Frequently Asked Questions

GERRIC Student Programs

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline for the September program is 30 July, 2017. If you wish to apply for a scholarship, please ensure that it is submitted by 27 July, 2017.

What are the selection criteria for children to qualify for a GERRIC workshop?

Listed below is the selection criteria for any student wishing to attend the GERRIC Student Programs. It is the responsibility of the parent and/or caregiver to read the below and make sure that the student meets the criteria.

Qualifying selection criteria for the Junior Scientia or Scientia Challenge program (at least ONE of the following):

• Scored at or above the 95th percentile (I.Q. 125+) on an individual or group I.Q. test; or scored at or above the 95th percentile on a subscale (e.g. verbal or performance) of an individual I.Q. test

• Scored at or above the 95th percentile on a standardised test of achievement in any academic subject area

• Scored within the top band on the NAPLAN in any subject area

• Gained placement in a full time, self-contained class for academically gifted students (e.g. Opportunity Classes in NSW Schools)

• Obtained an academic scholarship of some description

• Gained a Distinction or High Distinction in the Australian Schools Science or English Competitions, the Australian Primary Mathematics Competition, or the International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) tests (any subject)

• A letter from the school confirming that the student's academic potential in any/all subject areas is within the top 5% of the student population

In addition, all students are expected to be able to behave in a manner that respects the safety and learning needs of others.

How much do the programs cost?

Program fees are $365 per student. This price covers the whole three days of the program and is inclusive of GST. 

What payment options are available?

Payment can only be made by credit card using our online payment system. Instructions for payment will be sent to you if your child is placed in a workshop. Separate payments are required for each application and term (i.e. if you have more than one child applying each application will require payment, and a child participating in both January and July must re-apply and pay two application fees).

If you are experiencing financial difficulty we encourage you to apply for a scholarship. Some students also seek sponsorship independently from their schools or local businesses or community organisations. You may also contact GERRIC to discuss a payment plan.

Do the kids attend multiple workshops or just one?

Each workshops run for the full three days and content is cumulative. Each student is only placed in ONE workshop per season (January or July), which lasts for the whole three days.

If there is more than one workshop your child is interested in, please rank your top three preferences on the application form to improve your chances of being placed if the first choice is not available.

Please only list workshops on your application form that your child would be willing to attend.

What scholarships are available?

There are three scholarships available for families with financial hardship: the Lauren Kipic Memorial Scholarship (available in January only), the Tim Huang Scholarship (available in July only), and the Professor Miraca Gross Scholarship (available in January and July for sponsorship for EITHER session, not BOTH). These cover the workshop fees. The student’s family is responsible for travel and all other associated costs.

Click here for more information on how to apply for a scholarship.

If I change my mind about wanting to attend the program after making my payment, can I get a refund?

Please refer to our Terms, Conditions, and Refunds policy.

Do I need to supply copies and proof of the selection criteria with my application?

Those applying for a scholarship or advanced placement must submit proof of meeting the selection criteria. Other applicants do not have to formally submit or supply copies or proof of the selection criteria, however, you must be able to supply proof to GERRIC upon request.

How does GERRIC allocate students to workshops?

Places are NOT allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications are reviewed after the application deadline when all applications have been received. We attempt to place as many students as possible in their first or second workshop choice. However, we usually receive more applications than there are places available for workshops. Places are allocated on the grounds of equity and need (with priority given to twice-exceptional, rural/remote, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, and non-English-speaking background students) and are the final decision of GERRIC.

How can my child apply for advanced placement in a workshop?

All workshops are pitched a level two years higher than students’ age-peers. However, GERRIC recognises the need for flexibility to offer exceptionally gifted students the option of advanced placement in our programs.

Example 1: Students in Year 2 with a demonstrated capacity to engage with the accelerated curriculum of the GERRIC Year 3-4 workshops (i.e. curriculum at the Year 5-6 level) may apply

Example 2: Students who are in Year 3 or 4 may apply for special consideration to attend a Year 5 & 6 course

Advanced placement requests must be in writing and include a copy of proof of selection criteria. All students are expected to be able to behave in a manner that respects the safety and learning needs of others. The final placement decision is that of GERRIC.

When will I find out if my child has been placed?

We do not allocate placements on a first-come, first-served basis but rather place students after the application deadline. We attempt to notify parents of placement outcomes as soon as possible after this deadline, usually within 5-10 working days. Placement letters are sent by email to the address provided on the application form.

For the January programs, does Year 3-4, 5-6, etc refer to the student's previous or upcoming year of school?

Most families opt for the higher level when a student's year at school falls on the cusp between one or more of our designations.

e.g. a student who will start Year 3 the following February is eligible to apply for the Year 3-4 workshops, and a student who will start Year 5 the following February is eligible to apply for the Year 5-6 workshops.

However, if the topic of a workshop in the lower bracket is particularly appealing to a student, or if a parent believes that level to be more socially appropriate for their child, they may apply for a workshop at that level.

e.g. a student who has just finished Year 4 may apply for a Year 3-4 workshop if desired.

I’m interested in becoming a GERRIC workshop presenter. How can I apply?

We always welcome new workshop proposals from talented teachers with an interest in gifted education. Please note that workshops are developed individually by each presenter based on their own passions and expertise, so to apply you must propose the workshop topics and develop your own curriculum/lesson plans – GERRIC does not provide lesson plans.

Learn more and apply!

Are all your programs about science? Why are they called "Scientia"?

"Scientia" simply means "knowledge" in Latin, and is part of the UNSW motto Scientia Manu et Mente, "knowledge by hand and mind." The GERRIC Junior Scientia and Scientia Challenge programs offer workshops about a range of subjects, from science to art, literature, music and new technologies.

What measures are in place to ensure student safety while at the programs?

All GERRIC staff, both teaching and non-teaching, have Working With Children Checks and anaphylaxis response training. The GERRIC Coordinator is certified in First Aid and CPR. UNSW Security is alerted to the presence of the students on campus, and all students wear name tags throughout the programs with emergency contact numbers and instructions in case they or others they may encounter on campus need to contact the GERRIC coordinator. Students are always kept with their group and should not ever be alone on the campus (they visit the toilet in pairs or with one of the classroom assistants). Students must bring their lunches and are not allowed to visit campus eateries.

Students may only leave at the end of the day with a parent or guardian. If you would like to arrange alternative pickup or drop-off arrangements for your child, please indicate this on your application form or email gerric@unsw.edu.au.

When and where do the Student Programs take place?

All programs take place from 8:45am - 3:30pm, at the UNSW Kensington Campus.

While many of the programs, particularly for younger children, are concentrated in one building, other workshops take place in various buildings across campus in order to take advantage of science and computer labs, music and recording studios, and other specialised equipment needs. Each workshop meets in a specific room or lab and students are to be picked up and dropped off from the workshop location. Location information is sent to parents when placements are finalised.

We recognise that navigating the campus can be difficult and encourage families to plan ahead knowing that multiple siblings or friends with whom you may be carpooling may have students placed in different workshop locations. GERRIC staff are happy to wait with students if it takes you a little extra time to pick up students from multiple locations, however, we do not have enough staff to walk individual students to particular pick-up and drop-off locations. This is for the safety of all students and to ensure we know where every student is at all times.

Parking is always a challenge at universities and UNSW is no exception; we encourage you to use public transit if possible.

What accommodation is available if we are coming from out of town?

Please click here for a list of accommodation options we have compiled.

What if I have another question that’s not answered here?

Please read these Frequently Asked Questions carefully and then contact us with any additional queries.