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The Australia Awards 2012 selection round is now open for applications.

Application Deadline: 30 April 2012

The Australia Awards aim to promote knowledge, education links and enduring ties between Australia, Cambodia and the global community.

Development awards have been an important component of the Australian Government’s overseas aid program since the Colombo Plan in the 1950s, supporting its aim to help Cambodia to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development.

The overarching goals of Australia’s development awards are:

  • to develop capacity and leadership skills so that individuals can contribute to development in Cambodia
  • to build people-to-people linkages at the individual, institutional and country levels.

The Australia Awards will be offering 50 Australian Development Scholarships (ADS) and further scholarships will be awarded for Australian Leadership Awards (ALA) in the 2012 selection round.  Master or PhD qualifications are now offered under both awards. 20 scholarships are allocated for officials of the Royal Government of Cambodia (Public Sector category).

Australian Development Scholarships (ADS)

ADS are a highly valued form of development cooperation between Australia and partner countries with which Australia has a bilateral agreement.

Master or PhD qualifications are now offered under ADS. These long-term awards provide support for people to obtain tertiary qualifications at participating Australian institutions in specific areas that will address the jointly agreed key priority areas for development.

ADS are administered by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). ADS provide opportunities to people from many developing countries to study in Australia. The purpose of the scholarships is for people to gain knowledge and skills that will contribute to the long-term development of their country. The scholarships are available to those employed in government and non-government sectors.

The ADS were introduced to Cambodia in 1994 under an agreement with the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) as part of Australia’s diverse bilateral development-cooperation program.

Australian Leadership Awards (ALA)

ALA are no longer stand-alone scholarships but are now being administered as supplementary awards to the ADS.  The ALA are aimed at enhancing leadership and building partnerships and links with developing countries to address priority areas for development.

Up to 200 ALA are available globally on an annual basis for high achievers who intend to undertake postgraduate studies and who demonstrate the best potential to influence development outcomes in their home country.

Scholarship applicants may indicate their interest in being considered for an ALA on the Scholarship Application form.  Selection panels may also identify and recommend candidates for the ALA, generally from the pool of ADS applicants.  A high level interdepartmental selection panel in Canberra makes the final decision and there is no specific allocation for each country or region.

In addition to receiving the ADS entitlements, the selected ALA scholars will undertake a Leadership for Development Program while they are in Australia.  The purpose of this Program is to enhance the ability and confidence of participating scholars to lead action on development reform in their own country.  ALA Scholars are provided with further opportunities and activities, beyond their postgraduate studies, to enhance their leadership knowledge and extend their networks through a national Leadership for Development Conference and other tailored activities.

ALA applicants must have an IELTS of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0 at time of application submission and will be required to commence their study program at the beginning of 2013.

The Application Process

  • Online application (preferred format): to apply online please do so at
  • Hardcopy application, for those having difficulties accessing Internet facilities, are downloadable here or can be collected from the three Australian Centre for Education (ACE) campuses (Siem Reap, Phnom Penh). Completed hardcopy applications are to be submitted at the Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh.

Click here to download Information Brochure
Click here to download Referee Form
Click here to download Australia Awards Handbook

Eligibility Criteria for the Australia Awards

  • Cambodian citizen and resident
  • Not be current serving military personnel
  • Non-resident of Australia or New Zealand
  • Not married to/or defacto of, or engaged to, Australian or New Zealand citizen or resident
  • Not hold or have held an Australian Government-funded scholarship in the preceding 12 months at time of application
  • Not have obtained an academic qualification outside their home country in the 24 months preceding the application closing date, calculated from the date of arrival back in the home country
  • Not be applying for another long-term AusAID scholarship unless they have returned to their home country and resided there for twice the length of the total time that they were in Australia (for example, a previous AusAID Scholar who has been on AusAID scholarship/s in Australia for two years will not be eligible to apply for another AusAID scholarship until they have been home for four years)
  • Not already be studying at an Australian institution at the time of application
  • Possess a Bachelors degree considered equivalent to an Australian Bachelors degree
  • Master level applicants must possess advanced English skills (IELTS results of 5.5 with no band below 4.5 subject to testing which can be undertaken after applications have been submitted)
  • PhD applicants must possess IELTS of 6.5 with no band below 6.0 at the time of application
  • PhD applicants must provide an Unconditional Letter of Offer from the intended university of study OR provide documentation demonstrating communication with a potential supervisor and have received that supervisor’s in- principal agreement to the research proposal and their capacity to supervise the applicant

For ADS Public sector category applicants:

  • Either:
    • Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) officials, at time of application, have at least two years full-time experience with, and be a current full-time employee
    • Not a RGC official, but at time of application, have at least five years full-time experience with, and be currently employed on a full-time basis by, a government authority, agency or institution established by Royal Decree or Subdecree. Employment tenure may be on a term-contract basis*
  • If selected, must commit to return to work for the relevant Ministry/Agency for a minimum period of two years on completion of studies

For ADS Open category applicants:

  • At time of application, have three years full-time work experience* in a relevant field
  • If selected, commit to return to work in a position that utilises skills for a minimum period of two years on completion of studies

* Applicants must provide evidence of employment duration. If an applicant has been employed at more than one workplace during the relevant experience period, evidence from each employer during that period is required.  Any significant “gaps” in employment must be explained or the application may face the possibility of being ruled ineligible.

^ Some applicants may be required to sit an IELTS test following interview in order to demonstrate English proficiency.

Selection Criteria

Eligible applicants are measured against the following selection criteria:

1. Demonstrated employment and contribution in at least one of the following AusAID priority areas:

  • Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Health
  • Infrastructure
  • Law and Justice
  • Mining (the extracting of natural resources, such as minerals, oil, petroleum, or gas)

(Consideration will also be given to applicants with relevant experience in the cross-cutting priority areas of: Public Financial Management, Gender Equality, Aid Effectiveness, Social Policy, Disability and Child Protection)

2. Alignment of employment and anticipated study with the specific focus of the Australia Cambodia Country Program Strategy
3. Demonstrated academic merit during previous university studies
4. Relevance of academic background to proposed study in Australia
5. Relevance of work background to proposed study in Australia
6. Demonstrated awareness of issues related to the development of Cambodia
7. Stated personal commitment and potential contribution to development in Cambodia

Note: Applicants who are employed by the RGC or associated agencies may apply for either Public or Open category. The Open category is open to all Cambodians.

Short-listed candidates will be interviewed with questions related to the Selection Criteria above. The interviews probe each candidate in depth to determine the final list of awardees. A candidate’s English may be tested again to confirm eligibility. For public sector category awardees, final selection must be approved by the relevant RGC Ministry/Agency.

Level and Length of Study

The Australia Awards enable candidates to undertake study at Masters (coursework only) or Doctorate (PhD) level in Australia with the exception of those Masters courses that require the completion of a Graduate Diploma as part of the Masters degree. Length of study is dependent on the chosen study path. However it is generally up to 2 years for Masters degrees and up to 4 years for Doctorate degrees.

Candidates may be required to successfully complete pre-departure English for Academic Purposes training for 6–12 months in Phnom Penh before studying in Australia. Those awardees who do not reach the required level of English at the end of their pre-departure training, as assessed by IELTS testing and pre-departure training requirements, will not be permitted to take up the scholarship in Australia.

Note: The awarding of a scholarship place is provisional and is dependent on the candidate achieving a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0. This IELTS score is a requirement of university entrance in Australia.

Fields of Study

The Australia Awards are only open to study programs related to the AusAID priority areas of

  • Agricultural and Rural Development
  • Health
  • Infrastructure
  • Law and Justice
  • Mining (the extracting of natural resources, such as minerals, oil, petroleum, or gas)

Consideration will also be given to applicants whose proposed field of study supports their relevant experience in the cross-cutting priority areas of: Public Financial Management, Gender Equality, Aid Effectiveness, Social Policy, Disability and Child Protection.  Awards are not available for military training, or training in areas related to nuclear technology and flying aircraft.

Scholarship Entitlements

The award covers:

  • Pre-departure training (for ADS Masters level candidates only)
  • Return air travel to and from Australia
  • Contribution towards initial visa expenses
  • Establishment allowance
  • An ongoing contribution to living expenses for the student only. No additional financial support is available for the student’s family, and all costs for accompanying family members must be paid by the student personally
  • Full tuition fees
  • Introductory Academic Program (IAP)
  • Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the duration of the award (for award holder only)
  • A Leadership Development Program (ALA only)

Pre-departure Training (for ADS Masters level candidates only)

Most candidates are required to undertake pre-departure training prior to postgraduate studies in Australia. In recognition of this, the Australian Government pays these candidates a pre-departure stipend that is calculated according to whether part- or full-time pre-departure training is required.

At the completion of the training all awardees will sit an IELTS test and must achieve a minimum IELTS result of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0 to secure their scholarship place and to meet both visa and university requirements .

Scholarship Conditions

Applicants who are offered an award will be asked to sign a statement declaring that they will comply with the conditions of the scholarship. The conditions ensure that AusAID, the awardee’s workplace and the student gain the maximum benefit from the scholarship.

  • Awardees must commence scholarship in the year for which it is awarded. The awards cannot be deferred
  • Awardees must be enrolled on a full-time basis and make satisfactory academic progress
  • All visa conditions and university regulations must be satisfied
  • Awardees must leave Australia, preferably returning to Cambodia, for a minimum of two years at the completion of their scholarship in Australia
  • The award does not provide funds to support accompanying dependants/family members
  • Awardees are not permitted to hold any other Australian Government-sponsored scholarship for the duration of the award
  • Awardees must fully cooperate with AusAID’s monitoring and evaluation of Australia Awards, including participation in activities such as surveys and tracer studies both whilst on award and after return to Cambodia

Awardees who do not honour these conditions will be required to leave Australia, and may be required to repay the value of the scholarship.

Additional Information

For further information, please contact:
IDP Education (Cambodia)
#657, Kampuchea Krom Blvd, Teuk Laark 1,
Toul Kork, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tel:  (+855) 23 881 017
Fax: (+855) 23 881 020