The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme is aimed at improving the Quality Use of Medicines and access to culturally appropriate services for Patients who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme (ATSIPSS) aims to address the health needs of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and the workforce needs of the pharmacy profession by encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to choose a career in pharmacy. The Scheme supports students who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander in their decision to undertake tertiary study in the field of pharmacy.

To be eligible to apply for the Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme, students must be:

  • An Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent
  • Enrolled (or accepted for enrolment) as a full-time student at an Australian university in an undergraduate or graduate degree that leads to a registrable qualification as a Pharmacist
  • A member of their university’s student Rural Health Club or the university’s affiliated Rural Health Club
  • Not currently in receipt of a scholarship under the Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme.

Preference will be given to students who are residents of a rural or remote location; however, this is not a mandatory requirement to apply for the Scheme.

Scholarships are available to students in any year of their approved undergraduate or graduate degree.

Note: Study at an honours level that extends the time of study beyond the standard degree is not covered by the Scheme.

Annually, scholarship recipients will be required to provide documents to demonstrate ongoing eligibility. These will be split into ‘Beginning of Year’ deliverables and ‘End of Year’ deliverables. Refer to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme Program Rules for further details.

Involvement in the Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Mentor Scheme is compulsory for all scholarship recipients. In addition to scholarship recipients submitting their ‘End of Year’ deliverables, mentors must also submit a Mentor Report through the Pharmacy Programs Administrator Portal in order for the scholarship recipient’s final annual payment to be made.  Refer to the Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Mentor Scheme Program Rules for further details. 

At least three scholarships are offered each year, with a value of $15,000 (GST exempt) per student, per year.

Successful applicants will receive the scholarship for a maximum of four years or until the end of their course of study, whichever is shorter. Scholarship holders may be granted a maximum of $60,000 over a four-year period.

Scholarship recipients receive a total of 10 payments per year, paid in monthly instalments via direct Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) to their nominated financial institution.

For each year of the scholarship, payments will be made in the following schedule:

Payment Number (Each Year) Payment Date Requirements
1st Payment February Scholarship recipients must submit the required ‘Beginning of Year’ Deliverables.

Payment will occur after this information has been received and approved, and may be delayed in the instance of late submission.

2nd – 9th Payments Monthly from March to October Nil.
10th Payment November Scholarship recipient must submit the required ‘End of Year’ Deliverables.

Payment will occur after this information has been received and approved, and may be delayed in the instance of late submission.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme FAQ

  1. The Scholarship Annual Round opens from November until late January each year.

    Any applications received by the end of this time are ranked according to rural experience (based on historic home addresses and rural primary school attendance if applicable) and Conditional Scholarships will be offered to the highest ranked eligible applicants.

    Applications will still be accepted at any time throughout the year until the allocation of scholarships has been exhausted.

    Please visit the Pharmacy Programs Administrator website around late October for communication about when the Annual Round will open and how to apply. Once all scholarships are awarded this will also be communicated on the website.

    Guidance on how to fill in the Application Form can be found in the Program Rules. 

  2. To be eligible to apply students must:

    • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
    • Be of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent
    • Be enrolled or about to be enrolled as a full time student in a Pharmacy undergraduate or graduate degree at an Australian university that leads to a registrable qualification as a Pharmacist.
    • Be a member of, or intending to join the student Rural Health Club or the university’s affiliated Rural Health Club.

    No scholarship payments will be made to you until you provide evidence of enrolment and evidence of joining a Rural Health Club. While not mandatory, preference will be given to students who have resided in a rural area for at least five consecutive, or eight cumulative, years since the age of five. See Program Rules for further details of requirements.

  3. No, you are still eligible to apply even if you have not lived in a rural or remote area; however, scholarships will be offered preferentially to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students who currently live, or have lived, in a rural or remote community.

  4. Rural is defined as any location classified with a PhARIA rating of 2-6. PhARIA information can be found here.

  5. Applications received during the initial Annual Round will be ranked and Conditional Scholarship offers will be made to the highest ranked applicants.

    If any scholarships remain, the annual round will remain open and applications can be submitted throughout the year.

    Please be aware, however, that once all scholarships are allocated, the Pharmacy Programs Administrator will communicate this on their website and no further scholarships will be offered through the year.

  6. No, offers can be declined. If you decline the offer the scholarship will be offered to the next applicant who hasn’t received an offer yet.

  7. If an offer is made to you, you will need to provide evidence to support the information provided in your application. Please see the Program Rules for guidance on how to complete the Application Form and the documentation you will be required to provide. Failure to provide these documents, or provision of different information from your application, will result in the offer being rescinded and an offer being made to the next applicant who hasn’t received an offer yet.

  8. Graduate students can apply; however, funding is only available for a maximum length of two years for graduate studies. There is no limit to the number of graduate scholarships that can make up the scholarship offers each year.

  9. No, you can apply at any time throughout your studies.

    Funding is available for up to four years but can be less.

  10. No, students can only be a recipient of either the RPSS or ATSIPSS, not both.

  11. At least three scholarships are offered each year. For undergraduate studies, funding is available to scholarship holders for up to four years.

    For graduate studies, funding is available to scholarship holders for up to two years. Funding per year, per scholarship holder is $15,000. Therefore, scholars undertaking undergraduate studies for four years will be paid $60,000 over the course of their study. Scholars are paid in monthly instalments of $1,500 for 10 months of the year.

  12. Yes, if the campus you attend has no Rural Health Club you must join or intend to join the nearest affiliated Rural Health Club. No scholarship payments will be made to you until you provide evidence of joining a Rural Health Club.

  13. Potentially, assuming you have met the eligibility requirements.

    If a student who receives a Conditional Scholarship offer declines the offer or is unable to substantiate the details entered in their application, then that Conditional Scholarship will be offered again to another Applicant.

    You may therefore receive an offer at a later date.

  14. Yes, assuming you meet the eligibility requirements you can apply again.

    Scholarships are awarded based on the applications received that year. Not receiving a Conditional Scholarship offer one year does not mean you won’t in subsequent years.

  15. Please speak to Centrelink to discuss this.

  16. Yes, scholarships can be deferred for one year. If you defer from university for more than one year the scholarship will be withdrawn. You may not defer in the year you are awarded the scholarship and deferring during this time will result in the scholarship being withdrawn.

  17. No, assuming you still meet the eligibility rules of the Program you do not have to apply each year. However, you will be expected to provide confirmation of your continuing eligibility for the Program.

    A full list of what is required each year can be found in the Program Rules.  

  18. Yes, even if you fail to meet academic requirements but the university allows you to carry on studying, your payments will be suspended until you can prove you have met the academic requirements of the course.

    If you fail to meet the requirements of the course and are excluded from further study, then your scholarship will be cancelled.

  19. No, you will not be required to return any funds paid to you prior to withdrawing. However, you must notify the Pharmacy Programs Administrator as soon as you withdraw.

    Failure to provide this information before any further payments are made will result in these payments being recovered from you.

  20. No, students need to be studying full time. If you change from full time to part time study, you need to inform the Pharmacy Programs Administrator as soon as possible to ensure the funding is stopped. Failure to provide this information will result in any erroneous payments made being recovered from you.

  21. Yes, participating in the Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Mentor Scheme (RPSMS) is a requirement for all scholarship holders.

  22. Please see the Mentor Scheme Program Rules for further details on mentor eligibility but a mentor should be:

    • An Australian citizen or permanent resident
    • A practising Pharmacist
    • Practising in a rural area
  23. You should inform the Pharmacy Programs Administrator of any changes to your mentoring arrangement.

    You should then choose a new mentor within 14 days. Once you have chosen a new mentor, you will need to contact the Pharmacy Programs Administrator to let them know your new mentor’s details. 

  24. No. Ideally, you should endeavour to conduct at least one face-to-face meeting with your mentor each academic year; however, it is recognised that there may be circumstances where distance may preclude face-to-face contact.

  25. No, your mentor will need to register and submit the Mentor Report via the Pharmacy Programs Administrator Portal. You do not need to upload this. 

    The Mentor Report (in addition to the other End of Year scholarship requirements) must be received and approved by the Pharmacy Programs Administrator prior to your final payment of the year being paid.

    The Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Mentor Scheme Program Rules asks the mentor to upload this in November; however, you may need to confirm with your mentor that they have submitted this for you.