PhD Bursaries

Two bursaries valued at up to $15,000 are on offer to Indigenous scholars currently undertaking a PhD on a topic related to Indigenous knowledges.

STATUS: Closed for 2022. The next funding round will take place in 2023

What is Indigenous knowledge?

Indigenous knowledge, sometimes called traditional or local knowledge, refers to the understandings and practices developed by Indigenous peoples through thousands of years of experience. Indigenous knowledge systems are characteristically holistic, relational, and rooted in a strong and continuing connection with the land, sky, and waters. Knowledge is often passed down orally and can be collectively owned. It can include or be embodied in language, song, story, ritual, lore, and customary practices. The knowledge of Indigenous peoples does not represent a static body of traditional information, and the capacity to incorporate new tools and skills has always been fundamental to the dynamism of Indigenous cultures.

What is the Indigenous Knowledge Institute?

The Indigenous Knowledge Institute aims to advance research and education in Indigenous knowledge systems. It is one of five current Melbourne Interdisciplinary Research Institutes which aim to promote research linkages and collaboration across the University and to play a lead role in articulating University research to external audiences.

PhD bursaries

All Indigenous candidates who are accepted into a University of Melbourne PhD course will be prioritised for a scholarship (some offers may include a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship). The Institute is committed to developing the next generation of Indigenous researchers and each year offers two additional $15,000 bursaries (paid over three years) to Indigenous PhD candidates. You would be joining a vibrant cohort of Indigenous graduate researchers with access to domestic and international opportunities and support, including opportunities with the Indigenous Knowledge Institute.


$5,000 per annum (up to a total of $15,000)

Number of bursaries available in 2022


Application timeline

Applications open 11 February 2022

Applications close 28 March 2022

Funding outcomes week of 25 April 2022

First payment made early May

Subsequent payments made in January each year


Domestic applicants only

How to apply

If you are undertaking a project related to Indigenous knowledges in 2022, we want to hear from you. Scholars from all academic disciplines will be considered and interdisciplinary research is encouraged.

Candidates should be committed to ethical and respectful relationships with Indigenous people and communities. Guidance on equitable remuneration of community research participants can be found at the Melbourne Social Equity Institute's website.

Please note that only domestic applicants are eligible for these bursaries.

To apply, please download the application form below (available in either PDF or Word format). Further information about eligibility can be found in the application form.

Download the Application Form (PDF 203.8 KB)

Download the Application Form (DOCX 105.2 KB)

Send your completed application form and attachments to

For more information, contact us at