Faculty of Arts PhD Fieldwork Grant Scheme 2023-24, University of Melbourne, Australia

Programs are open

January 1, 2023

Last day to apply

December 31, 2023

Application type

An application is required

Type of benefit

Single payment
Full benefit details

Citizenship requirements

Australian / domestic student
International student

Total cost

Up to $10,000

Applied fields of study

Historical, philosophical, political and social studies; Language, literature and cultural studies

Number of scholarships awarded

About 20 per year

Eligibility and selection criteria


To be eligible for this scholarship, you must:

  • Be a PhD graduate researcher enrolled in the Faculty of Arts or, if approved, a master’s degree researcher with provisional permission to proceed to a doctoral degree,
  • within three months of approval or expected approval date (note: pre-approval funding will be temporary upon successful approval or for travel that will take place after approval)
  • Be able to demonstrate that primary data collection is required for the PhD fieldwork methodology. The evaluation of applications for fieldwork support is not based on discipline, but on the methodology involved,
  • conduct fieldwork for a period of three months or more or several periods totaling three months or more. Each visit must be elements of the same fieldwork plan, essential to the PhD research and must be mentioned in the original application,
  • submit an initial application to the PhD Fieldwork scheme within two years (full-time equivalent) – applications for subsequent/subsequent visits may be submitted after this point,
  • be able to present a reasonable and justified budget,
  • there is school support for 25% of the total budget required. Your school funding will be the source of this contribution and
  • You must be able to demonstrate that you meet all relevant University policy requirements related to fieldwork (for example, compliance with the University’s code of conduct for research and student travel policy):

Selection criteria

The application should be submitted on the online application form:

  • A description of the thesis project and fieldwork methodology demonstrating how it meets the criteria on this page,
  • A detailed schedule for fieldwork travel (including a schedule of expenses),
  • Budget:
    • Evidence of sources of quotation of budgeted items (for example, source of air tickets and other costs required, etc.)
    • A detailed case must be made as to why the cost of living or research assistance is being supported
  • A letter from your supervisor:
    • How your methodology meets the above guidelines that constitute fieldwork,
    • That the proposed field work is essential and integral to the project and
    • The fieldwork program will be determined as an integral part of the application for approval of the PhD candidacy or at the same time as the application to convert from a master’s degree to an approved PhD candidacy.
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Note: When planning to use a PhD Fieldwork Grant, you are also applying for School Funding. You are required to contribute a set amount of your school finance. For example: If you are applying for a maximum grant of $10,000, 25% of it must come from School Funding. A separate application is not required for your contribution to school funding.


  • Applications for Fieldwork funding submitted prior to the applicant’s PhD approval may be provisionally approved subject to the following conditions:
    • Formal confirmation of endorsement (or conversion to approved nomination),
    • Submission of affidavit to the Office of Graduate Studies indicating that the fieldwork is an essential part of the project and
    • Funds will not be released until these two conditions are met.
  • Applications for Fieldwork funding for research involving human subjects must demonstrate compliance with the University’s code of conduct for research before any data collection or interpretation can commence under the auspices of the University’s PhD Fieldwork funding scheme.
  • Graduate researchers who have indicated the need for fieldwork at the time of approval can apply for the Fieldwork scheme at any time, but funded fieldwork is expected to be completed within the 36-month candidacy period. Applicants applying for fieldwork funding under this scheme cannot apply for additional funding from the GRATS scheme for the same trip.
  • Graduate researchers may apply for multiple research visits during their candidacy, up to the funding limit indicated above. Each of the several trips is expected to have elements of the same fieldwork that is usually essential to PhD research.
  • Graduate researchers awarded PhD Fieldwork early in their candidacy are not precluded from applying later in their candidacy for additional support for individual research trips to augment their core research through GRATS.
  • Experience in data collection and interpretation is considered an important part of PhD graduate researcher training. The scheme is designed to support this practice. Fieldwork funding under this scheme cannot be used to pay for data analysis or transcription by professional fieldwork companies.
  • Master’s researchers jointly admitted in another faculty with joint supervision in Arts can to be eligible for pro-rata funding, that is a proportion of their enrollment component in Arts.
  • Graduate researchers on AusAID fellowships have funding for fieldwork included in their fellowship and are allowed one AusAID-funded field trip (either to their home country or within Australia) during the fellowship. Visit the Australian Assistance Program webpage.
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Budgets are expected to be prudent and frugal, and budget items may be funded at a lower level than requested by the awards committee. The committee may award less than the maximum allowed depending on the quality of the application and available funds.

  • Items are usually financed
    • Return costs (economics) belong to the main site of field research
    • Domestic travel and transportation costs
    • Government Fees and Research Visas
    • Entrance fees (i.e. community entrance, gate management, on-site interpretation, etc.)
  • Items are not funded
    • Living expenses – these are expected to be covered either by the applicant’s stipend or other sources
    • Electronic equipment such as computers, recorders or other consumables
    • Language training – candidates are expected to develop any required language skills prior to travelling, travel insurance is higher than the University policy.
    • Collaborative PhD graduate researchers visiting partner universities by professional field companies or individuals on behalf of the applicant, data collection or analysis
  • Fundable items with justifiable evidence (on a case-by-case basis).
    • Research assistance, if a clear and convincing case can be made that the payment of such assistance is necessary in the circumstances
    • Payment or gifts for research participants, as appropriate in a particular local or cultural context
    • Applicants are generally expected to use living expenses income to cover living expenses during fieldwork. Additional Living expenses as a result of fieldwork may be supported in the following cases:
      • The cost of accommodation in the study area(s) is significantly higher than the cost of normal accommodation in Melbourne;
      • If the applicant must maintain residence in Melbourne (for example, due to family or dependents), the budget may include living expenses for fieldwork.
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Application process

There are two application rounds per year. Deadlines for 2023:

  • Round 1: March 1
  • Round 2: September 1

Applications will be reviewed by a Committee consisting of representatives from each School with relevant field experience, chaired by the Associate Dean (Graduate Research) or his/her nominee.

Out-of-round applications will not be considered, but may be accepted retrospectively and evaluated as such at the subsequent applications stage. Retrospective applications must include all supporting documentation.

NOTE: Send through all supporting documents to arts-gr@unimelb.edu.au. We are currently experiencing a system error in our funding forms which is preventing applicants from attaching documents to their application.

What are the benefits?

PhD Fieldwork Grant Scheme The Faculty of Arts supports graduate researchers to undertake projects where primary data for a PhD thesis can only be collected over an extended period of time in the field (for example, a funded project may require access to certain communities), social networks, physical landscapes, local languages ​​and or archaeological sites). The duration can be continuous or it can cover several visits.

Graduate researchers will be eligible for funding from either the PhD Fieldwork Grant Scheme or the Arts Graduate Research International Grant (AGRIG) for the duration of their candidature, but not both.

Please read these instructions carefully before submitting your application. You should also consult the Graduate Research in Arts Travel Scheme (GRATS) and AGRIG to determine which scheme is most suitable for the purpose of your travel.

In determining whether to award an award and the amount to be awarded, the Committee shall consider the following:

  • the extent to which the planned research meets the definition of fieldwork (see below);
  • Whether the research is essential to the successful completion of the PhD degree (requires the support of supervisors and must be included in the approval report) and
  • Whether the budget is reasonable and appropriate.

Source / Details: Official website HERE.

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