Elijah and Virginia Polak Scholarship


This award was established to support a disadvantaged Australian student through their three-year undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree through to completion of the two-year Master of Engineering.

To demonstrate his gratitude to the people of Australia for the support given to a young immigrant in the 1950s, donor Elijah (Lucien) Polak wishes to support a similarly disadvantaged young person in their engineering journey.


The scholarship is open to students who:

  • Are in their first year (2020 start or mid-year intake) of the Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne and undertaking an engineering major or breadth sequence that will lead to the Master of Engineering
  • Are an Australian citizen, with preference given to students of Indigenous or Torres Strait Islander descent
  • If not of Indigenous or Torres Strait Islander descent, meet one of the following categories of disadvantage:
    • Resident of a rural or isolated area, or
    • Disadvantaged financial background.


Two scholarships valued at $50,000 are available in 2020, to be paid as $10,000 per year for five years.

Selection criteria

Applications will be assessed via the following selection process:

  • All applications from Indigenous and/or Torres Strait Islander candidates will be shortlisted.
  • Applications from non-Indigenous/Torres Strait Island students will be ranked according to disadvantage, and the top ten applicants shortlisted.
  • The personal statements of shortlisted applicants will be reviewed by the selection panel, and the two recipients selected by unanimous decision. The personal statement will address your interest in engineering, how the scholarship funds would benefit you in your studies, and the impact of either your Indigenous and/or Torres Strait Islander descent, rural/remote upbringing or disadvantaged financial background.


Instructions on how to apply and what to include in your application are outlined in the online application form.

Applications are now open until Wednesday 26 August.

Apply online