Scholarly Project

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

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

See also:
Results, timetables and fee information

For enquiries, contact


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.

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.

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. 


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


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. Proposal forms are below.


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.


Assistance can be provided by a supervisor or other person, but each trainee 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 of the following areas:

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

Two trainees can collaborate on a shared project; however, the intention to collaborate must be noted in the project proposal.


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. Apply using the exemption form found under the 'Forms and documents' heading (scroll down).


Information and resources relevant to the Scholarly Project can be found in the Research in psychiatry section of the website.

  • Navigating the Scholarly Project webinar available on Learnit [member log-in required] hosted by Dr Joanne Ferguson (Chair, Scholarly Project Subcommittee) and Dr Melanie Turner (Deputy Chair, Schoarly Project Subcommittee) covers: Preparation and planning, conducting original research, supervision, submission and assessment and Q&A.
  • Trainees are encouraged to read the journal articles on research published in the February 2015 issue of Australasian Psychiatry, which provide guidance on planning and conducting research. 
  • Scholarly Project: preparation and submission [video; 9.55 min]
    Following discussions with the local Branch Training Committees, Dr Joanne Ferguson (Chair, Scholarly Project Subcommittee, Committee for Exams) has prepared a video to assist trainees with the preparation and submission of the Scholarly Project. Also available: Presentation slides [PDF; 580 KB] 
  • Congress 2019 Scholarly Project Workshop [PDF; 848 KB] 

E-learning modules

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


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

Back to top

Have you found the information you were looking for?