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The Fred Johns Scholarship for Biography

Mr Fred Johns, whose 1906 publication ‘John’s Notable Australians’ was the pre-cursor of ‘Who’s Who in Australia’, bequeathed to the University in 1932 the sum of one thousand five hundred pounds for the purpose of founding a scholarship to be called “the Fred Johns Scholarship for Biography” to encourage the writing of biographies on eminent Australians. The scholarship was awarded five times between 1938 and 1956.

No award was made during the ensuing 45 years. During this time the capital of the prize has increased substantially so that the interest from such capital amounts to approximately $8,000 per annum. In an effort to rejuvenate the scholarship, the rules have been updated to ensure that the funds generated by the endowment are effectively used to assist the writing of biographies of eminent Australians by staff and students in the Faculty of Arts. The rules are as follows:

  1. Scholarships to the value of $8,000 shall be offered annually to staff and students of the Faculty of Arts, and be called ‘The Fred Johns Scholarships for Biography’.
  2. Scholarship holders shall be required to write a biography of publishable standard and length on a deceased eminent Australian (not necessarily Australian born).
  3. The Faculty, through its Research and Research Training committee shall call for applications for the scholarships in December each year from amongst its postgraduate students and academic staff. Applications should include a brief summary of the project, a proposed budget, details of research methodology and a list of relevant scholarly material in existence on the subject of the biography. Applications shall be lodged with the Faculty office by 25 March each year and the committee shall award the scholarships, subject to applications being of sufficient merit. The allocation of funds shall be at the discretion of the committee.
  4. The scholarship winners shall be awarded 50% of the value of the scholarship at the time of the awards being made and on application to the committee the balance shall be paid on receipt of evidence that satisfactory progress has been made with the project.
  5. The writers shall lodge the completed biography with the Faculty within 2 years of the scholarship being awarded or within such further period as the committee upon application may deem expedient. Each biography must include a synopsis and a full bibliography. If the work is adjudged to be of sufficient merit, publication of the work shall be encouraged. Financial assistance may be provided to achieve this, subject to availability of funds. If the work is subsequently published, clear acknowledgement of the Faculty and of the scholarship shall be made in the publication.
  6. The rules of this scholarship may be varied from time to time, but the title and the overall purpose of the endowment shall not be changed.

Application Form.

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