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The Northcote Postgraduate Scholarship


The awards are to enable students normally resident in the UK to undertake a higher degree at an Australian university for up to three years.

The Northcote (Postgraduate) Scholarships are awarded by the Northcote Trust, and administered on the Trust's behalf by the Britain-Australia Society.


There is no limitation on the field of study. Applicants must be resident in the UK (or one of its dependencies or territories) and need to ascertain their own eligibility for a postgraduate programme (MA or PhD) in Australia.

The Trustees will only accept applications for PhDs and Masters programmes with a significant research-based component. Please note the Trust does not support solely professional qualifications for Masters level study.


The scholarship provides:

  • Visa costs

  • An economy return airfare to Australia

  • Payment of compulsory university fees and charges as specified in the Northcote Postgraduate Scholarship PDF.

  • A generous living allowance, paid quarterly

Frequently Asked Questions

Please read Northcote Postgraduate Scholarship PDF thoroughly before contacting the office as the answer is likely to be there.


Application Process

​​Applications for the 2024 awards open on Tuesday 4 June 2024.

Application documents can be found here. Applications close at 5pm (GMT) on Friday 23 August 2024. Applications (full or incomplete) will not be accepted after this time.​​

  • After the closing date submissions are distributed to an Evaluation Committee.

  • The Trustees then decide the scholarship awardee(s).

  • The decision is communicated to all applicants approximately 2 months after submissions close (i.e. around the end of October 2024).

Applications must be supported by:

  • A completed Northcote Postgraduate Scholarship application form which includes:

    • Contact details

    • A summary CV

    • A statement from the applicant on the proposed course (1 or 2 pages)

    • A statement of why the study must be undertaken in Australia

  • Two references, on the form provided, from persons able to assess the academic potential and character of the applicant

  • A firm offer from the university. If no offer has yet been obtained then a statement from the host institution in Australia indicating that programme of study can be appropriately pursued there and that the candidate is eligible and has been given provisional acceptance.

Obligations of scholarship awardees

  • Study must commence within one year of the award.

  • The flight out must be taken within one year of the award

  • No funds above those stated will be entertained

  • The award is granted for no longer than 3 years

  • Scholars are responsible for arranging their own visa, health cover, insurance etc.

  • A yearly report (and half-year update) must be submitted on progress and expenditure. This must be supported by course supervisors. Continuation of the grant depends on satisfactory reports

  • A comprehensive report on completion of the study is also required

If you would like help applying to your chosen programme at an Australian university, or have any questions about the university application process, please contact Study Options. Founded in 2005, Study Options is a free advice and application service for students. For more information please see

Northcote Trust Administrator:

The Northcote Trust c/o The Britain-Australia Society

Australia Centre Strand London WC2B 4LG

T: 020-7630-1075


Please note that the scholarships are awarded by the Northcote Trust. The Britain Australia Society has no involvement other than administrating the Trust.

If you are a UK or Australian university we would appreciate if you would promote this scholarship to your graduates/prospective postgrads. Please get in touch via email for a flyer.

History of the Northcote Trust


The Rt Hon. Lady Northcote, born Alice Stephen, was the wife of Australia’s Third Governor General and was a Dame of the British Empire and received the Star of India. She made a 1932 Will which included instructions to set up the Northcote Trust.


Alice died on June 1st 1934 and William Waldegrave Palmer, Earl Selborne, was made a Trustee to chair the Trust. In 1975 the aims of the Trust were restated as:

“To assist students resident in the United Kingdom by awarding grants of scholarships to enable them to study in universities and colleges in Australia”.

Income from invested Trust funds determines how many scholars are supported each year but typically there are 1 to 3 new PhD and/or MA scholars awarded each year.


National Library of Australia

Scholar Stories


Our past scholars have attended a range of Australian universities and there is no limit on the subject of study. See below for some of their stories…

Susannah – PhD, University of Western Australia

What was your first impression of Australia?

My first impression of Australia was warm and green! I loved how easy it was to get out into nature and to the beach.

What have been some of your highlights?

There are so many highlights to choose from! I think it would have to be all the incredible field trips I’ve undertaken as part of my PhD research.

What was a key feature of your research in Australia?

My research is on cross-cultural ecology of granite outcrops - how to work together with First Nations Peoples to conserve nature in a way that decolonises the research space, priorities Indigenous world views, and is based on trust, respect, mutual learning and open-mindedness.

Advice for future applicants?

Without a doubt, go explore!

Susannah Cramp pic.jpg

Isobel – LLM, University of Sydney

Advice for future applicants?

Just go for it! Research the institution you plan to study at, the people you plan to study under and the existing research coming out of those places.

What was a key feature of your research in Australia?

My dissertation looked at the human rights implications of technology facilitated violence against women and girls.

How did your project relate to Australia specifically?

Two of the most prominent scholars in this area are based in Australia. Similar to the UK, State and Federal government are cracking down on ‘revenge porn’ and so it was interesting to research the differences in approaches.

Isobel Howe.jpg

Shani – PhD, University of Sydney

What was your first impression of Australia?

Everyone I met was extremely welcoming, with lots of people offering to help me settle in to ease into Australian life very quickly.

Advice for future applicants?

Think about how your research is applicable to Australia. This country is incredibly unique in many ways, so use this opportunity to take advantage of that.

What was the biggest difference?

The wildlife. As an ecologist I am constantly coming across flora and fauna which I have never even heard of and I am pleasantly surprised by something new every day.

What was a key feature of your research in Australia?

I’m researching the spatial and temporal learning of predators when foraging in response to olfactory misinformation to manipulate them into ignoring vulnerable native prey.

Shani Masani_edited.png

Daniel – PhD, University of Sydney

What was your first impression of Australia?

I'll never forget my very first day in Australia. I strolled along Sydney Harbour with a sunny and clear blue sky up above. Heavily jet-lagged, it felt like I was standing in the middle of a postcard.

What were you most nervous about?

Being so distant from my family in the UK (it's not like they were a quick trip away) and, of course, building a new social and professional network from scratch. But that's part of the excitement of this challenge!

Advice for future applicants?

Travel the country to get a sense of Australia's sheer scale and rich history and culture, join clubs/groups outside of the university to meet new people (these people ended up being my closest friends in Australia), and do not underestimate the work that you will have to put in. As much as the Northcote Scholarship presents you with an opportunity to explore Australia, it's important to remember that it is not a funded holiday and you will need to put some serious work in to your study.

Daniel Seaton.jpg

Current and past scholars include:

2023 Joel Gayford, PhD – JCU, Natural and Physical Sciences

​2022 Jacob Minihane, PhD – Victoria, Extremism, Terrorism and Radicalisation

2022 Layla Danby, MSc – UWA, Marine Biology

2021 Shani Masani, PhD – Sydney University, Behavioural Ecology and Conservation

2021 Katie Rowlinson, MSc – UWA, Zoology

2021 Isobel Howe, LLM – Sydney University

2019 Alexandra Kirkman, MA – Adelaide, Environmental Policy and Management

2019 Susanna Cramp, PhD – Western Australia, Aboriginal Knowledge and Conservation

2019 Daniel Seaton, PhD – Sydney, History

2018 Camillo Lamanna, MA – Sydney, Public Health

2018 Edward Evans, PhD – James Cook, Biochemistry

2017 Alex Ferdi, PhD – Sydney, Opthalmology

2016 Abigail Lewis, MA – Melbourne, Int’l Relations

2016 Sahil Patel, PhD – Sydney, Pharmacology

2015 Jessica Sayers, PhD – Sydney, Chemistry

2014 Anna Siddell, MA – Sydney, Medicine

2014 Shulamit Rawson, MA – Melbourne, Public Health

2014 Sevan Houston, PhD – Queensland, Chemistry

2013 Rebecca Morris, PhD – Sydney, Bioscience

2013 Portia Whiffin, MA – Macquarie, Policing

2012 Rosie Johnston, MA – Sydney, Medicine

2011 Ruth Kamrowski, PhD – James Cook, Environmental Science

2010 Charles Plumptre, PhD – University of Adelaide, Microbiology

2009 Emily Best, PhD – Queensland, Biology (Kangaroo social groups)

2009 Glenn Carter, MA – ANU, Visual Arts (Glassworking)

2009 Simon Lane, PhD – Newcastle, Biology (Oocytes in chromosomes)

2009 Steven Paget, PhD – ANU, Defence (Strategic and Defence Studies Centre )

2008 Madeleine Bottrill, PhD – Queensland, Ecology (Biodiversity conservation,)

2008 Denise Bunting, PhD – Sydney, Ecology (Biogenic habitats )

2007 Carla Atkinson, PhD – Queensland, Biology (Taste sensory systems in sharks)

2007 John Bourke, PhD – Sydney, Mathematics (Universal algebra)

2007 David O’Connor, PhD – Melbourne, Medicine (Cognitive neuroscience)

2006 Mehera Kidston, PhD – UNSW, Environment (Southern Ocean ecosystem)

2006 Rebecca Weeks, PhD – James Cook, Marine Biology

2005 Jerome Laurence, PhD – Sydney, Medicine (Liver transplant tolerance)

2005 Redmond Smyth, PhD – Monash, Medicine (HIV-1 genetics)

2004 Simon Sleight, PhD – Monash, History (current Trustee of the Northcote Trust)

Shani Masani.jpg

2021 scholar, Shani Masani, who studied her PhD in Behavioural Ecology and Conservation at Sydney University.

Scholar News


An afternoon tea at the House of Lords

Before setting off to commence their studies in Australia, our 2021 Northcote Trust awardees were joined by former award recipients, the Northcote Trust Board of Trustees, Baroness Ramsay and Baroness Amos at an afternoon tea at the House of Lords hosted by Northcote Trustee, Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke PC.


Shani Masani (Sydney University, PhD), Katie Rowlinson (UWA, MSc), Susannah Cramp (UWA, PhD – 2019 awardee)


Margaret Mayston (Trustee), Simon Sleight (Trustee and 2004 awardee), Baroness Liddell, George Fergusson (Chair of Trustees), Katie Rowlinson, Peter Austin (Trustee), Shani Masani, Susannah Cramp, Sevan Houston (2014 awardee)

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