Scholarship details

Funding Body:

University of Sydney


The Dr John Holt Scholarship for Animal Welfare

Research Areas:

Sciences & Engineering


Postgraduate Research


Starting in 2015, this Scholarship is for the support of an outstanding student who is committed to animal welfare, and who is enrolled in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program with the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney. This scholarship is a competitive merit-based Scholarship, to defray the costs of accommodation and general living expenses beyond University fees and charges.


Dr John Holt was a pre-eminent veterinarian, widely respected in Australia and internationally, who was renowned for his passionate commitment to animal welfare.


Dr Holt established a standard-setting group of private practices in Sydney; lectured at veterinary schools in Ontario and Washington; was appointed as Chairman of the American Animal Hospital Association’s Intensive Care Committee; received the Waltham Award for International Service to the Profession;  was member of the Post Graduate Committee in Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney; was a long term supporter of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA), including his roles as President, recipient and sponsor of the Service to the Profession Award and Board Member of the WSAVA Foundation; co-founded the Australian Small Animal Veterinary Association and sponsored its John Holt Distinguished Service Award; and was founding editor of the Australian Veterinary Practitioner. With his wife Mary, Dr Holt generously supported a wide range of animal welfare organisations. He also became a passionate advocate for animals involved in the live export trade.

Dr Holt was much loved for his honesty, humility and the encouragement he gave to others.  A born teacher, he was mentor to generations of veterinarians, including eight university professors. He regularly sponsored international speakers to veterinary workshops and conferences in Australia.


At the University of Sydney, he has been described as a ‘legend’, and as ‘the elder statesman of veterinary welfare’. 


The Faculty will be selecting from a group of students identified on the basis of exceptional academic achievement, and proven leadership ability in issues related to animal welfare. We will be looking for their commitment to animal welfare, their plan to be a leader in this area, and their willingness to help and inspire others regarding animal welfare issues.


The criteria for selection are:

  • Demonstration of high level of academic achievement.
  • Proven leadership in relation to animal welfare issues.
  • Involvement in extracurricular activities.
  • Personal characteristics that demonstrate a willingness to help and inspire others on issues related to animal welfare.
  • A Commitment Statement regarding the applicant’s vision for animal welfare, both in Australia and globally, and their role or plan to be a leader in this area in the future.
  • Letters from two referees who would be prepared to speak on the applicant’s behalf.


Then, for the continuation of the scholarship:

  • demonstrating annually, exemplary academic progress.


The student must already have completed an undergraduate degree, and full details for admission to the new DVM program are on our website.


Amount awarded:

The Dr John Holt Scholarship for Animal Welfare will provide the successful candidate with $6,000 per year for each year of the DVM program, so $24,000 in total.

Application guide:

If you are interested in applying for The Dr John Holt Scholarship for Animal Welfare, or if you would like more information, please contact:

Contact: Veronica Boulton, Faculty Manager & Sub-Dean (Admissions): Phone: 02 9351 6932 or 0412 331 847.  Email:  

The applications are assessed by a review panel (comprising the Dean, Pro-Dean, Associate Dean Postgraduate Programs, Sub Dean DVM and Sub Dean Admissions) and selected based on the selection criteria.

Applications must be submitted to Faculty Manager, JD Stewart Building, B01, Faculty of Veterinary Science, the University of Sydney.


Closing date:

30 September 2014