Scholarships

Supporting Future OAT Prescribers in New South Wales

The OTAC Scholarship assists general practitioners and nurse practitioners in New South Wales to gain accreditation for opioid pharmacotherapy prescribing in the treatment of opioid dependence. It also recognises and encourages professionals to complete their professional development in opioid dependence treatment and contribute to enhancing the accessibility of opioid dependence treatment services, especially for people living in NSW regional areas.

The Scholarship strives in a small way, to provide additional resourcing for medical professionals working in regional and remote areas of NSW; while metropolitan applicants are welcome to apply, their applications will be individually assessed, preference is given to regional and rural applicants.

This new, pilot initiative is funded by the NSW Ministry of Health and administered by the University of Sydney.

The application period for the January – March 2024 quarter is now.
Submissions for applications are open until Thursday 29th of February 2024.

Application Period Applications for the second 2023-2024 OTAC Scholarship round will be accepted until 11:59pm AEDT on Thursday 29th February 2024
Judging of Applications 12th – 20th of March 2024
Outcome of Applications From 21st of March 2024

All applicants will receive an email notification regarding the outcome of their application, approximately one week after the judging process.

Scholarship Information

The OTAC Scholarships is available from October 2023 – December 2024. Each quarter, three successful applicants an OTAC Scholarship, up to the value of $2,000. The Scholarship is paid in two payment instalments:

    1. An initial payment of $750.00 paid after completion of the OTAC educational program;
    2. A second payment of $1,250.00 paid following completion of a placement, accreditation and once the applicant prescribes opioid pharmacotherapy to their first patient, within 12 months of receiving accreditation.

In total, there are 15 OTAC Scholarships available between October 2023 – December 2024.  Up to three successful applicants will receive an OTAC Scholarship per quarter.

  • October – December 2023
  • January – March 2024
  • April – May 2024
  • June – September 2024
  • October – December 2024

Two of the three scholarships will be allocated to general practitioners and/or nurse practitioners who currently work in regional and rural NSW. General practitioners and nurse practitioners who work in metropolitan areas of NSW can apply, however the priority is to award regional and rural applicants.

The definition of regional and rural NSW and metropolitan NSW areas is described in section Rural, Regional and Metropolitan Classifications.

General practitioners or nurse practitioners who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply.

Eligibility Criteria

The Scholarship is open to applicants who meet the following criteria:

  • Applicants must be a general practitioner or nurse practitioner, currently working in general practice or private settings in New South Wales, including Aboriginal Medical Services or other non-government community-based clinics.
  • Applicants must NOT be working substantively in the public setting, such as Local Health Districts or Specialty Networks. If across multiple clinics or services, applicants must allocate most of their hours in a private practice or general practice setting.
  • Applicants must be a member of a relevant professional college or organisation. For instance:
    • General practitioners may be a member of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), and/or The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).
    • Nurse practitioners may be a member of Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia (DANA) and/or a member of Australian College of Nurse Practitioners (ACNP). In addition, a nurse practitioner must be within scope to prescribe opioid pharmacotherapies for the treatment of opioid dependence within their work role.
  • Applicants must be an unaccredited prescriber. This means either an applicant does not currently hold accreditation to prescribe opioid pharmacotherapies from the NSW Ministry of Health, Opioid Pharmacotherapy Subcommittee, or have not previously held accreditation in NSW.
  • Applicants must have a relevant AHPRA Registration that has not been cancelled, disqualified, or prohibited (either currently or previously), or contain any conditions, undertakings, or reprimands (either currently or previously) that would prevent completion of accreditation.
  • Applicants must be interested in the NSW Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) and want to support the safe prescribing of opioid pharmacotherapies in their own practice/clinical setting.

The NSW Local Health District area classifications will be used to determine rural or regional and metropolitan applications. Rural and regional applicants must work in any regional or rural area, excluding metropolitan areas in NSW.

    • NSW Regional and Rural Areas:
      • Central Coast, Far West, Hunter New England, Illawarra Shoalhaven, Mid North Coast, Murrumbidgee, Northern NSW, Southern NSW, Western NSW. In addition, a regional or rural area will also encompasses the NSW portion of the Albury-Wodonga Health Service.
    • NSW Metropolitan Areas:
      • Nepean Blue Mountains, Northern Sydney, South Eastern Sydney, South Western Sydney, Sydney, and Western Sydney.

    For more information on these geographic boundaries, please visit the NSW Health website.

    The OTAC Scholarships Selection Committee reviews and judges all applications. The Committee may gather additional information if its members feel it is necessary to reach a final decision.

    The Scholarship will be paid in instalments as the successful applicant completes their course, a clinical placement for accreditation, and commences prescribing opioid pharmacotherapies to patients in their practice.

    • An initial payment of $750.00 paid after completion of the OTAC educational program and completion of a clinical placement;
    • A second payment of $1,250.00 paid following accreditation and once the applicant prescribes opioid pharmacotherapy to their first patient, within 12 months of receiving accreditation.

    The final payment is processed following accreditation when the applicant completes the declaration form confirming they have treated at least one patient as an accredited OAT prescriber within a 12-month period.

    Apply Now

    To apply for an OTAC Scholarship, please complete the online form and upload your APHRA registration and 2-page curriculum vitae (CV). The application form will ask the following questions:

      1. Tell us about your recent experience in providing alcohol and other drug services and treatment to assist people who use drugs? (100 words or less)
      2. Have you prescribed opioid pharmacotherapies (i.e., methadone or buprenorphine) for the treatment of opioid dependence in the last six months?
      3. How many opioid dependent clients do you currently provide treatment for?
      4. Describe the potential need for prescribing opioid pharmacotherapies for treating opioid dependence at your workplace(s). (100 words or less)
      5. How many opioid dependant clients do you expect to treat in the future? (i.e., What is the potential need for future opioid pharmacotherapies in your workplace?)
      6. If you were to obtain accreditation as a prescriber of opioid pharmacotherapies within the next year, do you intend to prescribe opioid pharmacotherapies in your current workplace?
      7. Why are you interested in completing the Opioid Treatment Accreditation Course (OTAC) and becoming an accredited opioid prescriber in NSW? (100 words or less)

    This information supports the OTAC Scholarship Selection Committee to consider the best candidates based on current and future caseloads (needs basis) should more than three suitable candidate applications be received. It also helps us understand your commitment to prescribing OAT and your future role in improving access to OAT treatment in NSW.

    To commence an application, click the Apply Now button on this web page or visit: https://redcap.sydney.edu.au/surveys/?s=C4X3CWLR77H8RDMJ

    The OTAC Scholarship application and award period runs on a quarterly basis between October 2023 and December 2024.

    • October – December 2023
    • January – March 2024 (Now Open)
    • April – June 2024
    • July – September 2024
    • October – December 2024

    The application period for the January – March 2024 quarter is now.
    Submissions for applications are open until Thursday 29th of February 2024.

    Application Period Applications for the first 2023-2024 OTAC Scholarship round will be accepted until 11:59pm AEDT on Thursday 29th February 2024
    Judging of Applications 12th – 20th of March 2024
    Outcome of Applications From 21st of March 2024

    All applicants will receive an email notification regarding the outcome of their application, approximately one week after the judging process.

    Fine Print

    Have a question? To learn more about the 2023-2024 OTAC Scholarship

    Email: otac.info@sydney.edu.au
    Phone: 02 9515 6419 during regular business hours on Monday – Thursday.