How to apply

These guidelines apply to the three research grants provided by the National Archives of Australia:


Applications open: the last Friday in February

Applications close: Friday 3 May 2013

Winners are announced: September

How to apply

We encourage applicants to contact the National Archives to discuss their proposal prior to submitting an application. Applications must include the following information. We suggest that you structure your application in the same order as the points below.

1. Personal details and project outline

You should provide:

  • your name and contact details
  • title of your proposed project
  • a short 1–2 paragraph summary of your project
  • a curriculum vitae that includes:
    • details of other research awards previously held or similar noteworthy achievements
    • details of professional seminars / conference papers / public lectures presented
    • a list of published works 

2. Research proposal

Your detailed research proposal should include:

  • a comprehensive outline of the proposed research project, stating your objectives and a plan by which to achieve them
  • how your project makes use of records held by the National Archives, detailing as far as possible the records you intend to use (Note: this may not be relevant for certain applications for an Ian Maclean Award, for example, where the project involves considering archival or recordkeeping strategies, principles, theories or innovative methods etc.)
  • the anticipated form of the completed work (book, journal article, web pages, conference paper or creative project) and how this will achieve the aims of the award
  • the anticipated audience of the completed work
  • the significance of your project, particularly in terms of its contribution to the advancement of historical or archival knowledge
  • whether research would be undertaken part-time or full-time 
  • a timetable showing dates and the number of weeks required for the research to be completed 
  • an indicative budget of costs relating to travel, accommodation, living expenses, backfilling, research, copying and other expenses (where appropriate) during the tenure of the award
  • details of any other funding applications you have made to support this project
  • details of any special equipment needs.

3. References

We require two written references that address the following criteria:

  • the applicant’s qualifications, ability, achievements and potential 
  • the quality of the applicant’s previous research 
  • the applicant’s demonstrated capacity to complete research projects within a given time 
  • the applicant’s awareness of relevant resources (eg records in the National Archives’ collection) and how these are likely to support the research project 
  • the feasibility of the project in terms of available resources and time or other constraints
  • whether the project will make a substantial contribution to knowledge in the field 
  • how the project will bring the National Archives’ collection to wider Australian notice.

Submitting your application

Your application must cover all the points outlined above. It is suggested that you structure your application according to the order in which the points are listed.

Please do not send different parts of your application at different times. We require you to submit the whole of your application, including references, at the one time.

Applications should be received by close of business on Friday 3 May 2013.

You should send your application by email to We suggest you send a covering email, with no more than three attached documents:

  • Application and research proposal (covering 1 and 2 above)
  • Reference 1
  • Reference 2

You can also post a copy of your application to:

Grants and Awards
National Archives of Australia
PO Box 7425
Canberra ACT 2610

Assessment of applications

In assessing each application the panel will take into account the applicant's:

  • qualifications
  • research experience and the quality of that research
  • record of completing projects within a given time, as confirmed by referees.

The panel will also consider:

  • how each project will make use of the National Archives’ collection and result in enhanced public access to the collection 
  • how the results of the research will be published and how those results will promote an awareness of the National Archives and its collection
  • how each project will make a substantial contribution to knowledge in the field.

All applications will be acknowledged on receipt. Announcements of successful grant recipients are made in September each year.

Terms of awards

We have reading rooms in each Australian capital city. Successful applicants may undertake research in the reading room where relevant records are held.

Awards may be granted on a full-time or part-time basis, depending on the circumstances and requirements of the successful applicants. It is envisaged that the awards would be undertaken full-time for a maximum of three months or part-time for a maximum of nine months. Usually, awards cannot be deferred.

Successful applicants may undertake their award at any time from the date of the announcement of the award (September) until 30 June the following year.

The National Archives will offer assistance in a number of ways, including:

  • a National Archives staff member to act as a first point of contact and assist with coordinating project advice if necessary
  • assistance with accessing records and systems, and advice on records in the National Archives’ collection – please note that this award does not entitle research recipients to any special or privileged access or research services
  • reading room space where relevant records are made available for the duration of the project and/or until 30 June of that financial year – access to the reading room will be available at all times that the reading room is open to the public
  • digital copies of National Archives collection material to the value of $1900.

Successful applicants will be required to:

  • submit progress reports during the tenure of the award
  • provide a paper about the research as website content for the National Archives and for National Archives publications
  • present a public lecture on the results of the research if requested
  • be available for publicity purposes, including interviews with the media, to promote the results of this research
  • produce a brief finding aid (such as a fact sheet) to part of the collection researched, or expand an existing finding aid if requested
  • publish the results of this research within three years of completing the award tenure in the form of journal articles, web pages or conference papers, or through public talks and formal presentations to relevant professional forums.

Funding to grant recipients takes place in three instalments: on the signing of the contract and in March and June of the financial year in which the award has been granted.

Research for projects needs to be completed within the financial year the grant is received. It is acceptable to complete the final product after this date, providing the research has been completed within the budgeted timeframe.

Further information

Contact Hilary Rowell at the National Archives in Canberra:
Tel: +61 2 6212 3960 
Fax: +61 2 6212 3932

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2015