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 USC Research Scholarship application form, providing a response to the selection criteria, and attaching any supporting documentation.
Applications are submitted to the Graduate Research School 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
Students are entitled to receive up to 20 working days’ paid recreation leave and 10 working days paid sick leave for each year of the USCRS Stipend. These leave entitlements may be accrued over the life of the USCRS Stipend but will be forfeited when the USCRS Stipend is terminated.
8.2 Students may receive additional paid sick leave of up to a total of 60 working days during the duration of the USCRS Stipend for periods of illness where the student has insufficient sick leave entitlements available under paragraph (8.1), provided that a medical certificate and leave application has been provided by the student to the Graduate Research School within two weeks of returning to study.
8.3 USC research scholarship recipients who are temporarily unable to continue their studies and wish to suspend their scholarship must apply to the Graduate Research School at least 3 weeks prior to the date from which they seek a period of unpaid leave. The minimum period of suspension is 4 weeks.
8.4 The total period of suspension is normally added to the original tenure of the scholarship. If at any time during the suspension of the scholarship, the student undertakes enrolled study, this period will be deducted from the tenure.
8.6 Students who have completed 12 months of their USCRS Stipend are entitled to a maximum of 60 working days paid maternity leave during the duration of the USCRS Stipend. Subject to the usual practice of the HEP, paid leave may also be approved if the student has adopted a child.
Maternity leave must be arranged in advance with a doctor’s certificate attached to a leave form. Paid maternity leave must be taken at the time of birth. Periods of paid maternity leave are in addition to the normal duration of the award. The University will extend an award to compensate for an approved period of maternity leave.
- Additional unpaid maternity leave may be taken through a leave of absence. Scholarship holders who have not completed twelve months of their award may access unpaid maternity leave through the suspension provisions.
8.7 Students who are partners of women giving birth while receiving a USCRS Stipend and who have completed 12 months of their USCRS Stipend, may be entitled to a period of paid parenting leave at the time of the birth or adoption.
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 Graduate Research School as soon as possible to lodge such a request.
14. Specific candidate obligations
- USC Research Scholarship holders must comply with The Higher Degree by Research Academic Policyand 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 School 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, Skills and Employment, or any other relevant government body.
15. 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, enrolling unit and supervisors.
16. 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 for examination
- Completion of the program
All benefits will cease on the date of termination of the scholarship.
17. 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 supersede 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 School.
Last updated 22 May 2020