four years of its termination.  As part of your application, you need to outline your intentions in this regard.

    If you do not undertake formal study at a university overseas, you will write and present an 8,000 to 10,000 word report to MGSE.

    John Smyth’s stated in his Will that he wishes the winner to remember John Smyth and his son Eric Smyth throughout their career, and, once they have established themselves, to contribute back to the John and Eric Smyth travelling fund and so perpetuate the spirit which originated the fund.

  • Application process

    The application process is as follows:

    • Submit an online application.  The application form will be available when the scholarship opens
    • Only applicants who confirm they meet the eligibility criteria above will be able to complete and submit an application
    • In order to be considered you will need to provide a full and detailed response to all the questions
    • Applications will be considered by a panel of three academic staff members
    • Shortlisted candidates may be invited to an interview, referees contacted and/or further information request
    • For any questions regarding this scholarship please contact:

    Application questions include:

    • confirmation that you meet the eligibility criteria (listed above)
    • your personal rational for applying for this scholarship
    • a brief curriculum vitae
    • a detailed explanation of your planned study program, including proposed dates, location, course details (if applicable)
    • your motivation for this line of enquiry
    • your prior academic record
    • detailed information relating to the research/study you wish to explore and how this will benefit Australian education
    • the benefit of your research/study to the Melbourne Graduate School of Education
    • how you intend to utilise knowledge gained on return to Australia to benefit the education system
    • proposed budget including travel costs, accommodation and tuition (the selection panel understands that prices can change, especially travel costs.  If you are awarded the scholarship you can update this information for the selection panel, with reference to the firm bookings you have made).
    • name and contact details of up to two referees
  • When will I know the outcome?

    Outcome available by mid January 2024 at the latest

  • About the donor

    John Smyth

    John Smyth (pronounced Smith) was the first Professor of Education at the University of Melbourne.  He set up the John and Eric Smyth Travelling Scholarship to commemorate his son Eric, a medical student, who died from an accidental poisoning by carbon monoxide in the bathroom when he was only 23.  John donated the sum that would have paid for Eric’s education and post-graduate study abroad on top of what he set aside originally to establish this fund.  His wish was that the recipient be of excellent character and that they be force for good and that they be possessed of a strong desire to uplift humanity

What are the benefits?

The value of each scholarship is variable depending on the circumstances, duration of time overseas and nature of enquiry of the recipient, and will be determined by the selection committee.

The total value of each scholarship can vary from $AUD 1,000 - $100,000:

  • Minimum value: $1,000-$5,000 awarded for a short study program of one-two weeks
  • Maximum value: $100,000 can be awarded for programs of study of up to two years

Applicants will be required to include a funding request as part of their application.

Legal (PDF)

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.