Eric Pearson Study Grant

Eric Pearson Study Grant 2022

A $23,000 study grant is awarded each year to examine an area of industrial and professional relevance to the NSW Teachers Federation as a union and/or a group/groups of members.

Applications closed

Originally called the Eric Pearson Memorial Travel Grant, the award was set up in memory of Eric Pearson, who died on June 8, 1977. The first award was made in 1980.

Eric Pearson was President of the NSW Teachers Federation from 1974 to 1975. He was also President of the Australian Teachers Federation. He commenced his teaching career in small country schools as a two year trained teacher, prior to active service in New Guinea and Borneo during World War 2. He subsequently returned to teaching and further study, and received a PhD from London University. He had a distinguished teaching and lecturing career, and was Head of the Department of Education at Sydney Teachers College.

Summary of grant conditions

All applicants must be current financial members of the NSW Teachers Federation.

The 2022 award provides for up to $23,000 to be used for travel, accommodation and expenses associated with the study. The maximum period of the award is 30 working days. Any private travel arrangements made in conjunction with the award are the responsibility of the recipient.

No grant monies will be extended until a detailed, preliminary budget is approved by the General Secretary (or nominee). The General’s Secretary’s approval for subsequent alterations to the preliminary budget must also be sought. Money will be advanced at suitable times to facilitate arrangements.  All receipts must be forwarded to the General Secretary for expenses incurred.  Failure to do so will result in the applicant being required to refund any monies advanced.

The financial arrangements are subject to the review of the General Secretary, and, if necessary, Federation Executive.

The recipient will document the results of their study and lodge them with Federation for the use of the union. Depending on circumstances, there may also be a requirement to provide a written report to the Department of Education.

The recipient is required to give an oral report to Annual Conference, as well as contribute article/s as appropriate to Education.

All research and travel must be completed by the end of 2021 with a final report being submitted to the NSW Teachers Federation before the last day of Term 1, 2022.  Failure to comply with these requirements will result in the recipient being required to refund any monetary amounts already received.

The successful applicant will be required to sign a Deed of Agreement in relation to the above conditions.

Possible areas of study

The study should look at an area of industrial and professional relevance to the NSW Teachers Federation as a union and/or a group/groups of members.

Areas for consideration could include:

  • early childhood education
  • implications of emerging technologies
  • equity issues
  • industrial relations and bargaining
  • multiculturalism
  • privatisation of education
  • reconciliation and Aboriginal education
  • restructuring and reorganisation of education
  • salary and status of teachers
  • teaching standards
  • special education
  • specialist areas in education
  • staffing of schools and colleges.

This list is not exhaustive. Potential applicants may suggest other topics of relevance they might wish to study. Examples of past reports are available here.


It is the responsibility of the successful applicant to make contact with organisations and individuals in connection with the study.

Members are reminded that they are entitled to make use of the Federation library services at any stage of development of their application, or after an award has been made.

Leave arrangements

Where the Eric Pearson Study Grant is made to a member employed by the Department of Education, BOSTES, Corrective Services, TAFE Commission or Federation, leave with pay will be sought for the successful applicant.

While Federation will request leave with pay from the relevant employer, not all recipients may be entitled to that industrial condition. The recipient needs to be aware that under no circumstances will Federation reimburse a recipient for salary lost or foregone as a result of accepting the study grant.

Criteria for assessing applications

  1. Relevance and benefit to the union, that is, the contribution that the intended study may make to the knowledge and understanding of members with respect to industrial and professionally relevant issues. It is not intended that the award be primarily for the benefit of the person undertaking the study, for example, to assist that person with completion of courses of study or to attend conferences.
  2. The background of the applicant as a committed union member.
  3. Clarity of the proposal, using the pro forma application. There must be a reasoned advocacy for the work of the study.

The Eric Pearson Study Grant Restricted Committee may choose to teleconference individual applicants in order to obtain more detail or clarification regarding their applications.

Information and application forms

For further information contact Dr Mary Fogarty, Research/Industrial Officer via email at

Applications closed

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