Roberta Sykes Scholarship

The Roberta Sykes Indigenous Education Foundation provides supplementary financial assistance to Indigenous Postgraduate students who wish to undertake studies at any recognised overseas university. The scholarship is offered for one year, but recipients may reapply for a subsequent year of the same program of study. Roberta Sykes Scholarships are jointly funded by the Australian Government (National Indigenous Australians Agency), the British High Commission (Chevening), Cambridge Australia Scholarships Ltd, Cambridge Commonwealth Trust, and the University of Cambridge.

Scholarship details

Value: $30,000 approx. total

Duration: Duration of the program

Availability: 1 scholarship offered

Application dates

Open all year round


This scholarship is for:

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants
Academic merit

Areas of study:

  • Any Area of Study

At Institution:

  • TAFE
  • Other

Study level:

  • Postgraduate coursework
  • Postgraduate research

Study Load:

  • Full Time


  • Overseas

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must: 

  • be of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and be accepted as such by the community in which they live or have lived; 
  • hold an Undergraduate degree with strong performance; 
  • be accepted into a Postgraduate coursework or research degree at an overseas university; 
  • be able to demonstrate that they have or will have sufficient funds to support themselves during the course of their Postgraduate study, such as through another scholarship, private sponsorship or personal funds; 
  • be able to demonstrate that their studies will be of benefit to their community upon their return to Australia.

How to Apply

You will need to attach the following documentation: 

  1. your curriculum vitae; 
  2. academic transcript(s);  
  3. a financial budget: a page outlining your projected expenditure whilst studying including estimated amounts. This should include program course fees, living expenses, other scholarships, other income/savings, flights etc; 
  4. confirmation of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent through a signed statement (including common seal) from and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Heritage Association, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Corporation or Land Council; 
  5. a personal statement outlining: 
    • why you want to do the program; 
    • background of your area of research, where you are studying overseas, for how long and the focus of your study; 
    • background of your area of employment/business, if applicable; 
    • the amount of funding your require and how you will support yourself during your studies, including other scholarships; 
    • how you identify with the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community in which you live or have lived and 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 completion of the course; 
  6. four (4) written references, which highlight your capabilities, your past contribution to the Indigenous community, and the perceived future benefit of doing your chosen course. These should be: two academic or current/former employers; one from an Elder in your community (which should highlight your connection to the community); one personal.

Further Information

Applications for the Roberta Sykes Scholarships are reviewed, and eligible candidates interviewed, at each board meeting of the Roberta Sykes Indigenous Education Foundation. 

Applications are open year round.

Applicants need to apply directly to the overseas academic institution first, and then to the Trust for a Scholarship. Your Scholarship application will only be reviewed by the Board if you are accepted into your chosen course; however you should submit your application to the Foundation while you await the outcome of your university application.