The Lowitja Institute Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health CRC 2014 Scholarship Application Process

Applications closed 13 June 2014


The Lowitja Institute Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health CRC (Lowitja Institute CRC) is a Cooperative Research Centre funded under the CRC Program Public Good Fund for a period of five years from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2019. Our vision is to achieve equity in health outcomes for Australia’s First Peoples and Our Dreaming outlines the principles and pathways we will use to get there. The voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people informs all our activities, whether we are conducting community-based research or setting our strategic direction. By bringing together world-leading researchers, policy makers and experts in cutting edge service delivery, we enable the kind of high-quality, collaborative health research that will make a real difference in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Lowitja Institute CRC’s key challenge will be to help close the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health gap through research and capacity-building activities across our three program areas:

  • Program One: Community capability and the social determinants of health will deepen our understanding of how individuals, children, families and communities can mitigate the negative impacts of the social determinants of health, and maximise the effectiveness of positive cultural, social, economic and environmental influences;
  • Program Two: Needs and opportunities for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce is driven by the need to know how to better grow and sustain a health workforce to address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health needs in all health services and systems; and
  • Program Three: Health policy and systems will provide evidence on the broader health policy and system settings that are most effective in supporting improvements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

 All three proposed Lowitja Institute CRC research programs will be underpinned by a commitment to three foundational principles: knowledge exchange, education and training, and engagement with a broad range of stakeholders.

1. Knowledge exchange

Embedding a knowledge exchange approach in all of our research is critical to getting the best results from the research investment.

The Lowitja Institute defines knowledge exchange as ‘a two-way process in which research is used to change what is done (policies and planning) or how things are done (practice and systems)’.  It is the series of interactions between our researchers and the users of our research, through which the impact of research outcomes is maximised, both in terms of individual capacity development and lasting health improvements for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Knowledge exchange places a high value on collaboration at every stage of research, including priority setting, conduct and implementation of findings. Critically this means that research priorities are set jointly by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and community organisations, researchers, health service providers and policy makers. Over a number of years, the current and previous CRCs have developed a methodology—the Facilitated Development Approach (FDA)—that underpins all our research activities. The FDA ensures consistent and appropriate high quality engagement from stakeholders in this priority setting process.

Knowledge exchange gives Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a strong voice throughout the research process – and in determining the priorities for research. This provides the foundation for translating research findings into practice in contrast to ‘researcher driven’ approaches.

2.  Education and training

The CRC will continue its strong effort of educating and training the next generation of researchers in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

We will continue to build pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in research and knowledge management through a range of methods including cadetships and scholarships for masters and PhD students, to provide:

  • continued support for entry-level skills (e.g. Certificate IV in Aboriginal Health Research);
  • doctoral research support (a PhD program); and
  • development and support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research leaders.

We will also maintain our focus on building end-user capacity in research and knowledge management, particularly within Aboriginal community controlled health services. We will continue to develop the knowledge and skills of the broad health research community in successful methods of planning, preparing and conducting research, including implementation of findings, in and with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Education and training activities will be a priority across all three research programs, but will be particularly aligned with Program Two

3.     Engagement

The Lowitja Institute CRC will continue and strengthen the extensive and in-depth engagement strategies developed over the previous years. These include:

  • the biennial Congress Lowitja, which provide a unique forum for all Lowitja Institute CRC stakeholders (from Aboriginal community members, to health services, to researchers and policy leaders) to come together to discuss, refine and plan for future research that will ensure better health outcomes for Australia’s First Peoples;
  • research roundtables where people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander community organisations, government and other stakeholders are invited to provide input on the direction of research in particular subject or program areas;
  • consultative strategies with the Aboriginal health sector and government to identify priority knowledge needs including end user forums highlighting successful research outcomes (for example, knowledge exchange workshops); and
  • the Lowitja Institute Board which has a majority Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander membership and comprises highly skilled and experienced health sector professionals.

Our scholarships

The Lowitja Institute CRC scholarships are available for individuals who are pursuing qualifications in the field of health research in line with our program themes or with a biomedical focus. Scholarships are available for full/part time study as well as top ups.

Current funding amounts are:

  • Full or part scholarships of up to $30,000 per annum for up to three years.
  • Top-up scholarships of up to $20,000 per annum for up to three years for students who are already holders of another relevant scholarship award.
  • Project funding of up to $20,000 in total for a research project undertaken as part of a Masters or PhD student’s field of study.
  • Financial support of up to $5,000 for a student undertaking a post-secondary certificate course.

This document contains important information for applicants who are considering applying for a LI CRC scholarship and should be read before submitting an application. The below application form must be used when applying. The form must be completed in full. Incomplete applications will not be considered and will be returned to the applicant. Applications will not be accepted if submitted in any other format than this application form.

Eligibility criteria

  • You must be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
  • If applying for a scholarship to undertake a certificate course, you may be enrolled as a student at any recognised Australian educational institution with a commencement date of no later than 31 March 2015. However, the administering institution for the scholarship funds must be a partner of the Lowitja Institute CRC (see the list of partner organisations below).
  • If applying for a scholarship to undertake a masters or PhD course of study, you must be enrolled with a research partner of the Lowitja Institute CRC with a commencement date of no later than 31 March 2015.
  • You must be undertaking an area of study that is aligned with one or more of the Lowitja Institute CRC program themes or has a biomedical focus. Please contact David Morgan ( if you wish to enquire whether your area of study is eligible. 
  • You must nominate an administering institution (Lowitja Institute CRC partner) and have an authorised signatory from the administering institution sign a letter stating that they support your scholarship application and will administer the scholarship funds. Download the suggested administering organisation approval letter wording

Lowitja Institute Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health CRC partner organisations

  • Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  • Charles Darwin University
  • Central Australian Aboriginal Congress
  • Australian Government Department of Health
  • Edith Cowan University
  • Flinders University
  • Griffith University
  • James Cook University
  • La Trobe University
  • Menzies School of Health Research
  • Queensland Institute of Medical Research Berghofer
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Queensland
  • The University of Melbourne

As our list of partners are continually growing, please contact the Lowitja Institute for an updated list of our partner organisations if there is not an organisation listed above which is suitable for you to use as an administering institution for your scholarship funds.

How to apply

Applicants should carefully read this information kit to determine if they are eligible to apply for a Lowitja Institute CRC Scholarship. If eligible to apply, applicants should then:

  • Identify the relevant program area within the Lowitja Institute CRC that their studies are linked to. The Lowitja Institute website at can provide extensive information on past scholarships and other research activities we have funded.
  • Fill in the Lowitja Institute CRC scholarship application form.
  • Provide information about your:
    1. research background or if you are new to research, why you want to become a researcher;
    2. most recent applicable educational results e.g. secondary, undergraduate or postgraduate;
    3. information about yourself. This can be as a formal curriculum vitae or resume, or you can write the relevant information directly into the supplied text box;
    4. an outline of your proposed research topic, no longer than 2 A4 pages at no smaller than 11 font. The outline should provide enough information for the assessment committee to come to a decision.
  • Identify at least two supervisors; one supervisor should be from an educational institute or university that is a partner organisation of the Lowitja Institute CRC. Your supervisors must complete and sign the Supervisors Form, which must be returned with your application. The suitability of your supervisors will be assessed by the assessment committee.
  • Nominate an administering institution and have an authorised signatory sign the Administering Institution Nomination Form.
  • Supply two academic referee reports – download the template
  • Submit the completed application form online and send any additionall required documentation the nominated person at the address listed below. Note that your completed application must be received by 5 pm on the day that applications close. No late applications will be considered and no submission extensions provided.
  • Once your application has been received by the Lowitja Institute CRC, it will assessed by the Scholarship Assessment Committee, which is made up of Lowitja Institute CRC staff as well as independent researchers who have expertise in your chosen field of research or study. If further information is required to assess your application, this will be requested. Any additional information that is requested must be submitted by the date stated in the request or else your application will not proceed. No submission extensions for this additional information will be given.
  • When the assessment has been completed, you will be advised if your application has been successful. Depending on your research topic, formal approval of your scholarship application will be conditional on further activities, such as a quality assurance workshop on your research topic and/or obtaining ethics clearance.
  • If advised that a quality assurance workshop needs to take place, you will be contacted to make further arrangements. Ethics clearance will be written as a condition of your Student Scholarship Agreement.
  • Once the approval process has been finalised, the Student Scholarship Agreement will be drafted and sent to you, your supervisors and your administering institution for signing.

Further Information and to apply

To apply for a Lowitja Institutes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health CRC scholarship, please complete the application form.

For more information, contact:

David Morgan
Chief Operations Officer
The Lowitja Institute
179 Grattan Street, Carlton
Postal Address: PO Box 650, South Carlton, VIC 3053
Phone: (03) 8341 5501 or (0)447 812 804

Created: 03 April 2014 - Updated: 13 October 2014