Information on ABC Travelling Fellowships

Every two years, an Australian orthopaedic surgeon is selected by members of the Board of Directors of AOA to join six other ABC Fellows in the United Kingdom for a five-week tour of orthopaedic centres in North America. The Fellowship offers the recipient an exceptional academic experience and is very highly regarded by all participating orthopaedic associations.

This prestigious Fellowship has been provided to enable younger orthopaedic surgeons to visit North America and acquaint themselves first-hand with orthopaedic practice and research in the US and Canada. The itinerary typically covers a five-week period from late April to early June. Fellowships are available every second year, in even-numbered years, with interviews taking place the previous year.

ABC Travelling Fellows usually visit 20 or more orthopaedic centres in 15 or so cities. The itinerary is arranged by the host association with expenses paid by the host. An orthopaedic surgeon is designated as the official host to the ABC Fellow in each location.

As part of the tour the successful applicant also attends the Annual Scientific Meetings of the American and Canadian Orthopaedic Associations and may be invited to present a paper on their research at those meetings.

It is expected that ABC Fellows from Australia, South Africa and New Zealand will travel to London and join the four UK Fellows before travelling as a group to the US. The British Orthopaedic Association hosts a small farewell dinner for the Fellows, provides advice and suggestions regarding the tour and provides accommodation in a London hotel, as well as transfers to the airport for the flight to the US.

After selection, the ABC Fellow is notified of the program for the visit by the American Orthopaedic Association through the Chairman of the AOA ABC Travelling Fellowship Committee.

It is generally not possible to modify the itinerary to incorporate other non-tour activities (e.g. other meetings or personal reasons) and all requests would only be granted after consideration by Australian, as well as the hosting American and Canadian Orthopaedic Associations. Such request should be made well in advance if possible. 

The American Orthopaedic Association organises and pays for all internal flights within the US. AOA pays for flights from Australia to London and from the US to Australia (generally as an around the world economy class fare). The ABC Fellow will arrange these flights after consulting the British Orthopaedic Association (to find out the date of the dinner in London) and the American Orthopaedic Association (to find the date and the city of departure from the US). The ABC Fellow will arrange for AOA to pay for travel through their designated travel agent and should consult the CEO of AOA concerning details of this arrangement.

Costs associated with attendance at the meetings (registration, accommodation, etc. are covered by the American and Canadian Orthopaedic Associations). 
The selected Fellow travels as a representative of AOA, their country, State and training program and must demonstrate high level diplomatic and ambassadorial skills. The Fellow should also have broad experience in the academic, administrative and social aspects of Australian orthopaedic practice and have good communication skills.

The Selection Committee aims to select an orthopaedic surgeon who has made a strong contribution to orthopaedic research and clinical practice in Australia and who can effectively communicate their contribution to other orthopaedic surgeons. They should also demonstrate a willingness to learn from their experience abroad and to use their experience for the good of the Australian orthopaedic community.

An essential criterion for selection is evidence that an applicant has been active in the orthopaedic community in areas other than research and clinical practice. Specifically, applicants should have a strong background in administrative and teaching activity in orthopaedics.

In addition, the successful applicant will have a strong sense of community awareness and demonstrate the potential to become a leader in the Australian orthopaedic community.
Australian applicants for ABC Travelling Fellowships must be under the age of 45 years at 31 December in the year before taking up the award and must be a Fellow or Associate Member of AOA at the time of selection interview. 
All applicants are expected to make themselves available for interview by members of the Board of Directors of AOA. Interviews are normally held on the Sunday preceding the Annual Scientific Meeting in the city in which the ASM is being held.
Application forms are available from the Fellowships Manager, Australian Orthopaedic Association, Level 12, 45 Clarence Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, or via the AOA website at For further information, please contact the Fellowships Manager on 02 8071 8000, or email to

Applications close on 30 June in the year before the Fellowship becomes tenable. Late applications are not accepted. Applicants must include a full CV and a recent photograph with their application. The CV must be prepared according to the Guidelines for Preparation of Curriculum Vitae attached to the Application Form.

Applicants must nominate two sponsors (see details on form) and are responsible for ensuing their letters of recommendation reach AOA within one month of the application closing date.


ABC Travelling Fellowship history

Read about the history of the ABC Travelling Fellowships.


ABC Travelling Fellowship articles

Read articles from past AOA ABC Travelling Fellows.