Student Grants and Prizes

Galah by Shelley Pearson . Shortlisted in the BirdLife Australia Photography Awards 2020

Conference grants for Australian students

BirdLife WA Postgraduate Student Sponsorship – OPEN

Closing date: 9 June via email to

The BirdLife Western Australia branch is pleased to be offering postgraduate student sponsorship to assist attendance at the AOC in Brisbane. Two grants of $500 are being offered this year. These will be allocated on the basis of the merit, quality and relevance of submitted abstracts.

Applications must include:  

  • A brief CV, including details of current course of study (institution, degree, thesis title and project overview) 
  • A copy of your submitted AOC 2023 abstract
  • A letter of support from a course supervisor (can be emailed directly to BirdLife WA)

The conditions of this sponsorship are that applicants:

  • Are enrolled for a postgraduate degree that is relevant to ornithology
  • Are studying in Western Australia
  • Have registered to attend the AOC 2023 for at least one day
  • Are prepared to present a paper at this conference
  • Have not received any other subsidy or grant to attend the AOC 2023.
Stuart Leslie Student Grant – closed

Closing date: 31 March via the online application form at

The Stuart Leslie Travel Grant is awarded by BirdLife Australia to individuals attending conferences with a significant focus on avian research or bird-related topics. Grants for up to $1000 are available.

Gavin Jackson Memorial Prize – closed

Closing date: 30 April via email to

A biennial grant awarded in honour of Gavin Jackson, and proudly sponsored by BirdLife Australia, Bob Green and Les Moore.

The recipient will be a current or recent University ornithology student (including Grad. Certificate, Grad. Diploma, Bachelors Degree, MSc or PhD), and will have demonstrated a passion for birds. The prize will include reimbursement of the registration fee to attend the 2023 Australasian Ornithological Conference, and a two year membership to BirdLife Australia.

To apply please respond in max. one page, outlining:

  • What course of study you are undertaking or recently completed.
  • What you aim to do in the future following your studies.
  • What is it about birds that interests you?

Gavin Jackson was passionate about many things but birds were a particular favourite. After graduating from Charles Sturt University (CSU) with a Graduate Diploma of Ornithology he wanted to put his new found skills and knowledge to good use. He volunteered with the Helmeted Honeyeater recovery program and became an “A” Class bander through the Victorian Wader Study Group. Gavin also worked as the Corporate Services Manager for Birds Australia. In his graduation year from CSU he was awarded the “Bill Lane Award” as the Outstanding Ornithology Student.

Gavin never let a challenge get in his way or even slow him down, as a student at CSU he thrived on the really complex and difficult topics, and was very helpful in patiently explaining many of these to fellow classmates.

His sense of humour was legendary, in an email he sent to a fellow student he included a link to a published paper suggesting it might be of use for them in their love life, the paper was “Wiggling bird genitals give good vibrations”, the recipient once remarked that he, “wondered what keywords Gavin had used in his internet search to come up with that little gem.” Gavin’s special birding destination was the Werribee water treatment facility, south west of Melbourne, in fact he held it in such high regard that he and his wife Deb enjoyed Christmas lunch there together in 2006.

Sadly during 2011 while on an extended overseas trip with Deb, Gavin was diagnosed with cancer and after a six month battle passed away on 2nd February 2012.

CONFERENCE GRANTS for New Zealand Students

Birds New Zealand AOC Student Grants – OPEN

Closing date: 30 June via the application form at

Birds New Zealand offers grants to assist postgraduate research students from New Zealand to present their findings at the AOC. Depending on the location of the conference, the grant may cover the cost of travel or registration fees.

This year Birds NZ is offering three travel grants to the value of $700 NZ each.