Scholarships

Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP)

Commonwealth Supported Places are university positions for which the Australian Government makes a contribution towards your education – and subsidises the fees you pay. As part of the CSP program, you may also be eligible for FEE-HELP assistance.

This enables you to defer the payment of your CSP fees until you start earning.

Bonded Medical Places (BMP)

Bonded Medical Places are additional Medical school places funded by the Australian government to assess the medical workforce shortage. These places are intended to provide more doctors for areas experiencing doctor shortages.

If you accept a BMP Scheme place then you will sign a Deed of Agreement with the Australian Government.

Benefits of BMP

The BMP scheme provides an additional mechanism to enter medical school and it allows you to practice in an area of need. It also provides additional support by providing extra funds to attend health conferences and provides access to online medical education resources, newsletters, communications with peers and mentors.

Your Obligations

If you take a BMP Place then you agree to work in an area of workforce shortage for one year. Note that time spent training in rural areas during medical school during your degree and internship do not count towards your return of service. You must also qualify as a medical practitioner within 10 years of beginning your medical degree and qualify as a specialist within 16 years of beginning your medical degree. When you become a specialist you must work in an area of workforce shortage within 12 months of specialising.

Some Considerations

If you decide to accept a BMP place then you sign a contract with the Australian Government. This contract is breached if you:

• withdraw or are excluded from the medical course after starting the second year of study

• fail to become a medical practitioner within ten years of commencing the course

• fail to obtain Fellowship of a medical college within 16 years of starting the medical course

• do not complete their obligation to work in a District of Workforce Shortage for a period of time equal to the length of their degree

If you breach the contract you will have to repay any amounts that have been paid by the Australian Government to fund your place.

By the time you specialise or become a general practitioner you will probably be in your thirties. A BMP Scheme place is just a place in medicine, it does not come with a monetary incentive. You still pay CSP fees and have to fund all the expenses of university yourself. Make sure you have all the information about bonded medical places, obtain independent advice on the contract and deliberate carefully over this decision before you decide to commit to it.

Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship Scheme (MRBS): These have been abolished since 2015. The following information is for the benefit of those who currently hold these scholarships.

The MRBS Scheme is a scholarship designed to help the medical workforce shortage in rural and remote Australia introduced by the Australian Government. This scholarship is available to first year medical student places each year. Scholarships are linked to the additional university places made available under the Scheme. Withdrawal from the Scheme will mean that you forfeit your medical school place and you may not be able to continue in the medical course.

If you agree to accept a MRBS place then you agree to practice in rural or remote areas of Australia for six continuous years upon completion of basic medical and vocational training as a specialist (including General Practice).

Benefits

The MRBS scheme provides an additional mechanism to enter medical school and it allows you to practice in an area of need. It provides additional support by providing extra funds to attend rural health conferences and provides access to online medical education resources, newsletters, communications with peers and mentors.

Your Obligations

If you take a MRBS Place then you agree to complete your medical studies and gain fellowship as a specialist, including general practice. After obtaining fellowship, MRBS doctors are then obliged to work as a specialist or general practitioner in rural or remote areas of Australia for six continuous years. Until your obligations under the MRBS have been completed you will not be able to provide professional services outside a rural or remote area.

While there is a real need for rural and remote doctors and you may have a strong interest in this aspect of medicine, make sure you have all the information about this scheme. Obtain independent advice on the contract and deliberate carefully over this decision before you decide to commit to it.

Some Considerations

If you decide to accept a MRBS place then you sign a contract with the Australian Government. This contract is breached if you:

• withdraw from the medical course after starting the second year of study

• fail to become a medical practitioner within ten years of commencing the course

• fail to obtain fellowship of a medical college within 16 years of starting the medical course (unless a deferral for parenting or an extension of time has been approved)

• do not complete your obligation to work in a rural or remote area for six continuous years

(excluding any period of extension that may have been granted).

If you breach the contract then you will:

• not be able to practise privately and bill Medicare for up to 12 years less those years already worked in a rural or remote area under the Contract and

• be required to repay the entire Scholarship amount paid to them, with interest, minus a credit for those years already worked in a rural or remote area under the Contract

Victorian Extended Rural Cohort

The ERC has been developed to provide rural training for students interested in practicing medicine in a rural or regional locations.

Students involved with the ERC will undertake most of their clinical training in a rural or remote area.

Preference for the places will be given to students from rural Victoria.

Places eligible for ERC may be either CSP or bonded in some form.

Benefits

The Victorian ERC provides an additional entry mechanism to enter medicine. A majority of clinical training will be in a rural area.

Your Obligations

You will be required to undergo the majority of your clinical training in a rural or remote area.

Some Considerations

If you accept an ERC Place you will not be able to transfer to a metropolitan hospital should you decide that you would prefer to experience you training in a metropolitan area. Relinquishing a place in the ERC will mean relinquishing your place in medical school.

Rural Australia Medical Undergraduate Scholarship (RAMUS)

The Australian Government introduced the RAMUS Scheme with the aim of increasing the number of medical students from a rural background. It recognises the considerable costs involved for rural students to relocate and live in the city during their course.

Only students with a rural background are eligible for these scholarships. These places are not bonded, and each year there are approximately 100 new scholarships.

Other Scholarships

There are a range of other scholarships available that may be applicable at your university and there is always a chance that new scholarships will become available. It is worth researching what scholarships are available to see if you are eligible. Make sure that you understand any obligations that a scholarship requires of you and consider getting legal advice if any contracts require signing.