The Ramsay Postgraduate Scholarships

The Ramsay Postgraduate Scholarships were established through the generosity of the founder of the Ramsay Centre, Mr Paul Ramsay. The first students will commence graduate study in 2021.

Scholarships are open annually to Australian citizens to pursue graduate study abroad. The aim of the scholarships is to enable coursework and/or research to be undertaken at the world’s best universities and colleges for up to two years (and in select cases up to three years). Levels of support for tuition and living costs are fully competitive with such prestigious awards as the General Sir John Monash, Commonwealth, Rhodes and Fulbright Scholarships.

Scholarships are valued at up to AUS$85,000 p.a. with smaller scholarships available for study at St John’s College, Annapolis.

• The majority of scholarships will be awarded to students to pursue graduate study at the world’s best universities abroad, normally for up to 2 years (with the possibility in the case of some PhD candidates of extension to a third year). Scholarships cover tuition fees and living expenses. Value: up to AUS$85,000 p.a.

• A select number of scholarships may be awarded to students to pursue the Master of Arts in the Liberal Arts focussing on the great books of the Western canon at St John’s College, Annapolis. Ramsay Scholars attending St John’s College will have opportunities for internships in Washington DC in their second year. For admission to St John’s College, Annapolis, applicants will need a high-quality undergraduate degree in any field. These scholarships are valued at AUS$60,000 p.a. (max duration: 2 years) and cover tuition fees and living expenses. For information on the Master of Liberal Arts, see

• In exceptional cases, the Ramsay Centre reserves the right to offer full or partial scholarships to select students who have already commenced postgraduate study abroad, resources permitting.

The scholarships are not awarded for undergraduate study, medical research, post-doctoral research, or any other research appointment. They are not ordinarily available for part-time study or for Executive Education programs.

The number of scholarships awarded is at the discretion of the selection panel. 20-25 may be awarded in a given year.

1. Criteria for the Ramsay Postgraduate Scholars

Ramsay scholars will be selected on the basis of:

a. Strength of character, leadership qualities, and commitment to serve others as demonstrated by their contribution to the community, public debate or professional involvement.
b. Outstanding academic achievement, and breadth and depth of intellectual vision
c. Commitment to advancing a richer and deeper understanding of our civilisation through studies related to its history, philosophy, legal and political systems, religious beliefs and practices, literature and languages, science and social sciences, music, art and architecture.

2. Eligibility and Selection Criteria

While it is expected that most applicants will have graduated in the past 5 years, the Ramsay Scholarships are open to all Australian citizens. The three criteria are assessed as follows:

Criterion A
Strength of character, leadership and service
It is expected that Ramsay Scholars will go on to make significant contributions to Australian society in their chosen career. Applicants will therefore need to demonstrate a sustained record in leadership and community contribution. Examples could include active participation in charitable activities and projects; music, theatre, debating and sport; and entrepreneurial activities. Evidence of real-world problem solving, or overcoming personal challenges, will also be considered.

Criterion B
Academic achievement
Applicants will need to have secured a place in a graduate program before finalising their Ramsay Scholarship application and be able to provide evidence of this (in the form of a letter of offer) when applying for the scholarship. This means applicants should apply for entry to their preferred graduate program before applying for the Ramsay Scholarship and ensure they meet the application deadline of the relevant university.

Please note that entry to the world’s best universities is extremely competitive. Decisions of most major universities in the northern hemisphere are communicated by the middle of March in the relevant year. Please note that St John’s College, Annapolis, has a rolling admissions process.

Typically, a first-class undergraduate honours degree or Masters equivalent will be required for admission to the top graduate programs. For admission to St John’s College, Annapolis, applicants will need a high-quality undergraduate degree in any field.
In addition, evidence of non-degree intellectual attainment, e.g. academic publications, public commentary, op-ed pieces, the publication or public performance of creative works, etc. will be considered by the Ramsay selection panel.

Criterion C
Commitment to advancing a richer and deeper understanding of our civilisation
In keeping with Mr Ramsay’s vision of promoting studies of Western Civilisation, applicants will need to provide in their applications:
i) evidence of prior interest and achievement in Western civilisation studies broadly defined, e.g. in undergraduate honours or equivalent disciplines/courses/topics related to this general field (e.g. arts and humanities, religion studies, politics, law, social sciences, western architecture and design, History and Philosophy of Science etc.)
ii) a proposal for postgraduate study in a coursework or research programme with a significant element/dimension demonstrably related to this same general field (e.g. arts and humanities, religions studies, politics, law, public policy, social sciences, western architecture and design, History and Philosophy of Science etc.)

3. Requirements

a. Applicants will normally need to supply evidence (in the form e.g. of a letter of offer) that they have been accepted into a graduate program. However, in exceptional cases where applicants are still awaiting a university’s decision at the time of the Ramsay scholarship deadline, such applicants may be given an opportunity to submit their offer letter late.
b. Applicants will need to supply a professional statement (c. 1200 words) addressing the above criteria (A,B,C). In addition, the statement should explain why the applicant wishes to pursue the course of study proposed, what he/she intends to contribute to the relevant discipline by so doing, and what he/she plans to do with the qualification once attained.
c. Applicants will need to supply the names and contact details of three referees, at least one of whom must be an academic.
d. Applicants will need to provide evidence of Australian citizenship.
e. Applicants will need to make a declaration that they have not accepted another major scholarship (such as Rhodes, Gates, Monash, Menzies, Knox, or Fulbright Award).
f. Applicants will need to be available for an interview in Sydney in May 2021.
g. Applicants will ordinarily be required to attend a 3-day intensive orientation program to be held in Sydney in August of the year in which they will commence their award.

4. Application Process

a. Complete an online application form for the Ramsay Scholarship, providing relevant personal details
b. Upload statement addressing selection criteria
c. Upload Curriculum Vitae
d. Upload Certified copies of academic transcripts
e. Include Name and contact details of three referees (see 3. c. above). Please note referees will be required to submit their references independently of the applicant.
f. Upload letter of offer for the relevant graduate program once you’ve received it.

NB. Before applying for the scholarship, you will need to apply for one or more graduate programs. Applications for most graduate programs in Britain, Europe, and North America normally open in October and close in January. Letters of Offer to graduate programs are normally made no later than 15 March.

5. Application timeline

Oct 2020 – Jan 2021: Students should commence and finalise applications for preferred graduate programs
1 Feb 2021: Ramsay Postgraduate Scholarship applications open
31 March 2021: Scholarship applications close
21 April 2021: Shortlisted candidates invited to interview
12 May 2021: Interviews of shortlisted candidates at the Ramsay Centre in Sydney
18 May 2021: Successful candidates notified
Aug 2021: 3-day Orientation program in Sydney, including awards dinner, for successful applicants

6. Giving Back

Recipients of the scholarships will be expected to:

a. Write an annual report on their progress
b. In most cases, return to Australia at the end of their studies or – if living abroad – volunteer to oversee the organisation of events for alumni and current Ramsay scholars in their region, and
c. Undertake activities over subsequent years (such as raising and, where possible, making contributions to a Future Scholars fund; meeting with past, current and prospective scholars; supporting Ramsay Centre events), in order to promote the scholarship program to interested groups.

For further Information



Back to top
The unexamined life is not worth living "
- Socrates