Charlie Perkins Scholarship

The Charlie Perkins scholarship provides an opportunity for two talented Indigenous Australians each year, to undertake Postgraduate study at the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge.

The value of each Perkins Scholarship will vary, depending on the scholarship-holder’s course of study. It will cover for up to three years full university and college fees, travel costs and an annual stipend to cover living expenses. For the 2020-21 academic year the stipend is £16,500.

These Postgraduate scholarships are particularly directed towards Indigenous Australians who have the potential to become leaders in their field of study and in their communities

Scholarship details

Value: Value may vary

Duration: 3 Years

Availability: 2 scholarships offered

Application dates


Open: 04/10/2021
Close: 08/02/2022


This scholarship is for:

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants
Academic merit

Areas of study:

  • Any Area of Study

At Institution:

  • Other

Study level:

  • Postgraduate coursework
  • Postdoctoral
  • Postgraduate research

Study Load:

  • Full Time


  • Overseas

Eligibility Criteria

You must apply directly to the university prior to applying for this Scholarship. Each course and university has its own deadlines which you must be aware of (please refer to the Charlie Perkins Trust website). Please ensure you read all the information below and contact the Scholarships Manager if you have any questions about the application process. 

Applicants must: 

  • Have tertiary qualifications; 
  • Be accepted into any graduate degree program offered at the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge (this will usually require a First Class Honours degree, upper Second Class Honours degree or equivalent) or have an application under consideration at Oxford or Cambridge Admissions Office; 
  • Be of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent; 
  • Identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander; 
  • Be accepted as such by the community in which they live or have lived. 
  • Provide a written statement confirming their Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage. Applicants must also provide a signed document (including common seal if available) as confirmation from the Aboriginal Heritage Association, Aboriginal Corporation or Land Council of the country of their ancestors. 

Course Application Deadline:

There are a number of deadlines for applying to study at the University of Oxford, depending on the course you choose. We strongly advise you check the Oxford website before you begin your application. The deadline for students who wish to apply for study at the University of Cambridge can vary depending on where your interview takes place. Please check the website with plenty of time to prepare your application.

How to Apply

STEP 1: Register your interest: Contact the Trust to discuss your application and college choice. 

STEP 2: Apply directly to the University: You need to make an application for your preferred course directly to the university before applying for the scholarship. Before applying you should check your preferred university’s website Oxford or Cambridge – to clarify exact entry requirements and application deadlines for your chosen course/s. The Trust encourages candidates to consider applying to both Universities to increase their chances of being accepted into their program of interest. When you apply to Oxford or Cambridge you will be required to nominate two of the listed participating colleges. 

STEP 3: Apply for the Charlie Perkins Scholarship: Once you are ready to apply you can make the application through this Portal.  

Please note: You must be accepted by the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge in order to be eligible to receive a Charlie Perkins Scholarship.

Further Information

You will need to attach the following documentation to your online application:

  1. A current CV;
  2. High resolution headshot;
  3. An official transcript of university results (including mid-year results if available);
  4. Confirmation of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent through a signed statement (including common seal if available) from the Aboriginal Heritage Association, Aboriginal Corporation or Land Council of the country of your ancestors;
  5. A personal statement outlining:
    • why you want to do the course; 
    • how you identify with the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community in which you live or have lived and past contributions you have made within the community;
    • ways in which undertaking your chosen course will benefit the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community, and future contributions you plan to make to the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community (and wider community) following the completion of the course.
  6. Five referees:
    • The references should highlight your capabilities, your past contribution to the Indigenous community, and the perceived future benefit of doing your chosen course;
    • Three of these should be academic referees;
    • One of your references should be from an Elder in your community, and should highlight your connection to the community.