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Scholarships and research funding

  • We encourage and support nurses to seek funding opportunities both within the RCH and externally to undertake research activity. The RCH makes available RCH Travelling Scholarships, the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Nursing Development Scholarship, the Elizabeth Fearon Scholarship, Post Graduate Nursing Scholarships and CPD funding. Other scholarships, such as ACN grants and awards are also available to nurses.

    If you require and advice or support regarding these opportunities, please contact us at

    Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Nursing Development Scholarship

    Key Dates

    • Applications for 2024 have closed.
    • Public Announcement: RCH Staff Awards December 2023

    The Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Nursing Development Scholarship (DEMNDS) offers a unique career development opportunity for an outstanding RCH nurse while helping achieve the RCH vision of being a "Great Children's Hospital". The annual scholarship of up to $50,000  can be used to fund appropriate study program and/or period of time spent abroad exploring practice. The recipient returns to the RCH to share the knowledge and experience with RCH colleagues and enhance the delivery of nursing care to patients and families.

    Dame Elisabeth Murdoch AC DBE, generously gave her name in perpetuity in support of this scholarship and the advancement of nursing at RCH. Dame Elisabeth was associated with the RCH for 80 years and in that time demonstrated her commitment and dedication to the care, health and wellbeing of the children of Victoria and beyond. The funding for the scholarship is kindly provided by the fundraising efforts of the RCH Auxiliaries.

    The recipient of the 2023 scholarship winner was Kelly Light. Check out this year's fundraiser


    Tania Ramos (2018 recipient) presenting at the 2018 Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Nursing Scholarship Luncheon. 

    DAME recipients

    Previous Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Scholarship recipients: Donna Eade, Melissa Haywood, Sharon Kinney & Amy Johansen

    Past recipients 

    2023Kelly Light
    2022 Eloise Borello
    2021  Jenny O'Neill
    2020 Bianca Devsam
    2019 Sonja Elia
    2018 Tania Ramos
    2017 Amy Johansen
    2016 Donna Eade
    2015 Catherine Fox
    2014 Melissa Heywood
    2013 Sally Lima 
    2012 Sharon Kinney
    2011 Lisa Takacs
    2010 Sharon Downes

    Elizabeth Fearon Scholarship

    Key Dates

    • Applications for 2024 have closed.
    • Public Announcement: Nursing Forum November 28th 

    This scholarship is an annual endowment provided by the RCH League of Former Trainees and Associates (LOFT) to support the integration of research processes into nursing practice at RCH to support improved outcomes for patients and families. Elizabeth Fearon was a trainee of the hospital and a Ward Sister in Pelham Street, Carlton. On transfer of the hospital to Parkville, Elizabeth initiated the Day Surgery Unit and continued her role as a teacher and mentor. Elizabeth was greatly respected not only for her kindness, but her wisdom and learning. This scholarship is given in her name as an appropriate memorial to her legacy.

    The sum of  up to $8,000 will be awarded to a current nursing employee to support paediatric research within a higher degree OR for research within a clinical position or clinical unit to improve patient outcomes.  To be eligible candidates must be currently employed at the Royal Children's Hospital as a Registered or Enrolled Nurse, have developed a project plan reflecting a research question from clinical practice, and have support from all relevant managers for the project (i.e. NUM, Director of Clinical Operations). The recipient of the 2022 scholarship was Jessica TarantoA list of past recipients can be viewed here: LOFT : Scholarship (

    Application Advice and Considerations

    Specific advice regarding your scholarship can be directed to the Nursing Research team. Email us at to set up a time to meet.

    Application Advice and Considerations for Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Nursing Development and Elizabeth Fearon Scholarship:


    • Budget must be detailed and justified, including considerations such as staff ‘on costs’ for buying back clinical time and site visit fees associated with several international paediatric hospitals.
    • To calculate back pay (nursing base rate + 20% for on costs)
    • If annual leave / holiday travel is proposed as part of the itinerary, applicants should be aware that funding for airfares will be reduced according to FBT guidelines
    • The Selection Committee may consider the ability of applicants to find other sources of funding.
    • If for any reason awarded amount is not required for the requested itinerary, then any remaining funds should be returned to the Scholarship fund.  Requests to add additional activities with any remaining funds will not be considered.

    Travel and accommodation

    • Airfares should be no more than standard economy airfares.
    • Airfare quotes must be obtained through the RCH approved travel provider. 
    • Accommodation should be equivalent of a 3 - 4 star price range and may include one night either side of proposed activity for international travel and before OR after for domestic travel.
    • Food or daily allowances are not to be included in the budget as these will not be covered by scholarships. Travel insurance does not need to be purchased as staff travelling on work business are covered by the RCH policy.

    Prior travel

    • Applications for prior travel reimbursement will not be considered. Travel should occur within 12 months of successfully being awarded scholarship.    

    Postgraduate scholarships

    Please click here for full information on eligibility and application requirements.

    If you have any queries or concerns regarding the claim process for your entitlement, please email the Administrator at as early as possible.

    CPD Nursing Scholarships

    Please click here for full information on eligibility and application requirements.

    Further information, application forms and guidelines can be sourced below or by emailing the team at

    Other Scholarships & funding opportunities