​The Nursing and Midwifery Office, NSW Ministry of Health, is offering scholarships of up to $15,000 to encourage nurses and midwives across NSW to implement innovative projects that will drive improvements in areas of the public health system. Nurses and midwives are at the forefront of healthcare delivery and are in the best position to drive innovation and excellence in care.

The aim of the innovation scholarships are to:

  • enhance nursing and midwifery in providing high quality, appropriate, safe, available services when and where needed
  • support care that is coordinated and responsive to individual needs
  • enhance cultures of staff wellbeing to support nursing and midwifery practice and improve service delivery and patient care
  • apply new models of care and approaches, to strengthen nursing and midwifery practice

Innovation scholarships are intended to enable nurses and midwives to trial and apply new ideas and innovations, that cannot be implemented without funding support (ie seed funding). They are not intended to fund the research component of projects.

Do you have an innovative project in mind?

If so, consider the following:

An innovative approach is usually something that has not been tried before, or a new approach to an existing problem or issue.  The project should focus on person-centred care where patient and staff safety is enhanced, where the patient has a better experience and is informed and involved in decisions.

The application should demonstrate how the innovation will enhance nursing or midwifery practice to improve service delivery and patient care. Scholarships are available in all areas of nursing and midwifery practice within NSW public health services.

Focus areas include:

  • quality and safety
  • integrated care
  • mental health services
  • NSW State Health Plan - Towards 2021
  • compassionate practice
  • enhancing workplace culture and staff wellbeing

If you have not been involved in preparing a submission for an innovation scholarship before, you are encouraged to seek assistance from other nurses and/or midwives in your local health district/specialty network who have this experience, or contact the Nursing and Midwifery Office.

Eligibilty and conditions

  •  The lead person must be a nurse and/or midwife who is a permanent full or part time employee of the NSW public health system
  • Applicant teams must primarily be nurses and/or midwives employed in the NSW public health system, at least 80% of the team
  • Funding will not be provided for services that are considered to be core business of local health districts/specialty networks
  • Applications should be limited to 2000 words or less
  • Applications will be considered from individuals or teams
  • Funding cannot be used for tertiary education or other courses
  • Only up to 25% of funding requested can be provided for items of capital expenditure, travel, accommodation, equipment or other similar expenses
  • A letter of support for the project is required from the local health district/specialty network Director of Nursing and Midwifery
  • The team leader is responsible for dissemination of the outcomes of the project to other local health districts/specialty networks
  • Submissions previously funded by a NSW Ministry of Health Nursing and Midwifery innovation scholarship will not be considered
  • The project is to be completed within 12 months of receiving funding
  • The team leader will be required to provide a progress summary report to the Nursing and Midwifery Office 6 months after project commencement, and at the completion of the project at 12 months

The Nursing and Midwifery Office may publish information on successful applications on the NSW Ministry of Health website.

Planning your project

  • Idea generation: What form of innovation could solve the problem?
  • Feasibility: Is this innovation practical to implement and accurate?
  • Efficacy: Can the innovation deliver expected outcomes under best possible circumstances?
  • Replicability and adaptability: Can the innovation reproduce the same outcomes under different conditions?
  • Effectiveness: Does the innovation deliver expected outcomes under operational conditions in the health system?
  • Scalability: How can the innovation achieve sustained outcomes once integrated into the health system?

Step 1 - Why?

  • What do you want this project to do?
  • What is your aim?

The aim should be an overall statement of what you want the project to do.


  • Be specific - one aim is best. It will help focus your ideas
  • Identify the improvements
  • Will new ways of doing things continue after the project?
  • Can it be used across the health system?

Step 2 - What?

Ask yourself what are the project's objectives and expected outcome? An objective is specific and should have measurable outcomes and time lines. It will define exactly what it is you want to achieve and what change the project will make.

  • What is the specific change you and your team want to accomplish?
  • Set your objectives
  • Include the process for evaluation in your plan. This way you can gather information as you go along rather than waiting until the end
  • Meet on a regular basis with team members as new issues may arise

Step 3 - How?

Establish the outline of the project.

  • Think about the different parts of the project and how they will take shape
  • From this you can develop a detailed work plan
  • Identify the resources you will need, eg. funding, people, materials etc.
  • How will you measure success?

Step 4 - Who?

  • Think about who should be involved in the project
  • Decide who will manage the project and how it will be managed
  • Ensure that your local health district/specialty network will support the project
  • You may like to find a mentor who you can bounce ideas off
  • Make sure people involved in the project are committed
  • To ensure that people are supportive and committed to the project involve them in the planning stage

Step 5 - When?

Make decisions about the time frame for the project. Once you have decided what the activities are you can prepare a timetable and chart for them.

Identify important dates on the calendar. These will include:

  • significant activities
  • important dates, eg. progress report and deadlines
  • set aside enough time for each activity
  • plan time to review progress
  • if the project can be used throughout the health system plan how to communicate and implement the innovation to other local health districts/specialty networks

Develop a project plan

Developing a project plan is the beginning of any project. Take time in the early stages to define exactly what you want to do and how to do it.


  • be specific and keep it simple
  • work in a team
  • allocate tasks
  • gain support from your local health district/specialty network Director of Nursing and Midwifery for your application
  • be clear about your intention
  • the project may have many parts, ask yourself what is the overall aim
  • what are the specific actions that you want to achieve? What will be the results of the projects activities? What will change? Who will benefit?
  • consider how you will go about achieving what it is that you want to do
  • you must be able to identify the result or outcome of the project

Application form and important dates

Application open on 18 March 2019 and close on 26 April 2019.

Please complete the Innovation scholarship application form, obtain a letter of support from your LHD/SN Director of Nursing and Midwifery, and email to Nursing and Midwifery Office.

Successful applicants will be notified approximately 4-6 weeks after the close date.

Funding will be provided to local health districts/specialty networks via budget supplementation from the Nursing Midwifery Strategy Reserve in 2019/2020.

Further information

Please contact the Nursing and Midwifery Office by email or phone (02) 9391 9528 if you require more information. ​

Page Updated: Thursday 9 January 2020
Contact page owner: Nursing and Midwifery