Application Guidelines

1. General

1.1 Citizenship. Fellowships are offered to Australian Citizens only.

1.2 Age. Awards are granted to applicants over the age of 18 years. No upper age limit is prescribed but generally awards will be made to those whose major contribution to their field lies before them.

1.3 Tertiary Qualifications. Fellowships will not be awarded to enable the applicant to obtain/complete tertiary qualifications eg. PhD.

1.4 Nature of Project. Churchill Fellowships will be awarded for the purpose of pursuing an overseas investigative project of a kind that is not readily available in Australia.

1.5 Submission of Application. The application must be lodged in the State or Territory of residence of the applicant, irrespective of the place of employment. An application can only be lodged in one State or Territory.

1.6 Interviews. Short-listed applicants are required to attend an interview in person. 

1.7 Citizens Overseas. An applicant who is an Australian Citizen, temporarily overseas, will be considered for a Fellowship if they are available to attend an interview in Australia and intend to return to Australia on completion of their Fellowship.

1.8 Joint and Multiple Applications. Fellowships are awarded to individual applicants only and for individual projects only. An applicant can only lodge one application per year.

1.9 Amount of Award. The value of every Fellowship is different as it is calculated based on the number of countries to be visited, the duration of the approved Fellowship and an estimated airfare. The average value of a Fellowship is 27,000 AUD. See point 3 for more detail.

1.10 Support From Other Sources. The Trust will take account of any other existing sources of support for a project and will normally avoid duplicating the activities of other bodies. Only in special circumstances may a Fellowship be held concurrently with another award. In such circumstances the Trust may reduce the amount of its Award by the amount received from another source.

1.11 Duration of Fellowships. The duration of a Churchill Fellowship is determined by the project aim and the length of time needed overseas to achieve this aim. A Fellowship is a minimum of 4 weeks and a maximum of approximately 8 weeks. A longer itinerary can be applied for provided this is necessary to achieve the project aim. If called for interview applicants will be expected to justify the additional time needed overseas. Additional time outside of the approved Fellowship itinerary will be at the Fellow's own expense.

1.12 Sponsored Fellowships. A number of sponsored Churchill Fellowships are offered each year, usually confined to a particular field of endeavour. All applicants with an appropriate project are considered for the award of a sponsored Fellowship as well as a general Fellowship. 

1.13 Continuous Travel. A Churchill Fellowship must be taken as one continuous journey from Australia.

2. Conditions of Award 

Contract. The award of a Churchill Fellowship is subject to the Fellow agreeing to be bound by the conditions laid down in a Contract document signed between the Churchill Trust and the Fellow. A Fellowship cannot commence until the Trust receives an executed copy of the Contract document from the Fellow.

3. Fellowship Travel and Basic Allowances

Travel and basic allowances are granted as follows:

3.1 Fellowship Travel. The Trust will pay for all approved Fellowship travel and, whenever possible, arrange for tickets to be issued to a Fellow before departure.

  • 3.1.1 Major Travel. All major air travel will be by economy class. Travel will begin and terminate at the major airport nearest to the Fellow’s home address. The route and/or sequence of places to be visited may be varied to reduce costs.
  • 3.1.2 Supplementary Travel. Surface travel may be authorised to supplement air travel.
  • 3.1.3 Internal Travel Allowances. If it is not possible to pre-purchase tickets to cover all travel, an Internal Travel Allowance will be paid in advance to allow the Fellow to purchase necessary tickets.

3.2 Basic Fellowship Allowances. The Trust will pay in advance to all Fellows:

  • 3.2.1 Incidental Allowance. A fixed allowance to assist with incidental expenses.
  • 3.2.2 Internal Travel Allowance. A variable allowance which is payable under the conditions in paragraph 3.1.3 above.
  • 3.2.3 Overseas Living Allowance. A variable allowance to assist with a Fellow’s living expenses while overseas.

4. Supplementary Fellowship Allowances 

The following allowances may also be granted: 

4.1 Miscellaneous Expense Allowance. To cover part or all of the cost of approved fees or tuition. Fees/tuition not included in the initial application cannot be added. Requests for fees above 1,000 AUD must be accompanied by formal documentation at the time of application.

4.2 Dependant’s Allowance. To help support a Fellow’s dependants when neither the Fellow nor the partner has sufficient means to meet this commitment whilst the Fellow is overseas. The allowance will only be considered if: 

  • a Fellow has dependant children
  • a Fellow will lose 50% or more of their current household income while overseas, and
  • no dependant(s) accompany the Fellow on any part of the overseas travel or within three months of the completion of the Churchill Fellowship program. 

5. Calculation and Payment of Allowances

Allowances are calculated and paid on the following basis:

5.1 Income. No account is taken of a Fellow’s family income in calculating any allowances other than Dependant's
Allowance.

5.2 Amount. Allowances are calculated based on the number of weeks of the approved Fellowship.

5.3 Overseas Living Allowance. An allowance as a contribution towards overseas living costs will be paid and will vary based on the number of countries visited and length of stay.

5.4 Deductions. The allowances paid to a Fellow by the Trust may be abated by the amount received under an award from another source.

5.5 Savings. Unexpended amounts of an allowance granted for one purpose are not transferable to another purpose.

5.6 Payment. Allowances will be paid after approval of the final program or 2–4 weeks before the Fellow’s departure date, whichever is the latter. Miscellaneous Expense Allowance will be paid up to the total amount granted upon presentation to the Trust of appropriate receipts, or the account will be paid directly by the Trust, on presentation of a formal invoice.

6. Tax Implications for Churchill Fellows

6.1 Income Tax. The liability of a Fellow for Income Tax is a matter for decision by the Commissioner of Taxation and the Trust has no responsibility or authority in the matter. Any allowances paid to Churchill Fellows are likely to be treated as assessable income. The Trust recommends that Fellows keep receipts for all expenditure during their Fellowship and seek independent advice with respect to their eligibility for claiming tax deductions. 

6.2 GST Liability. There may be GST implications for allowances paid to some Churchill Fellows who are self-employed or hold an ABN. Any GST liability will be borne by the Trust and will not affect the amount of funds allocated to the Fellow for their Fellowship.

7. Online Application Form

The purpose of the application form is to enable the Trust to assess the applicant and the outline of the proposed project in order to draw up short-lists for interview. All applications must be made using the online application form. 

8. Referee Reports

The applicant is required to obtain a Project Reference and a Personal Reference as part of the application process. 

The online form contains an embedded Reference Request Feature which allows the applicant to request a referee's report via email and/or SMS (short-text messaging service to mobile) within the application system. 

We recommend that you identify your referees and make your requests for references early in the application process to allow sufficient time for your referees to write and lodge the references online prior to the closing date.

It is preferable to utilise Australian Citizens as referees.

9. Application Archive

All documentation forming any part of a Churchill Fellowship application becomes the property of the Trust and will be archived electronically.

10. Competition and Further Application

The awarding of Churchill Fellowships is a competitive process with approximately 1,000 applications received each year.

If your Fellowship application was unsuccessful we encourage you to read through the following advice and consider applying again in a future round.