Application Process for Masters Awards
Applications for the 2014 Masters Awards are now closed. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted in late March or April to be invited to attend an interview and participate in a guided course selection process. Interviews are expected to take place in various locations around Africa in May and June 2013.
The application process for Australian Development Scholarships (ADS) under Australia Awards in Africa has five major stages:
- Advertising and Submission of Application Forms. Scholarships are advertised either in the national press or through the relevant Coordinating Authority, which requests targeted government departments and organisations to encourage suitable candidates to apply. The awards are also publicised through private sector and non-government partner networks.
- Paper Selection. The paper selection stage examines the Application Form and assesses applicants against the eligibility criteria in the Desired Applicant Profiles for each country. Applications are categorised as Compliant or Non-Compliant. The Compliant applications from government employees are then considered against partner government requirements to make sure that all government-employed candidates identified for interview have met their own Government’s requirements. These can include serving bonding periods from previous scholarships, repaying any Government loans for previous scholarships and being approved to apply for further training by being accepted on partner Government training plans. An independent shortlisting panel appointed by the Australian Government recommends the most competitive applicants for an interview. They will consider the evidence provided by each applicant as part of the application form including evidence of English language proficiency. Applicants who have offers of a place at an Australian university will be favourably considered by the selection panel. Considerations of gender balance and geographic representation are also taken into account at the Shortlisting stage.
- Selection Interviews. The shortlisted candidates attend a face-to-face interview conducted by an independent selection panel appointed by the Australian Government. AusAID officials are also represented on these panels. While at the selection interviews, applicants undertake a written exercise in English. IELTS (English language) tests will also be conducted for all candidates who are likely to be subject to this requirement by Australian universities. All interviewees also attend an information session that provides guidance prior to the interview, review of the Work Plan on Return, information about Australian universities and a review of the next steps in the scholarship process (i.e. those at step 4 & 5 below).
- After the interviews, a final list of successful applicants is drawn up. Partner Governments are advised of public sector candidate outcomes prior to candidates being advised of their outcome. Successful candidates are offered a provisional scholarship which is dependent on obtaining an offer at an Australian university and also being granted an Australian visa (the managing contractor will manage these processes for successful candidates). Successful candidates who do not have an IELTS overall band score of 6.5 but do have an overall IELTS score of at least 5.0 may be offered an English language training award (Ancillary Award). Successful completion of this award and achievement of an overall score of 6.5 in the IELTS Test is required before a provisional scholarship is offered.
- ADS / University Application Process. Once candidates are informed that they are to be offered a provisional scholarship, the managing contractor will liaise with students and Australian academic institutions to formalise the scholarship and university placement processes.
- Visa Application Process. The visa application process begins at the same time as the ADS / University application process. For the visa application, awardees must submit a range of documents including the following:
- a completed visa form 157A, with a passport valid for more than six months after the end of the proposed scholarship (i.e. the passport must be valid for the full life of the scholarship plus six months), and passport photos (please note that these photographs are additional to the photographs required by the ADS/University application process);
- a signed Contract between AusAID and the awardee (this is usually available only around September or October);
- certified copies of qualifications (and translations where these are not in English) and a CV;
- proof of medical examination conducted by a Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC)-registered Panel Doctor;
- certified copies of the awardee’s birth certificate (or original affidavit of birth); the spouse’s birth certificate; children’s birth certificates; marriage certificate or evidence of defacto relationship; and in the case of divorce or the death of a partner, a certified copy of the divorce decree or death certificate;
- evidence of sufficient funds to support dependent family members, regardless of whether they are accompanying the awardee or remaining in the home country.
AusAID has contracted GRM International, an independent Managing Contractor (MC), to provide administrative and logistical services to the AAA program in Africa. All communications or queries should be sent either to the details given in the advert or notification, or to GRM’s contact details which can be found at the following webpage: http://www.adsafrica.com.au/contact.php
Study in Australia is subject to the successful applicant being issued with a visa by the Australian Development of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). As part of the visa application process, immigration authorities require candidates to undergo a full medical examination including a chest X-ray and may be tested for HIV/AIDS. This is also to ensure that candidates are physically capable of travelling and pursuing long term study in Australia.
Applicants are required to return to their country of citizenship after the completion of their award to contribute to the development of the identified priority sector in their country.