Prizes & Fellowships

Open books

The University of Adelaide Library offers the opportunity for research students to receive financial and scholarly support during their studies, with an emphasis on utilising our collections and services.

The Bill Cowan Barr Smith Library Fellowship and the Hugh Martin Weir Prize are awarded annually to the most deserving recipient and provide financial aid towards research and travel costs.

View past winners

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  • The Bill Cowan Barr Smith Library Fellowship

    Marnie - born and graduated in New Zealand. She was a sportswoman, a pianist and a leader. She had three children, then became Chief of Staff at PGC (now Seymour College). She donated generously to charity. She was well read and had a wicked sense of humour. She died in 1995.

    Background

    The Fellowship is funded by the Cowan Grant, a Trust established by Marnie Cowan in 1994. She and husband Bill believed in the benefits of tertiary education, and wanted to help students financially.

    The Trust's continuing aim is to help financially stressed tertiary students. The Trust is administered by five trustees: four are members of the Cowan family, and one is an independent advisor.

    Since its commencement the Trust has given over $2.9m in grants for various scholarships.

    This page is designed to answer your questions and is based on the Rules which govern the Fellowship.

    Purpose of the fellowship

    • Provide financial assistance up to the total value of $13,000 annually towards study for postgraduate degrees by research using the collections of the Barr Smith Library, University of Adelaide.
    • Assist postgraduate students financially with uninterrupted time to work with the Library's collections.
    • Promote the Barr Smith Library as a centre of research excellence.
    • Encourage research using the Library's collections and the production of publications based on them.
    • Publicise the Library's collections.

    Bill - struggled financially to graduate MA (NZ) and BA London. He was The University of Adelaide Librarian, Barr Smith Library, for 31 years from 1933 to 1964. He was a scholar of the classics, a perfectionist and rather demanding. The family lived very frugally. He died in 1984. The Fellowship is named in his honour.

    Bill - struggled financially to graduate MA (NZ) and BA London. He was The University of Adelaide Librarian, Barr Smith Library, for 31 years from 1933 to 1964. He was a scholar of the classics, a perfectionist and rather demanding. The family lived very frugally. He died in 1984. The Fellowship is named in his honour.

    Barr Smith Library collections

    The library website has information on special and general collections.

    Candidates seeking assistance with the research strengths of the collections in general should consult the relevant liaison librarian. Candidates proposing use of the special Collections are advised to consult the Special Collections Librarian.

    Eligibility

    • Students currently residing temporarily or permanently in Australia and undertaking a postgraduate degree by research in a discipline in which the Barr Smith Library at the University of Adelaide has strong general or special collections.
    • Preference may be given to students from rural or regional Australia.
    • Postdoctoral researchers may be eligible within three years of a doctoral award where the research using the Barr Smith Library collections is being undertaken in attachment to an Australian University.
    • The Fellowship is awarded once only to an applicant. Subsequent applications will not be considered.
    • Recipients must be undertaking study towards a postgraduate degree by research either commencing or in progress. Academic supporting testimonial is required and there must be evidence that the student's progress complies with the awarding University's requirements.

    Selection criteria

    Selection will be based on:

    • Financial need.
    • Academic merit and research potential, to be determined by previous academic record and academic referee statement(s).
    • Originality of the use of Barr Smith Library collections.
    • Interview [if required].

    Previous Fellows

    See details of the 2019 Fellow.

    Benefits

    The award may support and contribute to:

    • Travel to the Barr Smith Library in Adelaide.
    • Accommodation, preferably at Kathleen Lumley College (Postgraduate College of the University of Adelaide), for one semester.
    • Other agreed costs associated with undertaking the research.

    Obligations of Fellows

    • Take up their Fellowship within 12 months of the award.
    • Spend significant time during their Fellowship at the Barr Smith Library and/or its Branch Libraries.
    • Give a public presentation if requested, preferably a Friends of the Barr Smith Library Discovery Lecture, and communicate the results of their research to University staff.
    • Publish the results of their research. This may be a conference contribution or/and a scholarly journal contribution on an aspect of the research.
    • The Fellow may be required to complete a Student Intellectual Property (IP) Deed Poll.
    • Place a copy of the published research in Special Collections of the Barr Smith Library or the Library's Institutional Repository.
    • Acknowledge the Bill Cowan Barr Smith Library Fellowship in their published results and/or PhD acknowledgements.

    How to apply

    Applications must be received on the Fellowship Application form, which also requires the applicant to arrange a confidential academic reference.

    Applications open on 17 October of the current year, and close on 27 February the following year.

    Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their applications by post by the end of the following February.

    Contact

    If you have questions or require more information please contact the library.

  • The Hugh Martin Weir Prize

    Hugh Martin Weir

    Background

    The Prize is to honour the memory of Lieutenant Hugh Martin Weir (1915 - 2004) and his fellow prisoners of war. Hugh was a prisoner of war of the Japanese in Java for three and a half years between 1942 and 1945. The Barr Smith Library holds a copy of a book about Hugh Martin Weir titled Well, what do you know about that? It is available for loan and can be found in the library's main collection.

    This page is designed to answer your questions and is based on the Rules which govern the Prize.

    The purpose of the prize

    The purpose of the Prize is encouraging study and research, including use of the Barr Smith Library collections, into any aspect of Australia's involvement in war, or the treatment of prisoners of war in any conflict, including the impact on those persons involved, their families, and/or their communities. View a suggested list of Hugh Weir Prize: Possible topics.

    Eligibility

    The Prize is open to University of Adelaide students who are enrolled in an Honours thesis program or a postgraduate program by coursework or by research, either commencing or already in progress. Postdoctoral researchers are eligible to apply within three years of a doctoral award.

    Selection of winner

    Selection of the winner will be by an Award Committee comprising:

    • The University Librarian or his/her nominee (Convenor).
    • Glen Cameron Weir or his nominee.
    • Head of Department of History, School of Humanities.

    Selection will be based on a written application, a referee report and possibly an interview.

    Prize winners

    See details of the current winners.

    Benefits of the prize

    The Prize will award up to $2,000 annually, as funds permit, which may be put towards the costs of travel and accommodation, books, printing, inter-library loans, copying and publication or other agreed purposes identified in the candidate’s application to support the research.

    Winner's obligations

    The Prize winner is required to:

    The winner is also expected to use the Barr Smith Library collections for at least some of the research.

    How to apply

    Applications must be received on the Prize Application Form which also requires the applicant to arrange a confidential academic reference.

    Applications open on 17 October of the current year and close on 27 February of the following year.

    Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their applications by post by 27 March.

    More information

    If you have questions or require more information please contact the library.