Guidelines: La Trobe Society Fellowship

Please note: this fellowship is biennial and will be offered in 2015–16.

Australian historians, scholars and writers wanting to research Victoria's colonial history during Lieutenant-Governor Charles La Trobe's administration can apply for a La Trobe Society Fellowship.

The fellowship runs for three months fulltime or six months part-time and is worth $12,500. La Trobe Society Fellowships are generally awarded to applicants who don't have access to other grants.

Joint applications will not be accepted.

La Trobe Society Fellows will also have the opportunity to apply for one short residency at the Baldessin Press in St Andrews.

Applications for the 2014–15 La Trobe Society Fellowship are now closed.

What is a La Trobe Society Fellowship?

The State Library Victoria’s La Trobe Society Fellowship supports creative use and/or development of the Library collections for new work in all areas of enquiry. They aim to:

  • promote the State Library as a place and centre for creative activity
  • promote use of collections unique to the State Library of Victoria
  • give fellows the time and space to undertake their work and
  • create a community of fellows who can promote the Library and its collections through their work and their advocacy.

What does a La Trobe Society Fellowship offer?

Fellows become part of the Library community, with access to a study for the period of the fellowship, which may be used outside normal opening hours of the Library. Librarians familiar with the collections that form the focus of projects are assigned to assist each fellow.  Fellows also have access to the Foundation members lounge for the duration of their fellowship.

Fellowship requirements

While research needs to be about Victoria's history during Charles La Trobe's administration as Superintendent and Lieutenant-Governor (1839–54), it can also cover the period immediately before his arrival or the effects of his tenure after his departure.

Successful applicants will be required to:

  • take up the fellowship in the twelve month period from 1 July
  • make significant use of the resources of the State Library Victoria
  • spend at least 75 per cent of their research time at the State Library Victoria
  • give due acknowledgment of the Library's support in any publication, presentation or performance of the work
  • make a special presentation to the La Trobe Society
  • provide the State Library Victoria and the La Trobe Society the first opportunity to publish their findings, if applicable.

What are the criteria?

Projects must explore an aspect of Victoria's colonial history during Lieutenant-Governor Charles La Trobe's administration.

Projects must make significant use of, or contribute to, the collections of the State Library Victoria.

Project proposals must demonstrate original use of the collections of the State Library Victoria.

The fellowship is open to a wide range of specialist and creative researchers, including historians, artists, illustrators and scholars.

How are projects selected?

Applications are shortlisted by Library staff according to the above criteria.

Shortlisted applications are provided to an independent selection panel, along with the complete list of all applications. Panel members are able to call into consideration applications that are not on the shortlist.

The panel may recommend a shorter fellowship than that requested, or an honorary fellowship in place of a fellowship that carries a grant.

Following the selection panel meeting, Library staff contact referees for the recommended project and, subject to favourable reports, the recommended projects are presented to the Community Programming Committee.

The Community Programming Committee reviews the panel's recommendation and prepares a report for the Library Board of Victoria meeting in early June. The Board awards fellowships for commencement on or after 1 July.

Following the acceptance of the offers of fellowships in June, unsuccessful applicants are advised by mail.

More information

If you have specific questions about the fellowship requirements or selection process, contact Gail Schmidt at or on 03 8664 7335.