USC Research Scholarship conditions

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USC Research Scholarship conditions


USC Research Scholarship (USCRS) Schedule of Conditions *

1. Introduction

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 Scholarships are advertised on the USC website and include details of the associated project, available funding, eligibility requirements and selection criteria.

To be considered for the scholarship, follow the specific instructions within the scholarship advertisement. This includes completing the USC scholarship application form, providing a response to the selection criteria, and attaching any supporting documentation.

Applications are submitted to the Office of Research ( by the closing date provided in the advertisement. The application must be complete for it to be considered.

Application forms for this award can be acquired from Applying for a Postgraduate Research Scholarship. HDR Scholarships are advertised on the HDR Scholarships page.

3. Eligibility criteria

Applicants must meet the entry requirements for the relevant USC HDR program.

4. Selection criteria

Each scholarship will contain specific selection criteria related to the requirements of the research project and will be detailed in the scholarship advertisement.

USC’s standard selection criteria include,

Academic qualifications (Due to the competitive nature of USC Research Scholarships most recipients will have a First-Class Honours or equivalent), Research publications or non-traditional research outputs

Professional research experience

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

Recipients must formally accept the scholarship within 1 month of the date of offer.

Stipends will commence on the recipient’s Start Date in their HDR program.

7. Stipend payments

Payments are made to the recipient on a fortnightly basis to the 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

Unpaid leave

Recipients may suspend their scholarship if they are temporarily unable to continue their studies (the minimum period of suspension is 2 weeks).

The end date of the scholarship will be extended by the period of unpaid leave.

In order to suspend stipend payments, the Office of Research requires at least 2 weeks’ notice.

Failure to provide adequate notice may result in an overpayment which must be repaid to the University.

All overpayments must be reported to the University 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).

Paid leave

Maternity leave

Upon completion of 12 months of continuous study, recipients can claim up to 60 days of paid maternity leave. Leave must be arranged in advance and recipients must provide a doctor’s certificate. Paid maternity leave must be taken at the time of birth.

Recipients who have not completed 12 months of continuous study, and recipients 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).

Partner leave

Upon completion of 12 months of continuous study, recipients can claim up to 10 days of paid partner leave to assist the primary carer of a new child.

9. Employment

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

Recipients 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 recipients to change their research topic will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

12. Transfer of program

Requests from recipients 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

Recipients must comply with The Higher Degree by Research Academic Policy and associated Procedures and related documents.

Recipients must abide by the conditions of the scholarship outlined in the Scholarship Letter of Offer, USC Research Scholarship Schedule of Conditions including any addendums to the Schedule of Conditions.

Recipients must apply themselves diligently and to the best of their ability to the successful completion of the degree.

Recipients must maintain satisfactory progress. Progress will be reported on annually by the Faculty using the Research Plan & Progress Report (RPPR).

Recipients will abide by all relevant legislation on human and animal experimentation and rulings of the ethics committees of the University.

Recipients will notify the University promptly of any changes in their circumstances that may affect their eligibility to continue receiving payments under the award.

Recipients 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 recipient 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 Office of Research.

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