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Diversity of leaders in major projects scholarship

Supporting diversity in major projects
This scholarship supports diverse leaders of major and transformational projects to develop their leadership capabilities to support better project and organisation outcomes.

There is a significant lack of diversity in leadership roles in major projects in Australia.

The University of Sydney's John Grill Centre for Project Leadership inspires project excellence by developing the capabilities of leaders of major and transformational projects.

To help support diverse leadership across all sectors, including telecommunications, banking and finance, infrastructure and resources, the John Grill Centre is offering one scholarship annually for the winner to undertake the Executive Leadership in Major Projects (ELMP) program to uplift their leadership capabilities.

Those who apply for the Diversity of Leaders in Projects Scholarship will also be assessed for admission into the ELMP program through the online application.  

The scholarship covers the program fees for the four ELMP modules (including 4 weeks of residential study, executive coaching and leadership diagnostics) providing they are completed in the one calendar year.

Previous John Grill Centre Scholarship winners include Amanda Weir, BHP (2018) and Tamara Champ, Ausenco (2019).


Applicants should identify as someone from a minority group. This refers to a person who experiences relative disadvantage compared to members of a dominant group. Minority group membership is typically based on differences in characteristics or practices, such as gender.

Applicants that have completed an undergraduate degree, graduate diploma/certificate or equivalent at an institution with a minimum weighted average mark of 65, and who have a minimum of 10 years relevant professional project leadership experience and are currently employed working on a major project, or on project related issues.

Applicants must receive an unconditional offer for the Executive Leadership in Major Projects (ELMP) Non-award Program, delivered by the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership at the University of Sydney, to be eligible for the scholarship.

Applicants must have the support of their current employer to participate in the ELMP program. Accommodation and meals are paid by the participant organisation at an estimated cost of $9,500 (plus GST) for the 4 week residential blocks in Sydney.

Image of 2019 scholarship judging panel: Professor Suresh Cuganesan, Dr Lisa Interligi, Maurizio Floris, Vicky Sisson and Traci-Ann Byrnes

Judges on the 2019 scholarship selection panel  (left to right): Professor Suresh CuganesanDr Lisa Interligi, Chief Human Resources and Corporate Services Office, CIMIC Group Limited, Dr Maurizio Floris, ELMP Alumnus, Vicky Sisson, Regional Planning Manager, NSW Roads and Maritime Services, and Traci-Ann Byrnes, First Assistant Secretary, Program Performance, Department of Defence.

Closing date

Scholarship applications closing date will be aligned with the ELMP application deadline (to be confirmed end of 2020)*.

Selection criteria

The Scholarship will be awarded on the basis of:

  • academic merit,
  • work experience, specifically an applicant’s experience leading major projects which is supported by a curriculum vitae, and
  • a personal statement which demonstrates the applicant’s motivation and aspirations for undertaking the Program.

Shortlisted applicants are required to attend a formal interview.

The Scholarship is awarded on the recommendation of a selection committee consisting of the John Grill Centre ELMP Program Director, or their nominee and an Executive Leadership in Major Projects program Alumna.

How to apply

Scholarship applications closing date will be aligned with the ELMP application deadline (to be confirmed end of 2020)*.

Register your interest here.

*We are currently in the process of forming the John Grill Institute of Projects drawing on the expertise of the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership and the University’s long-standing Project Management Program. This gives us the opportunity to align the Executive Leadership in Major Projects program (ELMP) with an expanded comprehensive curriculum including both project-related academic award programs (from Bachelor to Master level) as well as executive education programs (ELMP and custom programs), and a range of short courses through the University of Sydney Centre for Continuing Education.

As a result of these activities, we have decided to align the next intake of the ELMP program with the start of the academic year in 2021.  We thank you for your understanding and apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause you.