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UQ and RTP Research Scholarships Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) This Policy provides a framework for the administration of the Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) and UQ-administered higher degree by research scholarships. The Policy aims to reduce duplication across the University by providing a best-practice model for establishing, offering, awarding, and managing scholarships that integrates seamlessly with the administration of higher degree by research (HDR) candidature at the University.

(2) This Policy applies to all scholarships administered by the University that provide tuition fee support, a living allowance stipend, and/or a top-up scholarship to HDR candidates enrolled at the University.

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Section 2 - Principles and Key Requirements

(3) The following principles provide the foundation for this Policy:

  1. Scholarship applicants and recipients are to be treated equitably and consistently, regardless of the source of their scholarship funding.
  2. HDR scholarships must be appropriately funded for the standard duration of candidature.
  3. Scholarship providers must conduct a competitive process* for selecting scholarship recipients and, if requested, inform the UQ Graduate School of the nature of the competitive process.
    *top-ups excluded on the basis of the competitive process being applied at the award of living allowance stipend.
  4. In exceptional circumstances, the Dean may waive the requirement for a competitive process to be applied in the award of a scholarship where it can be demonstrated that the skill set of the applicant matches the requirements and it is unlikely that an advertising process would generate more qualified or suitable applicants.
  5. Scholarship details must be recorded against the candidate record in SI-net.

(4) A scholarship is defined by the Australian Tax Office as financial aid to a scholar that is awarded on merit. The purpose of a research scholarship is to provide tuition fee support and/or living allowance support to the recipient so that they can enrol at the University as a HDR candidate. The funding for these research scholarships comes from a number of sources including but not limited to:

  1. the Commonwealth and other government sources;
  2. the Research Training Program (RTP);
  3. the UQ Graduate School;
  4. other UQ academic organisational units (including faculties, institutes, schools and centres);
  5. individual and corporate donors to the University;
  6. individual and corporate donors to the University via Senate scholarships; and
  7. other organisations.

(5) A research scholarship does not make the recipient an employee of the scholarship provider or the University. The recipient is not required to render services (such as labour) to the scholarship provider or the University as a condition of receiving the scholarship.

Scholarship Administration

(6) The UQ Graduate School is responsible for administering all scholarships that provide tuition fee support, a living allowance stipend and/or a top-up scholarship to HDR candidates where:

  1. the candidate has been awarded the scholarship by the UQ Graduate School, the enrolling academic organisational unit (AOU), another UQ organisational unit; or
  2. an external scholarship provider has awarded the scholarship and assigned the financial management of the scholarship to UQ.

Scholarship Terms and Conditions

(7) All scholarship providers must comply with the terms and conditions outlined in the UQ and RTP Research Scholarships Procedure. Any variations to these terms and conditions must be approved by the Dean and be provided to the candidate in writing. The scholarship provider must seek written agreement to the variation in the terms and conditions from the recipient.

Living Allowance Stipends

(8) A living allowance stipend will, at a minimum, be at the rate displayed for the current year on the UQ Graduate School website as approved by the Vice-Chancellor. The rate will fall within the range defined by the Australian Government RTP Scholarship stipend guidelines. The living allowance stipend will be awarded for the duration prescribed in section 3 of the UQ and RTP Research Scholarships Procedure.

(9) Approval for the award of a living stipend of lesser value than the base full-time UQ Scholarship stipend rate must be granted by the Dean. If required, scholarship providers must support extensions to the scholarship as prescribed in section 3 (COVID-19 Extension, Placement Scholarship Extension, and Career Development Scholarship) of the UQ and RTP Research Scholarships Procedure.

(10) Where a living allowance stipend funded by an external source does not provide adequate provisions for paid leave or extensions as prescribed in section 3, Scholarship Leave of the UQ and RTP Research Scholarships Procedure, the enrolling AOU will be required to underwrite the shortfall.

Tuition Fee Offset Scholarships

(11) A tuition fee offset scholarship must meet the full cost of the research quarter tuition fees required by the University during the scholarship duration, as prescribed in section 3 of the UQ and RTP Research Scholarships Procedure. The offset removes tuition fee liability for the recipient and enables the University to meet the cost of research training.

(12) Tuition fee scholarships do not cover the Student Services Amenities Fee or other student fees that may be introduced by the University from time to time.

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Section 3 - Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

Dean, Graduate School

(13) The Dean of the Graduate School (or their delegate) decides on the offer of admission and scholarship for HDR candidates at UQ.

Director, Graduate School

(14) The Director of the Graduate School is responsible for effective and robust processes enabling the management of UQ-administered research scholarships at UQ.

Head of Academic Organisational Unit (AOU)

(15) The Head of the enrolling AOU (Head of School, Institute Director, or equivalent) has responsibility for AOU resourcing and approves AOU-funded scholarships or top-ups.

Director of Higher Degree Research

(16) The Director of Higher Degree Research endorses HDR program matters on behalf of enrolling AOU, including determining if an applicant’s project aligns with the AOU’s research, has adequate resourcing and supervision, and endorses the scholarship application on behalf of the AOU.

Principal Advisor

(17) The Principal Advisor nominates an applicant for a UQ scholarship. The detailed academic role, accountabilities and eligibility for Principal Advisors are specified in the Eligibility and Role of Higher Degree by Research Advisors Policy.

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Section 4 - Monitoring, Review and Assurance

(18) Review of, and compliance with, this Policy is overseen by the Dean of the Graduate School, and the Academic Board's Higher Degree by Research Committee.

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Section 5 - Recording and Reporting

(19) All scholarship information is recorded on the candidate’s personal record within UQ’s student system. Scholarship activities and transactions are recorded in UQ’s payroll system.

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Section 6 - Appendix 

Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Term Definition
Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship A living allowance scholarship funded by the Federal Government
Dean Dean of the UQ Graduate School or delegate
Enrolling AOU Academic Organisational Unit that directly enrols HDR candidates
HDR Higher Degree by Research
RTP Research Training Program
Scholarship Provider An individual or organisation that funds the scholarships.