Scholarship Scheme for Royal Botanic Gardens’ Board Permanent Staff

Background


1. The Friends’ Scholarship for RBG Staff was introduced on March 14, 2007 in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the foundation of the Friends on that date in 1982.

2. The first scholarship grants were announced at the Friends’ AGM on November 12th 2007.

Purpose

3. The Scholarship Scheme provides specific financial grants to the Royal Botanic Gardens to aid the professional development and skills of selected RBG Staff members to the benefit of the work of the Royal Botanic Gardens Board.

4. The Scholarship is also intended to strengthen the bond between staff and the Friends and provide a continuing opportunity to show the Friends’ tangible support for the RBG Board and its staff.

Value

5. Initially up to $10,000 per annum, one year taken with another.  The annual quantum may be varied at the discretion of the Friends’ Council and the Trustees.  If any available funds for a particular year are not fully applied for Scholarships in that year, the excess will be carried forward for up to a further 2 years to increase the funds available for scholarships in those years.

Frequency

6. One or more Scholarships may be awarded annually subject to the availability of funds and/or suitable candidates.

Timing

7. Applications will be invited in May of each year for submission by 31 August.  Successful candidates will be announced at the Friends’ AGM in November.

Funding

8. The Scholarship is financed from the Friends’ Trust Fund.  With the benefit of capital derived from the Helen McLellan Bequest, investments are sufficient to generate an income to fund the Scholarship on a long-term basis.

Scope

9. The Scholarship will provide financial assistance towards the costs of such activities as :-
- further study directly
- further skill enhancement through approved courses or projects
- conference participation
- visits and study trips to appropriate organisations in Australia and/or overseas*
- approved research projects

In all cases, proposed activities must be directly relevant to the RBG’s needs.

*Overseas visits will require the subsequent approval of the RBG Board.

10. Scholarship grants may not be applied to contribute to salary or salary-related costs or allowances or any form of “in-house” training.

Eligibility

11. The Scholarship is open to application from all permanent full-time and part-time employees of the Royal Botanic Gardens Board who have the equivalent of 12 months or more full-time employment.  This includes employees located at Melbourne, Cranbourne and ARCUE.

Applications

12. Applications will be invited annually and must be made in writing in the form set out in the Attachment and be forwarded to the Director and Chief Executive (‘Chief Executive’), Royal Botanic Gardens Board.  Further advice and assistance, in completing an application (including examples of some past successful applications) are included in the RBG’s website on: http://www.rbg.vic.gov.au 

Selection

13. The selection process will be managed by a joint RBG/Friends Selection Committee.  The Committee will present its recommendations to the RBG Chief Executive for approval.  A grant funding application will then be submitted for endorsement by the Friends’ Council.

14. Where applications from Cranbourne-based staff are being considered, the President/Secretary of the Cranbourne Friends will be advised.

Conditions

15. The Scholarship grant must be expended in the year for which it is granted.  Scholarships may not be deferred, except in exceptional circumstances recommended by the Selection Committee.

16. There must be demonstrable benefits from the proposed scholarship activity for: -

a. the knowledge and skills of the individual; and
b. the works of the Royal Botanic Gardens Board.

17. The Selection Committee will only consider applications supported by the candidate’s divisional Director.

18. Within [two] months of completing the Scholarship, successful candidates must provide the Selection Committee with a short report of their activities and an account of the expenditure of Scholarship grant moneys.

19. Successful candidates may be required on request to: -

present a brief verbal report to the Friends’ Council; and/or
prepare an item for publication in Botanic News;
attend the Friends’ AGM in November and briefly outline the proposed Scholarship project;
address a meeting of the Friends.

20. It is expected that successful candidates will acknowledge the contribution made by the Friends in any projects or work achievements flowing from the Scholarship.