Y20 Summit (Berlin, Germany)

The following Global Voices Scholarships are available for the Y20 Germany Summit:

Division of IT, Engineering and Environment

Division of IT, Engineering and Environment

University of Newcastle

The OECD Forum (Paris, France) 

The following Global Voices Scholarships are available for the 2017 OECD Forum: 

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Division of Education, Arts & Social Sciences

Division of Education, Arts & Social Sciences


How to apply

Eligibility Requirements

Global Voices Scholarships are open to Australian citizens and permanent residents aged 18 to 30. Some of our university scholarships may have additional assessment criteria. These are outlined in the application form

The Application Process

You are required to submit a research proposal and a personal statement. If successful, your research proposal will become the basis for your final policy paper.  

The research proposal will familiarise you with the core themes and issues of the forum or summit. You must identify a problem related to one of the focus areas and provide appropriate policy changes or recommendations. Examples of previous policy papers can be found on the 'Journal' section of our website. 

Personal Statement

The personal statement is an opportunity to introduce yourself. We like to hear about why you are applying, what you are passionate about and your ambitions for the future. Your personal statement should be no longer than 350 words. Some advice for things to cover:

  • Why are you applying for the scholarship?
  • Why are you passionate about your area of study/research? 
  • What will you bring to the team?

IMPORTANT: We undertake a blind recruitment process. Please do not mention your name in your personal statement. 

Research Proposal

Your research proposal must identify a global issue and provide solutions with practical policy recommendations. We recommend you check the OECD and G20 websites and social media before starting your research proposal. A Google 'News' search can also provide useful information. The Global Voices recruitment team looks favourably upon applicants who demonstrate imagination and new ways of thinking.

The research proposal should be no longer than 500 words. Your final policy paper will be no longer than 2500 words.


  • Provide an outline of the questions or issues you wish to answer or solve
  • Demonstrate initial ideas and thoughts around policy recommendations and solutions
  • Plan what and how you are intending to research

Other things to consider:

  • The proposed research is achievable within the required time and with the available resources
  • The extent to which your research has already been covered


You must submit your research proposal in the following structure.

Introduction & Context

  • Outline the issues you wish to discuss and your research aims
  • The questions that the proposed study will investigate and answer
  • Context and background
  • Brief review of the existing research and expert commentary

Proposed Recommendations

  • Provide initial or tentative policy recommendations
  • Recommendations should aim to be as practical as possible
  • Factors which could influence or change your recommendations during the research process

Literature Review/References

  • A brief overview of the current literature
  • A minimum of three proposed resources/references, at least one must be a primary resource
  • How you intend to undertake your research (methodology)

OECD Research Areas

The OECD has four current focuses. We have provided prompts and questions for each listed below. You do not need to address the prompts directly but your proposal must address one of the research areas.

Research area one: Restore confidence in markets and institutions.


1. How can the OECD effectively address citizen concerns over globalisation and open markets?

2. The OECD report (December 2016), 'The squeezed middle class' states: "The declining middle class poses a threat to both economic and political stability. The middle-class plays an essential role in economic growth as well as in the [sic] social and political stability, and improves the strength and quality of democracy and its institutions". What role can the OECD play in combating the erosion of the middle class and restore confidence in globalisation and free trade (if at all)?

3. The OECD report (December 2016) states: "A powerful middle class also helps to combat political polarisation and promote great compromise within government". Explore this idea in the context of the current US or Australian political climate.

Research area two: Sustainable economic growth through public finance.


1. The OECD has stated, "infrastructure investment needs to be substantially increased in most developing and emerging economies to meet social needs and support more rapid economic growth". The OECD has suggested that increased Public Private Partnerships can bridge the financing gap. Provide analysis regarding this assertion.

Research area three: Develop ‘green growth’ innovation strategies.


1. "Harnessing emerging Asia's enormous potential for renewable energy is vital to mitigate climate change and facilitate the transition to a low carbon economy. It also provides opportunities for enhanced energy security, job creation and reduced air pollution." (Mario Pezzini, Director of the OECD Development Centre and Special Advisor to the OECD Secretary General on Development). Discuss.

2. The Asian region has been a leader in the development of renewable energy investment. What role can the OECD play in supporting this development?

3. Identify global case studies and provide analysis on current 'green growth' innovation.

Research area four: Skills development for the future of the labour market


1. The recent US election demonstrated an increasing trend towards protectionist trade policies and demands for manufacturing jobs to return to the United States. Similar sentiments are also being expressed in Australia. Can a traditional manufacturing industry still thrive in Australia or should governments focus on retraining and 'future proofing' the Australian labour market? (See 'Australians almost united in their desire to manufacture more at home' SMH Feb 6 2017)

2. How will migration affect labour markets?

3. How will automation impact the future labour market? What can be done to prepare or mitigate for these possible impacts? Will the impact be different for developing versus developed economies?

Y20 Research Areas

In December 2016, Germany released priorities for their G20 Presidency. We have split up each priority into a research area and provided prompts and questions for each. You do not need to address the prompts directly but your proposal must address one of the research areas.

Research area one: Combating the rise of anti-globalisation and free trade.


1. The anti-globalisation sentiment expressed by President Trump has caused concern within the G20. What is driving this sentiment and what can be done to fix either the real or perceived problems with globalisation? What role can the G20 play in addressing these concerns?

2. What impact will the failure of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have on the G20 negotiations?

3. "Globalization is nothing wrong. But we need to perfect it." (Jack Ma, Alibaba Founder & CEO).

4. What can the Australian government do to ensure globalisation and free trade works for everyone? What impact (either positive, negative or neutral) does globalisation currently have on the Australian economy?

Research area two: Seizing the opportunities of digital technology.


1. In 2016, the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance released a report 'Disrupting the Disruptors,' which proposed how the G20 governments can support young entrepreneurs to "thrive on digital disruption". Flowing from this report, provide policy recommendations which could be adopted by the Australian government.

2. Identify and address policy challenges arising from digitalisation. For example, digital infrustructure, regulation, security, consumer rights, legal frameworks and business models. The G20 report (January 2017), Key issues for digital transformation in the G20, provides a good start off point.

3. How can the spread of digital technology allow better access to financial markets and improve employment opportunities? Provide case studies of emerging markets that are utilising digital technology. What risks and benefits have arisen in either scenario?

4. The rise of the sharing economy and digital disruptors (AirBnb, Uber, AirTasker etc.) requires a rethinking of the measurements of wealth and growth. 

Application Assessment Criteria

Your research proposal and personal statement should demonstrate:

  • Your understanding of the issues and themes related to the summit agenda;
  • Your ideas and interests
  • How the opportunity would help you achieve your goals and ambitions;
  • Your expectations of the summit or forum. 

We also consider:

  • The fluency of your writing and clarity of expression;
  • The depth of analysis and understanding of your chosen research topic;
  • Use of clear structure and 'sign-posting' in the research proposal. We encourage the use of sub-headings. 

N.B. Common feedback we give applicants is to narrow the scope of research. You generally have 6 - 8 weeks to complete your paper, so be realistic as to what you can meaningfully achieve in that time. 

Application Timelines

Our G20 hosts require applications to close a week earlier for the Y20. Please note the different dates.

OECD Forum

Applications Close: Thursday March 16, 5pm AEDT

Assessment Period/Phone Interviews: March 17 - 25

Applicants Notified: Monday April 3

Delegation Announced: Monday April 10


Y20 Summit

Applications Close: Friday March 10, 5pm AEDT

Assessment Period/Phone Interviews: March 11 - 13

Applicants Notified: Thursday March 16

Delegation Announced Monday April 10