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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 $5,000 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 31 March 2024.


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.

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