Summer Research Scholarship Program

Now open—applications for the 2019 Summer Research Scholarship

The Parliamentary Library offers two summer research scholarships for postgraduate students each year. Scholars work alongside specialist researchers in the Parliamentary Library in Canberra for a period of six weeks to produce a report on a topic of relevance to the Library’s research program.

Why should I apply?

The Parliamentary Library is a unique research environment and the Summer Research Scholarship allows scholars to understand and work within this important national institution. The scholarship also gives recipients the opportunity to:

  • build research expertise
  • contribute to scholarship on the Parliament and its work
  • receive training and access the Library’s specialist collections and databases
  • interact with subject-matter experts and
  • be guided by a mentor who will provide advice during the scholarship.

Elements of the scholarship

Recipients of the Parliamentary Library Summer Research Scholarship:

  • are based in the Parliamentary Library for a period of six weeks
  • present a short work-in-progress seminar and
  • produce a research report of 5,000–8,000 words (see below for topics).

Summer Research Scholars also participate in a number of activities during the scholarship period, including:

  • an induction program where scholars learn about the role of the Parliamentary Library, its place in the parliamentary environment, and the purpose and style of its research publications
  • research section meetings as appropriate and other Library activities
  • functions with summer research scholars from the National Library of Australia and the Australian War Memorial and
  • a guided tour of Parliament House.

Upon successful completion of the scholarship, an honorarium of $1,800 is awarded.

Research topics

In 2019, the Library is seeking applications from students who have an interest in and knowledge of the following topics or a related area:

Politics and public administration
  • Does people’s engagement with Parliament (participation in committee inquiries, petitions) reflect the reported decline in engagement with/trust in democracy?
  • A summary and analysis of the High Court cases over 2017–18 on section 44 of the Constitution.

Environment and resources

  • Great Barrier Reef – outlook for the reef in terms of stressors such as increased water temperature, run-off, Crown-of-Thorns etc.
  • The growing issue of antimicrobial resistance, and the effectiveness of attempts to deal with it globally and in Australia.
  • Loss of trust in science and scientific experts, the rise of internet-enabled expertise and the active dismissal of reality-based science.

Foreign affairs, defence and security

  • China’s economic engagement in Australia’s power generation and transmission industries.
  • Security challenges in the Pacific.
  • Australia’s autonomous sanctions regime.
  • Competition for Antarctic territory.

Social policy

  • Health literacy, consumer-centred care or consumer choice in one or more Australian Government health or disability programs (e.g. aged care, National Disability Insurance Scheme, Health Care Homes, private health insurance).        
  • An examination of different models for an Indigenous voice to parliament (as proposed in the Uluru Statement from the Heart).
  • A chronology of Australian Government labour market programs.


  • A chronology and critical analysis of Australian foreign investment laws in real property and corporate securities since Federation.
  • History and current status of treaty arrangements in the Timor Sea.

Statistics and mapping

  • Analysis of long-term trends in home ownership using census data.



  • What are the key drivers of wages growth in Australia?
  • What might the consequences for Australia be of a trade war between USA and China? 
  • What is driving economic growth in Australia?

When does the scholarship occur?

Scholars are based in the Parliamentary Library in Canberra from Monday 7 January until Friday 15 February 2019. Scholars submit their research report on or before Friday 26 April 2019. The scholarship cannot be undertaken at an alternative time.

Further information

For further information, including answers to frequently asked questions, details on eligibility, and the application form, download a copy of the 2019 Application Kit

If you would like to discuss the 2019 Parliamentary Library Summer Research Scholarship further, please contact:

Georgina Watson
Executive Information Officer
Parliamentary Library
+61 2 6277 2721


Lauren Cook
Researcher, Social Policy
Parliamentary Library
+61 2 6277 2547

Submitting my application

Applications for the 2019 Parliamentary Library Summer Research Scholarship will close at midnight on Sunday 23 September 2018.

Applications are to be submitted by email to:

All applications will be acknowledged within one working day of receipt. No late applications will be considered.

Please note applicants must be Australian citizens and enrolled in postgraduate studies at the time of the scholarship.

Past scholarship research

Summer scholar reports from previous years
Recipients of the Australian Parliamentary Library Summer Research Scholarship