Menzies Scholarships to Harvard for 2015/16

Sponsored by The Harvard Club of Australia, The Menzies Foundation and The Australian National University. 



The Robert Gordon Menzies Scholarships to Harvard are Australia's most prestigious national awards for postgraduate study in the United States. Inaugurated in 1967 by prominent Australian alumni of Harvard to honour the Australian statesman and former Prime Minister, the Menzies Scholarship grants at least one annual award to talented Australians who have gained admission to a Harvard graduate school. The ideal candidates for the Scholarship are Australians whose primary objective, after completing their studies at Harvard, is to make a significant contribution to this country's development.



In 2015, the Selection Committee may award up to two Menzies Scholarships valued at up to US$60,000 each. An additional Menzies Scholarships valued at US$60,000 may be offered by HCA Philanthropy - 'Class of 1970', for a Menzies Scholar to study at the Harvard Business School. Depending on funding from Harvard, a Menzies Scholarship may be taken over one or more years at the discretion of the Selection Committee and the Committee on General Scholarships at Harvard University.


Eligibility criteria

Competition for the Menzies Scholarships is extremely competitive and candidates selected for interview are of outstanding quality.

To be considered for a Menzies Scholarship, you must be an Honours graduate (or equivalent) of an Australian university or other recognised Australian tertiary institution and:

  • be an Australian citizen, or have permanent resident status, and normally reside in Australia
  • intend to return to Australia after completing your studies or to directly represent Australia overseas
  • have not commenced or previously undertaken a postgraduate degree course at a United States university; and
  • you must not have accepted another major scholarship (such as a Knox, Fulbright or Monash Award).

You must also have applied to the Harvard graduate school of your choice, and either been accepted or be confident about meeting its admission requirements and deadlines.

You must also address these criteria:

  • qualities of intellect - as demonstrated through academic achievement and likely benefit from study at a Harvard graduate school
  • qualities of leadership - as demonstrated by prominence in your chosen field or by involvement in, for example, community affairs
  • breadth of vision - as evidenced by the way you look at your present or intended profession in relation to its contribution to Australia and the Australian community.

There is no specific weighting for these criteria and the Selection Committee considers all fields of study. Mid-career applicants will also be assessed against an appropriate level of achievement.

The Committee may also consider these factors:

  • financial need and the financial resources available; and
  • field of study - the Committee may consider the academic endeavours of past Scholars to broaden the Scholarship's focus into all academic areas.

The Committee will also give preference to candidates who are not duplicating graduate studies previously undertaken elsewhere and who have not completed an undergraduate degree in the United States.


How to apply

To be considered for a Menzies Scholarship, you must submit a completed Application Form with your original academic transcript/s and a Statement of Purpose of no more than two A4 pages. The Statement should include relevant details of your background (including community and recreational interests and, if relevant, career-to-date), personal philosophy, aspirations and future career plans, and how you believe you can contribute to the future interests of Australia. The Selection Committee will not be able to consider statements over two pages or any additional documents, other than those requested.

Application due date

Menzies applications (for study in 2015/16) are due by 3pm on Friday, 6 February 2015. We will only accept applications sent via email. Please scan your completed application (in one file) and email to If selected for interview, we will request original academic transcripts. Please do not post your application by Registered Post. 

Referees and application process

Candidates need to provide the names and contact details of three referees who have agreed to support their application. At least two referees should be qualified to comment with knowledge of your academic and/or professional merit and capacity for higher degree study. One referee should be able to provide a personal reference and this could be someone who can comment on your community activities, recreational interests and/or career.

Only candidates whose applications have been short-listed will be requested by the Scholarship Administrator (toward the end of February) to ask their referees to submit a reference. Referee reports are confidential and must be submitted directly to the Scholarship Administrator. Only short-listed candidates will need to supply their referees with a copy of the Referee Report Form (PDF, 273KB) and ensure that the reports are submitted by Monday, 2 March 2015.

Selection process

The Selection Committee is appointed by the Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University and by the Harvard Club of Australia and the Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Foundation, and comprises representatives from each. Its membership broadly reflects all fields of academic endeavour.

Since acceptance into a Harvard graduate school is a prerequisite for a Menzies Scholarship, the interviews are timed to coincide with Harvard acceptance notifications. Candidates not accepted into Harvard will not be interviewed for the Scholarship. Candidates who have accepted another major scholarship (such as a Knox, Fulbright or Monash Award) will not be interviewed. The Committee will short-list candidates to attend an interview at the ANU in Canberra in early April. A Scholarship will not normally be awarded without an interview.

Please note: All shortlisted interviewees are expected to attend an interview in person in Canberra in April 2015, unless there are extenuating circumstances which would need to be discussed with the Chair. It is a condition of being interviewed that interviewees will accept an offer of a scholarship unless extenuating circumstances arose after the interview to preclude this.

Menzies Scholars

The list of Menzies Scholars since 1968 (PDF, 41KB) is available as well as a commemorative volume, The R.G Menzies Scholarships to Harvard 1968-2010.

Menzies Scholarship Fund

The Menzies Scholarship Fund in Australia is administered by The Australian National University, and in the United States by the Committee on General Scholarships at Harvard University.

The amount offered each year is dependent on earnings from the Scholarship Fund and on new contributions to the Fund. Menzies Scholars are, therefore, encouraged to reimburse the Fund in future years as and when personal and financial circumstances permit. Tax deductible donations to the Menzies Fund may be made online.

Harvard Club of Australia

The Harvard Club of Australia was formed in 1961 and has nearly 700 members, including many prominent Australians with senior roles in public service, private enterprise and the professions.

The prime objective of the Club is to increase social and fraternal fellowship amongst the alumni of Harvard University resident in Australia. It also aims to enhance this nation's knowledge base by supporting learned exchange between Harvard University and Australian centres of excellence, specifically by providing scholarships and fellowships to students in either country whose studies are judged to add significantly to Australia's development.

The Club also awards fellowships which send CEOs of Australian non-profit organisations to the Harvard Executive Program.

Contact details: Club Administrator, Harvard Club of Australia, GPO Box 3132, Sydney, NSW 2001. Telephone: (02) 9449 5239 Email: Web:

Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Foundation

The Menzies Foundation was formed in 1979 as a not-for-profit, non-political organisation to perpetuate the memory of Sir Robert Menzies through health research, education and postgraduate scholarship for Australians. Its activities include support for scholarships in the allied health sciences, engineering, law and medicine and the creation of three Menzies research centres: the Menzies School of Health Research, the Menzies Research Institute and the Menzies Centre for Health Policy.

Contact details: 210 Clarendon Street, East Melbourne, Victoria 3002. Telephone: (03) 9419 5699 Email: Web:

Harvard University

Each Harvard graduate school has its own criteria for admission and candidates are advised to begin correspondence as early as possible with their intended school to make sure they can meet the application deadlines.

Further details are available on the Harvard University website as follows:

Harvard Business School; Graduate School of Design; Harvard Divinity School; Harvard Graduate School of Education; John F. Kennedy School of Government; Harvard Law School ; Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study; Harvard School of Public Health; Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; Faculty of Medicine

Steps to follow to apply for a Menzies Scholarship

  • Apply for admission to a Harvard graduate school.
  • Contact the Scholarship Administrator if you wish to confirm your eligibility for the Scholarship and to discuss your application.
  • Visit this website again when applications are called (usually in November) as there may be changes to conditions and eligibility criteria.
  • Send your completed application in time to be received by 6 February 2015.

For further information contact

Philanthropic Scholarships
Alumni Relations & Philanthropy
Bld 71T, 28 Balmain Crescent 
The Australian National University

T +61 2 6125 9521

Updated:  22 July 2014/ Responsible Officer:  Director of Alumni Relations & Philanthropy/ Page Contact:  Philanthropy