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What support does the Hocking Fellowship provide?

The Hocking Fellowship is awarded to one person annually to support a project involving overseas travel to undertake a study of the experiences of those living with complex mental health issues or the experiences of the carers, family and friends of those living with complex mental health issues.

Hocking Fellows receive a grant of up to $20,000AUD for a project to be completed over one year. These funds may be used to undertake a study tour overseas, to visit other mental health organisations, exchange information and learn from their experiences. The grant can also be used to cover travel, accommodation and associated costs. 

The Hocking Fellowship is not intended for the purpose of clinical research and funds cannot be used to conduct academic research or to cover tuition fees.

The ADRC, as well as SANE's wider Marketing and Communications team, will support Fellows to disseminate the project findings to our sector network. 

Recipients are also invited to join the Hocking Fellowship Program alumni network. Members have become integral expert-contributors to SANE’s support, research and advocacy work.

What support does the Hocking Community Award provide?

The Hocking Community Award is presented to one person annually to support a project focussed on understanding the needs of those who care for people living with complex mental health issues. This may include: professional carers, family members, friends, colleagues, or any other person who provides care and/or support to somebody living with a complex mental health illness. .

The Hocking Community Award recipient receives a grant of up to $10,000AUD for a project to be completed over one year.

Hocking Community Award recipients will be supported by ADRC staff to share their findings with our network. They will be encouraged to work with our partners in the sector and the SANE Australia Communications team to ensure their findings are disseminated widely.

Recipients will also become part of the Hocking Fellowship Program alumni network, a group that are regularly invited to attend SANE and ADRC events, and may be called upon for their expertise to support SANE’s work around support, research and advocacy.

As with the Hocking Fellowship, the Hocking Community Award is not intended for the purpose of clinical research and cannot be used to conduct academic research or to cover tuition fees.

When is the grant funding provided to recipients?

Both the Hocking Fellowship and Hocking Community Award grants are paid in three instalments, as follows:

  • Fifty percent on the date of project commencement.
  • Twenty-five percent three months after the date of project commencement, subject to SANE's determination that the recepient and successfully submitted their first progress report to a satisfactory standard.
  • Twenty-five percent upon completion of the project term, subject to SANE's determination that the recipient has successfully completed their final progress report to a satisfactory standard.

Applicants are expected to factor these timelines into the development of their project proposals. 

Can the grant funds be used to conduct academic research or pay for my studies?

No. Hocking Fellowship and Hocking Community Award funds cannot be used to conduct academic research or to cover tuition fees.

Can payments be made to an organisation, instead of an individual?

Both grants are only awarded to an individual, however, payments can be made to an organisation (for example, the university you work at, or another employer).

Please note: all funds must be put towards the project. No on-costs or administration costs will be met by SANE.

Can I put the funds towards carer support costs?

Under exceptional circumstances, where a recipient would be unable to undertake the project without this extra support, they may be granted permission to use limited funds from their Hocking Fellowship or Hocking Community Award grant to contribute to carer support costs – for example, costs incurred through respite care while you undertake the project. 

This must be discussed with and approved by SANE in advance. Specific details will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Will SANE organise any travel components of my project?

A study tour – either overseas or within Australia – can be undertaken by a Fellow but is not compulsory. If you choose to undertake a study tour, SANE will not facilitate it. All travel must be organised by the Fellow.

Past Fellows have used funds to visit academics, NGOs and treatment programs in order to enhance their investigation of their project's subject matter. Where possible, SANE may be able to introduce you to contacts, but you are responsible for all travel planning.

Do I need to organise my own insurance?

Hocking Fellows and Hocking Community Award recipients must arrange appropriate personal health insurance during the project term. 

Prior to going overseas, Hocking Fellows must organise their own travel insurance.

Recipients must also arrange and purchase Public Liability Insurance if they are organising workshops or events.

Any insurance requirements and related costs should be factored into your project plan and budget.

Are recipients required to sign a contract?

Yes. Recipients must sign a SANE Australia Hocking Fellowship Agreement or SANE Australia Hocking Community Award Agreement prior to commencing of their project.

This is a legally-binding contract and outlines SANE's expectations, as well as the recipients' responsibilities. The contracts stipulate publicity, liability, and intellectual property details.

What are recipients required to deliver during their Fellowship year?

Hocking Fellowship and Hocking Community Award recipients will be required to deliver:

  • Quarterly updates on the progress of your project in writing.
  • A final report of your project findings in writing.

Recipients will be expected to maintain close contact with the ADRC and SANE teams. You may also be required to contribute to a range of promotional activities, including:

  • writing articles for the SANE website,
  • attending media interviews,
  • actively promoting your project findings,
  • speaking at SANE events.

What kind of reporting requirements do you have?

Hocking Fellowship and Hocking Community Award recipients must submit written progress reports every three months, detailing:

  • an overview of work completed in the previous quarter,
  • an outline of work planned for the next quarter,
  • a summary of their engagement with people affected by complex mental health issues,
  • account of their project spending up to the report date,
  • a description of past and upcoming media and promotional opportunities.

Recipients are encouraged to use these progress reports to alert SANE to any challenges or setback they are facing in their projects and to seek assistance or support (if required).

Are the project dates flexible?

Both the Hocking Fellowship and Hocking Community Award grants are provided over one year. Projects typically run between 1 October and 30 September in the following year. However, Fellows may request permission to delay the commencement date of their project.

What if a recipient's circumstances change during the Fellowship year?

SANE Australia will assess any extension requests on a case-by-case basis. 

If grant recipients' circumstances change, or they have reason to believe their ability to complete the project on schedule may be impacted, they must inform SANE as soon as possible.

What if a recipient is unable to complete their project?

If a grant recipient is unable to complete their project, they must inform SANE immediately. Depending up the circumstances, they may be granted permission to extend the completion date of their project. 

However, if a recipient elects to terminate their contract, no further funding will be granted, and they may be required to return any funds already received to SANE.

How are recipients and their projects selected?

Applications will be reviewed by a selection panel comprised of SANE Australia team members, supporters of Hocking Fellowship Program, and people with lived experience of complex mental health issues.

Shortlisted applicants will be contacted with further information. You may be asked to provide further information about your proposed project. An interview may also be required.

The successful applicants for each grant will be advised via telephone.

Unsuccessful applicants will be notified via email.

Do I need to include a written reference?

No. A written reference is not required. We do ask that you provide the details of a referee we can contact if your application is shortlisted.

How old do I have to be to apply?

Applications are open to any Australian citizen or permanent resident, aged 18 and over.

Can a group or organisation apply for the Hocking Fellowship or Hocking Community Award?

No. The Hocking Fellowship Program is open to individual applicants only.

Can I submit a video application?

Yes. You are more than welcome to submit a video application if you feel this medium would better explain the your proposed project. However, you are still required to submit a detailed project plan in writing, addressing the selection criteria and outlining your planned expenditure.

Do I need to have mental health-related qualifications to apply?

No. Specific academic qualifications and/or training are not required for these grants.

We welcome applications from any Australian citizen or permanent resident. We strongly encourage people living with complex mental health issues, their carers, sector professionals, and researchers to apply.

Will I receieve feedback if my application is unsuccessful?

Unfortunately, due to the larger number of applications received, SANE is only be able to provide feedback to shortlisted applicants.

Can I contact former Hocking Fellows for advice?

If you would like to contact a former Hocking Fellow for advice on your application, please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. SANE will not provide the contact details of past recipients without consent.

What are complex mental health issues?

Mental ill health is best understood as a spectrum. Most people impacted by mental health issues experience mild to moderate symptoms. This inludes anxiety and depression which are commonly referred to as 'high prevalence disorders'.

SANE's works focusses on the more severe episodic or severe and persisent conditions which are complex and require a multi-agency response. These 'lower prevalence disorders', which we term complex mental health issues, affect more than 800,000 Australian adults and include:

  • schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders,
  • bipolar disorder,
  • borderline personality disorder (BPD) and other personality disorders,
  • eating disorders,
  • obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD),
  • complex post-traumatic stress disorder,
  • severe and complex depression and anxiety.

SANE Australia estimates that approximately four million Australians are affected by complex mental health issues, including family members, friends, carers and colleagues are included.

Can my project explore youth mental health?

If you'd like to undertake a project that investigates the mental health of young people, we strongly encourage you to focus on young people aged 18 and over, in line with SANE’s broader work.

Can I focus on a subject matter that has been explored in a previous Hocking Fellowship Program project?

If you can make a unique contribution to the field, please apply! If your application demonstrates an innovative approach to the subject, this will not affect your eligibility or your likelihood of success.

Want to know more?

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Last updated: 11 September, 2019