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State Super announces academic scholarship program

About the Scholarship

The State Super Scholarship has been established as a legacy to acknowledge the organisation’s 100-year anniversary on 1 July 2019.

The scholarship provides funding support for successful applicants to pursue research in fields related to public sector employees and their retirement, supported by pensions and superannuation.

The scholarship will support those seeking to complete research at postgraduate level – either Honours/Masters (by Research) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

Who should apply?

Any post-graduate student who has a desire to contribute to a vision for the future of superannuation and retirement incomes and has demonstrated academic excellence in their field.

Application Form

Download and save the application form.

When all sections have been completed, submit your application (and supporting documentation) by 31 January 2020 to:

Need help with your application?

For enquiries, more information or assistance please call Louise Moody, State Super Marketing Manager on (02) 9238 5923 or email us at

What fields of research are applicable for the scholarship?

Your proposed research must contribute to the knowledge base for future planning by the NSW government in one of State Super’s priority areas: public sector retirement, pensions and superannuation:

  • The future of pensions in the public sector
  • Attracting and retaining talent in the public sector through superannuation/retirement solutions
  • Innovation in superannuation around the globe
  • Other related fields in pensions, public service and financial services

What is included in the State Super Scholarship?

The successful applicants will receive financial support for a period of 12 months as follows:



Number of scholarships

Honours/Masters (by Research) Scholarship


4 per year

PhD Scholarship


1 per year

Successful applicants may apply for the scholarship in subsequent years.

Career and academic support may include the following:

  • Work experience within State Super in Sydney
  • Secondment opportunities within aligned government agencies in NSW
  • Media support and guidance to publish and disseminate the research findings
  • Invitation to attend relevant Australian conferences

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must be accepted to undertake full-time Honours/Masters (by Research) or PhD at one of the eligible NSW universities and be enrolled at their chosen university for the duration of the scholarship period.

Applicants must be Australian citizens or permanent residents.

Research must be conducted in Australia.

Applicants from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Which universities are participating?

All NSW Universities that are scheduled employers in State Super:

The University of Sydney

University of New South Wales

Macquarie University

The University of Newcastle

Southern Cross University

University of Technology Sydney

University of New England

Western Sydney University

University of Wollongong

Charles Sturt University

Note: Students from regional or emerging Universities are encouraged to apply.

Key dates

Applications open

9 October 2019

Applications close

31 January 2020

Scholarships awarded

29 February 2020

Scholarships commence

31 March 2020

Note: Applicants must commence postgraduate study in the 2020 calendar year.

Application process

  1. Submit your application to State Super by 31 January 2020
  2. Applications will be considered by a scholarship review panel using a standardised assessment process
  3. Selected applicants recommended by review panel to State Super
  4. State Super selects final successful applicants before 29 February 2020

Scholarship review panel

The review panel consists of four members, with representatives from the following organisations:

  • State Super
  • NSW Treasury
  • NSW Department of Education
  • A retired NSW academic

Selection criteria

Selection will be based on the candidate’s ability to articulate how the proposed research will contribute to the future of superannuation in the NSW public sector.

The panel may consider the following specific criteria:

  • Does the research directly address the topic of public sector retirement, pensions and superannuation?
  • Is the proposed framework innovative and original?
  • Will the research produce significant new knowledge?
  • Is there adequate academic, senior-level supervision of the proposed research
  • Is there evidence of past academic performance of the applicant?

Supporting documentation required

  1. Academic resume
  2. Academic letter of reference
  3. Personal letter of reference
  4. Letter of support from the Academic Supervisor or Dean of the Faculty or Head of School (or equivalent). The letter should include:

    -The supportive elements of the research environment provided by the University
    - Knowledge of the candidate and their academic record
    - Assessment of the viability of the research proposal
    - Commitment to providing support to the candidate and their research
  5. Academic resume of your Academic Supervisor.

Communication and promotion

By submitting an application, consent is being given to be contacted for public relations opportunities and for your name and other relevant details to be included on websites, media releases and Ministerial announcements.

Communication of the findings of the research through conferences, forums and communication with State Super will be expected.

Wherever possible, academic journal publications of the research will be encouraged.

Reporting requirements

Scholarship recipients will be required to provide State Super with progress reports quarterly and a final report on the research findings as follows:

  • Quarterly Progress Reports as agreed between State Super and the Academic Supervisor
  • Annual Progress Reports are to be submitted one month prior to the annual anniversary of the Scholarship commencement date
  • Final Report – a final report is to be submitted to State Super within three months of completing both the Honours/Masters or PhD

Application Form

Download and save the application form.

When all sections have been completed, submit your application (and supporting documentation) by 31 January 2020 to: