Future Leaders Scholarship
What is the Future Leaders Scholarship?
The Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship is all about supporting everyday people with big ideas looking to pursue postgraduate research or coursework in areas related to sustainability, technology and innovation, social change or Australia’s relationship with Asia. Our aim is to empower these individuals to become leaders in their field, helping them to drive positive change and create a brighter tomorrow for Australia.
Our Future Leaders Scholars receive funding for their postgraduate study and living expenses, gain access to leadership and mentorship programs, have the opportunity to undertake overseas travel and participate in networking experiences with like-minded individuals, senior business leaders and industry-based experts.
Scholars must be intending to commence a postgraduate degree at one of our nine partner universities across Australia.
Here’s what you’ll get
Receive fully flexible financial support for your postgraduate studies and living expenses with up to $120,000 provided over 2-3 years.
Build the solid foundations of a leader with our bespoke nine-month course and personal development program.
Spend up to six months abroad as part of your studies to gain a global perspective and connect with industry leaders around the world.
Become a Westpac Future Leader
Applications are now closed for 2024
Ready to take the next step in your academic journey? Register your interest and we’ll be in touch.
2024 applications open
Wednesday 5 July 2023
Online Information Session
4:00pm AEST, Tuesday 8 August 2023.
2024 applications close
5:00pm AEST, Wednesday 6 September 2023
National Assessment Centre in Sydney
5-6 December 2023
Notification of outcome
13 December 2023
Leadership Development Program Residential
18 – 23 February 2024
25-26 March 2024
Eligibility requirements, funding guidelines and FAQs
Who can apply?
We’re looking for Australia’s best and brightest. To be eligible to apply you must:
- Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (New Zealand citizens are not eligible).
- Have completed your first undergraduate degree within the last 5 years or will complete your degree by December 2023.
- Have achieved or are on track to achieve an average result of H1 or H2A equivalent or approx 75 WAM.
- Have chosen to undertake a full-time Masters by coursework or research or a PhD at one of our participating university partners.
- Have a field of study which, for PhD and Masters by research applicants has an ERA four digit FOR rating of "well above world standard" and Masters by coursework applicants, your proposed area of study must be in area of world-class standing.
- Must commence study in 2024. Current postgraduate students are not eligible.
- Your proposed program of study must contribute to the future of Australia in one of the Trust’s priority funding areas: Australia in Asia, Thriving Tech Sector, an Inclusive Australia and Sustainable Futures.
- Include in your proposed program of study international opportunities which will develop your leadership skills and global networks, such as; study tours for the purpose of research, attending a short course or conference, a period of internship or volunteering.
- Have a worthy and viable post-study plan that benefits Australia.
- Supply two letters of reference, one academic reference and one personal reference. Refer to the templates on our website for further information.
- Be able to attend the National Assessment Centre in Sydney on 5-6 December 2023.
- Be able to attend the Future Leaders Scholars Leadership Development Program in Sydney on 18 – 23 February and another date to be confirmed in August.
- Be able to attend the 2024 Westpac Scholars Summit.
How you’ll be selected
Your application will be reviewed by Westpac Scholars Trust to ensure you meet our eligibility criteria. You will then be asked to complete an online assessment which will be sent to your home university alongside your completed application.
Your intended university will select top candidates to be shortlisted. Up to 34 scholars are then invited to attend our National Assessment Centre held in December in Sydney. This event is chaired by our National Selection Panel, made up of dedicated senior industry and academic leaders who will decide on the final selection of Westpac Future Leaders through a rigorous selection process.
Future Leaders Selection Panel
The National Selection Panel comprises senior industry and academic leaders responsible for the final selection of Westpac Research Fellows and Future Leader Scholars. Through the rigorous selection process, the panel is dedicated to recruiting Australia's best and brightest leaders, innovators and pioneers from all walks of life.
Provost, The University of Queensland
Professor Aidan Byrne was appointed Provost at the University of Queensland in 2016. He was previously the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Australian Research Council from 2012 to 2016. Prior to this, Professor Byrne was the Dean of Science and the Director of the Australian National University (ANU) College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. He has a wealth of industry knowledge and expertise particularly in the Physical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering.
Professor Byrne completed a BSc and MSc degrees at the University of Auckland before commencing a PhD degree at the ANU in 1981. Following the completion of his degree at the Department of Nuclear Physics, he held positions with the University of Melbourne and spent over two years in Bonn, Germany as a von Humboldt fellow. He returned to the ANU in 1989 as a Research Fellow and in 1991 commenced a joint appointment between the Department of Physics, in the Faculty of Science and the Department of Nuclear Physics, Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering. He was Head of the Department of Physics from 2003 to 2007. His research interests involve the use of gamma-rays as probes to determine the structure of heavy nuclei and the examination of the atomic level structure of materials (especially semiconductors). He has published over 200 papers.
Our partner universities
The Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship is offered at nine leading Australian universities:
- Australian National University
- Monash University
- The University of Adelaide
- The University of Melbourne
- The University of Queensland
- The University of Sydney
- University of New South Wales
- University of Western Australia
- University of Tasmania.
Your proposed program of study can be in any field of world class standing at one of our nine partner universities, however, it must be relevant to the Trust’s focus areas: Australia in Asia, Thriving Tech Sector, an Inclusive Australia and Sustainable Futures.
"The Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship has provided me with a myriad of opportunities to complement my career journey, including leadership residential programs that impel me to consciously shine a spotlight on growing as a leader, and acquire new skills and perspectives."
My favourite aspect of the scholarship so far has been the community it has afforded me, from the ever-supportive Westpac Scholars Trust leadership team, to my brilliant peers in the scholarship program who are striving to make much-needed change."
Dr Roshini Balasooriya
2023 Westpac Scholar