Australian Government Endeavour Research Fellowships


As part of the 2019-20 Budget, the Australian Government has announced there will be no further rounds of the Endeavour Leadership Program (ELP).

The ELP is the Australian Government’s two-way mobility program for short and long-term study, research and professional development with Australia’s priority partner countries. The ELP supports Australia’s first National Strategy for International Education 2025 (the Strategy). The Strategy sets out a 10-year plan for developing Australia as a global leader in education, training and research, through making transformative partnerships (Pillar 2 of the Strategy), and expanding student, education and training professional and research mobility.

The ELP provides opportunities for established and emerging leaders to undertake a global mobility experience within their study, research or professional field.

Endeavour Leaders will have the opportunity to build enduring international networks, strengthen education and research engagement between Australia and priority countries, and enhance Australia’s commercial success and economic prosperity.

The ELP was announced as part of the 2018-19 Budget and will operate from 2019. This is an ongoing program and application rounds will be held annually.

The objectives of the ELP are to:

  • enhance Australia’s reputation for excellence in international education through the continued internationalisation of the education, training and research sectors
  • contribute to the implementation of Government policy priorities, by increasing international research and education engagement between Australia and priority countries in key fields of education, research and innovation
  • offer high-achieving individuals from Australia and overseas the opportunity to develop their knowledge and expertise and build institution-to-institution connections
  • create the next generation of international education and research leaders across a wide variety of professional fields.
  • The intended outcomes of the ELP are:
  • growth in the number of durable, high-value institutional and individual connections as a result of ELP-funded education, training, research and professional activities
  • an increase in the number of high quality research outcomes (including commercialisation and joint publications) resulting from ELP funding
  • employability of Endeavour Leaders and resultant contribution to the Australian economy.

The ELP will be undertaken according to the Commonwealth‘s Grants Rules and Guidelines (CGRGs).

ELP funding

The Australian Government has announced a total of $118.9 million over four years for the ELP. Under the 2019 round, approximately $27 million in funding is available to support two-way mobility Leadership Activities. It will support short and long term study, training, research and professional development across a range of sub-categories under the Endeavour Leadership Program, including:

  • Australia-ASEAN Leadership category
  • Australia-APEC Leadership category
  • Australia-Latin America Leadership category
  • Asia-Pacific Leadership category
  • Global Leadership category

The method for applying for one of these awards is set out in Section 8 of these Guidelines, and in the Applicant Guide for the ELP – Individual Endeavour Leaders and the Applicant Guide for the ELP – Applicant Institutions.

There are two funding opportunities with differing financial benefits – one for Recipient Institutions and one for Individual Endeavour Leaders. The number of opportunities in 2019 will depend on the amount of available funds as well as the number of highly suitable applications received.

Funding for the 2019 round will be as follows:

Recipient Institutions

  • The minimum grant amount is $2500 per student.
  • The maximum grant amount is $5000 per student.

The total Leadership Activity amount will depend on the duration of the Leadership Activity and the number of participating Students.
Where applicable, Language Support payments, which are designed to support Asian language competency as part of a Leadership Activity, may be provided at a rate of $AU1000 per Student. Language training must be undertaken prior to, or concurrently with, an approved Leadership Activity.

Institutions are also eligible for Leadership Activity Facilitation Subsidies that apply on the basis of one subsidy of AU$1,500 per Leadership Activity. The Leadership Activity Facilitation Subsidy can be used for administration purposes associated with management of the Leadership Activity.

Individual Endeavour Leaders

The entitlements for each recipient will be dependent on activity level and duration, as set out below.

All successful Individual Endeavour Leaders will receive: AU$3,000 per month as a stipend (maximum amount of AU$36,000 per calendar year paid up to the maximum category duration on a pro-rata basis).

Successful Individual Endeavour Leaders are also eligible for:

  • travel allowance of up to AU$3,000 (with provision to pay up to AU$4,500 under special circumstances)
  • establishment allowance of between AU$2,000 and AU$4,000 (dependent on program duration)
  • health insurance for the full category duration (Overseas Student Health Cover [OSHC] for international Recipients)
  • travel insurance (excluding during Program for international Recipients)

Tuition fees: Individual Endeavour Leaders undertaking postgraduate research or vocational education and training will also receive tuition fees paid up to the maximum study/research duration on a pro-rata basis. Tuition includes student service and amenities fees.

Eligibility Criteria

We cannot consider your application if you do not satisfy all the eligibility criteria.

Who is eligible to apply for ELP funding?

To be eligible for funding, you must:

  • apply as an Individual Endeavour Leader or Applicant Institution
  • submit your application by the closing date, answer all mandatory questions and attach all documents as specified in the application form (outlined in the Applicant Guide for the ELP – Individual Endeavour Leaders and the Applicant Guide for the ELP – Applicant Institutions).

Applicant Institutions may submit a maximum of 20 applications per round for each category for which they are eligible (a maximum of 10 applications for the short-term category; and a maximum of 10 long-term applications, total, for both the student exchange and the Cheung Kong categories).

Individual applicants

To participate in the ELP, individual applicants must:

  • not be undertaking their Leadership Activity in a country where they hold citizenship/dual citizenship or permanent residency
    • Australian Individual Endeavour Leaders must not undertake their Leadership Activity in a country where they hold citizenship/dual citizenship or permanent residency
    • International Individual Endeavour Leaders must undertake their activity in Australia and not hold citizenship/dual citizenship or be a permanent resident of Australia.
  • be aged 18 years or over at the commencement of their Leadership Activity
  • not be in receipt of any other Australian Government sponsored mobility, scholarship or fellowship benefits
  • for Postgraduate or VET Leadership Activities, be undertaking an award course under the Australian Qualifications Framework at an Australian (Home or Host) organisation. The organisation must be either an approved Higher Education Provider (HEP) or a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) – these Endeavour Leaders may not undertake their study at an Australian university campus or Australian organisation offshore.

Applicant Institutions

To participate in the ELP, Applicant Institutions must:

  • be an approved Higher Education Provider (HEP) or a Registered Training Organisation (RTO); and
  • have participating Students aged 18 years or over at the commencement of their Leadership Activity.

Recipient Institutions must use ELP funding for the sole purpose of providing payments directly to their enrolled Students to enable their participation in a Project. Recipient Institutions are responsible for assessing enrolled Student’s eligibility and determining how eligible Students are chosen to receive funding.

Recipient institutions must be able to demonstrate that the process used to select students is fair, independent and transparent. The Applicant/Recipient Institution must provide this evidence to the department on request.

What ELP funding can be used for

Eligible Leadership Activities

Applicants are expected to propose a Leadership Activity which will contribute to the objectives of the ELP. Eligible Leadership Activities include:

  • study towards an undergraduate qualification (through a Recipient Institution)
  • study towards a postgraduate or Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification
  • research towards a PhD or Masters qualification
  • postdoctoral research
  • institution-to-institution exchange
  • practicums, clinical placements, Internships, or volunteer Leadership Activities
  • mentoring, work experience or other professional development through a host work environment rather than through formal enrolment in a study program.

Eligible locations

The ELP is a global program, however Leadership Activities undertaken in countries of strategic significance, or with established education and research ties to Australia will be given priority (see Shortlisting Criterion under Section 6.1). Country prioritisation is set out in Appendix A to these Program Guidelines.

Eligible Leadership Activity expenditure

We will only provide funding for eligible expenditure directly related to an eligible Leadership Activity (see Section 5.1). We may update the Guidelines on eligible and ineligible expenditure from time to time. If your application is successful, the version that applies to your Leadership Activity will be the version that is current when your Award Agreement/Leadership Activity Schedule is signed (by both the Recipient Institution and the Commonwealth Government).

Recipient Institutions must use funding they receive on behalf of Students for the sole purpose of enabling Students’ participation in a Leadership Activity.

Where an Applicant Institution seeks to use the funding provided to make group arrangements on behalf of Students (and thereby not pay a component of the funding directly to the Students), the Applicant Institution must:

  • be able to demonstrate a financial benefit for the Student (for example, flight discounts available through group bookings)
  • obtain Students’ written consent to the relevant funding not being made directly available to them. Applicant Institutions do not need to provide the Department with copies of Students’ written consent, but must retain a record which is made available at the Department’s request
  • not use the funding for administrative costs or other non-Student specific costs.

Recipient Institutions must provide services to Students in relation to the ELP that are high quality and fully compliant with the Leadership Activity and their Deeds. Other key compliance requirements are set out in the Applicant Guide for the ELP – Applicant Institutions).

What the ELP money cannot be used for

Recipient Institutions cannot use ELP funding to support the following activities:

  • wages
  • major capital expenditure
  • retrospective costs
  • costs incurred in the preparation of an application or related documentation
  • general ongoing administration of an organisation such as electricity, phone and rent
  • construction/capital works
  • activities for which other Commonwealth, State, Territory or Local Government bodies have primary responsibility.

The assessment criteria

All applicants – shortlisting criterion

Australian applicants will be required to nominate the country or countries which will be included in the Program; or (for International Applicants) specify the home country.

All countries have been allocated a Tier (Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 as reflected in Appendix A).

Applications will be assessed according to the destination/source country. Tier 1 countries will be given priority in the assessment process, followed by Tier 2 and then Tier 3.

For Australian applicants, a Proposed Leadership Activity with multiple destinations must specify all countries from a single Tier (either Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 – applicants cannot choose countries from multiple tiers).

Applications for Leadership Activity Variations for location changes will be considered in the context of the Tiered structure.

Assessment criteria – all applications (Individual applicants and Applicant Institutions)

The assessment criteria are designed to ensure selected Leadership Activities meet the Objectives of the Endeavour Leadership Program.

NOTE: Assessment criteria 1 to 4 must be addressed by both Individual applicants and by Applicant Institutions in relation to each participating student. Assessment criterion 5 needs to be addressed by Applicant Institutions only.

Applicant institutions should address the criteria in relation to students enrolled at their institution that they propose the funding will be used to support.

NOTE: Students enrolled at eligible applicant institutions, who are not planning to submit an individual application, are not required to address criteria or apply directly to the department for funding. Interested enrolled students should apply to the student mobility office at their institution to find out if they are able to participate in an ELP-funded Leadership Activity.

We will judge your application based on the weighting given to each criterion. Please refer to the program objectives in preparing your response (Section 2). The amount of detail and supporting evidence you provide in your application should be relative to the Leadership Activity size, complexity and amount requested. The application form includes word limits, mandatory attachments and other requirements.

In providing a response, you should describe the proposed activity and provide information, which specifically demonstrates how it will achieve stated objectives. Each criterion must be addressed in a maximum of 300 words.

All criteria are weighted equally. This means that for individual applicants, all four criteria will have a weighting of 25 percent each. Applicant institutions will be required to address an additional criterion, therefore each of the five criteria will have a 20 percent weighting.

Assessment Criterion 1 – Enhancing the internationalisation of Australia’s education, training and research sectors

  • Explain how the proposed activity will enhance collaborative partnerships with key institutions in countries of strategic priority (see Appendix A).
  • Describe how these partnerships will strengthen the capacity of Australia’s education, training and research sectors.
  • Outline any anticipated educational, social, economic or other benefits.

Assessment Criterion 2 – Alignment with Australian Government strategy

Summarise how the proposed activity aligns with Australian Government priorities for education, training and research. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • the National Strategy for International Education 2025
  • the National Innovation and Science Agenda
  • increasing opportunities for institutions and individuals in regional Australia
  • promoting participation of underrepresented groups including Indigenous Australians.

Assessment Criterion 3 – Development of individuals’ knowledge and expertise

Explain how the proposed activity will assist your professional development.

Assessment Criterion 4 – Development of leadership skills

  • Set out the skills and attributes you possess that will enable you to use this opportunity to develop as a leader in your field.
  • Explain how the proposed activity will develop your leadership skills and build on your ability to contribute to your study, training, research or professional field on your return to your home country.

Additional assessment criterion – Applicant Institutions

This is an additional Criterion only relevant to Applicant Institutions.

Assessment Criterion 5 – Successful management and student support

  • Describe how the Award will be managed successfully and students will be supported to achieve positive learning outcomes.
  • Confirmation that the Applicant Institution has a Risk Management Plan and a Critical Incident Plan in place.

Applicant Institutions should describe how the Leadership Activity will be developed and managed, and what strategies will be used to ensure positive learning outcomes for Students.

Applicant institutions need only confirm whether a Risk Management Plan and a Critical Incident Plan in place, and provide details of the Plan/s to the Department on request.

How to apply

Before applying, you must read and understand these Program Guidelines, the application form, the FAQs, the relevant Applicant Guide and the draft Award Agreement/Leadership Activity Schedule.

These documents may be found online at GrantConnect. Any alterations and addenda1 will be published on GrantConnect and by registering on this website, you will be automatically notified on any changes. GrantConnect is the authoritative source for grants information.

To apply you must:

  • complete the online application form through EOL (for individual applicants) or ISEO (for applicant institutions) by the closing date.
  • provide all the information requested
  • address all eligibility criteria and assessment criteria
  • include all necessary attachments.

The ELP selection process

Assessment of applications

The assessment process has three stages:

  • The Support Services Organisation will assess applications against the shortlisting and eligibility criteria.
  • Applications will be assessed against the assessment criteria by the independent Selection Panel made up of eminent academics, professionals and government representatives, and presents a final merit list of recommended recipients.
    • Members of the Selection Panel who are not Commonwealth Officials will be expected to perform their duties in accordance with the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines (CGRGs).
    • Applicants should note that the personal details of Selection Panel members are confidential and will not be released.
  • The final merit list will be provided to the Minister for Education and Training for approval.
    • Should the Minister for Education and Training be unable to make the final decision, the final merit list will be provided to the Department’s Program Delegate for approval. The delegate for ELP is the Branch Manager, Partnerships Branch, International Group, Department of Education and Training (Section 8.3).

The assessment process will be used to determine a merit list of unfunded projects. This merit list may be used by the Minister for Education and Training or the Department if additional funds become available, for example, where a Leadership Activity cannot go ahead and cannot be varied.

Police checks

Australian Individual Endeavour Leaders will be required to undergo a police check before their Leadership Activity is confirmed. It is an important consideration by the Department that successful applicants will enhance the reputation of Australia and the ELP overseas. A criminal record will not automatically disqualify an applicant from receiving ELP funding. However, if a Recipient is found to have a criminal record or conviction, which the Department considers, would harm the reputation of the ELP, the Department may, in its absolute discretion, refuse or revoke an ELP Award.

Who will approve?

The selection process will be used to determine a final merit list of recommended applications for funding, to the limit of available funding, to be provided to the Minister for Education and Training for approval.

Should the Minister for Education and Training be unable to make the final decision, the final merit list will be provided to the Department’s Program Delegate for approval. The delegate for ELP is the Branch Manager, Partnerships Branch, International Group, Department of Education and Training.

The Minister’s and the delegate’s decision is final in all matters, including the:

  • approval of the successful recipients
  • funding amount
  • terms and conditions of the payments.

Neither the Minister nor the Department will approve funding unless it is reasonably considered that the Leadership Activity represents value for money. There is no appeal mechanism for decisions to be reviewed.

Notification of application outcomes

We will advise you of the outcome of your application in writing.

Application date
4-6 months
Oceania : Australia
Social sciences
Required post-doc experience
Between 0 and 99 years
Award granted
AU$ 3.000/month + research and travel allowances + health insurance