John and Eric Smyth Travelling Scholarship

NOTE: this scholarship remains closed pending further notification from DFAT regarding international travel. The lucrative and prestigious John and Eric Smyth Travelling Scholarship aims to support applicants who show potential as a researcher or teacher. The scholarship can offer a stipend as well as travel, accommodation and tuition fees. The recipient can use the scholarship to support a study program overseas to study education and allied subjects at a university, study education systems and/or study a subject related to the teaching profession.

Application dates

Applications are currently closed

Application type

Application required
How to apply

Benefit type

General allowance
Full benefit details

Citizenship requirements

Australian / domestic student

Total value

up to $160,000

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 need to:

    • be under 30 years of age on the specified closing date
    • be an Australian Citizen
    • have completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Melbourne, OR have completed a Master of Teaching or a Graduate Diploma of Teaching at the University of Melbourne
    • demonstrate an aptitude in teaching 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)
    • be keen to make an exciting career move, and
    • would like to pursue research or teaching interests at an overseas institution or setting.

    Selection criteria

    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.

    The following criteria will apply:

    • If you are applying for this Scholarship via the research route
      • You will be assessed according to academic marks and grades received in your Master of Teaching or Grduate Diploma of Teaching and any other recent University qualifications. You would need to have an average of H1 / 80%.
      • You will also be assessed on any research that you have undertaken.
      • Ideally, you will also have some teaching experience.
    • If you are applying for this Scholarship via the teaching route
      • An average of at least H1 or 80% would be preferred, but this minimum grade/mark may be waived for those who show potential as an outstanding teacher.  The panel needs to be confident that the applicant would be capable of writing a high-quality report (see ‘The Project’ under 'Application process' below).
      • Your current contributions to education in Australia.
      • Ideally, you will be able to demonstrate an ability to research the field of education.

    It is a condition of the scholarship that you are expected to 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.

    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 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

    This scholarship is not open for applications in line with DFAT directives for Australians not to travel. The scholarship will remain closed until guidelines change.

    To register your interest in this scholarship please email

  • 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 lucrative and prestigious John and Eric Smyth Travelling Scholarship is aimed at supporting applicants who show potential as a researcher or teacher.  It can offer a generous stipend as well as travel, accommodation and tuition fees for a period of up to two years.

The value of the scholarship will be dependent on length of study. The $160,000 maximum reflects two years of full time study.

The recipient can use the scholarship to support a study program overseas to study:

  • education and allied subjects at a university
  • education systems
  • a subject related to the teaching profession

Legal (PDF)

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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.