Professional Development Grants

An exciting new way to enhance your Scholarship journey

Australia Awards – South Asia is committed to providing opportunities for scholars to have positive, educational and engaging experiences in Australia, creating valuable personal and professional connections.

Professional Development Grants offer one such opportunity. Recipients will design their own unique experience in line with the Assessment Criteria, to enhance their Scholarship journey.


As a current Australia Awards – South Asia scholar, you can apply for one of the following Professional Development Grants:

1. An activity grant (up to AUD 1500) to undertake professional development opportunities.*

2. An internship grant (up to AUD 2000) to complete an internship in Australia.*

You must submit your application for the current round by 21 June 2021. You will be informed of the outcome of your application in July 2021.

You can apply for one grant per academic year. A maximum of two grants will be awarded to any scholar over the duration of their Scholarship.

* Note: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, applications that involve international or interstate travel will not be accepted at this time. Your application must comply with current travel and social distancing restrictions and relevant federal, state or territory guidelines.

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You can apply for an activity grant to undertake professional development opportunities that will take place in Australia between August 2021 and February 2022. Examples of eligible opportunities include attending a conference, event, online course or workshop.

The value of an activity grant will be up to AUD 1500.

You will need to find an appropriate opportunity that aligns with one of the themes outlined in the Assessment Criteria and clearly enhances your Development Impact Plan.

You will need to provide details of the activity (including cost, duration and location) as part of your application.

In addition to the general eligibility criteria below, to apply for an activity grant you must:

  • ensure that you can complete the activity within your Scholarship period
  • agree to arrange all logistics required for you to participate in the nominated activity.
  • commit to submitting a completion report along with a summary of the activity/ event, relevant photos, and quotes as required.

Please note that the Australia Awards team will not find an appropriate activity for you.

You can apply for an internship grant to be placed as an intern at a suitable organisation in Australia.

You will need to describe in your application the type of internship you would like to undertake but are not required to find the internship opportunity.

The value of an internship grant will be up to AUD 2000. This includes up to AUD 500 for your own costs (for example, the cost of transport to the internship location or of purchasing professional attire).

If your application is successful, you will be assessed and placed in a suitable internship by a third-party provider contracted by Australia Awards. For this service, the third-party provider will receive AUD1500 for each internship grant. The assessment and placement process can take up to 3 months to complete.

In addition to the general eligibility criteria below, to apply for an internship grant you must:

  • have a study end date of December 2021 or later
  • follow the instructions of the third-party provider and follow all guidelines and requirements for the internship
  • commit to completing the internship within 6 months of being offered a position.

Additional notes about internships

  • You will not be paid by the organisation where you undertake your internship.
  • Due to current restrictions in Australia, internships are not available for the following: any lab work (healthcare, chemistry, pharmaceuticals, etc.), healthcare professions (medical, veterinary, dentistry, etc.), aerospace and aeronautical engineering, oil or petroleum industries, legal professions or government security industries.

General eligibility criteria

To apply for an activity grant or an internship grant, you must:

  • currently be studying in Australia on an Australia Awards Scholarship
  • be a citizen of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan or Sri Lanka
  • ensure that the grant opportunity does not adversely affect your study commitments
  • ensure that you can complete the activity or internship within your Scholarship period
  • submit a proposal outlining how the opportunity aligns with your Development Impact Plan
  • commit to submitting a Completion Report, plus relevant photographs and quotes as required
  • agree to use and acquit the grant according to Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and Australia Awards – South Asia guidelines.

If you receive a grant, you will be required to provide a detailed activity budget and written confirmation from your Student Contact Officer (or Course Adviser if you are a research student) that you are on track with your studies and the grant opportunity will not adversely affect your study.

Any opportunity you take on must be completed in conjunction with your education, within the existing Scholarship period. You will not be granted a visa extension to undertake this opportunity. During an opportunity, all regulations applicable to an Australia Awards scholar and an international student in Australia will continue to apply.

Assessment criteria

Your application will be judged against:

  • how the proposed activity aligns with your course of study and/or extracurricular interests
  • how the proposed activity enhances your Development Impact Plan and future goals upon returning home
  • how the proposed activity enhances your personal and/or professional connection

Your application must also show how your opportunity aligns with one or more of the following themes:

  • Experience: activities focusing on the invaluable experience of gaining a world-class education and living in Australia
  • Collective: activities focusing on the development of personal and professional networks and partnerships
  • Empowerment: activities focusing on the individual’s pursuit to make a difference in their lives and for their country
  • Prestige: activities focusing on the high-quality education and career progression an Australia Awards Scholarship provides.

In addition, you are encouraged to identify opportunities that align with Partnerships for Recovery: Australia’s COVID-19 Development Response, an Australian Government development policy that outlines Australia’s approach to COVID-19 response and recovery in our region. The framework focuses on three broad action areas—health security, stability and economic recovery—and is underpinned by a strong emphasis on protecting the most vulnerable, especially women and girls, and people with disability. You are encouraged to consider what knowledge, skills and experience might best support you in adapting to a post-COVID-19 world.

You must complete and submit your application through the Australia Awards – South Asia online application portal.

To register on the portal, enter your details on the registration page and click ‘Register’. A confirmation email will be sent to your nominated email address. You must click the link in this email to activate your account. If you do not receive this email within 5–10 minutes of registering, please check your spam or junk email folder. If you are unable to find the confirmation email, or have any queries regarding the application portal, please email and ensure that you provide the email address that you registered with.

If you have registered on the application portal before and cannot remember your password, you can reset your password or register with a different email address.

After registering and logging in, you can apply for either an activity grant or an internship grant. You may only apply for one grant per academic year. You can save the application at certain points so you can come back to it multiple times. Once you complete your application, click ‘Submit’. You will receive a confirmation email after you have submitted your application.

We will contact you in July 2021 to let you know whether your application was successful.

We may ask you to take photographs or provide information regarding the progress of your grant for review or promotional purposes.

You must submit a Completion Report within two weeks of completing your activity or internship. It must include a brief reflection on your activity or internship and a description of any short- and long-term impacts, challenges faced, and lessons learnt. We will provide a template for this report.

If you receive a grant, you will be required to sign a Grant Agreement.

As a grant recipient, you will be required to attend a Fraud Management Briefing delivered by Australia Awards – South Asia, either face-to-face or online, before you receive any funds.

Where possible, payments will be made directly to an organising entity or against an invoice or receipt. For example, if you apply to attend an online workshop, where possible your registration fees will be paid directly by Australia Awards – South Asia. If the cost can be invoiced, then that invoice should be addressed to Scope Global Pty Ltd for payment.

If funds are transferred directly to you, you will receive 70% of the grant amount after you have signed the Grant Agreement and attended the mandatory Fraud Management Briefing. You will receive the remaining 30% of the grant amount after you have submitted the Completion Report. The grant funds will be paid via bank transfer to a valid Australian bank account. You will be responsible for the final acquittal of the funds.

Misuse of funds will be treated in accordance with DFAT’s Fraud Control Strategy. You should read DFAT’s Fraud Strategy Statement before applying for a grant.

Before you apply, please read all the information given above.

If you have questions or need further clarifications about this opportunity, please attend the upcoming virtual information session on Thursday, 3 June 2021, 3 to 4pm (ACST).

You can also email your questions to

Submit your online application

Applicants must register, complete and submit their application online on the online application portal by 21 June 2021

Apply here