Postgraduate scholarships

The National Archives of Australia/Australian Historical Association scholarship helps postgraduate students with their research costs.

Recipients use the scholarship to request digital copies of records for viewing on the National Archives' website.

Students based in one city can access records held in a National Archives' office in another city. They don't have to travel to access this material.

Terms and conditions


The scholarship is for postgraduate history students who are doing research towards a master's degree or PhD.


Recipients are acknowledged as 'National Archives of Australia/Australian Historical Association postgraduate scholars'.

We award 4 scholarships once a year, giving each recipient $2375 credit towards digitisation of whole paper files from our collection. The credit is based on our current copying charges (GST included)

Recipients view the digital images via our collection catalogue, RecordSearch, as part of our digitisation service.

During the 12-month scholarship period, each scholar will receive:

  • a designated reference officer to assist them
  • access to original records in the research centre where the records are held, if they choose to visit
  • priority examination of records not yet cleared for public release.

While we complete most examination within a month, it may take up to 90 business days and sometimes longer to examine some files. We will let you know if there are going to be delays. Read more about access to records under the Archives Act.

Please note that Australian Government records held in the collection of the Australian War Memorial (AWM) are excluded from this scholarship. These records have an 'AWM' prefix in the series number on RecordSearch.


Recipients must make digital copy requests within 12 months of receiving the scholarship.

If reproducing collection material, they must observe copyright obligations, and acknowledge and cite source materials.

Each recipient will produce a brief piece of content relating to the topic of their research and the records accessed. This could take a variety of formats, such as an article for the National Archives' website or a public seminar at one of our offices. The exact nature of this contribution will be negotiated individually with each scholar.


Two representatives from the Australian Historical Association and one representative from the National Archives select recipients. The committee's decision is final.

Successful applicants will be selected based on consideration of a number of factors, including:

  • the scholarly achievements of the applicant relative to opportunity
  • the research value of the proposed research
  • the records required for the proposed research
  • the location of the applicant compared to the location of the records they have identified.

How to apply

To apply, provide the following information using the structure below:

1. Personal details

  • your name
  • your home address and contact details
  • the university you attend
  • enrolment date and whether full- or part-time
  • a curriculum vitae that includes details of noteworthy achievements — for example, previous degrees, professional awards, conference papers or published articles

2. Research project

  • title of your research project
  • a 1 to 2 paragraph summary of your project, including how you plan to share and publish your completed work — for example, chapter of thesis, journal article, web page, conference paper or creative project
  • how your research project will use records in the National Archives’ collection
  • a list of the records you intend to use – listed at item level where possible – including the access status of the items (i.e. Open, Open with exception, Not yet examined)

3. Reference

We require a written reference by the due date. The reference should address your:

  • qualifications, ability, achievements and potential
  • previous research quality
  • research value of the proposed project

Submitting an application

There is one application round each year.

  • Applications open: 1 March
  • Applications close: close of business 31 March
  • Awards announced: July

Send applications to:

Joshua Black
Administrative Officer
Australian Historical Association
PO Box 1118
Dickson ACT 2606


Current and former recipients




2020 Round

Round 2, 2019

Round 1, 2019

Round 2, 2018–2019

Round 1, 2018–2019

Round 2, 2017–2018

Round 1, 2017–2018

Round 2, 2016

Round 1, 2016

Please contact us for details of pre-2016 recipients.