HDR Candidate Selection

HDR Scholarships Procedure

Policy Code: RS1931

Purpose

This Procedure provides guidance regarding the following scholarships awarded by Federation University Australia

  • RTP stipends,
  • FedUni funded stipends 
  • Externally funded stipends; and
  • International tuition fee scholarships

Fee-Offset scholarships made available via the Research Train Program (RTP) are governed by the Research Training Program (RTP) Policy RS2009

Scope

This Procedure applies to all Higher Degree by Research candidature applicants or enrolled candidates applying for a HDR scholarship, persons with supervisory or administrative responsibilities for HDR candidates and candidature applications.

Legislative Context

Definitions

Term Definition
Candidate Student enrolled in a higher degree by research program.
Confirmation of Candidature (CoC) Milestone by which a candidate confirms that their research project is viable and is approved by the CoC panel to continue their project.
Cotutelle award Award made in partnership with another institution, wherein the candidate is jointly enrolled in both institutions and receives a testamur from both institutions on completion of the program.
Deferment A period of up to 12 months, normally covering the academic year, before a student, who has been offered a place in a higher education course, enrols in that course.
Designated Cohort An approved group of potential applicants, identified as having common characteristics (such as completion of a particular qualification) for the purposes of gaining special entry.
EDGS Executive Dean of Graduate Studies – academic staff member responsible for overseeing HDR programs, HDR candidates and supervisors.
EFTSL Estimated full time study load.
Employee Any staff member employed by FedUni to undertake academic activity, including permanent, fixed term contract, casual, honorary and adjunct appointments.
Enrolment The process by which a person, having received a written offer of a place, shall register their program and course of study with FedUni by submitting a form of enrolment signed by both the applicant and the program coordinator or person of equivalent authority.
ESOS Act Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000, as amended from time to time.
External Candidate Where a candidate conducts their research from an approved external location, such as a laboratory, and an agreement exists between the location and FedUni.
Faculty Academic units of FedUni
FPRS FedUni Postgraduate Research Stipend.
Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Program One of the following courses of study: Masters Degree (Research), Doctoral Degree (Research), or Doctoral Degree (Professional).
Higher Degree by Research candidate A FedUni student enrolled in a Masters Degree (Research), Doctoral Degree (Research), or Doctoral Degree (Professional).
IELTS International English Language Testing System.
Leave from studies Period of either six or 12 months, covering a normal teaching period(s), where an enrolled student is excused from formal study.
Offer Offer of Admission to Candidature – The written offer provided to an applicant for admission to a HDR program.
Off-campus candidate Where a candidate studies from a location other than on campus or an approved external facility
Principal Supervisor A staff member of FedUni who meets the requirements of and has been approved for inclusion to the Register of Supervisors as a principal supervisor and has primary oversight of an HDR candidate’s research.
Associate Supervisor A staff member of FedUni who meets the requirements of and has been approved for inclusion to the Register of Supervisors as a supervisor and provides support to an HDR candidate and to the Principal Supervisor.
Co-Supervisor An individual who is external to FedUni who meets the requirements of and has been approved for inclusion to the Register of Supervisors as a supervisor and provides support to the candidate and to the Principal Supervisor.
Probationary candidate A FedUni student enrolled in a Masters Degree (Research), Doctoral Degree (Research), or Doctoral Degree (Professional) who has not yet completed the confirmation of candidature process.
Provisional Principal Supervisor A staff member who does not meet the requirements to be listed as a principal supervisor on the Register of Supervisors but has the support of their Faculty to act as a principal supervisor under the guidance of a mentor who is registered as a Principal Supervisor.
RHDC Research Higher Degrees Committee – A standing committee of Academic Board that deals with Higher Degree by Research matters.
RPA Research Priority Area.
RTS The Research Training Scheme, which formely provided fee-exemption places for candidates enrolled in higher degree by research programs – now superseded by Research Training Program (RTP).
RTP (Research Training Program) Federal Government funding scheme that enables the provision of higher degree by research fee offset and stipend scholarships.
SOSS Special Overseas Student Scholarship – fee scholarship to cover the cost of tuition fees for international students.
Stipend A fortnightly scholarship paid to a candidate to cover living expenses.
Candidate / Supervisor agreement Formal written agreement outlining meeting methods,
TEQSA Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency

Actions

Eligibility

Applicants who are eligible for entry to a Higher Degree by Research program are eligible to apply for HDR stipend scholarships. Externally funded scholarships may have additional requirements.

Awarding of scholarships is merit-based and the process is competitive. Eligibility to apply for a scholarship does not guarantee competitiveness for the award of a scholarship.

Applications

Application dates for scholarship rounds are advertised on the FedUni website. Applicants for scholarships who are not current FedUni candidates are required to submit an application for Candidature, as per the Selection and Awarding of a HDR Place Procedure. It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide all documentation required for consideration of candidature and scholarship applications by the scholarship closing date.  Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

Part-time Applications

Scholarships are normally awarded to applicants enrolled or applying to enrol on a full-time basis. Applicants who are enrolled part-time or applying to enrol part-time may apply for a stipend scholarship on the basis of exceptional circumstances. Evidence of exceptional circumstances must be provided during application in the form of a statement and supporting documents. Applicants for part-time scholarships should contact the Australian Taxation Office for advice of the taxation status of a part-time scholarship.

Selection

Selection of applicants for stipends is undertaken in accordance with the University’s Fair and Transparent Decision Making Guidelines.

A selection panel of at least three people must be formed when selecting applicants for scholarships. When forming selection panels, diversity and equity requirements should be considered in the appointment of panel members. Panels may include members of external funding partners or industry representatives. Panels must:

  • Declare and record any panel member's conflict of interest with an applicant for a scholarship, including personal or  professional relationships and instances where they have taught or supervised the applicant,
  • Assess each application on the merit of the provided information against the requirements for that scholarship,
  • Articulate the allocation of points for strategic purposes, such as areas of strategic research importance, areas of under representation or equity,
  • Complete and return to the HDR Team a completed ranking list including individual scores, of applicants for scholarships.

Ranking of Scholarship Applications

RTP Stipends

Applications for FedUni scholarships will be ranked using the RHDC approved Scholarship Ranking Schedule, available on the FedUni website.

Industry and specific project based scholarships may have additional selection requirements to assist with the ranking of applicants, such as (but not limited to) written submissions or interviews. Additional requirements will be advertised on the FedUni website along with scholarship details.

The Scholarship Ranking Schedule is subject to annual review by RHDC.

Ranking of RTP stipend applications must follow timelines approved by RHDC.

  Activity Responsibility Steps
1 Selection Panel for RTP scholarships is formed Faculty Associate Dean Research, Chair, RHDC

Panels may be formed within faculties or from members of RHDC as specified by the DVC, RI. Where a panel is formed from members of RHDC, it must include a representative from each Faculty. The Chair, RHDC will be responsible for forming the panel.

Faculty Panels must consist of three or more members and must nominate one member to chair. The Faculty ADR is responsible for forming the panel.

2 Applications compiled and referred to Chair, Selection Panel HDR Admissions New applications are compiled and paired with candidature application form. Existing applications are provided with original candidature application and new information.
3 Applications are made available to all panel members Chair, Selection Panel Chair distributes copies of application and ranking tool.
4 Selection Panel assesses applications against Scholarship Ranking Schedule. Faculty Panel completes ranking list using Scholarship Ranking Schedule and provides to HDR Admissions.
5 All Selection Panel rankings are compiled and provided to RHDC HDR Admissions HDR Admissions compiles single list of ranked scholarship applicants along with ranking schedule and sends to RHDC
6 RHDC considers Faculty ranked lists and puts forward recommendation for awarding of scholarships. RHDC Recommendation is forwarded to DVC R&I
7 Scholarship allocation list is approved by DVC R&I DVC R&I  
8 Applications undertake standard application procedure HDR Admissions Officer, EDGS, Faculty As per HDR Candidate Selection Policy
9 Scholarship offers made HDR Admissions Officer Following approval of scholarships recommendations by DVC (R&I), Research Services issues a formal offer of a scholarship, outlining the terms and conditions of the scholarship.

External, Faculty or project Funded Scholarships

Scholarship funding may be provided to the University by an external industry research partner, or a University scholarship may be pre-committed to a strategic collaborative research project involving an external industry partner. 

  Activity Responsibility Steps
1. Funding arrangements approved as per Research Funding Policy RS1924 (where applicable) Faculty / Academic Staff Refer to Research Funding Policy RS1924
2. Faculty / Research Centre provides scholarship information to HDR Admissions Officer Faculty / Academic Staff

Faculty provides scholarship details, including:

  • Name,
  • Amount,
  • Period of funding,
  • Type/s of scholarship (fee, stipend, allowances etc.)
  • Project details,
  • Account code,
  • Additional terms and conditions,
  • Additional requirements,
  • Other relevant information.

Where external advertising is required, Faculty should contact Scholarships Office.

3. Application forms and scholarship details are advertised on the FedUni website HDR Admissions Officer HDR Admissions Officer updates web and scholarship application form with additional terms and conditions or requirements, where required.
4. Faculty forms Selection Panel Faculty Associate Dean Research Panels must consist of three or more members and must nominate one member to chair.
5. Applications compiled and referred to Chair, Selection Panel HDR Admissions New applications are compiled and paired with candidature application form. Existing applications are provided with original candidature application and new information.
6. Applications are made available to all panel members   Chair distributes copies of application and ranking tool.
7. Faculty assesses applications against Scholarship Ranking Schedule and additional requirements, where required. Faculty Panel completes ranking list using Scholarship Ranking Schedule and provides to HDR Admissions.
8. Scholarship allocation approved by financial delegate. Executive Dean, Faculty / DVC R&I / other approved delegate The appropriate financial delegate for the funding must approve the allocation of the scholarship.
9. Scholarship offers made HDR Admissions Officer Following approval of scholarships recommendations by DVC (R&I), Research Services issues a formal offer of a scholarship, outlining the terms and conditions of the scholarship.

Offers of Scholarships

Scholarship offers will be made in writing via an Offer of Admission to Candidature or Offer of Scholarship letter. Expected commencement dates, additional terms and conditions of the scholarship, extension requirements (where extensions are available) and payment details will be included in the offer. Recipients must return the Acceptance of Offer attached to the letter by the date specified and be enrolled for payments to commence.

Where a recipient must complete specified requirements prior to a formal offer of scholarship being made, they will be provided with a Conditional Offer of Scholarship which will outline the activity required to receive a formal offer.

Extensions to Scholarships

RTP Stipend extensions

Candidates in receipt of an RTP Stipend may apply for one six month (EFTSL) extension to scholarship. Extensions are not guaranteed and will only be granted where exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated.

  Activity Responsibility Steps
1. Complete application for extension to scholarship and candidature Candidate

Candidates must complete the form and provide a completion plan and supporting documents (where relevant).

Applications must be signed by the Principal Supervisor, ADR and Executive Dean of Faculty.

2 Submit application to HDR Team Candidate

Applications must be submitted six weeks prior to scholarship and/or candidature end date.

Where applicants do not submit the application on time, their scholarship payments may be ceased whilst the application is assessed.

3 Application assessed by Executive Dean Graduate Studies EDGS Executive Dean Graduate Studies assesses application for extension. Extensions to candidature must be forwarded to RHDC.
4 HDR Team advises candidate of outcome HDR Team Candidate is advised of outcome via email.

Extensions to External, Faculty or project Funded Scholarships

Availability of extensions for candidates in receipt of an external, faculty or project based scholarship will be outlined in their Offer of Scholarship or Offer of Admission to Candidature. Where a request for an extension is permitted, extensions are not guaranteed and will only be granted where exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated.

  Activity Responsibility Steps
1. Complete application for extension to scholarship and candidature Candidate

Candidates must complete the form and provide a completion plan and supporting documents (where relevant).

Applications must be signed by the Principal Supervisor, ADR and Executive Dean of Faculty.

Position responsible for the financial delegation of the scholarship must approve a request for scholarship extension

Where the scholarship is funded externally and an extension request will result in a variation to a research contract, a variation must be sought. Once a scholarship has lapsed, stipend or fee payments will not continue  until a variation to contract with the funding body has been confirmed.

2 Submit application to HDR Team Candidate

Applications must be submitted six weeks prior to scholarship and/or candidature end date.

Where applicants do not submit the application on time, their scholarship payments may be ceased whilst the application is assessed.

3 Application assessed by Executive Dean Graduate Studies EDGS Executive Dean Graduate Studies assess application for candidature extension. Extensions to candidature must be forwarded to RHDC.
4 HDR Team advises candidate of outcome HDR Team Candidate is advised of outcome via email.

Termination of Scholarships

Termination due to items 4.7, 4.8, 4.9 of the HDR Scholarship Policy

Terms and conditions under which a scholarship can be terminated are set out in the HDR Scholarship Policy RS2018, section 2 – General Terms and Conditions, subsection 4 – Termination of scholarships. Requirements for termination of scholarship and candidature are described in Candidature Management Policy and process is outlined in Candidature Management Procedure.

Scholarships terminated under clauses 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5 and 4.6 will cease immediately.

Abandonment of program

  Activity Responsibility Steps
1 Candidate provided with 10 working days’ notice of intention to terminate scholarship HDR Team Notification will be sent to the candidates nominated email address, to their Principal Supervisor and ADR of Faculty.
2 Respond to termination notice Candidate Where a candidate responds in writing to HDR Team and the abandonment of program is resolved, their scholarship will continue.
3 Advise Scholarships Office to cease payments HDR Team Where a candidate fails to respond to the notice or fails to resolve the program abandonment issue the HDR Team will advise the Scholarships office to cease payments.

Termination due to unsatisfactory progress - clauses 4.11, 4.12 or 4.13 of the HDR Scholarship Policy

Details regarding At Risk status, progress reporting, milestones, outcomes of intervention strategies and show cause proceedings for HDR candidates and can be found in the HDR Candidature Management Policy RS1935 and HDR Candidature Management Procedure RS1937. Candidates are encouraged to seek support and assistance via the Student Advisory Service

  Activity Responsibility Steps
1 Principal Supervisor and candidate develop intervention strategy. Principal supervisor, candidate

Candidate given at least 12 weeks to show improvement from the date that the intervention strategy commences.

Candidate must be advised that their scholarship may be at risk should this intervention strategy fail.

Intervention strategies must be approved by the faculty ADR or nominee.

Where issues are not resolved during the intervention strategy phase, Principal Supervisor can elect to move to step 2.

2 Principal Supervisor requests progress report as per Candidature Management Procedure and advises candidate of possible scholarship risk Principal Supervisor

Principal Supervisor emails HDR Team to request a progress report.

Candidate advised by Principal Supervisor in writing that their scholarship is at risk.

3 Progress reporting process commenced

HDR Team

Candidate

Principal Supervisor / Supervisor team

Associate Dean Research of faculty

Executive Dean of faculty of enrolment

Progress report process as per Candidature Management Procedure.

Faculty recommendations for termination of scholarship must be endorsed by the Executive Dean of faculty of enrolment.

If candidate progress is satisfactory, no further action is required.

4 Candidate advised of progress report outcome HDR Team

Outcome of progress report is provided to the candidate in writing.

Where termination of scholarship is recommended, 10 working days’ notice will be provided to the candidate of the scholarship end date.

The Scholarships Office will be advised of the decision to terminate scholarship

Appealing termination of scholarship due to clauses 4.11, 4.12 or 4.13

  Activity Responsibility Steps
1 Candidate appeals scholarship termination. Candidate

Candidate has ten working days from the date of scholarship termination notice to appeal the decision to terminate the scholarship. Appeals should be made in writing and addressed to the Chair, RHDC. Candidates should include a statement as to why their scholarship should not cease.

Where an RHDC meeting is not held during the appeal period, scholarship payments will not be terminated until a determination by RHDC has been made.

2 RHDC considers appeal from candidate RHDC
  • RHDC considers the appeal and will return one of the following decisions;
  • Scholarship terminated,
  • Scholarship reinstated, or
  • Scholarship temporarily reinstated with conditions.
3 Chair RHDC advises candidate of outcome Chair, RHDC

Candidate advised of outcome in writing.

Where a scholarship is terminated, it will cease in 10 working days.

Where a scholarship is temporarily reinstated, conditions and requirements will be communicated in writing.

Where a scholarship has been terminated, candidates may appeal the decision under the Student Appeal Policy CG1488 and Student Appeals Procedure CG1464.

Confidentiality and Privacy

All personal information collected by FedUni is governed by the Information Privacy Policy. The following are examples of instances where FedUni will use and disclose an HDR student’s personal information for legitimate purposes:

  • releasing statistical information to relevant government bodies such as the Department of Education, and the Office of Training and Tertiary Education;
  • releasing relevant information to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), the Department of Education, and the Australian Taxation Office

Responsibility

  • Responsible for monitoring the implementation, outcomes and scheduled review of this policy and its accompanying procedure/s –  Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research & Innovation
  • Responsible for maintaining the content of this policy as delegated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research & Innovation, Executive Dean Graduate Studies
  • Responsible for the administration support for the maintenance of this policy as directed by the Executive Dean Graduate Studies , Research Integrity & Policy Coordinator

Promulgation

The Selection and Awarding of a HDR Scholarship Procedure RS1931 will be communicated throughout the University community in the form of:

  1. An Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the ‘Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University’ website to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy,
  2. Distribution of e-mails to Head of School / Head of Department / University staff, and/or
  3. Notification to Faculties.

Implementation

The Selection and Awarding of a HDR Scholarship Procedure RS1931 will be implemented throughout the University via:

  1. An Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the ‘Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University’ website to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy,
  2. Training sessions.

Records Management

Document Title Location Responsible Officer Minimum Retention Period

eg

Policy Document Approval Form

The University’s approved records management system Policy Systems Administrator or delegate

Originals should be retained by the Policy Sponsor

Copies can be disposed of once the administrative use has

concluded

Electronic record will be retained in the University’s records management system

eg

University Policy or Procedure

The University’s approved policy management system Policy Systems Administrator or delegate Permanent