Research Training Program Scholarships - Operational Policy | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Research Training Program Scholarships - Operational Policy

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Approval authority
Vice-Chancellor and President
Responsible Executive member
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)
Designated officer
Dean, Graduate Research
First approved
29 November 2016
Last amended
20 December 2021
Review date
21 December 2026
Related documents
Linked documents
Superseded documents
  • Selection of Candidates for Postgraduate Research Scholarships - Managerial Policy
Related legislation / standards
  • Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cth)
  • Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2017

1. Purpose of policy

1.1 The University is allocated funding to support Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarships and is required to maintain a policy which is publicly available as part of the conditions attached to that allocation.

2. Policy scope and application

2.1 This policy and associated procedures and guidelines apply to RTP Scholarships at the University. It applies to all prospective applicants for, and recipients of, a Research Training Program Scholarship. The policy and procedures apply to all staff working with RTP Scholarships including selection, ongoing eligibility and administration.

2.2 This policy does not apply to scholarships other than RTP Scholarships.

3. Definitions

Please refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for policies and procedures. Terms and definitions identified below are specific to this policy and are critical to its effectiveness:

Continuing Students means either:

(a) A student whose period of support under the previous Research Training Scheme (RTS), International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (IPRS) or Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) would expire on 1 January 2017; or

(b) A student who has received an offer of support from USC under the Research Training Scheme (RTS), International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (IPRS) or Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) and accepted this offer of support and whose offer of support was scheduled to commence after 1 January 2017.

The Commonwealth Guidelines means the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2017 made under section 46-20 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003. The full Guidelines can be accessed at

HDR Scholarship means any financial support awarded by a competitive process to a student undertaking a higher degree by research.

Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarships are scholarships funded by the Commonwealth Government through block grants. RTP Scholarship types include RTP Stipends, RTP Fees Offsets and RTP Allowances.

USCRS means a USC-funded Research Scholarship equivalent in value and conditions to a Research Training Program scholarship.

USCIRS means USC-funded International Research Scholarship (for international students) equivalent in value, eligibility criteria and conditions to a Research Training Program scholarship.

4. Policy Statement

4.1 The University will select candidates to be offered RTP Scholarships through a competitive process, and in accordance with the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2017, hereafter referred to as “the Commonwealth Guidelines”, made under section 46-20 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003, within the limits of its Research Training Program grant each year.

5. Principles

5.1Information on application, selection and offer procedures and associated information is provided in the Higher Degrees by Research Scholarships - Procedures.

5.2 The University will transfer Continuing Students to an RTP Scholarship in a form that does not disadvantage the continuing student and provides at least equivalent support to that provided, or that would have been provided, through predecessor Australian Government programs.

5.2.1 Research Training Scheme (RTS) and International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS) supported students will be transferred to an RTP Fees Offset Scholarship.

5.2.2 Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) recipients will also be transferred to an RTP Stipend Scholarship.

5.3 Where changes to the Australian Government’s Research Block Grant schemes impact continuing HDR candidates, the University communicates these changes to continuing students prior to the effective date of changes, and ensures that continuing students are not disadvantaged by the changes.

5.4 In addition to the standard provisions and rules available and applicable to all HDR students described in the Higher Degrees by Research – Academic Policy and associated procedures, the University provides each RTP Scholarship recipient with the RTP Scholarship Schedule of Conditions via the University’s website.

5.5 The University will not take over the payment of an RTP Scholarship awarded to a candidate by another University, where the candidate transfers to the University. The transferring candidate may apply for an RTP Scholarship at the University at the next available opportunity and will be considered on the basis of the University’s selection criteria and in relation to other applicants.

5.6 Candidates who are awarded an RTP Scholarship are required to comply with all University policies and procedures, including those relating to satisfactory academic progress in the program of enrolment. The University will monitor academic performance and may terminate a RTP Scholarship if a candidate is in breach of any of its policies or procedures.

5.7 Candidates who wish to appeal decisions relating to a RTP Scholarship may do so in accordance with the Student Grievance Resolution – Governing Policy and Student Grievances - Procedures.

6. Authorities/Responsibilities

6.1 The following authorities are delegated under this policy:


University Officer

Appointment of the Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) Scholarships Selection Panel

Dean, Graduate Research

Assess applications for HDR scholarships and rank by order of merit for each round

HDR Scholarships Selection Panel

Approve the Panel’s recommendation for the Order of Merit list for each round

Dean, Graduate Research

Termination of HDR scholarships

Dean, Graduate Research