Prizes & Fellowships
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 have in previous years been awarded annually to the most deserving recipient and provide financial aid towards research and travel costs. The Fellowship was offered for the final round in 2020.
The Hugh Martin Weir Prize
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.
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.
Congratulations to Ashley Dennis-Henderson, winner of the 2023 Hugh Martin Weir Prize.
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.
The Prize winner is required to:
- Publish the results of the research by deposit in Adelaide Research and Scholarship.
- Acknowledge the Prize in relation to the research.
The winner is also expected to use the Barr Smith Library collections for at least some of the research.
How to apply
You will need to prepare the following documents to apply:
- List of qualifications - Stating your qualifications, level of honours obtained, institution/university, date commenced AND date completed/completion expected
- Study or Research proposal - Please upload a brief statement of your proposal for study or research and attach extra support documents if required
- Referee statement - You need just ONE referee statement. Click here to download the referee statement template. Please be aware that you will need to upload the referee statement filled and signed to complete your application.
The prize has now concluded for 2023 - stay tuned for details on 2024's prize later in the year.
If you have questions or require more information please contact the library.
The Bill Cowan Barr Smith Library Fellowship (2009-2020)
The Fellowship was 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 and is governed by these rules.
For further information about the Fellowship, see details of application.
Purpose of the fellowship
- Provide financial assistance up to a value determined annually by the donor and the University (usually around $12,000) 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.