S Ernest Sprott Fellowship

This Fellowship, worth approximately $40,600, is available for Australian scholars (not students) intending to study outside of Australia, leading to publishing a book relating to dramatic or non-dramatic English literature of the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries.

Applications open

24 Feb 2020

Applications closed

22 Jun 2020

Application type

Application required
How to apply

Benefit type

Bi-annual payment
Full benefit details

Citizenship requirements

Australian / domestic student

Total value

up to $40,600

Applicable study areas

Language, literature and cultural studies; Performing and visual arts, theatre, film and television

Number of scholarships awarded


  • Merridee Bailey
    "At a time when the humanities seems under threat it is reassuring to know that scholarly work is valued and its importance is recognised. The generosity of S. Ernest Sprott in helping Australian scholars immerse themselves in the literature of early modern England is a rare gift and one I am deeply appreciative of."
    - Merridee Bailey
  • Eligibility & selection criteria


    To be eligible for this scholarship, you need to:

    • be an outstanding scholar and showcase high academic achievement
    • be an Australian Citizen
    • be less than 45 years old, at the time of the award
    • have completed formal study before their proposed travel dates
    • intend to publish a book relating to dramatic or non-dramatic English literature of the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries.
    • be able to outline a program of independent scholarly study outside Australia.

    Research may be undertaken in any language.

    Selection criteria

    • applicants must demonstrate an outstanding record of scholarship. They must outline a program of scholarly study outside Australia, leading to a book relating to dramatic or non-dramatic English literature of the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries.
    • it is recommended that the applicant seek some kind of formal affiliation with a relevant library or university.


    • The successful applicant will be required to visit the University of Melbourne to meet the selection committee before they depart for overseas to introduce their project. Costs incurred for this meeting (including airfares, meals and one night accommodation) will be organised by the recipient and will be purchased out of the fellowship funds.
    • The recipient will be expected to provide quarterly reports on their progress in order for continuing payment of the award. These reports, to be delivered by the applicant at the end of each quarter, must be ratified by the committee or appropriate representative before the next quarterly payment can be made.
    • Each report should be no longer than 1 A4 page in length, and include the following details:
      • list of the research successfully completed by the candidate in that quarter, including archival studies, cross-referenced to the proposed schedule
      • a brief account of any significant departures from the proposal, whether due to significant archival discoveries or other factors
      • a list of any accomplishments associated with the scholarship, including public presentations or publications.
    • The fourth and final reporting which is due within 3 months of returning from overseas will include a public presentation at the University of Melbourne, at a time to be organised by the candidate in collaboration with the committee. Costs incurred for this meeting (including airfares, meals and one night accommodation) will be organised by yourself and will be purchased out of your fellowship funds. The final presentation will be required for successful acquittal of the grant, and may include interviews for marketing purposes.
  • Application process

    Submit an application via the online form. This requires a brief proposal detailing the intended scholarly studies, your budget and include the following documents:

    • A curriculum vitae (including present position and publications)
    • A copy of Australian Citizenship
    • Two academic references.
    • Optional: Further supporting information that may assist the committee in making its decision (ie, this allows you space on the application form to upload documents, in addition to the above, which you may feel are relevant for the committee)
  • When will I know the outcome?

    Applicants will be advised of the outcome via email within 8-10 weeks after the closing date.

  • About the donor

    Samuel Ernest Sprott

    The donor, who died on 20 May 2009, was born in Hobart, Tasmania. He was an academic in the department of English at Dalhousie University, Canada, from 1958 to 1985, and for almost 25 years after his retirement he kept an office at Dalhousie University and continued his research in early modern  literature (most notably in Shakespearean studies). He was best known for his work on John Milton, notably ‘Milton’s Art of Prosody’, his first book, which appeared in nine editions between 1953 and 1978, and ‘John Milton, A Maske: the Earlier Versions’. His ‘Suicide: the English debate from Donne to Hume’ was published in 1961. He also published a collection of poems in 1955.

What are the benefits?

The scholar will receive approximately  $40,600 over four instalments.


The Faculty of Arts will continue the application and awarding process for scholarships in 2020. Travel scholarship recipients will be granted extended travel dates. Find out how the University is responding to the COVID-19 situation.



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