General Information for Applicants

RMIT’s AFI Research Collection, in partnership with RMIT Culture and the Screen and Sound Cultures Research Group at RMIT University is pleased to announce the 2023/2024 AFI Research Collection Fellowship.

The AFI Research Collection (AFIRC) is an essential resource for Australian film and television scholarship. Its holdings reflect a diversity of research materials and ephemera, including screenplays, production stills, special collections, press kits, and soundtracks, associated with film and television production in Australia. These unique and specialist collections are supported by comprehensive holdings of books, journals and industry publications from Australia and overseas.

Fellowship Overview

The Fellowship is intended to promote the unique holdings of the AFIRC through research that results in a published or non-traditional research output.

  • Research projects might include:
  • Scholarly articles or monographs
  • Dissertations
  • Creative work
  • Digital project
  • Film
  • Performance-based research
  • Exhibition proposals
  • Research-based syllabi to grow student research
  • Collaborative research

The AFIRC Fellowship is awarded to a unique, collection-centred research project that requires substantial, on-site use of the AFIRC holdings. Priority may be given to projects that do not have access to other major funding. Proposals demonstrating the greatest potential for enhancing the reputation and reach of the AFIRC may also be given precedence.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 11:55pm 17 September 2023

When considering your Fellowship proposal, please take time to look over the AFIRC holdings via the online catalogue, to understand the strengths and limitations of the collection. Applicants are also strongly encouraged to review past winners for tips on the scope of projects, previous topics and examples of collection-centered research.

Applicants are also strongly encouraged to contact the AFIRC at with specific enquiries about the types of materials they may wish to access during their proposed visit. Other information about the AFIRC holdings may be found online. Enquiries about the collections should be submitted before 10 September 2023 to guarantee a response before the application deadline.

All questions about the fellowship program and / or the application process should be directed to

What support is available?
Depending on the requirements of the applicant, the Fellowship may be awarded for generally the equivalent of a period of between two and six weeks. The Fellowship will include the following in-kind-support:

  • open access to the AFIRC’s holdings and databases
  • free printing and copying facilities

AFIRC staff will not serve as research assistants to the Fellow. The AFIRC staff will conduct an orientation tour and staff will be on hand to answer questions, but it is expected that the AFIRC Research Fellow will conduct their research independently.

Who may apply?
The AFI Research Collection Fellowship is open to researchers who have a demonstrated interest and experience in Australian screen culture and through evidenced research or AV outputs.

  • Ongoing RMIT academic staff are ineligible to apply.
  • Previous recipients of the AFIRC Fellowship are eligible to reapply with new projects after two full fellowship cycles have passed.

The AFIRC and RMIT University are committed to embracing and encouraging diversity in all of its forms, striving to create an inclusive community that fosters a positive learning, teaching, and working environment.

We welcome scholars who think critically about archival representation to recognize where there are gaps or inequities in scholarship. The AFIRC encourages proposals from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) candidates, Diverse Genders, Sexes and Sexualities (DGSS), precariously employed and/or people living with disabilities who can contribute to our charge for diversity as we strive to grow a vitally inclusive research culture.

The AFIRC acknowledges that the representation of Indigenous stories should be told by Indigenous people to enable their perspective and interpretation, in accordance with the AMAGA First Peoples Roadmap. We are especially interested in proposals from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples that seek to amplify Indigenous voices, truth-telling and Indigenous representation in the AFIRC holdings.

Selection Criteria

The AFI Research Collection Advisory Panel will assess applications according to the following criteria:

  • effective and demonstrated use of the AFIRC holdings
  • originality and innovation
  • relevance and significance
  • contribution to knowledge
  • education and industry engagement

The AFI Research Collection Advisory Panel will also assess each proposal according to

  • Project viability in regard to scope and anticipated time requirements
  • potential and / or identified risks
  • project capacity for a successful outcome

In some instances, the Advisory Panel may consult external referees to assist in assessing applications.

In assessing applications, the AFI Research Collection Advisory Panel will also consider the following:

  • applicant qualifications
  • demonstrated research experience
  • preliminary investigation of the AFIRC holdings
  • strength of the research question or artistic concept
  • research methodology
  • project contribution to knowledge
  • proposed Fellowship outcomes
  • depth of engagement with the Collection

Application Procedures

A complete application consists of a three-page proposal and one or two letters of recommendation as outlined below. These materials must be emailed to AFIRC ( as PDF files by the application deadline.

Applicants must submit a three-page proposal as outlined below. We ask that the proposal be in English and submitted as a single PDF file via email. Files longer than three pages will not be accepted. Minimum font size of 11 accepted. Each page should include your last name in the top-right corner and be formatted with one-inch margins and a font size no smaller than eleven point.

  • Page one of your proposal should provide your name and project title, followed by an abstract / summary (100-200 words or less, in 11 font size) of the proposed research project. Keep in mind that you are writing for an interdisciplinary panel; research topics and their significance should be explained and placed in the context of the larger field of study. Please also describe the anticipated result of the project (journal article, book, edited volume, or other format).
  • Page two of your proposal should provide a detailed account of your anticipated use of the AFIRC holdings. Describe the materials that you will consult, their relevance to the project, and why these materials must be consulted on-site during the length of fellowship requested.
  • Page three of your proposal should consist of an abbreviated curriculum vitae emphasizing relevant work, including all relevant publications and projects .

Application Deadline
The proposal and required letter(s) of recommendation for 2023–2024 Fellowship must be submitted via email by 11:55pm 17 September 2023. An email confirmation will be sent to the applicant upon the successful submission of their application. Applicants are responsible for ensuring all required materials have been submitted. Materials cannot be accepted after the deadline has passed.

Announcement of Decisions
Decisions will be announced on 10 October 2023. Fellowship recipients and their research projects will be recognized in AFIRC and RMIT Culture publicity and at the annual AFIRC Fellowship Salon.

The AFIRC Fellowship provides a stipend of up to $5,000 (AUD).

Fellowship Requirements & Outcomes

Recipients of 2023–2024 fellowships must complete their residencies between November 2023 and October 2024.

Preliminary outcomes will be discussed during an introductory interview and can be modified, by mutual agreement, during the course of the Fellowship.

During their fellowship, the AFIRC Fellow will be required to:

  • undertake onsite, collection centered research within the AFIRC
  • present at least one public lecture, facilitated by RMIT Culture
  • assist in the promotion of their research, the AFIRC and the Fellowship program
  • acknowledge the support of the AFIRC in any publication, performance or presentation resulting from the research
  • sign an agreement which includes negotiated outcomes
  • make their own arrangements for personal insurances, travel and accommodation

At the conclusion of the Fellowship, the AFI Research Collection Fellow will be required to:

  • complete the AFIRC Fellowship evaluation form (to be provided)
  • provide the AFIRC with a copy of any research outcome

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information contained in this document is provided for general information purposes only and does not have any legal effect. Specific terms of engagement will be negotiated with successful applicants.

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