John and Eric Smyth Travelling Scholarship

The lucrative and prestigious John and Eric Smyth Travelling Scholarship is aimed at supporting applicants who show potential as a researcher or teacher and wish to undertake study overseas for a period of up to two years.

Applications open

15 Sep 2019

Applications closed

31 Jan 2020

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

Approximately 1

  • Professor Lyn Yates
    "The scholarship allowed me to spend time in Bristol and London and encounter first hand some exciting new work and theories that were important influences on my later research."
    Read Professor Lyn Yates'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 a Master of Teaching at the University of Melbourne, or, a Graduate Diploma of Teaching and have completed an undergraduate degree 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.

    *In the University Trust Record, the reference to Diploma of Education or Masters degree in Education, refers to the courses Master of Teaching and Graduate Diploma of Teaching. Applicants must have completed these courses as a teaching qualification.

    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

    The following guidelines outline what you need to do to make an application for this Scholarship.


    1. Check that you meet the Criteria (above).
    2. Write an Expression of Interest of 500 words that outlines the kind of project you would like to do or the course (from a short course to a PhD) that you would like to undertake and why you wish to undertake that course.
    3. Email this to Expressions of Interest (EOI) must be received by midnight (AEST) 31 January 2020.
    4. You will receive a response indicating whether you have been invited to submit an application.

    The Project (for students undertaking research abroad)

    1. You will need to think carefully about what your project will be. At the Expression of Interest stage you could think about what your main researchable idea is, and which overseas universities or systems of education you could plan to visit to develop your idea.
    2. One possibility is to align your idea with the research strengths and directions of the MGSE. This will give you an opportunity to tap into the extensive overseas networks we have built up. Find out about these areas of research.
    3. You will then devise a plan of visits/studies, and a (broadly) costed itinerary for the time you expect to be overseas.

    Subject and course overview (for students undertaking coursework program or undertaking a short-course abroad)

    1. You will need to think carefully about how you will use your study to further education in Australia and what you plan to do with your studies once you return to Australia.
    2. You will need to show that during your studies you will undertake some research and produce a written paper as part of the course or if applying for a short course, that the short course will enable you to produce a report of educational significance to be prersented at MGSE upon your return.
    3. You will then devise a plan of visits/studies, and a (broadly) costed itinerary for the time you expect to be overseas.
  • 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 offers a generous stipend as well as travel, accommodation and tuition fees (if applicable) 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:

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

Legal (PDF)

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