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1. Purpose and Objectives

These procedures outline the terms, conditions and processes associated with UQ research scholarships, including the Australian Government Research Training Program.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship – a living allowance scholarship funded by the Federal Government

Australian Government RTP Tuition Fee Offset Scholarships – a scholarship under the RTP to assist with course fees that would otherwise be payable by a HDR student.

Dean - Dean of the UQ Graduate School or delegate

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

FTE – Full-time equivalent

HDR - Higher Degree by Research

Head of Enrolling AOU – means the Head of School, Institute Director, or Executive Dean at a UQ School, Institute or Faculty

MPhil - Master of Philosophy

OSHC – Overseas Student Health Cover, required by all international students studying at UQ on a student visa

Other Research Scholarship – means a scholarship where the selection and award is managed by the enrolling AOU or other scholarship provider and the administration is managed by the UQ Graduate School

PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Professional Doctorate (research) – a professional doctorate at AQF level 10 administered by the UQ Graduate School where at least two thirds of the program is research.

RTP – Research Training Program

Scholarship Provider - An individual or organisation that funds the scholarship

UQ Graduate School Research Training Scholarship – means a scholarship where the selection, award and administration is managed and funded by the UQ Graduate School.

UQ Research Training Fee Offset – a scholarship funded by UQ to assist with course fees that would otherwise be payable by a HDR student.

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to all HDR 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, OSHC allowance, and/or a top up scholarship to HDR candidates enrolled at the University.

5. Delegations

5.1 The functions and powers of the Dean may also be performed or exercised by the Deputy Dean where the Dean is not available or it is otherwise not reasonably practicable for the Dean to perform or exercise the functions and powers.

5.2 The functions of the Head of Enrolling AOU may also be performed by the Postgraduate Coordinator, if approved by the Dean.

6. Application, Selection, and Award

6.1 Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship

6.1.1 The applicant is to indicate their request to be considered for a UQ scholarship on the University’s online application.

6.1.2 If the enrolling AOU has the appropriate academic expertise, facilities, funding and resources to support the applicant in their proposed research project the Head of enrolling AOU may recommend the applicant to the Dean for scholarship consideration.

6.1.3 If the enrolling AOU does not recommend the applicant for scholarship consideration they are to advise the applicant providing the reasons for the decision in writing.

6.1.4 The Dean, UQ Graduate School chairs a Scholarship Selection Committee that applies a merit based, competitive process in order to award living allowance stipends for all candidates and tuition fee offsets for international candidates.

6.1.5 Applicants for scholarship will be scored and ranked according to criteria detailed in the HDR Scholarship Selection Criteria Matrix.

6.1.6 Domestic candidates whose proposed candidature meets the objectives of the Research Training Program scheme will be awarded an RTP Tuition Fee Offset Scholarship.

6.1.7 All scholarship nominees will be advised of the outcome in writing.

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

6.2 UQ Research Training Scholarship

6.2.1 A single application and selection process apply to both the Australian Government RTP Scholarship and the UQ Research Training Scholarship, as outlined in item 6.1 above.

6.2.2 The same terms and conditions for duration, leave, extension, employment and other entitlements under this procedures document apply to both the Australian Government RTP Scholarship and the UQ Research Training Scholarship.

6.3 Other UQ Research Scholarships

6.3.1 Providers must conduct a competitive process* for selecting scholarship recipients.

6.3.2 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.

6.3.3 The scholarship advertisement should provide details on how to apply.

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

6.3.5 If requested, scholarship providers must inform the UQ Graduate School of the nature of the competitive process and the successful recipient/s.

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

6.3.7 An international recipient will be provided with a tuition fee offset if the living allowance stipend meets the minimum terms and conditions outlined elsewhere in these Procedures.

6.3.8 It is acknowledged that an externally awarded scholarship scheme may have its own terms and conditions.

6.3.9 A competitive process is not necessary for scholarship extensions.

*Top ups excluded

7. Commencement

7.1 Recipients must formally accept their scholarship offer.

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

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

7.4 Completion of the commencement web form is required to activate the scholarship.

8. Duration

8.1 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 HDR program.

8.2 The maximum duration of a tuition fee offset scholarship is the equivalent of:

a) two years FTE in the MPhil program, or

b) four years FTE in the PhD program, or

c) the duration specified in the program rules for a professional doctorate (research) program.

8.3 Tuition fees, as detailed in the offer of admission, will be charged on expiry of the tuition fee offset scholarship for the remainder of the program of study.

8.4 The duration of a living allowance scholarship is:

a) two years FTE in the MPhil program, or

b) three years FTE in the PhD program, or

c) the duration specified in the program rules for a professional doctorate (research) program.

8.5 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 payment where the candidate remains actively enrolled in the program.

8.6 Periods of leave, including additional sick leave as prescribed by condition 17.2 and parental leave as prescribed by condition 17.3, are added to the duration of the recipient's scholarship.

8.7 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.

8.8 Approved placements will not affect the payment rate of the RTP living allowance. For effects on the duration, see 9.5 below.

9. Living Allowance Extension

9.1 Unless otherwise stated in the scholarship rules, scholarship recipients enrolled in:

a) the PhD program may apply to the Dean for two extensions of the scholarship each for up to six months.

b) the MPhil and professional doctorate (research) programs are not eligible for an extension of the scholarship.

9.2 Applications for the first extension of scholarship by PhD candidates who have received milestone extensions during candidature must demonstrate that their progress has been delayed because of circumstances beyond their control that relate to research.  Extensions will not be granted on the grounds of ill health, employment commitments, or other non-academic circumstances, which are accommodated under section 17 – Scholarship Leave.

9.3 To apply for a Career Development Scholarship Extension, a candidate must be receiving the first stipend extension at the time of application and not yet have submitted their thesis. For thesis submission, see PPL 4.60.08 Higher Degree by Research Examination – Procedures 8.1.

9.4 Applications for the career development (second) extension must demonstrate that the recipient has engaged significantly, in a sustained manner throughout candidature, in the Career Development Framework. Specifically, to be eligible, applicants must undertake a placement which has been approved by the Dean prior to commencement of the placement activity (for full guidelines see  UQ Career Development Scholarship Extension Guidelines), agree to undertake an oral examination, and to submit their thesis by 3.75 years FTE. The candidate’s progress must also be otherwise satisfactory.

9.5 Applications for scholarship extensions must be endorsed by the candidate’s Principal Advisor and the Head of enrolling AOU.

9.6 To apply for an extension the candidate must have completed the confirmation and mid-candidature review milestones.

9.7 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 later than this will not be approved.

10. Living Allowance Stipends

10.1 Unless otherwise stated in the scholarship rules the stipend rate will be at the base full-time Australian Government RTP Scholarship stipend rate for the current year.

10.2 The base full-time Australian Government RTP Scholarship stipend rate can be found at https://www.education.gov.au/research-training-program.

10.2.1 In strategic scholarship rounds for identified groups (e.g. Indigenous) a stipend rate of up to the maximum full-time Australian Government RTP rate (https://www.education.gov.au/research-training-program) may be provided.

10.3 The base full-time Australian Government RTP Scholarship stipend rate is indexed annually taking effect from 1 January.

10.4 The part-time stipend rate is at 50% of the base full-time Australian Government RTP Scholarship stipend rate.

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

11. Top Up Stipends

11.1 Top Up rates are not indexed annually.

11.2 The Top Up Assistance Program (TUAP) is indexed annually to the base full-time RTP stipend rate taking effect from 1 January.

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

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

11.5 A top up scholarship can only be administered where a candidate is already receiving a base stipend.

12. OSHC Allowances

12.1 Unless otherwise stated in the scholarship rules a UQ Graduate School scholarship for international recipients intending to study in Australia on a student visa will include an allowance for single OSHC.

12.2 Dual family and multi family OSHC allowances may be available upon request.

12.3 Details on how to apply for dual family or multi family OSHC will be provided in the offer letter.

12.4 OSHC will be provided for program duration as specified by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

12.5 OSHC coverage is fixed at acceptance. Upgrades from to single coverage to dual family or multi family will not be available. 

12.6 Unless otherwise stated in the scholarship rules other UQ research scholarships do not include an OSHC allowance.

13. RTP Acknowledgements

Recipients of an Australian Government RTP Scholarship stipend and/or a Australian Government RTP Tuition Fee Offset Scholarship are required to acknowledge the Australian Government’s contribution when, at any time during or after completion of the HDR program, the recipient, HDR Advisor(s), or any other party publishes or produces material such as books, articles, newsletters, or other literary or artistic works which relate to the research project carried out by the recipient of the RTP Scholarship.

The acknowledgment must appear in a prominent place and in an appropriate form and include mention of the recipient’s support through an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship.

14. Enrolment

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

14.2 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 AOU.

14.3 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 14.2. 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 AOU. 

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

14.5 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.

14.6 The Dean may approve a recipient to hold a scholarship part-time while enrolled on an approved concurrent enrolment program where enrolment on the concurrent program is full-time.

14.7 Applications to hold a scholarship while enrolled part-time must be endorsed by the recipient’s advisory team and Head of Enrolling AOU. See PPL 4.60.11 Higher Degree by Research Candidature- Procedures Section 5 on how to change attendance load.

14.8 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.

15. Attendance Mode

15.1 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].

15.2 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 Head of Enrolling AOU.

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

16. Employment and Other Funding

16.1 Scholarship recipients may undertake additional work commitments or paid employment within the hours specified in condition 14.2 only with the approval of the advisory team, the Head of Enrolling AOU, and the Dean to a maximum of 270 hours per year.

16.2 Scholarship recipients may undertake additional work commitments or paid employment outside the hours specified in condition 14.2 only with the approval of the advisory team and the Head of Enrolling AOU. 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 HDR program.

16.3 Scholarship recipients must not be receiving income from another source to support their general living costs while undertaking their HDR program if that income is greater than 75% of their stipend.

Any scholarship funding received in excess of 75% of the UQ living allowance stipend will be deducted from the UQ living allowance stipend.

Income unrelated to the candidate’s HDR program or income received for the candidate’s HDR program but not for the purposes of supporting general living costs is not to be taken into account.

16.4 Any additional tuition fee, living stipend, OSHC, 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.

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

17. 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.

PPL 4.60.10 Higher Degree by Research Leave and Interruption to Candidature outlines specific conditions and how to apply for leave.

17.1 Recreation Leave

17.1.1 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.

17.1.2 A recipient must apply to the advisory team and their enrolling AOU for approval to take recreation leave.

17.2 Sick Leave

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

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

17.2.3 A recipient must apply to the advisory team and Head of enrolling AOU for approval to take sick leave where the duration of the sick leave is 10 working days or less.

17.2.4 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.

17.2.5 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 Head of Enrolling AOU.

17.2.6 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 AOU is responsible for acting on behalf of the scholarship recipient where the recipient is unable to do so.

17.2.7 Applications submitted outside of the timelines in 17.2.6 may not be approved and repayment of scholarship funds provided during the period of non-approved leave may be required.

17.2.8 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.

17.2.9 A recipient who has exhausted their sick leave entitlements must apply to the Dean for leave without stipend, as prescribed in condition 17.4.

17.3 Parental Leave

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

17.3.2 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.

17.3.3 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.

17.3.4 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.

17.3.5 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.

17.3.6 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 Head of Enrolling AOU.

17.3.7 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 Head of enrolling AOU.

17.3.8 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 17.4.

17.4 Leave without Stipend

17.4.1 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 Head of enrolling AOU.

17.4.2 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.

17.4.3 Applications to amend candidature submitted outside of the timelines in 17.4.2 will only be applied retrospectively in extenuating circumstances.

17.4.4 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.

17.4.5 Periods of enrolment in the recipient’s HDR program while on leave without stipend from the scholarship affect the duration of the scholarship, as prescribed in condition 8.4.

18. Change of HDR Program

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

18.2 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 8.2 and 8.4.

18.3 The recipient’s previous period holding the scholarship counts against the maximum duration determined by condition 18.2.

19. Change of HDR Project

19.1 If a recipient changes their research project and remains with the same enrolling AOU and HDR advisor(s) the scholarship will continue without change.

19.2 If a recipient transfers their enrolment to a different enrolling AOU or HDR advisor the scholarship will continue without change if:

            a) the new enrolling AOU support the scholarship under the same terms and conditions.

            b) the new HDR advisor(s) support the scholarship under the same terms and conditions.

            c) the scholarship provider approves the change of HDR project.

20. Transfer and Termination of Scholarship

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

20.2 The Dean may terminate a scholarship prior to its expiry date in the following circumstances:

a) a recipient is in breach of this policy, procedure and guideline or any other condition of of scholarship, as outlined in the letter of offer,

b) the recipient’s HDR candidature is withdrawn or terminated,

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

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

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,

f) For candidates who do not undertake an oral examination component, when the thesis is submitted for examination to the University.

g) Refer to PPL 4.60.08 Higher Degree by Research Thesis Examination Procedures section 9 for thesis submission requirements.

h) For candidates who are requested to undertake an oral examination component, upon completion of the oral examination as approved by the Dean, or upon the date of expiry of the scholarship, whichever is earlier.

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

j) the recipient has provided incorrect or inaccurate information associated with the scholarship nomination,

k) the recipient is successful for a UQ Graduate School living allowance stipend while holding another UQ research living allowance stipend. In this instance the original living allowance stipend may be reduced to a top up at the discretion of the scholarship provider,

l) the recipient transfers their enrolment to a different enrolling AOU or HDR advisor(s).

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

20.4 The Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) and International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS) funded by the Commonwealth of Australia have been withdrawn from 1 January 2017.

Holders of these scholarships will be transferred to the Australian Government RTP Scholarship (APA) and Australian Government RTP Tuition Fee Offset (IPRS) under the terms and conditions outlined in this PPL 4.80.01 UQ and RTP Research Scholarships from 1 January 2017.

21. Supervision and Facilities

21.1 The policy and procedures for minimum expectations of UQ in relation to HDR training can be found in PPL 4.60.02 Higher Degree by Research Candidature Charter.

21.2 The policy and procedures for supervisory practice is included in PPL 4.60.01 Eligibility and Role of Higher Degree by Research Advisors.

22. Enrichment Activities

22.1 All HDR candidates will have access to the Career Development Framework (CDF) the details of which are available at https://cdf.gradschool.uq.edu.au/.

22.2 The policy and procedures that describe research training, including coursework and structured learning can be found in PPL 4.60.09 Research Training.

23. 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 HDR 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.

24. Feedback on Decision

If requested, the Chair of the Scholarship Selection Committee may provide feedback on the scholarship nominee’s rank and score on the HDR Scholarship Selection Criteria Matrix and any key factors that might have caused the Committee to consider the applicant less competitive than others. The Chair is not able to disclose confidential information about other nominees within the pool of applicants considered.

The University does not have an appeal process against the decisions made by a duly constituted selection committee concerning the selection and award of scholarship recipients. The Scholarship Selection Committee has discretion in the relative weighting of selection criteria, the judgement on the merits of applicants against those criteria and in the assessment of potential or ability to undertake an HDR program at UQ.

Any concerns about the scholarship selection process should be referred in the first instance to the Chair of the selection committee.

The Student Grievance Resolution policy sets out the grievance resolution process to be followed for all matters relating to admission to the HDR programs. Formal grievances and appeals by HDR applicants regarding decisions made during selection for admission therefore follow the processes outlined in Student Grievance Resolution and Appeals to Senate by Students.



[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