Queensland-Cooper Hewitt Fellowship guidelines

Queensland-Cooper Hewitt Fellowship guidelines

About the program

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, located in New York USA, is devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. The Museum, founded in 1897, is a branch of the Smithsonian Institution, and presents perspectives on the impact of design on daily life through active educational and curatorial programming.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) currently exists between the Queensland Government and the Smithsonian Institution. A primary objective of this alliance is the exchange of skills and knowledge to grow Queensland’s science, educational and cultural capabilities.

The Queensland-Cooper Hewitt Fellowship supports a registered Queensland school teacher to visit the Cooper Hewitt Education Department to learn more about the use of design in education.

This program is administered by the Department of Environment and Science .

Program aims

The Queensland-Cooper Hewitt Fellowship supports a Queensland teacher to:

  • travel to New York and work closely with the Cooper Hewitt’s Education Department
  • develop their knowledge and understanding of design
  • increase their understanding of the application of design in the classroom and broader community
  • increase their understanding of careers involving design, and therefore the promotion of these career options to students
  • share with students, colleagues and others in the wider community the benefits of design.

Queensland-Cooper Hewitt Fellowship funding of up to $20,000 (excluding GST) is available for the nominated Fellow to travel to the USA for a project ranging from 8 to 12 weeks in duration. The fellowship supports one international trip.

The Fellow will:

  • be immersed in the work and programs of the education team
  • gain experience in managing, scheduling, coordinating and promoting school-related programs including the recruitment of participants, educators and designers
  • be trained to use the Educator Resource Center, the Cooper Hewitt’s online resource, including lesson-plan production
  • actively participate in whichever Cooper Hewitt programs are being delivered during their fellowship, including City of Neighbourhoods, the Smithsonian Design Institute, and National Design Week.

Applications are open to Queensland agencies that employ teachers. The organisation nominates the proposed Fellow, who must be a registered and practising Queensland teacher. The nominated teacher must work in an area of mutual interest with the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum that is aligned to one or more target investment areas.

Target investment areas

Fellowship proposals addressing the following target investment areas are sought.

  • The development of high-quality teaching skills.
  • Building a teaching culture that meets global challenges.
  • An improved capacity to deliver design education.
  • Growing the public value of design.

Eligibility criteria

Eligible organisations include:

  • the Department of Education and Training (DET) for state school teachers
  • private school organisations for private school teachers.

To be eligible for a Queensland-Cooper Hewitt Fellowship the proposed Fellow must:

  • be an Australian citizen, or have Australian residency
  • reside and work in Queensland
  • be a currently registered and practicing school teacher in Queensland. Registered teachers from all grade levels (Prep – Year 12) can be considered for a fellowship.

Proposed fellows from non-state school applicant organisations must either:

  1. confirm that their Queensland employer will continue to pay their salary while they are undertaking the fellowship; or
  2. indicate how they will support themselves whilst overseas. Self-funded fellows must provide a letter from their school indicating that the school supports the fellowship application and associated overseas travel, and that they will support the applicant in sharing and implementing fellowship learnings.

Other conditions

  • The fellowship is awarded to an individual. Joint applications will not be considered.
  • Fellowship funding is not transferrable, including to other employees of the applicant organisation or persons associated with the Fellow.
  • Fellows must complete the fellowship in 2018.
  • Incomplete applications and ineligible applications will not be considered.
  • Previous recipients of a Queensland-Cooper Hewitt Fellowship cannot apply again.

Using the fellowship funds

DES will release the fellowship payment to the applicant organisation (the Queensland employer) to administer the grant funding. The fellowship funding is to be used for travel costs and living expenses, and is comprised of:

  • $5,000 (excluding GST) for international economy airfares and associated travel costs for one overseas travel trip. The applicant organisation will be required to supply a financial acquittal statement for the travel component of the fellowship, and will have to return any unused funds
  • $1,250 per week (excluding GST) to cover the costs of living expenses. Funding is available for a minimum of 8 weeks and a maximum of 12 weeks duration ($15,000 maximum).

No additional funding will be provided.

The applicant organisation will have to refund some of the fellowship funding if the duration of the Fellow’s overseas visit is reduced, as there will be a reduction in the living allowance entitlement.

All costs associated with additional time spent at the host institute (that is, any time that exceeds the approved duration on the fellowship) must be borne by the Fellow and/or the applicant organisation.

All costs exceeding the total approved funding must be borne by the Fellow and/or the applicant organisation.

The assessment process

Eligible applications will be assessed and rated against the program’s assessment criteria (below), and ranked in order of merit by an assessment panel comprised of members with relevant professional backgrounds.

The Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts approves the recipients of this fellowship.

Assessment criteria

The application will be assessed in a competitive process on its merits against the following criteria.

  1. Proven relevant skills and track record

    The proposed Fellow must:

    • have the relevant skills and professional track record to conduct the fellowship
    • have an interest and experience in design
    • outline the issue/challenges driving the application.
  2. A placement that strengthens the Fellow’s skills and knowledge

    The application must clearly state the goals in undertaking the fellowship, and explain how the fellowship will:

    • enhance the Fellow’s skills and knowledge
    • translate to new practices in the classroom.
  3. A project that has benefits for Queensland and aligns with the target investment areas

    The application must explain how the fellowship:

    • will benefit the Fellow’s school and teaching in general, that is, how the project is transformative
    • aligns with one or more of the target investment areas outlined in this document
    • will foster an ongoing exchange of knowledge and skills between Queensland and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

Fellowship agreement

If the application for funding is successful, the applicant organisation will enter into a legally binding Financial Incentive Agreement with the Queensland Government. The agreement consists of the application, the program guidelines and the Queensland-Cooper Hewitt Fellowship Financial Incentive Agreement Terms and Conditions.

If successful with an application:

  • the applicant organisation must not enter into any legally binding arrangements with other parties which prevent the Fellow from meeting obligations under the Queensland-Cooper Hewitt Fellowship Financial Incentive Agreement, and
  • the Fellow will be required to:
    • make every reasonable effort to be present at a fellowship announcement function, if organised
    • be amenable to giving presentations to interested parties after the report is submitted.


The Queensland Government collects and collates information from the application form to evaluate applications for the program. Only authorised departmental officers and approved grant assessors have access to this information.

Applicants should note that broad details of successful proposals, agreed outcomes, progress and the level of funding awarded may be published by the Queensland Government. Some information may be used to promote funded projects.

Your personal information will not be disclosed to any other third party without your consent, unless required by law or for the purposes of Information Privacy Act 2009.

For audit purposes, the Queensland Government is required to retain the applications and other supplied support material. The provisions of the Right to Information Act 2009 apply to documents in the possession of DSITI.

How to apply

Applications for the Queensland-Cooper Hewitt Fellowship closed 18 December 2017. The application consists of:

  • a completed on-line application form
  • a signed letter of endorsement from the school in which the proposed Fellow works which:
    • supports the proposed fellowship
    • confirms that the proposed Fellow is a current, registered and practicing teacher in Queensland
    • confirms that the proposed Fellow’s salary will continue to be paid while undertaking the fellowship (non-state school applicants).

    This letter must be scanned in PDF and uploaded with the application form.

  • a signed Financial Incentive Agreement Terms and Conditions declaration page. The template is available on the Advance Queensland website and must be printed; signed by relevant parties; scanned in PDF; and uploaded with the application form (non-state school applicants), or returned to the department by the DET (state school applicants). The declaration page must be signed by:
    • the nominated Fellow
    • the applicant organisation.

The applicant and/or proposed Fellow:

  • must advise DES of changes which are likely to impact on the fellowship
  • may be contacted during the assessment process to clarify information provided in the application and/or to request further information to enable the assessment of the application
  • may be required to attend an interview.

There is no implicit guarantee of approval at any stage in the process, and you will be notified in writing of the outcome of the application.

Last updated 17 Jul, 2018
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia (CC BY-ND 3.0) ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/au/ )

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