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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is the  minimum  of four years post-doctoral work experience negotiable?

Generally not, however in exceptional cases e.g. strong clinical research background, completion of a PhD and at least one post doc (2-3 years), the Selection Committee may choose to consider an application that does not precisely meet this criterion.

2. Is the maximum of ten years post-doctoral work experience negotiable?

Generally not because the fellowships intentionally target early to mid-career researchers, 4-10 years post doc. However, in exceptional circumstances the Selection Committee may choose to consider an application that is marginally outside this criterion.

3. Can I apply for a fellowship if I am not an Australian citizen or permanent resident or 444 visa holder?  

No. To be eligible for the CSL Centenary fellowships you must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or 444 visa holder.

4. Can Australians currently living overseas apply?

Yes. Australian researchers currently working overseas are encouraged to apply. Note however, that the fellowship must be undertaken in Australia at an Australian research institution/University.

5. Will the fellowships cover relocation costs for me and my family?

No. Funds from the fellowship can not be expended on relocation costs.

6. If a researcher has a current fellowship can they still apply?

Yes. Candidates can hold a fellowship when applying, but the CSL Centenary Fellowship must be the primary role upon commencement of and during the tenure of the CSL Centenary Fellowship. Fellow will be required to rescind either the other fellowship(s) or the CSL Centenary Fellowship in the event that the fellow holds two or more fellowships concurrently.

7. Do I need to have employment in place with a research institute prior to applying for the fellowships?

Yes. Part of the application process requires evidence of an agreed (current or potential) employment arrangement with an Australian research institute.

8. The application form states that ethics approval must be sought and approved. Does this have to happen during the application period or can it be a condition met later in year?

Ethics approval is not required to be in place for the application process. It must be in place before research can start as per standard processes at the host institute.

9. Can organisations or institutes apply for the fellowships on behalf of their ongoing research programs?

No. Fellowships must be awarded to specific individuals and applications must be made individually.

10. What does the selection process entail?

Candidates are initially short-listed by Selection Committee members on the basis of the written applications. The Selection Committee will meet to discuss the short-list of candidates and make a selection based on the application – incorporating both the prospective fellow’s CV and proposed research project.

11. Can the proposed start date be before or after Jan 1 and if so how long before or after?

Flexibility will be considered as long as start date is within the first half of the calendar year. If a candidate cannot commit to this, they are encouraged to delay their application until the following year.

12. What percentage of time must be spent on the fellowship?

This fellowship must constitute the fellow's primary role.

13. Does the full budget have to be expended in each year? Can budget be moved from year to year? If not used, in a given year, will fellow 'lose' it?

Unused funding can be rolled over into following year, however this needs to be agreed to by CSL in advance and must only be a small proportion of the total funding.

14. Will career disruptions be taken into account?

Yes. A career disruption is defined as a prolonged interruption, delay or constraint to an applicant’s capacity to work, including but not limited to:

  • Pregnancy
  • Parental Leave
  • Major illness/injury
  • Carer responsibilities

The period of career disruption is defined as:

  • A continuous absence from work for 90 days or more, and/or
  • Continuous, long term, part-time employment (with defined % FTE) due to circumstances classified as career disruption, with the absence amounting to a total of 90 calendar days or more.
  • For example, an applicant who is employed at 0.6 FTE due to childcare responsibilities would need to continue this for at least 225 calendar days to achieve a career disruption of 90 calendar days.
  • Consecutive changes to %FTE, resulting from a single career disruption event may be considered cumulatively. For example, a researcher returning from maternity leave at reduced %FTE due to carer responsibilities


Carer disruption reason

Starting date

Finishing date


Days disrupted

Maternity Leave





Carer responsibility





Carer responsibility







Total disruption


15. What if I wish to take parental leave during the fellowship?

Fellows are subject to the employment conditions of their host institute. In the event of parental leave, available options include pausing the fellowship for a maximum period of 12 months at any one time. CSL must be advised in writing at least three (3) months in advance of the commencement of leave so details can be agreed.