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Higher Degree by Research Scholarship Policy and Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship Policy
1. Purpose:
  1. This policy provides a framework for the establishment, award and management of higher degree by research (HDR) scholarships at the University of Canberra.
2. Scope:
  1. This policy applies to:
    • all staff and higher degree by research (HDR) candidates at the University of Canberra; and
    • applicants to University of Canberra higher degree by research courses.
  2. This policy does not apply to:
    • scholarships for undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students; and
    • scholarships offered and administered by organisations external to the University. 
  3. The responsibilities detailed in this policy apply to scholarships awarded and managed by the University.
  4. The scholarships which are covered by the framework of this policy are the:
    • scholarships offered under the Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP);
    • University funded scholarships (funded centrally or by a faculty or research institute); and
    • externally funded scholarships managed and administered by the University.
  5. HDR scholarship recipients who are studying in Australia on an international student visa are first and foremost subject to the study and leave requirements of their visa. Any leave or suspension of scholarship entitlements for international student scholarship recipients must comply with the relevant sections of the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007 (the National Code 2007) established under the Educational Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (the ESOS Act 2000).
3. Principles:
  1. The purpose of HDR scholarships is to attract and support candidates to undertake a higher degree by research at the University.
  2. The following arrangements are included within the definition of a ‘scholarship’:
    • Provision of a stipend (living allowance) for a fixed time period during a candidate’s enrolment in a HDR course;
    • Provision of a RTP Fees Offset for eligible domestic or international HDR candidates;
    • Provision of tuition fees  for international HDR candidates (referred to as a fee sponsorship); and
    • The award of a specific monetary amount for the purposes of supplementing a stipend scholarship (referred to as a top-up scholarship)
  3. For the purpose of this policy, the definition of scholarship excludes ‘short term’ and/or ‘one-off’ funding that could be considered as a prize or a bursary.
Establishment and award of scholarships
  1. The establishment of a scholarship may be proposed by any person, group or organisation within or outside the University.
  2. Each scholarship will be governed by its own conditions of award.
  3. The conditions of award for each scholarship will ensure that:
    • it is offered on the basis of acceptable academic or other criteria;
    • administrative procedures uphold the principles of equal opportunity, and enable the scholarship to be administered in a fair manner, in accordance with the conditions of a specific scholarship; and
    • no unacceptable conditions are placed on the University, its staff or its HDR candidates.
  4. The conditions of award for each scholarship will provide information on, or refer to relevant information on:
    • Eligibility criteria
    • Application and selection
    • Stipend rate and duration, including extension options (if applicable)
    • Scholarship entitlements or allowances
    • Options for candidature changes, including but not limited to, part-time study, course transfers, employment, concurrent study, placements or external research opportunities
    • Transferring and continuing students
    • Termination
    • Grievances
  5. The establishment of a scholarship will be subject to the approval of the Academic Director, Graduate Research, who will ensure that:
    • the conditions of a scholarship fulfil the criteria specified above;
    • in establishing the scholarship, the University is not exposed to any risk, financial or otherwise; and
    • the donor is acceptable to the University.
  6. If the conditions of a specific scholarship or its name or value are unsuitable or become impractical, the Academic Director, Graduate Research (or nominated delegate) will consult with the person or donor who initiated its establishment and seek to have the problem addressed. If the matter cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of the University, the Council may decide that the scholarship not be offered.
Award of Scholarships
  1. Application and assessment for the award of HDR scholarships is detailed in the HDR Scholarship Application and Assessment Procedures.
  2. Applicants must meet the prescribed eligibility requirements (as set out in the conditions of award) to be considered for selection for a scholarship.
  3. A scholarship will not be awarded if there is no applicant of sufficient merit.
  4. A scholarship will be awarded in any given year only if there are sufficient funds available to meet its cost.
  5. All applications will be held in confidence by those involved in the scholarship nomination and selection process, until the outcomes have been finalised.
  6. The applicant must agree to the conditions of award upon accepting the scholarship.
  7. Continued eligibility for scholarships will be assessed formally through the Annual Review of Progress process.
Facilities and Supervision
  1. All candidates admitted to a HDR course, including scholarship recipients, will be supported by a panel of appropriately qualified and engaged supervisors, as per the Higher Degree by Research Supervision Policy.
  2. Supervisory practice is governed by the Higher Degree by Research Supervision Policy.
  3. Candidates will be provided with physical facilities, financial assistance and the opportunity to participate in the research culture of their host faculty or institute, and the wider University, in line with the Infrastructure Support for Higher Degree by Research Candidates Policy.
Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarships
  1. Provisions for scholarships offered under the Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) are detailed in the conditions of award for each scholarship, see:
  2. For each scholarship type, information on eligibility criteria, rates and periods of support, leave provisions, changes to candidature, termination and appeals, is detailed in the conditions of award.
  3. Application, selection and offer processes for RTP scholarships are detailed in the HDR Scholarship Application and Assessment Procedures.
  4. HDR students who were supported prior to 1 January 2017 by the Research Training Scheme (RTS), International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS) and Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) awards and are continuing their studies, will be transitioned to an Australian Government RTP Stipend Scholarship or Fees Offset.
  5. Support provided by the relevant RTP scholarship (see below) will be at least equivalent to that provided under the previous Commonwealth Government funding, and students will not be disadvantaged.
Appeals and Grievances
  1. A decision made by the Scholarship Selection Committee to not award a scholarship is final, unless the applicant can demonstrate that the committee decision was biased and disadvantaged the applicant. 
  2. Appeals must be in writing and must be provided to the scholarship selection committee within 20 working days of the applicant being notified of the decision.
  3. Grievances relating to academic or administrative actions or decisions taken by the University and its staff in relation to this policy are to be resolved informally in the first instance.
  4. If informal resolution is not possible, the procedures outlined in the Student Grievance Resolution Policy should be applied.
4. Legislation:
  1. This policy is governed by the University of Canberra Academic Progress Statute 2015, the University of Canberra Academic Progress Rules 2009, the University of Canberra Admissions Rules 2017 and the University of Canberra Student Conduct Rules 2017.
5. Supporting Information:
Commonwealth and Territory governing framework and legislation
  • Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2017
  • Higher Education Provider Guidelines 2012
  • Higher Education Support Act 2003
  • Educational Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (the ESOS Act 2000)
  • National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007 (the National Code 2007)
University statutes and rules Related University policy and procedures