Summer Vacation Scholarship Scheme

Frequently asked questions

1. Am I able to do the scholarship at another time through the year?

No, there is no flexibility to do the scholarship throughout the year. The summer period allows scholars to use the break from their studies to focus on the six weeks of the scholar program. Having the scholars together allows them to learn from each other, and enables the Memorial to make the most of the time it takes to supervise the scholars and administer the scheme.

2. What does the application process involve?

As well as the written application and the submission of a piece of their historical writing, students who are short-listed for the program will be asked to take part in a short phone interview with a member of staff. Their referee may also be contacted.

3. How are the projects allocated to the students?

The allocation of projects is based on a number of factors. The projects are based on the expertise of the historians in the section who will be acting as supervisors. Often the projects relate to work currently being undertaken in the Section, such as exhibition proposals and Official History research. While we consider the students’ past experience and interest, we also see the program as an opportunity to broaden the students’ knowledge. The projects are discussed with the students and preferences are taken into account when allocating projects.

While you cannot choose your own topic, the program offers an opportunity for students to discuss their future research plans with historians, and time may be allowed for students to meet with potential supervisors or talk to institutions such as the Australian National University or the Australian Defence Force Academy about future study.

4. What is the role of the supervisor during the program?

The supervisor provides support and direction for their scholar, as well as offering their knowledge of the topic. A key part of the program is the Monday morning tutorial, at which the scholars, their supervisors, other members of the Military History Section and members of staff in the Research Centre come together to discuss progress and share insights and ideas. The supervisor will be available to answer questions about sources and materials, and to offer advice on the final piece of writing as well as the presentation.

5. What has been done in previous years?

The program has seen a number of different projects over its duration. The projects can cover any conflict Australians have been involved in, from early Colonial wars to current peacekeeping operations. The form these projects can taken is equally varied and can include: exhibition briefs and preparation of exhibition text; research papers that deal with issues of public interest,; the history of the Memorial; general background research for projects currently being undertaken in the Section. In the past, some students have also acted as research assistants to members of staff writing books or working on the Official Histories.

6. What are the expectations of the program?

During the program, the scholars are expected to keep standard office hours – usually 9.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. For the the Monday tutorials students need to be ready with an account of their progress so far, and be willing to discuss with the group future research directions. At the end of the scholarship, the students are expected to give a final presentation of about 20 minutes duration, and produce a piece of written work.

7. Do I need to book and arrange my own travel and accommodation?

No, these arrangements are handled by the Memorial. A member of staff will speak to you about your specific needs, and you will be given the final details of your travel and accommodation arrangements well before the start of the program.