Policy

UQ Research Scholarships - Policy

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1. Purpose and Objectives

This policy provides a University-wide framework for managing UQ-administered RHD scholarships. The policy aims to reduce duplication across the University by providing a best-practice model for establishing, offering, awarding, and managing scholarships that integrates seamlessly with the administration of RHD candidature at the University.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Enrolling AOU - Academic Organisational Unit that directly enrols RHD candidates

RHD - Research Higher Degree

Dean - Dean of the UQ Graduate School or delegate

Scholarship Provider - An individual or organisation that funds the scholarship

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy applies to all scholarships administered by the University that provide tuition fee support, a living allowance stipend and/or a top up scholarship to RHD candidates enrolled at the University.

4. Policy Statement

The following principles provide the foundation for this policy.

  • Scholarship recipients are to be treated equitably and consistently, regardless of the source of their scholarship funding.
  • RHD scholarships must be appropriately funded for the duration of candidature.
  • Scholarship providers must conduct a competitive process[1] for selecting scholarship recipients and if requested inform the UQ Graduate School of the nature of the competitive process.
  • In exceptional circumstances, the Dean may waive the requirement for a competitive process to be applied in the award of a scholarship where it can be demonstrated that the skill set of the applicant matches the requirements and it is unlikely that an advertising process would generate more qualified applicants.
  • Scholarship details must be recorded against the candidate record in Si-Net.

A scholarship is defined by the Australian Tax Office as financial aid to a scholar that is awarded on merit. The purpose of a research scholarship is to provide tuition fee support and/or living allowance support to the recipient so that they can enrol at the University as a RHD candidate. The funding for these research scholarships comes from a number of sources including but not limited to:

  • the governments of Australia,
  • the UQ Graduate School,
  • other UQ AOUs (including faculties, institutes, schools and centres),
  • individual and corporate donors to the University,
  • individual and corporate donors to the University via Senate scholarships
  • other organisations.

A research scholarship does not make the recipient an employee of the scholarship provider or the University. The recipient is not required to render services (such as labour) to the scholarship provider or the University as a condition of receiving the scholarship.

5. Scholarship Administration

The UQ Graduate School is responsible for administering all scholarships that provide tuition fee support, a living allowance stipend and/or a top up scholarship to RHD candidates where:

  • the candidate has been awarded the scholarship by the UQ Graduate School, the enrolling AOU, or another UQ organisation unit, or
  • an external scholarship provider has awarded the scholarship and assigned the financial management of the scholarship to UQ.

6. Scholarship Terms and Conditions

All scholarship providers must comply with the terms and conditions outlined in PPL 4.80.01 UQ Research Scholarships – Procedures. Any variations to these terms and conditions must be approved by the Dean and be provided to the candidate in writing. The scholarship provider must seek written agreement to the variation in the terms and conditions from the recipient.

7. Living Allowance Stipends

A living allowance stipend should, at a minimum, match the value of the full-time Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) stipend rate for the current year and be awarded for the duration prescribed in section 7.2 of PPL 4.80.01 UQ Research Scholarships – Procedures.

Approval for the award of a living stipend of lesser value than the full-time APA rate must be granted by the Dean.

If required, scholarship providers must support an extension to the scholarship as prescribed in section 8 of PPL 4.80.01 UQ Research Scholarships – Procedures.

8. Tuition Fee Scholarships

A tuition fee scholarship must meet the full cost of the research quarter tuition fees required by the University during the scholarship duration, as prescribed in section 7.2 of PPL 4.80.01 UQ Research Scholarships – Procedures.

If required, scholarship providers must support an extension to the scholarship as prescribed in section 8 of PPL 4.80.01 UQ Research Scholarships – Procedures.

Tuition fee scholarships do not cover the Student Services Amenities Fee or other student fees that may be introduced by the University from time to time.

[1] Top ups excluded on the basis of the competitive process being applied at the award of living allowance stipend.

Custodians
Dean, Graduate School
Professor Alastair McEwan

Procedures

UQ Research Scholarships - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

These procedures outline the terms, conditions and processes associated with research scholarships.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Enrolling AOU - an Academic Organisational Unit that directly enrols RHD candidates

RHD - Research Higher Degree

MPhil - Master of Philosophy

PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Prof Doc - Professional Doctorate (research) that is administered by the Graduate School

Dean - Dean of the UQ Graduate School or delegate

Scholarship Provider - An individual or organisation that funds the scholarship

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to all RHD candidates enrolled at the University who are in receipt of a research scholarship that is managed by the University.

4. Procedures Statement

These procedures outline the minimum terms and conditions that apply to all scholarships administered by the University that provide tuition fee support, a living allowance stipend and/or a top up scholarship to RHD candidates enrolled at the University.

5. Selection and Award

5.1 The UQ Graduate School chairs a Scholarship Selection Committee that applies a merit based, competitive process for awarding of UQ Graduate School scholarships.

5.2 For all other scholarships providers must conduct a competitive process* for selecting scholarship recipients.

5.3 As a minimum, to meet the requirements of a competitive process, the scholarship must be advertised on UQ Jobs and/or the UQ Scholarships website for at least two weeks.

5.4 It is acknowledged that many externally awarded scholarship schemes will conduct their own merit based selection processes.

5.5 If requested, scholarship providers must inform the UQ Graduate School of the nature of the competitive process and the successful recipient/s via the RHD candidate research scholarship form.

5.6 All scholarship recipients will be provided with a scholarship offer letter from the UQ Graduate School, which will include standard terms and conditions.

5.7 A competitive process is not necessary for scholarship extensions.

* Top ups excluded

6. Commencement

6.1 Recipients must formally accept their scholarship offer.

6.2 The scholarship offer will lapse where a recipient is not enrolled in the RHD program within three months of the start of the research quarter specified in the offer letter.

6.3 For recipients already enrolled in the RHD program, the scholarship offer will lapse where the scholarship has not been activated within three months of the date of award.

6.4 Completion of the commencement webform is required to activate the scholarship.

7. Duration

7.1 Scholarship payments continue for the duration specified in the offer letter or under the scholarship rules. The scholarship is subject to satisfactory progress in the recipient’s RHD program.

7.2 The maximum duration of a scholarship is the equivalent of:

a) two years full-time enrolment in the MPhil program, or

b) three years full-time enrolment in the PhD program, or

c) three years full-time enrolment in a Professional Doctorate Program.

7.3 The duration of a scholarship will be reduced by any periods of study undertaken:

a) towards the degree prior to the commencement of the scholarship, or

b) towards the degree during suspension of the scholarship where the candidate remains actively enrolled in the program.

7.4 Periods of leave, including additional sick leave as prescribed by condition 14.2 and parental leave as prescribed by condition 14.3, are added to the duration of the recipient's scholarship.

7.5 For the purpose of calculating the recipient’s scholarship duration and leave entitlements, the recipient is deemed to conduct research five days a week, from Monday to Friday.

8. Extension

8.1 Unless the scholarship rules specify otherwise, recipients enrolled in:

a) the PhD program may apply to the Dean for an extension of the scholarship up to six months

b) the MPhil and Prof Doc programs are not eligible for an extension of the scholarship.

8.2 Applications for scholarship extensions must demonstrate that the recipient’s progress has been delayed because of circumstances beyond their control that relate to the recipient’s research or RHD program, and that the recipient’s progress is otherwise satisfactory.

8.3 Applications for scholarship extensions must be endorsed by the recipient’s advisory team and the school/institute postgraduate coordinator.

8.4 Extensions will not be granted on the grounds of ill health, employment commitments or other non-academic circumstances.

8.5 Extensions will not be granted if the recipient has not satisfactorily completed the confirmation and mid-candidature review milestones.

8.6 Applications for scholarship extensions must be received by the UQ Graduate School at least two weeks prior to the scholarship expiry date. Applications for extension received outside of this timeframe will not be approved.

9. Living Allowance Stipends

9.1 Stipend rates are indexed annually taking effect from 1 January.

9.2 Stipends are paid into the recipient’s nominated Australian bank account fortnightly.

10. Top Up Stipends

10.1 Top Up rates are not indexed annually.

10.2 The Top Up Assistance Program (TUAP) is indexed annually taking effect from 1 January.

10.3 The Top Up Assistance Program (TUAP) is recalculated for currency fluctuations annually taking effect from 1 January.

10.4 Stipends are paid into the recipient's nominated Australian bank account fortnightly.

11. Enrolment

11.1 Unless otherwise stated in the scholarship rules, a scholarship is granted on the condition that the recipient enrols full-time in the RHD program.

11.2 Scholarship recipients enrolled full-time are required to engage in research and study for the equivalent of a standard five day working week, between the hours of 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday, for at least 48 weeks a year. The actual working hours are to be negotiated with the recipient’s advisory team and the enrolling school/institute.

11.3 Scholarship recipients enrolled part-time are required to engage in research and study for the equivalent of up to 50% of the full-time rate prescribed in condition 11.2. The actual pattern of research and study may vary depending on the recipient’s personal circumstances and other commitments. The actual working hours are to be negotiated with the recipient’s advisory team and the enrolling school/institute.

11.4 Scholarship recipients are not required to complete timesheets on the hours worked; however, they are responsible for maintaining satisfactory progress in their RHD program.

11.5 The Dean may approve a recipient to hold a scholarship while enrolled part-time when the reasons relate to family caring commitments[1], a medical condition (a medical certificate will be required), a disability, or other circumstances that limit the student’s capacity to undertake full-time study.

11.6 Applications to hold a scholarship while enrolled part-time must be endorsed by the recipient’s advisory team and school/institute postgraduate coordinator.

11.7 If the Dean approves a recipient to hold a scholarship while enrolled part-time, the approval only applies while the circumstances specified in the application remain in effect.

11.8 Part-time scholarships are at 50% of the stipend for full-time enrolment.

12. Attendance Mode

12.1 Scholarship recipients may be permitted to change their attendance mode to remote candidature when they are required to conduct their research away from one of UQ’s three main campuses (St Lucia, Gatton, or Herston)[2].

12.2 Requests for remote candidature must be received by the UQ Graduate School at least two weeks prior to the commencement of the period of remote candidature. All requests will be considered by the Dean and must be supported by the recipient’s advisory team and the school/institute postgraduate coordinator.

12.3 Scholarship recipients who wish to change to remote candidature for personal reasons may be required to relinquish their scholarship.

13. Employment and Other Funding

13.1 Scholarship recipients may undertake additional work commitments or paid employment within the hours specified in condition 11.2 only with the approval of the advisory team, the school/institute postgraduate coordinator, and the Dean to a maximum of 270 hours per year.

13.2 Scholarship recipients may undertake additional work commitments or paid employment outside the hours specified in condition 11.2 only with the approval of the advisory team and the school/institute postgraduate coordinator. There are no restrictions on the number of hours the recipient may work as long as it does not impact on the recipient’s ability to maintain satisfactory progress in their RHD program.

13.3 Unless otherwise prescribed in the scholarship rules, a recipient may receive additional stipends from other awards, scholarships, or salary related to the RHD program up to the value of 75% of the UQ living allowance stipend. Any scholarship funding received in excess of 75% of the UQ living allowance stipend will be deducted from the UQ living allowance stipend.

13.4 Any additional tuition fee, living stipend, or top-up scholarships received from other awards or scholarships must be declared to the UQ Graduate School upon receipt of the offer from the awarding body.

13.5 An overpayment of UQ scholarship may result in a request for repayment.

14. Scholarship Leave

Unless otherwise prescribed in the scholarship rules, a scholarship recipient is entitled to the following types of leave:

a) recreation leave

b) sick leave

c) parental leave, and

d) leave without stipend.

14.1 Recreation Leave

14.1.1 A scholarship recipient is entitled to 20 working days paid recreation leave each year of the scholarship that must be taken during the period of the scholarship.

14.1.2 A recipient must apply to the advisory team and their school/institute for approval to take recreation leave.

14.2 Sick Leave

14.2.1 A recipient is entitled to 10 working days of paid sick leave each year of the scholarship.

14.2.2 Sick leave may be accrued, but must be taken during the period of the scholarship.

14.2.3 A recipient must apply to the advisory team and school/institute postgraduate coordinator for approval to take sick leave where the duration of the sick leave is 10 working days or less.

14.2.4 A recipient may be entitled to an additional 60 working days sick leave within the duration of the scholarship for periods of sick leave exceeding 10 working days.

14.2.5 A recipient must apply to the Dean for approval to take sick leave where the duration of the sick leave is more than 10 working days. The application must include:

a) a medical certificate specifying the nature of the illness and the period or approximate period during which the recipient will be unable to work on their research, and

b) the endorsement of the recipient’s advisory team and school/institute postgraduate coordinator.

14.2.6 An application for sick leave for more than 10 working days must be provided to the UQ Graduate School as soon as is practical but not later than two weeks following the first day of leave for the medical condition. The enrolling unit is responsible for acting on behalf of the scholarship recipient where the recipient is unable to do so.

14.2.7 Applications submitted outside of the timelines in 14.2.6 may not be approved and repayment of scholarship funds provided during the period of non-approved leave may be required.

14.2.8 A recipient’s scholarship stipend payments continue for periods of approved sick leave. For periods of sick leave exceeding 10 working days that have been taken in a continuous period and approved by the Graduate School, the scholarship duration is increased by the amount of approved sick leave taken.

14.2.9 A recipient who has exhausted their sick leave entitlements must apply to the Dean for leave without stipend, as prescribed in condition 14.4.

14.3 Parental Leave

14.3.1 Students who have completed 12 months of their scholarship are entitled to paid parental leave during the scholarship.

14.3.2 For the purposes of the conditions relating to parental leave, ‘child’ means a child of the scholarship recipient under the age of one year, except for adoption of a child where ‘child’ means a person under the age of five years who is placed with the scholarship recipient for the purposes of adoption, other than a child or step-child of the recipient or of the recipient’s spouse or a child who has previously lived continuously with the recipient for a period of six months or more.

14.3.3 If the recipient is the primary carer of a child, the recipient is entitled to a maximum of 60 working days paid parental leave during the scholarship.

14.3.4 If the recipient is the partner of the primary carer for a child, the recipient is entitled to a maximum of five working days parental leave during the scholarship.

14.3.5 If the recipient is the primary carer of a child, parental leave must commence:

a) in the period commencing no earlier than six weeks before the birth or adoption of the child, and

b) no later than the birth or adoption of the child.

14.3.6 If the recipient is the primary carer of a child, they must apply to the Dean for approval to take parental leave at least three weeks prior to the first day of leave.

The application must include:

a) a medical certificate or an appropriate document containing proof of birth or adoption, and

b) the endorsement of the recipient’s advisory team and school/institute postgraduate coordinator.

14.3.7 If the recipient is the partner of the primary carer, they must apply to the Dean for approval to take parental leave at least three weeks prior to the first day of leave. The application must include:

a) a certificate from a registered medical practitioner which names their partner, states that she is pregnant and the anticipated date of birth, or states the date on which the birth took place; and

b) the endorsement of the recipient’s advisory team and school/institute postgraduate coordinator.

14.3.8 Scholarship recipients who have exhausted their paid parental leave allocation are able to apply for an unpaid interruption to candidature for each instance of parental leave as prescribed in condition 13.4.

14.4 Leave without Stipend

14.4.1 A recipient must apply to the Dean for approval to take leave without stipend. The application must include:

a) an explanation of the circumstances leading to the request, including appropriate supporting documents, and

b) the endorsement of the recipient’s advisory team and school/institute postgraduate coordinator.

14.4.2 An application for leave without stipend must be provided to the UQ Graduate School at least three weeks prior to the first day of leave. Interruptions related to ill health must be submitted as close to the first day of absence as possible, and no later than two weeks from the first day of absence.

14.4.3 Applications to amend candidature submitted outside of the timelines in 14.4.2 will only be applied retrospectively in extenuating circumstances.

14.4.4 A recipient may take leave without stipend for up to 12 months within the duration of the scholarship. Leave without stipend for periods exceeding 12 months may be approved by the Dean if, in the Dean’s opinion, the following circumstances prevent the recipient undertaking research and study:

a) the recipient’s ill health, or

b) the recipient’s caring responsibilities.

14.4.5 Periods of enrolment in the recipient’s RHD program while on leave without stipend from the scholarship affect the duration of the scholarship, as prescribed in condition 7.3.

15. Change of RHD Program

15.1 Unless otherwise prescribed in the scholarship rules, the recipient of a scholarship may transfer between the MPhil and PhD programs while holding the scholarship.

15.2 If an application to transfer between programs is approved, the maximum duration of the recipient’s scholarship is reset to that of the new program as prescribed in condition 7.2.

15.3 The recipient’s previous period holding the scholarship counts against the maximum duration determined by condition 15.2.

16. Transfer and Termination of Scholarship

16.1 A scholarship awarded by the University is not transferable to another institution.

16.2 The Dean may terminate a scholarship in the following circumstances:

a) a recipient is in breach of a scholarship rule or a condition of the UQ Research Scholarship General Conditions, or

b) the recipient’s RHD candidature is terminated, or

c) the recipient relinquishes the scholarship or withdraws from candidature, or

d) the recipient ceases to be enrolled full-time in the RHD program and has not obtained approval to hold the scholarship while enrolled part-time, or

e) the recipient fails to resume study at the conclusion of a period of scholarship leave and has not obtained approval to extend that leave, or

f) the recipient submits the thesis for assessment, or

g) the recipient fails to make satisfactory progress within the milestone review process, or

h) the recipient has provided incorrect or inaccurate information associated with the scholarship nomination.

16.3 Scholarship stipend payments cease from the date of termination of the scholarship.

17. Scholarship Eligibility Guide

A guide that outlines the eligibility requirements for UQ Graduate School awarded scholarships is contained in the UQ Graduate School Eligibility Guide. The guide is intended to provide assistance to enrolling AOUs when nominating RHD candidates to be included in a competitively awarded scholarship round.

18. Australian Income Tax Exempt Status

The Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997) specifies that income received by way of a research scholarship is exempt from Australian income tax if the following conditions are met:

  • the recipient is enrolled full-time in a RHD program
  • the scholarship is provided principally for educational purposes (that is, for the giving or imparting of instruction to the recipient)
  • the scholarship is not provided on the condition that the recipient becomes or remains an employee of the scholarship provider
  • the scholarship is not provided on the condition that the recipient undertakes to render services (such as labour) to the scholarship provider.


[1] The Anti-Discrimination Act defines family responsibilities as a dependent child of the person, or any other member of the person’s immediate family who is in need of care or support. Immediate family means: the person’s spouse or former spouse; a child of the person or the person’s spouse or former spouse, including an exnuptial child, stepchild, adopted child, or past or present foster child of the person or the person’s spouse or former spouse; or a parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the person or the person’s spouse or former spouse.

[2] Due to Government legislation, international candidates who are in Australia on a student visa cannot change their attendance mode to remote while they are onshore. These candidates can only be recorded as remote when they are outside of Australia.

Custodians
Dean, Graduate School
Professor Alastair McEwan

Forms

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Nomination for Scholarship (UQI Tuition) - Form

Nomination for Scholarship (UQI Tuition) - Form

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Description: 

An international student who holds a living stipend scholarship from another source can be considered for a tuition fee only scholarship from the Graduate School.

Custodians
Dean, Graduate School
Professor Alastair McEwan
Nomination for Scholarship in Round - Form

Nomination for Scholarship in Round - Form

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Description: 

The Graduate School awards APA, IPRS/UQ Centennial, UQI (tuition fee and living allowance), and UQRS scholarships in two rounds each year.​

Consideration in a scholarship round will be for commencement in a specific research quarter, as follows:

  • Round 1 is for students commencing in RQ1 or for currently enrolled students.

  • Round 2 is for students commencing in RQ3 or for currently enrolled students.

Custodians
Dean, Graduate School
Professor Alastair McEwan
Custodians
Dean, Graduate School
Professor Alastair McEwan
Custodians
Dean, Graduate School
Professor Alastair McEwan