Application Process

It is the responsibility of prospective Scholar to first seek a suitable supervisor before applying for a Vacation Research Scholarship.

Therefore, both student and supervisor should complete the VRS application together. Supervisors should ensure that the research aspects of the project are clear and that the AMSI Member department is aware of the application. (Unsure if you belong to an AMSI Member institution? Click here to browse our list of members).

The supervisor will also need to include a letter of support with the application. Your letter should state clearly how suitable the applicant is for the program, what they will gain from attending VRS and the level of support that you will provide during the process. Your letter should be on official letterheaded paper.

Should your student be successful in their application, a copy of the letter agreement signed by your head of department/school will also be forwarded to you for your information. This will serve as a formal agreement, binding you to the project and parameters established by the VRS program.

If you cannot meet the application deadline, please contact AMSI Research and Higher Education as soon as possible at

 Note: you may not supervise more than one student without nominating a second supervisor.

Please consult our sample VRS letter of support.

The Research Project

Supervisors work with a student to identify a six-week research project. Please ensure that the scope of the project is feasible in a six-week period and will allow students to present their findings at AMSIConnect.

Supervisors mentor the student for the duration of the project and should arrange regular face-to-face meetings with the student to assist with any problems and ensure that the project stays on track. Supervisors are also responsible for proofreading the final research report and blog post before they are submitted to AMSI, in addition to helping their student prepare for AMSIConnect. This entails assisting with the preparation of presentations, arranging a trial presentation and providing feedback on final reports.

We understand that sometimes projects will need to be refocused or slightly amended. If this is the case, please notify us via email at If the changes vary dramatically from the project originally submitted, permission to proceed must be granted by the AMSI Director and your Head of Department.

If the student you are supervising is unable to complete the AMSI Vacation Research Scholarship, you are responsible for ensuring that AMSI and the Head of Department are notified of the withdrawal.

Note: supervisors should be available in Australia for at least five weeks of the agreed period for the research project.


Supervisors should prepare for the presentation at AMSIConnect by:

  • Helping students prepare a 20-minute presentation on the project, suitable for an audience of their peers
  • Arranging a presentation within the department prior to AMSIConnect
  • Providing feedback so that students feel comfortable presenting their work

AMSI strongly encourages supervisors to attend the presentations at AMSIConnect, both to provide support and to assist with questions if required.

Should you require travel assistance to attend this event, you may apply for AMSI Member travel funding.

Supervisors who attend AMSIConnect are requested to chair at least one session of presentations.

Completion and Deadlines

Following AMSIConnect, students must submit a report on their research. Supervisors should ensure that the research is written up formally in the style of a journal paper. Reports should be submitted on the AMSI report template and adhere to the AMSI style guide, which can be found here. You can view past research reports on the past projects page.

It is important for researchers to explain their work to an audience outside of academia. For this reason we ask students to prepare an accessible blog post. Supervisors should also ensure that this post be presented in a manner suited to a casual audience.

Students may blog about:

  • Their research project
  • Another area of mathematics that interests them
  • How or why they became interested in mathematics

The blog post should be 300-500 words and accessible to a non-specialist audience. Examples of blogs can be found here.

Research reports and blog posts must be submitted by 28 February 2019.


Scholars’ home or host universities should invoice AMSI in two instalments:

First instalment of A$2000 ex GST on award of the scholarship.

Second instalment of A$1000 ex GST upon:

1. Completion of a six-week research project under the guidance of a supervisor
2. Attendance and presentation at the AMSIConnect conference for two full days in February 2019
3. Submission of a research report and blog post by 28 February 2019

It is expected that departments pay the awardees out of their own funds and treat the AMSI payment as a reimbursement.

If circumstances change and a Scholar needs to withdraw from the program, you should notify in writing your Head of Department and the AMSI Research and Higher Education Manager of the reasons for withdrawal. Depending on when a Scholar withdraws, this could affect their payment.

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