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Leo Mahony Bursary

The Leo Mahony Bursary is awarded annually to a masters (by research) or doctoral scholar studying in the field of national security and defence at an ACT-based university. The Bursary commemorates the memory and service of founding National Secretary of RUSI-ACT and long-time USI member and Councillor Leo Mahony.

The Bursary comprises a one-off payment of $5000 and recipients are also offered Honorary Membership of the Institute for 12 months. The Bursary and certificate of Honorary Membership are traditionally presented at a function held by the ACT during the year which is well attended by USI ACT membership and guests. 


Open Now and close on 21 October 2022.

Who is eligible?

Australian citizens who:

  • are studying at an ACT university.

  • are enrolled in a Masters (by research) or PhD program that leads to a thesis.

  • have an approved research proposal for their program; and

  • have not previously won the Leo Mahony Bursary.

How is the bursary winner selected?

The bursary winner is selected by an experienced panel with diverse experience in defence, security, and public affairs. This panel deliberates to select the candidate whose research project best captures the following criteria:

  • Relevance. The research must contribute to the body of national security or defence knowledge.

  • Innovation. The research should address a new or under-examined area. Historical papers are welcomed but must demonstrate explicit relevance to contemporary or future national security or defence issues.

  • Academic merit. The research must have an appropriate standard of academic merit.

How to apply?

  • Follow the steps at this link to submit your responses to questions which address the selection criteria.

Welcome to the Leo Mahony Bursary submission page. Applications will remain open until 21 October 22. Please fill in the following items with your responses and when completed press submit. You will be contacted to confirm that your submission has been received. If you need to contact us, please email with any questions. The award recipient will be notified by the end of 2022.

Leo Mahoney was the founding National Secretary of the Royal United Services Institute Australia. He was a long-term Defence public servant starting in Defence Signals Directorate and then moving to various other senior Defence Department roles. He had studied arts, majoring in political science and respected the value of education and study in areas of national security. He proposed that various state United Service Institutes come under a national body and worked tirelessly to achieve this.

Leo Mahony Bursary: Text
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