Sinclair-Nelson Drawing scholarship

The Sinclair-Nelson Drawing Scholarship will be awarded annually by the Victorian Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects. The scholarship is intended to:

  • Recognise and celebrate excellence as well as future potential in hand drawn architectural drawing. 
  • Bring greater attention within the profession as well as wider public to the value of hand drawn architectural drawing. 
  • Provide an opportunity for the winner to deepen their knowledge and skills of hand drawn architectural drawing. 
  • Contribute to the understanding and discourse surrounding hand drawn architectural drawing within Victoria and beyond.


The Scholarship is funded from a generous donation from the proceeds of the sale of works from an exhibition of architectural drawings in 2023 curated by Robert Sinclair LFRAIA and Roger Nelson FRAIA. The exhibition featured drawings donated by:

Jon Clements, Peter Elliott, Kerstin Thompson, Des Smith, Peter Maddison, Shelley Penn, Paul Katsieris, Mark Jacques, Alex Selenitsch, Peter Williams, Fiona Dunin, James Staughton, Bob Sinclair, Nigel Bertram, Nigel Fitton, David Leece, Roger Nelson, David Balestra, Amy Muir, Karen Alcock, Hamish Lyon, Chris Connell, Jan van Schaik, Peter Felicetti, Anna Dutton, Peter Davidson, Rachel Hurst, Peter Dredge, Sue Robey, Karl Fender, Lucinda McLean, Peter Malatt, Ray Cheung, Emma Jackson, John Wardle, Katica Pedisic, Patrick Ness, Jill Garner, and Rob Watson


Recipients will receive:

  • Scholarship to be used for education and travel valued at $10,000
  • Complimentary Institute membership for one year
  • Certificate and citation
  • 2 complimentary tickets to the Victorian Chapter’s end-of-year honours event.


The Scholarship will be open to all Master of Architecture students studying at a Victorian university currently accredited by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA).

Entrants must also be current SONA members of the Victorian Chapter of the Institute.


The jury will be comprised of five jurors:

  • 3 representatives of the Exhibition organisers.
  • A contributor to a previous Exhibition.
  • An academic, teacher, professional artist or critic nominated by the Victorian Chapter.


The jury will select a winner solely on the merits of their application according to the following criteria:

  • Skills and creative merit as demonstrated in the submitted portfolio of works by hand;
  • Quality of the research proposal including the value of the proposed research to the field and the demonstrated potential of the applicant to realise their ambitions.


Entrants must submit the following to the Victorian Chapter by the published deadline:

  • A portfolio of six (6) works by hand of which they are sole author/creator. Works must be created by hand without the assistance of computers. Works should be clearly labelled and captioned on the back/reverse. All works should be sized minimum A3 and maximum A1. Works should be sent to the Victorian Chapter unframed in a presentation folder. The portfolio should consist of:
    • One (1) primary work by hand. This will be used for the Institute exhibition (below).
    • Five (5) additional hand-drawn architectural drawings showing any of: section, elevation, perspective, cross-section or elevation.
  • Research Proposal: up to 1,500 words outlining research objectives and ambitions including contribution to the field and profession as well as proposed outcomes and presentation. Proposal should include proposed educational course including timeline, tuition and travelling expenses. Scholarship value is $10,000. Delivered as a PDF in the digital submission email.
  • Material for promotional purposes (included in the digital submission email. Not included in judging materials):
    • A single-sided 1-page CV or biography
    • 1 x headshot

Drawing Portfolio should be delivered to the Victorian Chapter by the published deadline:

Victorian Chapter – Drawing Prize
L4/ 41 Exhibition St., Melbourne. 3000.
(Or entrants can leave portfolio at the Level 4 Reception)

All other material (Research Proposal, CV/biography and headshot) should be sent in a single email to with  “Drawing Prize” in the subject line by the published deadline.


  • All entrants agree that their entry drawings may be displayed on Institute online platforms and channels on an ongoing basis including websites, social media, and video platforms.
  • Entry drawings may also be published in Institute publications and shared with the media for promotional purposes.
  • All images will be credited, and copyright is fully retained by the entrant.
  • The Institute may organise an exhibition – in person and/or online – at which some or all entry drawings are displayed. Entrants agree the Institute will have custody of the drawings for a period of six months from the entry deadline for this purpose after which they will be available for collection by entrants at the Institute offices.


  • Scholarship recipients must present their research findings to an Institute forum within 1 year of winning. The location and format of the forum will be agreed with the recipient.
  • The decision of the judges is final. No feedback or correspondence will be entered into.
  • Entrants must be individuals. No joint entries will be accepted. Only one entry per individual may be submitted each year.
  • Entrants confirm that they are the sole creator/author of the submitted drawings. All creators with legal and/or moral rights to a drawing must consent to the submission and be properly credited.
  • Jurors and entrants must notify the Chapter of any actual or potential conflict of interest at the earliest opportunity.
  • In the event that a juror is unable to participate in the judging, the Chapter will appoint a replacement.

For questions related to Victorian Chapter prizes and scholarships, please email

Drawing by Robert Sinclair LFRAIA
1 Mar 2024 Scholarship Terms of Reference promoted on Institute channels
5 pm Fri, 4 Oct 2024 Deadline for submissions to Vic Chapter
Oct 2024 (TBC) Exhibition and Winner Announcement

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