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The Hunstead Merit Award for Astrophysics

A postgraduate research scholarship
This scholarship supports students undertaking a PhD with the Sydney Institute of Astronomy.


Value Eligibility Open date Close date
  • PhD student with a primary supervisor at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy 
  • Domestic student
  • Undergraduate degree from another university

How to apply

No application is required, as all eligible students will be automatically considered.


This scholarship is valued at $5000 (for three years).

Who's eligible

You must:

  • be enrolling in a PhD with a primary supervisor at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy
  • be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or New Zealand citizen
  • not have completed your undergraduate studies at the University of Sydney. 


The award was established to attract top students to undertake cutting-edge research at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy, one of the largest and most diverse astrophysical research groups in Australia.

Scholarship value and duration

The award is $15,000 over three years, with an annual payment of $5000.

Eligibility criteria
  • Applicants must be enrolling in a PhD with a primary supervisor at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy
  • Applications are open to students eligible for domestic scholarships (APA, UPA etc), including Australian and New Zealand citizens, and permanent residents 
  • Students who completed their undergraduate studies at The University of Sydney are not eligible to apply.

The Hunstead Merit Award for Astrophysics was established in 2015 to provide a top-up of value $5000 per year to PhD Students enrolling with the Sydney Institute for Astronomy (SIfA). Their internationally recognised research programs include computational and theoretical astrophysics, optical and radio astronomy studying stars, galaxies and cosmology, and the development of novel, nextgeneration instrumentation.

Selection criteria

A maximum of two awards will be made annually.

  • While merit will be the primary criteria, one award will be reserved for women and other underrepresented groups within the astronomical community. 
  • No separate application is required, but a copy of the PhD application and a letter of support should be forwarded by the prospective supervisor to the school office (to be determined at the time of application).
Payment schedule
  • Annual payment of $5000, over three years

The scholarship shall be terminated if the recipient:

  • the recipient withdraws from the agreed upon degree program; 
  • the recipient enrols part-time without prior approval; 
  • the recipient accepts another top up scholarship of equal or higher value (not including a base scholarship such as an APA/UPA).