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Scholarships & Bursaries

RFDS Fred McKay Medical Student Scholarship

The RFDS Fred McKay Medical Student Scholarship was established in 1997 in honour of Rev Fred McKay, the successor to Rev John Flynn and the spiritual leader of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). The scholarship is delivered in partnership with the University of Tasmania and RFDS South Eastern Section and aims to encourage medical students to consider a career in rural and remote areas of Australia; especially Tasmania. The scholarship includes a two week placement at the RFDS Broken Hill Base, working as an observer in RFDS aircraft. A further two week placement may be offered in a rural setting in Tasmania.



Applicants must be Tasmanian*, and enrolled full-time in the final year of the University of Tasmania’s Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (M3N) course. Subject to COVID-19 restrictions and ability to travel, applicants must be available to participate in a two-week placement in October 2023. Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of quality of application and the following criteria - a credit grade average thus far in the course; evidence of high level skills in professional communication and practice; a demonstrated interest in and understanding of contemporary rural health issues; a demonstrated intention to engage in rural health at some stage in the future, and an ability and willingness to act as an ambassador promoting the RFDS and the University's School of Medicine. No previous RFDS experience is required. The successful student will be required to provide a report of their placement to the RFDS and participate in a scholarship presentation in November 2023.

* A Tasmanian Student is someone who has completed their most recent academic qualification in Tasmania (TCE, Bachelor etc) OR has lived in Tasmania for the previous 5 continuous years.

On-going Eligibility

Recipients must remain enrolled full-time in the final year of the University of Tasmania Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery degree.


The scholarship comprises of a two week placement in October 2023 in RFDS aircraft operating from Broken Hill RFDS Base in NSW starting on the 2nd of October 2023 (with accommodation provided in Broken Hill). $3,000 is provided to fund travel and expenses incurred while participating in the placement.


Two weeks, Semester 2, 2023

Closing Date

30 June 2023


Apply online prior to closing date. Applications cannot be submitted after closing date. As applicants will be assessed on the quality of application, all questions should be answered in full. Please ensure care is taken with spelling and grammar. Applicants must provide a referee's report to support their application.

Apply online…
To commence an online application, click here.
Referee's Report for RFDS Fred McKay Medical Student Scholarship (PDF, 146kb)
Provide an electronic copy of this report to your academic or medical referee (RFDS Fred McKay Medical Student Scholarship applicants only).

Application status