USC is 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 Research Scholarships is to support research training by providing financial support to students with a high level of research promise to undertake a higher degree by research at this University.
2. How to apply
USC Research Scholarships are advertised on the USC website and include details of the associated project, scholarship inclusions, eligibility requirements and selection criteria.
To be considered for the scholarship, follow the specific instructions within the scholarship advertisement. This includes completing the HDR Scholarship application form, providing a response to the selection criteria, and attaching any supporting documentation.
Applications are submitted to the Graduate Research Studies Management Office by the closing date provided in the advertisement. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
USC Research Scholarships are advertised on the HDR Scholarships webpage on the USC website. Each advertisement contains instructions for lodging an application.
3. Eligibility criteria
Applicants must meet the entry requirements for the relevant USC HDR program. Additional eligibility requirements may be included in the specific scholarship advertisement.
4. Selection criteria
USC’s standard selection criteria include:
- Academic qualifications (Due to the competitive nature of USC Research Scholarships most awardees will have a First-Class Honours or equivalent)
- Research publications or non-traditional research outputs
- Professional research experience
- Additional selection criteria may be included in the specific scholarship advertisement.
5. Period of support
3 years for a student undertaking full-time Research Doctorate studies.
1.5 years for a student undertaking full-time Research Masters studies.
Periods of study already undertaken towards the degree prior to the commencement of the award will reduce the period of support.
6. Scholarship commencement
Awardees must formally accept the scholarship within 1 month of the date of offer by returning the Statement of Acceptance provided in the USC Research Scholarship offer.
Stipends will commence on the recipient’s Start Date in their HDR program, unless otherwise noted.
7. Stipend payments
Payments are made to the USC Research Scholarship holder on a fortnightly basis to their nominated Australian bank account.
Stipend payments are tax-free if the recipient is enrolled full-time.
Any changes between full-time and part-time enrolment will result in a pro-rata payment of the scholarship.
8. Leave entitlements
USC Research Scholarship holders may temporarily suspend their scholarship. The minimum period of suspension is 4 weeks and the end date of the scholarship will be extended by the period of unpaid leave.
Periods of leave less than 4 weeks will not be recorded by the Graduate Research Studies Management Office and will not result in a suspension of payments or extension of the scholarship end date.
For periods of leave that are 4 weeks or more in duration, the Graduate Research Studies Management Office requires a minimum of 3 weeks’ notice in order to suspend payments as this requires coordination of more than one functional area of the University.
If adequate notice is not provided and a student is overpaid they will be required to repay the funds.
All over-payments must be reported to the Graduate Research Studies Management Office immediately and the student will be required to repay the funds (this may be done through the suspension of future payments until the overpaid amount is recouped).
Upon completion of 12 months of continuous study, USC Research Scholarship holders can claim up to 60 days of paid maternity leave. Leave must be arranged in advance and scholarship holders must provide a doctor’s certificate. Paid maternity leave must be taken at the time of birth.
USC Research Scholarship holders who have not completed 12 months of continuous study, and those who want to take more than the 60 days paid leave detailed above, may take a period of unpaid leave.
The end date of the scholarship will be extended by both the period of paid and unpaid leave (total leave).
Upon completion of 12 months of continuous study, USC Research Scholarship holders can claim up to 10 days of paid partner leave to assist the primary carer of a new child.
Subject to approval by the University, a full-time domestic candidate may be permitted to undertake a limited amount of employment, provided that such employment does not interfere with the recipient’s study program.
Employment may not exceed 16 hours in any one-week if the Award holder is to retain status as a full-time candidate.
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.
Work commitments cannot be accepted as grounds for a scholarship extension..
10. Study mode
USC Research Scholarship holders may enrol on a full time or part time basis. However, the study mode requirement will be determined by the supervisor and will be directed by the needs of the project and will be included as a condition of the scholarship. Applicants should discuss specific scholarship study modes with the listed contact on the scholarship advertisement in the first instance.
11. Research topic
Requests from USC Research Scholarship holders to change their research topic will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
12. Transfer of program
Requests from USC Research Scholarship holders to transfer between programs will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and in addition to matters provided in the relevant Academic Policy, consideration is given to availability of funds to support the change.
13. Research at other organisations (eg industry placements)
The University remains responsible for candidates who are approved to conduct research at another organisation (often in the form of Industry Placements) and must be satisfied that the organisation can provide adequate support, supervision, training and research time for the candidate. The University may approve a request from a recipient to conduct substantial amounts of the research at organisations outside the higher education system. The candidate must notify the Office of Research as soon as possible to lodge such a request. Specific candidate obligations
USC Research Scholarship holders must comply with The Higher Degree by Research Academic Policy and associated Procedures and related documents.
USC Research Scholarship holders must abide by the conditions of the scholarship outlined in the Scholarship Letter of Offer, USC Research Scholarship Conditions including any addendums.
USC Research Scholarship holders must apply themselves diligently and to the best of their ability to the successful completion of the degree.
USC Research Scholarship holders must maintain satisfactory progress. Progress will be reported on annually using the Progress Plan and Review (PPR).
USC Research Scholarship holders will abide by all relevant legislation on human and animal experimentation and rulings of the ethics committees of the University.
USC Research Scholarship holders will notify the Graduate Research Studies Management Office promptly of any changes in their circumstances that may affect their eligibility to continue receiving payments under the award.
USC Research Scholarship holders acknowledge that these Conditions are subject to any further or other conditions, including conditions as to funding of the scholarship, which may be made by the Department of Education and Training, or any other relevant government body.
14. Specific obligations of the University of the Sunshine Coast
The University must comply with the Higher Degree by Research Academic Policy and associated Procedures and related documents which outline the responsibilities of the University, faculties, and supervisors.
15. Termination of scholarship
The scholarship will be terminated under the following circumstances:
If the USC Research Scholarship holder fails to comply with Conditions laid out in this document (including any addendums)
If the candidate does not resume study after a period of leave or does not make arrangements to extend that period of leave in a timely manner
Upon the death, incapacity, resignation or withdrawal of the candidate
Whichever occurs first:
- At the end of the period for which it was granted,
- Submission of the thesis/exegesis (the scholarship will not resume during periods of revision)
- Completion of the program
All benefits will cease on the date of termination of the scholarship.
16. Assignment of Intellectual Property
In order to participate, or continue to participate in certain activities or research, students may be requested to assign to USC their interest and title in any intellectual property they create during their studies and transfer any data and other information. This may be required in particular, where:
- the studies are externally funded; or
- the studies have contractual obligations with third parties; or
- the studies have clear Commercialisation potential or objectives.
It is intended that requests for students to assign their intellectual property will be done only where necessary to enable USC to meet its legal obligations to industry partners, or to achieve the objective of deriving appropriate benefits from innovation at USC by commercialising intellectual property.
Full details can be found at Intellectual Property - Governing Policy.
* Individual scholarships may include an Addendum which contains additional conditions and may supercede some sections of the above Schedule of Conditions.
1 This information 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 Graduate Research Studies Management Office.
Last updated 17 January 2019