Scholarly Project

This page is for candidates wanting to find out about and prepare to undertake the Scholarly Project.

About the Scholarly Project 

The Scholarly Project involves original research in an area relevant to psychiatry. It is a summative assessment of the RANZCP Fellowship Program. The Scholarly Project should be successfully completed by 60 months FTE training. It is assessed at the standard expected at the end of Stage 3.  

Structure and format

Scholarly Projects must be 3000–5000 words in length. Trainees can select their own topic and project format, based on their own research interests.  

The project can be: 

  • a quality assurance project or clinical audit 
  • a literature review 
  • empirical research (qualitative or quantitative) 
  • a case series 
  • an equivalent project as approved by the Scholarly Project Subcommittee. 

Project planning

It is the trainee's responsibility to plan ahead for their project, considering the availability of their proposed supervisor, together with the time it will take to gain ethics approval, submit a proposal, complete the project and undergo assessment (including any revisions). 

Some Certificates of Advanced Training require the successful completion of a Scholarly Project.

Trainees should consider the research requirements of the Certificates of Advanced Training when planning their Scholarly Project, as they may only need to complete one project to satisfy both requirements.  


Before beginning the project, trainees must submit a project proposal to their Branch Training Committee for approval. 

The proposal should outline: 

  • the aim of the project 
  • the project question and/or hypothesis 
  • the proposed research methodology 
  • the proposed supervisor’s name and credentials. 

If relevant, trainees must obtain local research ethics approval before submitting their project proposal.  


Trainees must have a Scholarly Project supervisor. The principal supervisor must be a College-accredited supervising Fellow. If they wish, trainees can seek an additional project co-supervisor who has specific expertise in the area of study. The co-supervisor does not need to be a Fellow of the College. 

Scholarly project webinar for supervisors


Trainees must be the major author of their Scholarly Project. A major author is defined as an author who has made a substantial contribution to all the following areas: 

  • study design 
  • data collection 
  • analysis and interpretation of data 
  • writing of the manuscript. 

Assistance can be provided by a supervisor or other person.  

Two trainees may collaborate on a shared project. The intention to collaborate must be noted in the project proposal.


The Scholarly Project may be submitted on three occasions per year. Refer to the exam timetable for dates and details.

All scholarly project submissions must be made via email only to

Exemption from the Scholarly Project

Trainees may be exempt from undertaking a Scholarly Project if, within the past 10 years, they: 

  • have completed a doctoral, research Masters or Honours thesis in a field relevant to psychiatry or mental health 
  • were a major author of an article published in a recognised peer-reviewed English-language journal relevant to psychiatry or mental health 
  • have demonstrated competency with a substantially comparable project. 

Trainees may not apply for exemption for projects that have BTC-approved proposals.

ShapeStudy support and resources 

Scholarly Project examples 

E-learning modules

All modules are available on Learnit [member log-in required] 

Other resources


Results are released on the dates specified in the exam timetable. When released, the results are available from the Results, timetables, fees page.

Forms and documents


For detailed requirements, please refer to the Scholarly Project under Examinations of the 2012 Fellowship Program regulations, policies and procedures


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