Roberta Sykes Scholarship

November 08, 2021

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Location (s):

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Worldwide


The Roberta Sykes Scholarship provides partial funding to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander postgraduate students who wish to undertake studies at recognised overseas universities. 


The criteria for the Roberta Sykes Scholarships reflect the strong community and activist roots of the foundation Roberta set up. While we are looking for outstanding Indigenous scholars who will be role models for Indigenous communities, the Roberta Sykes Scholarships calls for more. Our mission is to support scholars who will return from their overseas studies with a commitment to 'give back' to their community. We have no fixed ideas on how you should go about 'giving back', what courses are going to better advance the interests of Indigenous communities, or whether this is better done in public or private sector on your return. We are open to imaginative, novel and ambitious ideas. We have supported students to study in education, environmental, law, arts, history, health, architecture and scientific courses. 

You will need to provide supporting evidence for you identification as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person. You will also need to show us a material level of contribution to community to date. You may be proposing to use your overseas study to bolster the way you currently contribute, or you may be planning to strike out in new directions. Whichever is the case, what you have contributed to date will help us assess the strength and viability of your plans to contribute to community on your return. 

When to apply:

Applications for the Roberta Sykes Scholarships are reviewed, and eligible candidates interviewed, at each board meeting of the Roberta Sykes Indigenous Education Foundation.

The deadlines to submit applications in 2021 are as follows:

  • 1 February
  • 5 April
  • 14 June
  • 6 September
  • 8 November

Applicants need to apply directly to the overseas academic institution first, and then to the Trust for a Scholarship. Your Scholarship application will only be reviewed by the Board if you are accepted into your chosen course; however you should submit your application to the Foundation while you await the outcome of your university application.

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Usually have an undergraduate degree with a strong academic record
  • Be accepted into a postgraduate coursework or research degree at a recognised overseas university
  • Be of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent, identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and be accepted as such by the community in which they live or have lived 
  • Be able to demonstrate that alongside a Roberta Sykes Scholarship, they will have sufficient funds to support themselves during the course of their postgraduate degree (such as through another scholarship, private sponsorship or personal funds)
  • Be able to demonstrate that their studies will be of benefit to their community upon their return to Australia 

Applications for part-time study will be considered in special circumstances.


Deadline: November 08, 2021

Cost/funding for participants:

​The value of the Scholarship is up to $30,000 per year, paid directly to the recipient in equal instalments at the start of each semester or term, subject to satisfactory academic progress. Applicants may be awarded funding for a number of years or may need to reapply for the Scholarship in subsequent years.

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