Gledden Visiting Fellowships Committee

  • Professor Clarissa Ball, Director, Institute of Advanced Studies and Chair;
  • Professor Tim Colmer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research);



Robert John Gledden

In 1927, the University received about £55,000 from a public benefactor, Mr Robert John Gledden (1855-1927).

Mr Gledden moved to Australia in 1890 and was licensed as a surveyor in Queensland. He came to Perth in 1892, and after practising for a few months as a surveyor, was asked by the then Minister of Lands, W. Marmion, to take charge of mining surveys at Coolgardie. He made a preliminary survey there and about a year later laid out the site of Kalgoorlie. He retired in 1900 and spent much time travelling with his wife Maude, before settling at Caulfield, near Melbourne. After his wife died in 1921, he continued to travel but kept his interest in Western Australia. He was a good businessman and made money largely out of investing in land in Western Australia. He died in Perth on 5 November 1927. With no heirs, Mr Gledden's will provided that the whole of his residue estate should go to the University in trust to provide scholarships beginning ten years after his death. As far as it is known, he had no previous contact with the University before his death.

Robert Gledden stipulated that the income from his estate should be used "for the promotion and encouragement of education at such University to provide for scholarships in applied science, more particularly relating to surveying, engineering, mining or cognate subjects". He also expressed the hope that "one at least of such scholarships will be a travelling scholarship". The bequest initially provided for two annual travelling science fellowships of £750. They were named the Robert and Maude Gledden Travelling Fellowships in honour of himself and his wife. The first Gledden Fellowship was awarded in 1939. It would not be awarded again until 1945 due to the Second World War.


In 2012 changes to the Fellowships were approved by Academic Council.

These changes are designed to enhance research collaboration with UWA with both mid-career and senior researchers.

  1. The Gledden Visiting Fellowships are part of the estate bequeathed to the University by the late Robert John Gledden to promote and encourage education and research at the University in the disciplines of applied science, more particularly relating to surveying, engineering, mining or cognate subjects. The purpose of the fellowship is to provide travel costs or travel costs and living expenses for accommodation for scholars outside of Western Australia.
  2. The fellowships are open to graduates who have doctoral degrees or equivalent qualifications or experience who are mid-career researchers or senior researchers.
  3. Nominations
    a. Nominations for mid-career researchers must demonstrate that the nominee has a significant, focused potential for recruitment in UWA’s areas of research strength and potential to significantly enhance the group with which the nominee would be working at the University.
    b. Nominations for senior researchers must demonstrate that the nominee has strong collaboration with the host group at this University as evidenced by recent co-authored publications or grants with that group.
    c. Nominations for senior researchers who have previously received support from the Gledden Trust or other University funds are eligible for a subsequent fellowship only if the likely outcomes are judged by the Gledden Visiting Fellowships Committee to be of significant institutional benefit.
  4. The awards are made by the Gledden Visiting Fellowships Committee.
  5. The membership of the Gledden Visiting Fellowships Committee is as follows:
    a the Director, Institute of Advanced Studies, as chair;
    b. the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics, or nominee;
    c. the Dean of the Faculty of Science, or nominee;
    d. one member of the Academic Board appointed by the Chair of the Academic Board following consultation with the Chair of the Gledden Visiting Fellowships Committee.
  6. The period of tenure of a fellowship, which is a minimum of fourteen days and a maximum of ninety days, the amount of the payments and any other terms and conditions of a fellowship are determined by the Gledden Visiting Fellowships Committee and in each case are subject to a written agreement between the fellow and the University.
  7. The Gledden Visiting Fellowships Committee invites applications for fellowships at least once a year, but may invite them twice a year by advertisement.