Frequently asked questions
- Why is this only open to general staff?
- Do I get paid while I am on the travelling scholarship?
- Can I use the scholarship to attend a conference?
- Will I be covered by University insurance?
- Do I have to take annual leave?
- How do I organise my travelling arrangements?
- What should I include in my budget proposal and where can I go for help?
- Who does my job while I am away?
- Can I include this in my PM&D?
- If I am unable to get management support can I still apply?
- Where can I get some tips on completing my application?
- What will the assessment committee be looking for when they assess my application?
- Can you give an example of a project's strategic alignment with the one of the University's strategic priorities, and how a project's outcomes could benefit other areas within the University?
- What does the report need to include that I have to submit on my return?
- What happens if I don't spend all the money I had included in my budget proposal?
Why is this only open to general staff?
The University is committed to providing professional development opportunities for its general staff members and the General Staff Travelling Scholarship is an initiative that supports that goal. Academic staff have access to a number of development opportunities including the Special Studies Program (SSP) as well as awards and grants through the Institute for Teaching and Learning and the Research portfolio.
Do I get paid while I am on the General Staff Travelling Scholarship?
Yes, you will be on official University of Sydney business and will continue to receive your regular salary.
Can I use the scholarship to attend a conference?
The intention of the scholarship is not to enable you to attend a conference or training course, but rather to help you undertake a project that will benefit you in terms of your development and learning. It is also for you to implement the findings in your University work.
Will I be covered by the University's insurance while I am away?
The University’s travel insurance covers staff while travelling on official University business which is authorised by the appropriate delegated officer. However, you won't be covered for any associated personal travel. Please refer to the Travel Services website for more information on insurance.
Do I have to take annual leave?
No, the scholarship is awarded for you to take time out from your regular place of work to engage with an overseas institution and fulfil the objectives of your project. You are therefore considered to be on duty. However, you may choose to take some annual leave during the period of your scholarship as appropriate and as agreed by your supervisor.
How do I organise my travel arrangements?
Refer to the University of Sydney Travel Policy and Travel Procedures as well as the Travel Services website for more information about arranging your travel, accommodation and expenses. You will be required to complete an online requisition through Spendvision and book your flights and accommodation through the University’s preferred suppliers. The finance officer in your faculty/school/unit should also be able to assist you with making travel arrangements.
What should I include in my budget proposal and where can I go for help?
Work out your proposed budget as accurately as possible to ensure you cover all expenses related to travel, accommodation and food. Include incidentals like taxis, train or bus fare, etc. The University's travel services website has useful information on how to make travel and accommodation bookings as well as on estimating expenses in different international cities. Also talk to the Finance staff in your work unit who will be able to advise you.
Who does my job while I am away?
It is up to you and your manager to discuss and agree to workload arrangements prior to submitting your application. This may also provide a short term development opportunity for another staff member in your area.
Can I include this in my PM&D?
Yes, this professional development initiative should be included in your PM&D.
If I am unable to get management support can I still apply?
Applications without the support of your manager, head of school/administrative unit and your dean or equivalent will not be considered in the selection process. However, you may apply in future years when it may be more appropriate for you to take time out of your work unit.
Where can I get some tips on completing my application?
- Read about the experiences of previous scholarship recipients.
- As well as their valuable tips and guidance.
- Also ensure you take into account all the eligibility criteria, expectations and selection criteria as set out on these webpages.
- For more assistance in developing a project proposal, discuss your application with your manager. Or contact the Program Coordinator, Sarah Kilmartin.
What will the Assessment Committee be looking for when they assess my application?
The Assessment Committee will first ensure you meet the eligibility criteria. If you are eligible, they will assess your application in terms of the selection criteria you are asked to address in your application form. You need to be clear about what it is you are proposing to do; what the proposed outcomes are; how your project aligns with strategic objectives; how your project will benefit the University; how you will implement your project; and demonstrate the relevance of the chosen host institution to your project. For more tips read the case studies.
Can you give an example of a project's strategic alignment with one of the University's strategic priorities, and how a project's outcomes could benefit other areas within the University?
Below are a few examples from the 2012 projects which demonstrate how these staff members aligned their project aims with University strategic priorities, as well as how outcomes could benefit other areas:
- Strategy 11: Attract and support promising students from a diversity of social and cultural backgrounds
Sarah Fletcher, Employer Relations, Business School - Her project aim was to investigate industry placement programs, community based learning initiatives and alternative university entry programs for students from a low socio-economic background in nine universities in Canada and the USA. Her project findings can be used by faculties across the University who are addressing this strategic initiative.
- Strategy 12: Provide enhanced learning opportunities for all our staff
Paragi Trivedi, Audit and Risk Management - One of her project aims was for the scholarship to provide her with the opportunity to exchange ideas, collaborate and learn from international colleagues. Working in the Audit Risk Management and Audit Services Group at Harvard University provided her the opportunity to observe internal auditing and risk management practices, and benchmark internal audit services and systems.
- Strategy 17: Systematically review arrangements for the provision of administrative and professional services.
Paragi Trivedi's scholarship objectives also included collaboration with Harvard colleagues to examine Harvard’s IT audit programs with the aim of having a better understanding of IT and construction audit programs, as well as explore the potential automation of audit working papers. She also benchmarked their automoted accounts payable processes which ensured only the appropriate delegated officers had authority to approve purchases. This was a significant learning to bring to our University which can benefit not only the Procurement division, but all faculties and adminstrative services units in terms of compliance and risk management.
What does the report need to include that I have to submit on my return?
Your report needs to be submitted to the Assessment Committee within one month of your return from your travelling scholarship. Key points that your report must address include:
- personal outcomes - what did you personally achieve from the scholarship?
- business unit outcomes - what are the benefits for your business unit?
- University-wide outcomes - how did the university benefit?
- key university strategic objectives - which University strategic objectives did your project contribute towards?
- feedback from your endorsing supervisor - your supervisor's comments on the outcomes of your project - did your project meet its objectives?
- budget outline - substantiate your actual expenditure against your budget proposal.
What happens if I don't spend all the money I had included in my budget proposal?
Any unspent funding will be transferred back into the scholarship fund to be used for future scholarships. When you return from your trip you need to inform the Program Coordinator, Sarah Kilmartin about actual expenditure against your proposed budget.