USC International Research Scholarship [USCIRS] conditions
- How to apply
- Eligibility criteria
- Tenure of scholarship
- Commencement of Award
- Scholarship entitlements
- Suspension of payments
- Research overseas or interstate
- Research at other organisations
- Transfer of scholarship
- Change of research area
- Termination of Award
- Specific candidate obligations
- Specific obligations of the University of the Sunshine Coast
The University of the Sunshine Coast has a new and dynamic approach to the area of postgraduate research. We are committed to offering a postgraduate research environment of the highest quality for all candidates within our programs.
The objective of the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Postgraduate Research Scholarships is to support postgraduate research training by providing financial support to postgraduate students with a high level of research promise to undertake a higher degree by research at this University.
The following Rules are based on the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2012 and adapted to comply with USC’s Selection of Candidates for Postgraduate Research Scholarships – Managerial Policy
2.1 Applications must be lodged with the Office of Research by the closing date provided on the scholarship advertisement in order to be considered.
2.2 Application forms for a scholarship can be acquired from How to apply for a Postgraduate Research Scholarship
3.1 Recipients of an USCIRS must:
3.1.1 be a full-time International student who meets international student visa requirements as specified by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection; and
3.1.2 be a full-time student at the University of the Sunshine Coast; and
3.1.3 have completed a Bachelor Degree with First Class Honours, or be regarded by USC as having an equivalent level of attainment via previous study, relevant work experience, research strength, research publications and other research experience; and
3.1.4 maintain satisfactory progress as a full-time higher degree candidate at the University of the Sunshine Coast
3.1.5 comply with the conditions of their student visa
3.1.6 be undertaking study in a subject area identified by USC as one of its areas of research concentration
3.2 Recipients of an USCIRS must not:
3.2.1 be in receipt of similar funding from the Australian Government or its statutory authorities, and must not previously have held a Commonwealth-funded postgraduate research scholarship unless it was terminated within six months of the scholarship's commencement; and
3.2.2 not be in receipt of an equivalent award, scholarship or salary providing a benefit greater than 75 per cent of the APA stipend rate to under the HDR. Income from sources unrelated to the course of study is not taken into account.
3.2.3 hold a research qualification considered equivalent to the program which they will undertake at USC
4.1 The duration of an USCIRS is three years for a student undertaking full time Research Doctorate studies
4.2 The duration of an USCIRS for a student undertaking Research Masters studies is two years
4.3 An awardee who begins as a candidate for a master level degree and who, before the maximum duration of two years, changes to doctoral candidature, may hold the award for a total of up to three years.
4.4 Periods of study already undertaken towards the degree prior to the commencement of the award will reduce the duration of the award tenure.
5.1 Recipients of an USCIRS must return their advice of acceptance of scholarship offer within three months of date of offer, and may commence anytime throughout the calendar year of award. Awards cannot be deferred to the following year under any circumstances.
5.2 All stipends will commence as of the day of commencement in the relevant higher degree by research.
6.1 The 2016 full-time stipend is valued at $26,288 per annum. These payments are made to the candidate on a fortnightly basis and are tax-free. The level of the stipend will be reviewed annually with no reduction occurring during the period of the award.
6.2 Recipients will receive a tuition fee scholarship and Overseas Student Health Cover for the standard duration of the program.
7.1 USCIRS recipients who are temporarily unable to continue their studies must apply to the Office of Research at least 14 days prior to the date from which they seek a suspension. The minimum period of suspension is two weeks.
7.2 Candidates may apply for a suspension in accordance with the Academic Policy which govern their degree and in accordance with their student visa.
7.3 Suspension will not normally be approved earlier than six months into the program. Exceptions will only be made for compassionate reasons or if other exceptional circumstances exist beyond the control of the candidate.
7.4 The total period of suspension is normally added to the original tenure of the scholarship. However if at any time during the suspension of the scholarship, the candidate undertakes enrolled study, this period will be deducted from the tenure.
8.1 The University may permit candidates to spend a period of up to twelve months of their research time, interstate or outside Australia. Requests will not normally be approved prior to the completion of six months continuous study.
8.2 Approval will be granted only if the interstate or overseas research is essential for completion of the degree, adequate supervision is available, the student remains enrolled at the University of the Sunshine Coast while interstate or overseas, and the work will be credited to the candidate’s course.
8.3 A USCIRS may be terminated if a candidate is interstate or overseas for longer than the period for which approval has been given.
9.1 The University may approve a request from a candidate to conduct substantial amounts of the research at organisations outside the higher education system. In such cases, the University remains responsible for the candidate and therefore must be satisfied that the organisation specified in the request can provide adequate support, supervision, training and research time for the candidate.
10.1 Subject to approval by the University, a full-time international candidate may be permitted to undertake a limited amount of employment, provided that such employment does not interfere with the recipient’s study program and is consistent with the conditions of the student visa. Employment may not exceed 16 hours in any one-week if the Award holder is to retain status as a full-time candidate.
10.2 Where such employment is as a tutor, (and each contact hour involves additional hours of marking, preparation, interviewing, and administration), the candidate must include additional duties in the calculation of total weekly work hours.
10.3 Work commitments cannot be accepted as grounds for an extension to or suspension of award.
11.1 A USCIRS cannot be transferred to another University or institution.
12.1 USC may approve a student's request to change from the research area indicated in the original placement providing the new research area is within a recognised USC area of research concentration.
13.1 The scholarship will be terminated under the following circumstances:
13.1.1 At the end of the period for which it was granted,
13.1.2 Upon completion of the program,
13.1.3 If the candidate fails to maintain satisfactory progress,
13.1.4 The submission of the thesis, (a scholarship will not resume if revision is required following examination)
13.1.5 The candidate changes research topic outside of a USC area of research concentration,
13.1.6 The candidate ceases to be enrolled full-time;
13.1.7 The death, incapacity, resignation or withdrawal of the candidate,
13.1.8 If the course of study is not being carried out with competence and diligence or in accordance with the scholarship offer, and no suitable alternative arrangements can be made for continuation of the postgraduate degree,
13.1.9 If the candidate accepts another equivalent award, scholarship or salary to undertake their research higher degree that provides a benefit greater than 75 per cent of the base stipend rate and does not suspend their award for the period of the concurrent award, scholarship or salary.
13.1.10 A USCIRS may also be terminated (or the candidate placed on probation) before this time if, after due inquiry, the University forms the view that the candidate has not complied with any of the conditions contained in this document.
13.1.11 Candidates must notify the Office of Research of any changes in their enrolment status which may affect their eligibility, or risk termination of the scholarship. Benefits will cease on the date of termination of the award.
14.1 Candidates are required to apply themselves diligently and to the best of their ability to the successful completion of the degree.
14.2 The candidate shall abide by all relevant legislation on human and animal experimentation and rulings of the ethics committees of the University.
14.3 The candidate is required to conform to the regulations, policies (including disciplinary provisions) of the University.
14.4 Candidates are required to notify the University promptly of any changes in their circumstances that may affect their eligibility to continue receiving this scholarship.
14.5 Candidates who gain permanent resident status must immediately advise the Office of Research to arrange transfer to a Research Training Scheme supported place. If the permanent resident status is granted after the census date of the semester, the scholarship will cover the international student tuition fee for that semester and the change of status will come into effect from the following semester in which the student is enrolled.
14.6 Candidates are also required to acknowledge that these Conditions are subject to any further or other conditions, including conditions as to funding of the awards, which may be made by the Department of Education and Training, or any other relevant government body.
15.1 The relevant policies which govern the scholarship recipient’s degree outline the responsibilities of the University, faculties, supervisors and candidates.
15.2 The University is required to conduct a competitive application process for awarding a USCIRS.
15.3 The University is required to monitor the ongoing eligibility of a student to ensure that the student continues to meet eligibility requirements of a USCIRS.
15.4 The University is required to notify Department of Education and Training if they have reason to believe that a scholarship recipient has provided false or misleading information to the University in relation to the USCIRS.
15.5 Unsuccessful applicants who believe they have reasonable grounds for dissatisfaction with any aspect of the selection procedure may request a re-evaluation of the original application. Such a request should be made in writing and directed to the Chair of the Research Degrees Committee via the Office of Research not more than 28 days after the date shown on the formal advice of the outcome of the selection procedure.
15.6 A candidate who has reasonable grounds for dissatisfaction with any formal decision made with respect to the conditions of award, may appeal, in writing, to the Chair of the Research Degrees Committee via the Office of Research not more than 28 days after formal notification of the decision. 1
1 The information in this booklet was correct at the time of publishing. The University reserves the right to make changes at short notice after publication. To ascertain if any changes have been made to this information, please contact the Office of Research.