The Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme is aimed at increasing access to quality pharmacy services for rural Patients by supporting and strengthening the rural pharmacy workforce in regional and remote areas of Australia.

The Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme (RPSS) provides financial support to enable students from rural and remote communities to undertake undergraduate or postgraduate studies in pharmacy at university. Each year, at least 30 scholarships are made available, each with a value of $10,000 (GST exempt) per year per student. Scholarship holders are encouraged to seek employment in rural and remote areas following graduation.

To be eligible to apply to the RPSS, students must:

  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Be 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 (Please note: Only Bachelor of Pharmacy and Masters of Pharmacy degrees are eligible under the RPSS. Neither the Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences nor the Bachelor of Biomedical Science are eligible, as they do not lead directly to registration as a Pharmacist.)
  • Have resided in a Pharmacy Accessibility Remoteness Index of Australia (PhARIA) Category 2 to Category 6 location for a minimum of five consecutive years, or eight cumulative years from the age of five years old. For information on PhARIA locations, refer to the PhARIA website 
  • Be a member of, or be intending to join, their university’s student Rural Health Club or their university’s affiliated Rural Health Club.

Scholarships are available to students in any year of their approved undergraduate or graduate degree. The RPSS does not cover study at an honours level that extends the time of study beyond the standard degree. RPSS applicants must not currently be in receipt of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Pharmacy Scholarship at the time of application.

In order to select scholarship candidates, all eligible applicants will be ranked according to the following three criteria:

  • Rural experience
  • Attendance at a rural primary school
  • Financial need.

Each year, scholarship holders will be required to submit documents to demonstrate their ongoing scholarship eligibility. These documents will be split into Beginning of Year documents and End of Year documents. For further details, refer to the Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme Program Rules. All scholarship holders must be involved in the Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Mentor Scheme. In addition to scholarship holders submitting their End of Year documents, Mentors must also annually submit a Mentor Report through the Pharmacy Programs Administrator Portal in order for the scholarship holder’s final payment for that year to be made. For further details, refer to the Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Mentor Scheme Program Rules.

At least 30 scholarships are offered annually, each with a value of $10,000 (GST exempt) per student, per year. Undergraduate study will be funded for up to four years, with a maximum scholarship value of $40,000 per undergraduate student. Graduate study will be funded for up to two years, with a maximum scholarship value of $20,000 per graduate student. For each year of the scholarship, scholarship holders will receive a total of 10 payments paid in monthly $1,000 instalments via direct Electronic Funds Transfer to their nominated financial institution.

Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme FAQ

  1. The RPSS annual round generally opens from November until late January each year. Please visit the Pharmacy Programs Administrator website around late October for communication about when the RPSS annual round will open and how to apply. The Program Rules, available from the Downloads section of this page, have guidance on how to fill in the application form.

  2. No, scholarships are not ranked until all applications have been received and the annual round has closed. Each application is then ranked using three criteria:

    • Rural experience
    • Attendance at a rural primary school
    • Financial need.

    After ranking is completed, Conditional Scholarship offers will be made. 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, available from the Downloads section of this page, for guidance on how to complete the online application form and the documentation you will be required to provide. If you fail to provide the required documents, or you provide documents with information that differs from your application, any Conditional Scholarship offer will be rescinded and the Conditional Scholarship will instead be offered to the highest-ranked applicant who has not yet received an offer.

  3. No, offers can be declined. If you decline the offer, the Conditional Scholarship will be offered to the next highest-ranked applicant who has not yet received an offer. Declining a scholarship does not prevent you from applying for a scholarship in subsequent years of your study.

  4. If an offer is made to you, you will need to provide evidence to support the information that you provided in your application. Please see the Program Rules, available from the Downloads section of this page, for guidance on how to complete the application form and the documentation you will be required to provide. If you fail to provide the required documents, or you provide documents with information that differs from your application, the Conditional Scholarship offer will be rescinded and the Conditional Scholarship will instead be offered to the highest-ranked applicant who has not yet received an offer.

  5. Graduate students can apply but funding is only available for a maximum length of two years for postgraduate studies. Note that any study at honours level beyond the length of an undergraduate course will not be covered by the scholarship.

  6. No, you can apply at any time throughout your studies. Funding is available for up to four years of undergraduate study or up to two years of graduate study but can cover a shorter period.

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

  8. At least 30 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 $10,000 (GST exempt). Therefore, scholars undertaking undergraduate studies for four years will be paid $40,000 over the course of their study. Scholarship holders are paid in monthly instalments of $1,000 for 10 months of the year.

  9. To be eligible to apply students must:

    • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
    • 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
    • Have resided in a rural area for at least five consecutive years, or eight cumulative years since the age of five
    • Be a member of, or be intending to join, their university’s student Rural Health Club or their 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. For further details of eligibility requirements, refer to the Program Rules, available from the Downloads section of this page.

  10. ‘Rural’ is defined as any suburb classified as a PhARIA (Pharmacy Accessibility Remoteness Index of Australia) Category 2 to Category 6 location. The PhARIA for a particular location can be found here.

  11. 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.

  12. If 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.

  13. Please speak to Centrelink about this.

  14. 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 that you are awarded the scholarship and deferring during this time will result in the scholarship being withdrawn.

  15. No, assuming you still meet the eligibility requirements, 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, available from the Downloads section of this page.

  16. Yes, even if you fail to meet the academic requirements of your course and your university allows you to continue studying, your payments will be suspended until you can prove that you have met the academic requirements of the course. If you fail to meet the requirements of your course and are excluded from further study, your scholarship will be cancelled.

  17. No, you will not be required to return any funds paid to you prior to withdrawing, as long as you notify us in writing within seven days if you withdraw, defer, are excluded from your pharmacy course, or cease to study pharmacy full-time. Failure to provide this information before any further payments are made will result in these payments being recovered from you.

     

  18. No, students must be studying full-time to be eligible. If you change from full-time to part-time study, you will need to inform the Pharmacy Programs Administrator as soon as possible to ensure that your scholarship payments are stopped. Failure to provide this information will result in any erroneous payments made being recovered from you.

  19. Yes, participating in the Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Mentor Scheme is a requirement for all scholarship holders.

  20. A mentor should be:

    • An Australian citizen or permanent resident
    • A practicing Pharmacist
    • Practicing in a rural area.

    For further details about Mentor eligibility, see the Rural Pharmacy Scholarship Mentor Scheme Program Rules.

  21. You should first 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. 

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

  23. No, your Mentor will need to register for the Pharmacy Programs Administrator Portal and submit the Mentor Report via the Pharmacy Programs Administrator Portal. You do not need to upload the Mentor Report. 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 require the Mentor to upload their Mentor Report in November. However, you may need to confirm with your Mentor that they have submitted their Mentor Report.

Program Rules and other Downloads