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Great public health scholarships for postgrads

James Davis

Careers Commentator
There are some fantastic opportunities for students in public health disciplines like epidemiology, Indigenous health or health promotion.

To help offset some of the postgraduate study costs, we’ve come up with a list of excellent scholarships you can apply for in public health, including but not limited to:

  • Environmental health
  • Epidemiology
  • Health promotion
  • Indigenous health
  • Occupational health and safety

If you’re intimidated by the prospect of scholarship applications, fear not! We’ve written a free, comprehensive guide to postgraduate scholarships and getting selected that you can reference throughout this article. If you’d rather not go elsewhere for now, here are just a couple tidbits from it that’ll help you understand some of the common terminology in relation to scholarship applications:

  • There are three main types of scholarships.
    • Merit-based scholarships rely on some combination of grades, professional or extra-curricular achievements to succeed.
    • Need-based scholarships adopt their namesake in only being given to those of greatest need. This is commonly in the form of financial hardship, but can be in reference to coming from a disadvantaged background or having a disability.
    • Research-based scholarships are often discipline-specific endeavours that requires applicants to undergo research in a very particular area. For instance, it may require a student of midwifery to undergo research into unique birthing conditions in a rural area.
  • Written statements require a short blurb about yourself, with your achievements as supporting evidence rather than being centre stage.
  • CVs or resumes put your achievements first in fairly terse language.
  • Professional references are former bosses or professors.
  • Personal references are family members, friends or community leaders, the latter being preferable.
  • Academic transcripts are official or unofficial documents provided by your university. When an application asks for these if you haven’t yet finished undergrad, an unofficial transcript will normally do just fine.

Without further adieu, here are some great funding opportunities in public health.

The House Call Doctor Futures in Health Indigenous Scholarship - $5,000

This is a merit-based scholarship that pays particular attention to each applicant’s contribution to their local community. If you’re commencing your second year of postgraduate study in a public health field, identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, are an Australian citizen or permanent resident and are 18 or older, you’re eligible.

Applicants must fill out the official application form, outlining a few key details about themselves:

  • Key academic and career achievements to date
  • Involvement in community events
  • How receiving this scholarship would be of benefit

As is the case for all merit scholarships, GPA is assessed keenly, but if you’re planning on applying for this scholarship it’s most important to be clear on what your community involvement entailed and how you plan on describing it.

DVCR Completion Scholarship - $8,010

These scholarships are for doctoral students from a variety of specialisations during their fourth year of candidature. The Doctor of Philosophy in Health Services Management is likely the most relevant among these to students of public health, so if you’re in this course or similar this is exactly the scholarship for you. Students must also be studying at the University of New England to be eligible and agree to complete their PhD in a timely fashion. In other words, as soon as possible.

To apply, you need to gain support from your university and supervisor so they will vouch for you. You also need to submit a detailed ‘Doctoral Thesis Completion Plan’, the structure of which can be downloaded here (link begins download).

Academic Award Excellence - $5,000

The University of Technology, Sydney offers this scholarship to international students on the basis of academic merit. The great thing about it is UTS doesn’t require applicants to apply. Simply enrolling and being accepted into your postgraduate health course of any kind is sufficient. They’ll then check your GPA from prior recognised study and judge you that way. So, if you were already planning on studying at UTS, this is a great thing to keep in mind.

The PostgradAustralia Scholarship - $2,750

We’d be remiss if we didn’t toot our own horn a little bit! Our very own scholarship provides student of public health with the chance to offset a few costs regardless of residency status, nationality or even GPA. All we require is that you provide a written statement detailing your interest in your public health specialisation via:

  • A written statement of 500 words
  • A creative social media post, which can be anything you can think of

Its highly inclusive nature makes it a great opportunity.

Andrew Colgate Newell Bursary - $10,000

This is a scholarship for students of either medicine and public health, provided applicants are taking their course at the University of Melbourne. Specifically, the Doctor of Medicine or Master of Public Health. Unfortunately, information about the application process isn’t publicly available, but if you contact the university via the links provided on their website, they’ll be more than happy to help you out. It’s a merit-based scholarship, so you can make a few assumptions like needing a written statement, transcript and references, but it’s wise to check.

Hopefully this has given you some insight into a few of the public health scholarships available. What you’ll quickly find is that this field shares many of its scholarships with other disciplines, which is totally OK. There are a huge number of excellent general scholarships available, some of which you can view here. While doing so, remember to have our guide to postgraduate scholarships open to give you the best chances of success. Good luck!