New Fulbright Scholarship extends research scope

fulbright-scholarsThe Fulbright Scholarships, the most prestigious cultural and educational exchange program between Australia and America, have been significantly enhanced with the establishment of the Fulbright South Australia Scholarship.

SA Minister for Employment, Training and Further Education Michael O’Brien launched The Fulbright SA Scholarship at the Flinders University City Gallery in the State Library, North Terrace Thursday, April 2.

The new State-based scholarship will be funded by an endowment of $600,000, comprised of a $150,000 contribution from the South Australian Government and $100,000 from each of the State’s three universities, Flinders University, the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia; the remaining $150,000 will be raised by the Australian-American Fulbright Commission with the Fulbright South Australia Alumni Chapter from corporate and individual donors. The value of the annual scholarship will be up to $A50,000.

The Australian-American Fulbright program, which was established in 1949, annually supports some 25 Australian students and scholars, chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential, for research and study in American research institutions for between three and 12 months. A similar number of U.S. Fulbright Scholars come to Australian institutions each year.

Minister O’Brien welcomed the establishment of a dedicated Fulbright South Australia State Scholarship.

“While South Australian students continue to be consistently successful in the national selection process, the competition for a limited number of awards is understandably very strong,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The Fulbright South Australia State Scholarship is an opportunity for extraordinary South Australians to participate in a world-renowned program, with 12 months of postgraduate study in the United States.”

Mr David Hobbs, a Flinders University honours biomedical engineering graduate and employee of Novita Children’s Services, was a Fulbright Professional Scholar in 2008. He travelled to leading institutions in the US to further his research into Functional Electrical Stimulation technology, which seeks to enhance physical movement and functioning in children with cerebral palsy.

“The Fulbright Scholarship was an invaluable opportunity and experience to work with world leaders in my field, to share my own knowledge, and to bring the benefits back home,” Mr Hobbs said.

“I’m very excited about this initiative, which will broaden the opportunities for South Australia’s best and brightest to study in the United States,” he said.

Caption: 1953 Fulbright scholar Mr Keith Neighbour is pictured with Mr David Hobbs (2008).

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