AMA Indigenous Medical Scholarship Overview and Conditions

13 Aug 2018


The Indigenous Peoples’ Medical Scholarship Trust Fund was initially established in 1994 with a contribution from the Australian Government.  In 2016, the Trust Fund became The AMA Indigenous Medical Scholarship Foundation (the Foundation) which was registered as a charitable organisation through the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission. The Foundation also has Deductible Gift Recipient tax status, which means that donations can be claimed as a tax deduction.

The Indigenous Medical Scholarship (the Scholarship) aims to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors in Australia by supporting Indigenous students to complete a medical degree.

One Scholarship is currently awarded each year.

Scholarship Value

The value of the Scholarship is $10,000 per annum (provided in one lump sum each year). It is the responsibility of applicants to seek advice from Centrelink on how the Scholarship payment may affect ABSTUDY or any other government payments. 

Scholarship Duration

The Scholarship is awarded for the full course of study of a medical degree, subject to satisfactory academic progress and continued full-time enrolment. 

The Scholarship is tenable for each year of medicine that the recipient successfully completes. 


To be eligible for the Scholarship, applicants must be: 

  • of Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.  For the purposes of this Scholarship, an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person is someone of Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent, who identifies as an Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person and is accepted as such by the community in which he or she lives or has lived.  Applicants must provide an official letter from an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community organisation supporting their claim; and 
  • enrolled full-time at an Australian medical school and has successfully completed at least their first year of medicine. Students who are currently in their first year of medicine are eligible to apply for the Scholarship for their second year, but must provide evidence of successful completion of their first year in order to be awarded the Scholarship. 


The AMA calls for Scholarship applications in November each year and typically close at the end of January the following year. 

Applicants must complete the application form and submit it, along with the required supporting documentation, to the AMA Federal Secretariat by the nominated closing date. 

Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. 


The Scholarship will be awarded on the recommendation of a selection panel drawn from the AMA’s Taskforce on Indigenous Health. Selection of the Scholarship recipient will be based on: 

  • a statement provided by the applicant describing his or her aspirations, purpose for studying medicine, and the use(s) to which he or she hopes to put his or her medical training; 
  • a strong aptitude for medicine and commitment to health in Indigenous communities; and
  • reports from referees familiar with the applicant’s work and suitability for a career in medicine.

In awarding the Scholarship, preference will be given to applicants who do not already hold any other scholarship or bursary. Applicants must declare on the application form whether they hold a current scholarship or bursary.

Scholarship Payments

Each year, payment of the Scholarship will occur following the AMA’s receipt of the recipient’s:

  • official results for the acacemic year; and
  • formal proof of full-time enrolment in a medical degree for the subsequent academic year.

The documents listed above must be official university documents such as an academic transcript or a letter of endorsement from the relevant university.


Recipients must notify the AMA, in writing, of any intention to defer study. 

The AMA may consider granting a deferral of study for a maximum of 12 months, whilst allowing the recipient to retain the Scholarship.  This is subject to approval by the AMA.  Scholarship payments are not applicable to periods of deferred study and will be suspended for the duration of the deferral period.

Scholarship payments will resume on the date that study is recommenced.


The Scholarship terminates:

  • on successful completion of a medical degree; or
  • if a recipient withdraws from a medical degree.

The Scholarship may also be withheld or terminated if a Scholarship holder’s performance in any semester is unsatisfactory. The final decision to withhold or terminate a Scholarship is at the discretion of the AMA.

The Scholarship may be suspended, terminated or withheld if any false or misleading information is provided on the application, or relevant information is omitted from the application.

The Scholarship may be suspended, terminated or withheld in the case of gross misconduct by the Scholarship holder, which may include, but is not limited to, academic misconduct or any conduct which brings the Scholarship or the AMA into disrepute.


Recipients may be contacted by the AMA to participate in publicity of the Scholarship from time to time.  This may include, but is not limited to, an interview, a photograph and a formal Scholarship presentation ceremony.  The AMA may also request written responses from recipients which can include a basic profile, descriptions of university experiences and information about the Scholarship has supported recipients in undertaking their studies.