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Hocking Fellowship FAQ

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Why is this grant called the Hocking Fellowship?

The Hocking Fellowship honours the late Barbara Hocking OAM (Executive Director of SANE Australia 1995–2012), who worked tirelessly to improve the wellbeing of all Australians affected by mental illness.

When will 2019 Hocking Fellowship applications open?

Applications for the 2019 Hocking Fellowship will open in late August 2019. Applications will be accepted for approximately 3 weeks. No late applications will be accepted.

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

No specific academic qualifications or training are necessary.

SANE Australia welcomes applications from all Australia citizens or permanent residents who are active in the field of mental health. This includes people living with mental illness, carers, mental health professionals and researchers.

What is complex mental illness?

The main types of mental health issues experienced by Australians are anxiety and depression, which are commonly referred to as ‘high prevalence disorders’.

SANE Australia works to support the more than 690,000 Australians over 18 years of age who are living with ‘lower prevalence disorders’, which we term complex mental illness, including:

  • schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
  • bipolar disorder
  • borderline and other personality disorders
  • major depression
  • severe anxiety
  • eating disorders
  • obsessive compulsive disorder
  • post-traumatic stress disorder.

Source: Review of Mental Health Programs and Services, National Mental Health Commission, 2014.

SANE Australia estimates that once family members, friends, carers and colleagues are included, approximately 4 million Australians are affected by complex mental illness.

My area of interest is not listed. Should I still apply?

The areas of interest list on the website is to be used as a guide only.

Hocking Fellowship projects focus on innovative approaches to understanding the needs and experiences of people living with complex mental illness. We encourage you to apply if your project would:

  • advance the public understanding of complex mental illness
  • improve treatment, support and the wellbeing of people affected
  • contribute to stigma reduction.

Is there an age limit for Fellowship applicants?

Applications are open to all Australian citizens or permanent residents aged 18 or over.

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

No. Hocking Fellowship funds cannot be used to conduct academic research or cover tuition fees. The grant covers travel, accommodation and associated costs.

Will SANE organise a study tour component of the Fellowship?

A study tour can be undertaken by a Hocking Fellow, but is not compulsory. If a Fellow chooses to undertake a study tour, it will not be facilitated by SANE Australia. It must be organised by the Fellow, based on their topic of interest.

Past Fellows have used funds to visit academics, NGOs or treatment programs, in Australia or overseas, to further their understanding of the issue they are addressing. If SANE Australia has contacts in the location a recipient wishes to visit, introductions may be possible, but all trip-planning must be done by the Fellow.

How many people apply each year?

The number of applicants fluctuates each year but is generally large. The quality of applications is consistently high.

Do I need to include a written reference?

A written reference is not necessary. The application form only asks for the details of a referee we could contact if your application is shortlisted.

Are the Fellowship dates flexible?

The Hocking Fellowship lasts one year. A successful applicant may request permission to delay the start of their Fellowship until as late as 31 December in the year it is awarded.

If my application is unsuccessful, will I receive feedback?

Unfortunately, given the large number of applications received, SANE Australia will only be able to provide feedback to shortlisted applicants.

Can I contact former Hocking Fellows?

If you would like to contact a former Hocking Fellow, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. SANE Australia will not provide the contact details of former Fellows without their explicit consent.

Can I focus on a subject that was studied by a previous Fellow?

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

Can I submit a video application?

Yes, if you feel that a video application would better explain the project that you wish to undertake. However, a detailed, written project plan must be submitted alongside the video, addressing the selection criteria and outlining your planned expenditure.

What kind of reporting requirements do you have?

Hocking Fellows must submit a progress report every three months, detailing:

  • work completed so far
  • plans for the next quarter
  • spending
  • media opportunities

Fellows may also use the report seek assistance.

When will Fellowship payments be made?

The Fellowship is paid in three instalments, as follows:

  • 50% on the date of commencement
  • 25% three months after the date of commencement, subject to submission of a progress report and determination by SANE of satisfactory progress
  • 25% at the end of the project term, subject to submission of a progress report and determination by SANE of satisfactory progress

What agreements do I need to sign if I am selected?

Recipients must sign a SANE Australia Hocking Fellowship Agreement prior to commencement of the project. This is a legal contract that outlines the expectations of SANE Australia and the responsibilities of Hocking Fellowship recipients. It also stipulates details around publicity, liability and intellectual property.

What if I am unable to complete the Fellowship?

If a Fellow is unable to complete their project, they must immediately inform SANE Australia. SANE may allow a Fellow to postpone completion. However, if a Fellow opts to terminate the SANE Australia Hocking Fellowship Agreement, no further payments will be made, and SANE may require that funds previously provided are returned.

What if I become unwell during the Fellowship?

SANE Australia will assess extension requests on a case by case basis. Fellows who become ill while carrying out their project must inform SANE of their illness as soon as possible.

Do I need to organise my own insurance?

Hocking Fellows must maintain appropriate personal health insurance during the project term, and must organise their own travel insurance, if conducting a study tour overseas.

Can a group or organisation apply for the Hocking Fellowship?

No. The Hocking Fellowship is only open to individuals.

Can my project focus on youth mental health?

Applicants wishing to conduct a project looking at the mental health of younger people are encouraged to focus on people aged 18 and over, in line with SANE’s broader work.

Last updated: 13 May, 2019