Scholarships and Bursaries for PhD and Doctoral Degree students

Three  scholarships and five bursaries are offered to female students undertaking a PhD or doctoral degree course at a Victorian University  The Judith Rodriguez Scholarship, the William and Elizabeth Fisher Scholarship, and the Yvonne Aitken Scholarship are valued at $8000 each.

A new scholarship, the Judith Rodriguez Scholarship, is named for the late Judith Rodriguez – poet, artist, teacher and mentor to many,  campaigner for human rights and valued member of the Graduate Women Victoria Committee.   The Scholarship will be awarded to a student of poetry, literature or visual arts.

The Judith Ann Leedham Bursary, the Nancy Millis Bursary, the Madeleine Capicchiano Bursary and two Bursaries in Memory of Feminist Fathers are valued at $4000 each.

The Nancy Millis Bursary is named to honour the memory of a  distinguished scientist who was a long term member of Graduate Women Victoria.  Preference may be given to a science student.

The Judith Ann Leedham Bursary honours the memory of a promising scientist and will be awarded to a student undertaking an interdisciplinary research higher degree project which preferably includes socially-useful science and/or its communication.

For the Madeleine Capicchiano Bursary, preference will be given to an applicant who is conducting research on issues of human rights and/or social justice at the local, national or international level.  Madeleine Capicchiano was a scholarship winner in 2007, who died suddenly and unexpectedly a few months after receiving her scholarship; she was working in the area of human rights.

The other two bursaries are named ‘In Memory of Feminist Fathers’, as requested by the donors.

Students applying for the PhD scholarship may apply at the same time for the Centennial Scholarship.

Applications will open in early December and close on 31 March.

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

To be eligible for these awards, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Female gender
  • Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Enrolled in a PhD or doctoral degree on 31 March in the year of application
  • Enrolled at a Victorian university or a Victorian campus of the Australian Catholic University on 31 March in the year of application
  • Hold Australian citizenship or permanent residency

You must also demonstrate to the satisfaction of Graduate Women Victoria that you have been or are overcoming disadvantage in pursuing your studies.

Disadvantage may include:

  • Financial difficulty or low income
  • English as a second language
  • Migrant or refugee status
  • Disability or medical condition
  • Family/caring responsibilities
  • Geographical isolation/significant distance from campus
  • Family crisis or difficult family environment
  • Career/ study disruption
  • Other difficult circumstances
Scholarship winner Thanh Huynh Nguyen

Scholarship winner Thanh Huynh Nguyen

Applications must be made online and close at midnight on 31 March.  Winners are expected to attend the Scholarship Presentation Day and give a brief presentation.  Scholarships will  be awarded only to students who are enrolled on Scholarship Presentation Day, normally held on a Saturday in early June.

Please note

  • The Scholarship Sub-committee of Graduate Women Victoria reserves the right to contact referees for further information.
  • Applications will not be received after midnight on 31 March.
  • All decisions are final and no correspondence or discussion will be entered into.

All applications must be made online.  Before commencing the application, you are advised to prepare documents to be uploaded and to contact your referees.   Note that you may save your work and exit from the online application site and return to edit your application.   However once you submit your application, you are unable to change it.

Documents required

  • Scanned copy (pdf) of proof of citizenship or permanent resident status e.g. extract of birth entry, passport, visa, certificate of citizenship
  • Scanned copy (pdf) of proof of enrolment in year of application
  • Scanned copy (pdf) of original of all university results including those for subjects completed in your present course. (An Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS) is acceptable for completed courses.)
  • If your university has provided a certificate via MyeQuals, you may insert the link in the space provided on the application form.
  • Brief account of your research project– you may paste in a Word document, maximum 300 words, 11 point Arial font, line spacing 1.5.  
  • Resume (cv) of no more than two pages of 11 point Arial font and line spacing 1.5.
  • Personal impact statement to explain the nature of your disadvantage and its effect on your study. You may paste in a Word document of no more than 300 words of 11 point Arial font, line spacing 1.5
  • Scanned copy (pdf) of document(s) providing evidence of your disadvantage.

Referee reports

You will be asked to provide the names, positions and email addresses of two referees.  Please provide each referee with the GWV Information for Referees 2021

Referees will be emailed a request to upload a confidential reference.

For students who have recently returned to study, one employer referee and one academic referee is acceptable.

References must be received by 15 April 2020.

If you have any questions, first read carefully all the information on this website, including the Frequently Asked Questions.

Applications for these awards are now open and will close on 31 March.

You may register to apply for this scholarship at