Guide to applying

Determining your eligibility

In order to apply you must meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the Terms and Conditions:

Eligibility criteria. To be eligible for a Scholarship You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident. You must be permanently (full time or part time) employed in a NSW School, Early Childhood centre or TAFE NSW Campus unless otherwise stated in the Scholarship.

Minimum years. You must have a minimum of 2 years of teaching experience and You must be qualified to teach or have particular experience in the category applicable to the Scholarship.

Some scholarships have additional criteria as noted in the individual scholarship description.

If you meet the eligibility criteria and have decided to apply for a Premier’s Teacher Scholarship, here are the next steps.

Tips on writing your application - from a selection panel member

  • Everyone who has been successful in application started out just like you.
  • Choose a topic that is unique and relevant.
  • If you decide to apply for more than one scholarship, ensure your application is unique and relevant for each scholarship.
  • The word limit is short – it is not a thesis, but a synthesis of a well thought out proposal.
  • Do not leave it to the last minute.
  • Check and cross check against application guidelines – ensure all criteria has been addressed.
  • Avoid acronyms

Selecting your research topic

Selecting your research topic is fundamental to your scholarship application. Research needs to align to the scholarship focus and be an area of current or future demand. Most importantly, it needs to hold personal interest for you. Keep in mind that selection panels tend to look for proposals that aim to provide maximum impact to students.

Brainstorm. Sometimes the first step is not to choose a topic. It’s about generating ideas of interest to you, personally and professionally.

Read. Background reading can help you choose and limit the scope of your ideas. It can help you understand what information exists and how your idea could further that knowledge. Sources of information include professional associations, previous scholar recipient’s reports, colleagues and networks.

Focus. Organise your ideas into topics. If your topic is too broad it may be hard to find information that is focused and relevant; if your topic is too narrow it may be hard to find any information at all. Is it something new or something from a new perspective? How does it align with syllabus or curriculum?

Discuss. If you can, engage your principal, manager, colleagues and networks to discuss your potential research topic. Others will be able help you see your topic more clearly and ask questions from a different perspective.

Define. Define your topic into a focused research question. With the direction of your research now clear, you can begin locating material on your topic. Note: you also need to research DFAT restrictions and warnings on countries you intend to visit.

Writing and submitting your application

Applications are submitted online. You can save your application as a draft (before clicking submit) and return to the same application to make changes at any time before the closing date.

Synopsis (word limit 150)

A synopsis is a brief summary of your proposed research and outlines key aspects of your proposed investigation and outcomes. The synopsis is a critical part of your application.

Summarise how your proposed study tour will meet the objectives of the Premier’s Teacher Scholarships:

  • enrich the body of professional knowledge
  • contribute to learning outcomes of students
  • contribute to the recipient’s professional learning
  • impact on learning and teaching beyond an individual recipient/school/campus.

Inspiration statement (word limit 100)

Why is this research topic important to you? What motivates you? This statement should identify the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you to research this particular topic. Craft this statement carefully and intentionally, as selection panels read this first to get a sense of your passion and motivation for your topic. By selecting a topic of personal interest, you will be more likely to be engaged with the research and passionate about the dissemination of your study outcomes.

Rationale (word limit 300)

A rationale is your justification for choosing this topic and to show explicit links to current research and practice. This may include reference to a ‘gap' in current research, the need to research existing information or ideas in a new context or the need to conduct research to solve a specific problem. Explain the purpose of your proposed study, providing context of both existing evidence (and theory) and practical applications.

Syllabus/curriculum/module relationship (word limit 300)

In this section, you need to clearly demonstrate how your research topic directly links to teaching and learning. What is the connection to current and future trends in your subject area? This section should show explicit links to the syllabus (NSW curriculum) and reinforce it with research about that area.

Study tour details

This section is a high level proposal only but should demonstrate to the panel that you have thought about what you want to achieve during the actual study tour. You are not required (at application stage) to contact individuals or organisations to confirm meetings or activities. The requirement is to outline your activities and the people you would like to meet, where this would happen and what the benefits would be, making explicit links back to your rationale and syllabus.

The selection panel is looking for study tours that demonstrate thought and planning. Itineraries need to be achievable with in the 5 week time frame and affordable within scholarship funding parameters. Is there a particular order to your proposed study tour? Can you demonstrate that you have given thought to the sequence of activities? Consider visits with in Australia as well as overseas, as long as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade does not advise against all travel or non-essential travel.

Long Service Leave can not be added to the five week study tour. Premier's Teacher Scholarship study tours can include school holiday periods within the five weeks but school holidays cannot be added to the itinerary as additional time away. If the school holidays are included during the five week study tour you must use all of the time that you are away to undertake the research study.

This section of the application requires you to complete a table with the following information for each of your proposed study tour activities.

  • Activity / Location: List the proposed activity and its location. Consider a variety of experiences, for example: classroom visits, conferences, university visits, museums and cultural experiences etc. Include as many details as possible – who do you propose to meet / where is the conference held / where is the activity - city, state, country For example:
    • Virtual Reality Strategy Conference, San Francisco, California, USA
    • Visit Eric Hamer Secondary School, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    • Meeting with Professor Julie Harrison, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • Anticipated Dates: List the proposed dates that you would conduct this activity. This is just an estimate; if successful you will confirm actual dates later. Dates must be between January 1st and June 30th of the scholarship year. You need to demonstrate that you have given thought to the overall proposed timeline and length of your study tour (which must be completed in one block of 5 weeks). You can visit more than one country if that can be achieved in the time available and if this is within your budget.
  • Benefits: Show how the activity is relevant to your study tour proposal and research. What benefit will this activity add to your proposal topic? What can you learn by undertaking this activity? How will this activity help to tie your research to the NSW curriculum / syllabus? Include details on why you have selected this particular activity – is the conference / school / person / organisation of particular interest for some reason? Are they the leaders in the field? If there is a particular reason for the order of your proposed activities, include this reasoning so that the selection panel is aware.

Successful recipients will have an opportunity to co-create a final detailed study tour plan with a selection panel member and/or scholarship sponsor.

Outcomes and benefits (word limit 300)

Conclude your application by addressing your predicted outcomes. What are you hoping to prove/disprove? Indicate how your research will contribute to your particular subject area and how this will tangibly benefit student outcomes, making explicit links and reference to NSW curriculum / syllabus.

Dissemination (word limit 300)

It is essential that the research undertaken tangibly impacts on learning and teaching beyond an individual recipient and school. Ask yourself how you will share your final research information and knowledge so that it reaches as many people and/or organisations as possible. Panellists take a strong interest in this section and like to see opportunities for dissemination beyond a school or local area and into cross-sectoral areas or across the state. Include details on the types of activities you will undertake to disseminate your findings and include a range of mediums. If possible, and where appropriate, incorporate professional associations and the scholarship sponsor as a means of dissemination.

Meeting the criteria

Your application will be assessed on how well it meets the objectives of the scholarship program. Be prepared to explain how your proposal will:

  • enrich the body of professional knowledge
  • contribute to learning outcomes of students
  • contribute to the recipient’s professional learning
  • impact on learning and teaching beyond an individual recipient/school/campus.

Throughout your application, ensure that you are making explicit links across the research, rationale, curriculum / syllabus and itinerary.

If you have any questions or need assistance please contact Human Resources at premierschols@det.nsw.edu.au.

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