Science and Engineering Student Competition Sponsorship Program

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment, through the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer (OCSE), is offering grants to support research by teams of university students attending science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) research competitions held domestically and overseas. The grant is provided for competitions being held from July 2020 to June 2021.

Grants will be awarded to university teams on a competitive basis, and are the primary mechanism by which sponsorship will be awarded for student research competitions by the OCSE.

The judging panel is comprised of OCSE staff, as well as an independent panel member/s.

The 2020-2021 sponsorship round will open in February - March 2020.

For further information about the Science and Engineering Student Competition Sponsorship Program, including eligibility and section criteria, please refer to the 2019 Guidelines for Applicants, available below.

The complete list of successful 2019 SESCSP applicants can be viewed here.

2019 Science and Engineering Student Competition Sponsorship Program Highlights

In June 2019, The University of Sydney's USYD Rocketry Team sent 10 students to compete in the third Spaceport America Cup, held near Las Cruces, New Mexico.

The team entered the 10,000-foot (3048-metre) Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Motor category, competing against over 50 other teams.

Sponsorship from the 2019 SESCSP went towards critical components for Silvereye, the team's rocket.

Silvereye achieved a successful flight. All systems operated nominally as designed, with the rocket reaching an altitude of 10,027 feet, less than 30 feet (nine metres) from the target altitude, and only 12 feet (3.7 metres) away from the design prediction of 10,039 feet from simulation beforehand.

Subsequently, the rocket was successfully recovered using the onboard tracking telemetry system.

The USYD Rocketry Team placed first in the 10,000 feet COTS category, receiving the highest score not only in the 2019 competition, but in the history of the Spaceport America Cup. The team demonstrated the excellence and ingenuity of Australian student engineers in Australia’s first venture in this international arena.

Important dates

  • February-March 2020 Sponsorship Program will open

Application forms and guidelines

Science and Engineering Student Competition Sponsorship Program 2019 Application Form

Science and Engineering Student Competition Sponsorship Program 2019 Guidelines for Applicants

Tips for competition applicants

  • The application form should be filled in correctly and with as much detail as possible within the word limit allowed
  • Focus should be on explaining why the competition is important and how the team’s participation would benefit New South Wales (e.g. its alignment to Premier’s Priorities which can be found at
  • The budgets outlined should not contain discrepancies
  • The applicant should clearly outline why sponsorship is needed, and ensure that funding is used for research purposes

In a highly competitive round, the judging panel will give special consideration to competitions that:

  • Are subjects of potential economic benefit for NSW (e.g. resulting in prospective research partnerships or start-ups; options for further contracted NSW research)
  • Present significant opportunities for the NSW research community (e.g. presenting new research, innovation; creating partnerships, international linkages etc.)
  • Are based on issues important or relevant to NSW (areas of priority for the NSW Government or issues that are of significant importance to the broader community)
  • Detailed and accurate application forms that answer each question to a high standard.


Carl Thompson
Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer
Phone: 02 9338 6617