HDR Candidate Selection

Document Currently Under Review

Current Status: Sent For Approval - with Sponsor 8 September 2017

Selection and Awarding of Scholarships Procedure

Policy Code: RS1931

Purpose

This Procedure provides guidance regarding all scholarships awarded by Federation University Australia, including APA, FPRS, IPRS and SOSS. Scholarships provided by other organisations will be governed by the guidelines and regulations specified by the sponsoring organisation.

Scope

This Procedure applies to all parties involved in the awarding, receipt and management of Higher Degree by Research scholarships, including:

  • Scholarship applicants and recipients (both current and prospective students);
  • Research Services;
  • Scholarships Office;
  • Faculties
  • Research Higher Degrees Sub-committee.

Definitions

Term Definition
APA Australian Postgraduate Award
DET Department of Education and Training
FPRS Federation (University Australia) Postgraduate Research Scholarship
Higher Degree by Research One of the following programs: Masters Degree (Research), Doctoral Degree (Research), or Doctoral Degree (Professional).
Higher Degree by Research candidate A Federation University Australia candidate enrolled in a  Masters Degree (Research), Doctoral Degree (Research), or Doctoral degree (Professional).
IPRS International Postgraduate Research Scholarship
RHDSC - Research Higher Degrees Sub-Committee The RHDSC, a Sub-committee of Research Committee, handles all operational matters requiring Committee approval that relate to HDR students.
RS Research Services
SOSS Special Overseas Student Scholarship

Actions

Eligibility

Admission to candidature and consequent scholarship eligibility is based upon the University’s normal entry requirements for  a Masters by Research or a Doctor of Philosophy.  Criteria for eligibility for the award of a scholarship are specified in the Higher Degree by Research Candidature Selection Policy. 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.

Scholarship applications

Applications for Scholarships will close on 31st October each year and are only accepted via the method outlined on the FedUni website.

Applicants for scholarships are also required to submit an application for Candidature, as per the Candidature Selection policy. It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide all documentation required for consideration of candidature and scholarships.  An incomplete application or a late application will render the applicant ineligible for consideration for a scholarship. 

Evidence of research performance

Evidence to support research performance can be provided via documented publications, exhibitions, and conference presentations which comply with DEST definitions of research outputs.  Additional evidence can include awards and other means of recognition by appropriate external parties of research involvement, contribution and achievement.

Selection

General Principles

In the selection of applicants for allocation of scholarships across the various Faculties, the University strives to achieve a balance of gender, discipline and strategic considerations whilst ensuring that the criterion of academic merit of applicants is also addressed.  In doing so RHDSC will ensure that it operates in accord with the University’s Fair and Transparent Decision Making Guidelines.

Scholarships are normally awarded to candidates enrolled in doctoral degree programs.  In some circumstances applicants seeking entry to Masters candidature may be awarded a scholarship.  The number of scholarships awarded to Masters applicants will be determined on an annual basis by RHDSC.  Faculties seeking to recommend masters applicants for a scholarship will need to provide a justification for their recommendation.

Process for awarding of scholarships – APA and FPRS

Steps Who is responsible? Comments
1.    Research Services provides overarching principles for awarding scholarships to RHDSC for approval Research Services Research Services reviews Principles for Awarding Scholarships Guidelines and makes recommendations for changes to RHDSC
2.    Scholarship ranking process and criteria for ranking applicants reviewed from previous cycle RHDSC RHDSC will review the ranking process for the scholarships allocation and approve any revisions
3.    Research Services coordinates the administration of Scholarship applications with Scholarships office Research Services, Scholarships Office Research Services and the Scholarships Office will collect, collate and check applications for completeness, as described on the HDR Scholarship Application form.
4.     Application is checked to ensure applicant meets entry requirements Chair of RHDSC or nominee Application is assessed against the eligibility criteria to ensure that all requirements are met.
5.     The application is forwarded to the Faculty for review, approval, and ranking Research Services Research Services will forward applications for applicants who meet entry requirements to their nominated Faculty.
6.     Faculty assesses applications against approved ranking criteria and Principles for Awarding of Scholarships. Faculty Faculty prepares ranked list.
8. Faculty returns full scholarship rankings with nominations for preferred applicants to Research Services. Faculty Faculty ranked lists (checked by ADR with additional points allocated for strategic considerations) are compiled. Faculties must also nominate applicants who should be made an offer of candidature only.
8.    An overall ranked list of Faculty nominations is considered by RHDSC RHDSC  
9.    RHDSC reviews the ranked list, considers “balance”,  and makes a recommendation to the DVC (R&I) on the awarding of scholarships RHDSC Scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit but RHDSC considers gender and academic merit of nominated applicants across Faculties to ensure “balance”  
10.  The final merit-based ranked lists are sent to the DVC (R&I) who will make the final approval DVC (RI)

The DVC (R&I) takes into account:

  • Academic quality of applicants
  • Competitive quality of applicants
  • Strategic importance of the area of research
  • Sanctioned fields of research/countries
  • Adequacy of supervision arrangements, including whether the proposed principal supervisor is research active, whether the proposed principal supervisor has a track record of supervision success, and risk management factors such as continuity of employment of proposed supervisors.
11.  Scholarship offers are made Research Services 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.

Terms and conditions of scholarships

APA, IPRS and FPRS terms and conditions are specified below.  Where appropriate the terms and conditions for a FPRS match those for an APA as described in the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2012.  A full copy of the Commonwealth terms and conditions are available at Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research).

General terms and Conditions

  • The Scholarship is normally conditional on maintaining full-time enrolment in the HDR program as specified in the letter of offer.  If a candidate converts to part-time enrolment, normally the scholarship will be suspended unless there are compassionate or compelling circumstances that prevent the candidate from enrolling as a full-time student. Part-time enrolment may be approved for a scholarship holder under such circumstances.
  • The scholarship must commence within the dates specified in the letter of offer, unless approval to commence late is obtained from the University.  While the offer of candidature may be deferred for up to 12 months, commencement of scholarships cannot be deferred to a following year.
  • Scholarships may be extended past a candidate’s thesis submission date depending upon circumstances such as the duration of remaining candidature.   In these circumstances scholarship extension will require approval by RS.
  • The living allowance will not be suspended for the period that a candidate takes recreation leave, sick leave, carers leave, compassionate leave, family, or maternity/paternity leave as detailed below.  Request for paid leave must be supported by relevant documentation e.g. medical certificates or verification of personal circumstances.  The living allowance will be extended for periods of paid sick leave or maternity leave.
  • If a candidate is granted leave from studies from their HDR program, their living allowance will be suspended until they return from leave.  The duration of the scholarship will be extended by the duration of the leave from studies.
  • If a candidate transfers from a Masters degree to a Doctoral degree, the total duration of the scholarship will be up to 3 years from the date that the candidate commenced the Masters degree, with a possible extension of 6 months.  If a candidate transfers from a Doctoral degree to a Masters degree, the total duration of the scholarship will be up to 2 years from the date that the candidate commenced the Doctoral degree. If the scholarship has already been held for more than 2 years, it will cease on the date of the transfer.
  • The scholarship will cease if the candidate submits their research thesis for examination, withdraws from the program, or their enrolment is terminated by the University (e.g. due to unsatisfactory progress or misconduct).
  • A candidate who has completed a Masters degree by research may continue to receive the scholarship for a Doctoral degree, provided there is no interval between the completion of the Masters degree and commencement of the Doctoral degree, or, the candidate applies for and is granted scholarship leave for the interval between completion of the Master degree and commencement of the Doctoral degree.
  • A candidate who receives a living allowance as part of their scholarship, is permitted to receive a concurrent award, scholarship or salary in relation to their course of study, provided the concurrent awards, scholarship or salary is less than 75% of the annual value of the living allowance.
  • An enrolled domestic candidate who is a scholarship holder is given fee remission for 100% of the tuition fees (RTS place) for the duration of the scholarship.  An additional period of 6 months of candidature with fee remission may be applied for.  A candidate who remains enrolled beyond the end date of the maximum period of candidature covered by an RTS place will become liable for paying the remaining tuition fees.
  • An enrolled international candidate who is a stipend scholarship holder may also be eligible for fee remission for 100% of the tuition fees via a Special Overseas Student Scholarship (SOSS).
  • An international candidate who becomes an Australian permanent resident after having commenced their scholarship, must notify the University immediately. In this circumstance the candidate’s fee-remission scholarship will cease, however their tuition fees will be covered by the Research Training Scheme and they will continue to receive their living allowance.   Where an international candidate is granted an Australian temporary resident visa other than a student visa, their IPRS will cease and they will be liable for remaining tuition fees and medical insurance.

 Specific terms and conditions

Specific terms and conditions of scholarships at the University are summarised below:

  APA FPRS IPRS
Eligibility The candidate must continue to meet the eligibility requirements for an APA. The candidate must continue to meet the eligibility requirements for a FPRS. The candidate must continue to meet the eligibility requirements for an IPRS.
Stipend As stated in letter of offer. As stated in letter of offer. As stated in letter of offer.
Payment Fortnightly into account in candidate’s name with an Australian ADI. Fortnightly into account in candidate’s name with an Australian ADI. Fortnightly into account in candidate’s name with an Australian ADI.
Relocation allowance The University will pay a relocation allowance to candidates who were living overseas or interstate at the time of applying for a scholarship, have not studied at a Victorian institution during the 12 months prior to applying for a scholarship, and had to relocate to commence their program of study.  The value of the allowance is specified by the University. The University will pay a relocation allowance to candidates who were living overseas or interstate at the time of applying for a scholarship, have not studied at a Victorian institution during the 12 months prior to applying for a scholarship, and had to relocate to commence their program of study.  The value of the allowance is specified by the University. The University will pay a relocation allowance to candidates who were living overseas or interstate at the time of applying for a scholarship, have not studied at a Victorian institution during the 12 months prior to applying for a scholarship, and had to relocate to commence their program of study.  The value of the allowance is specified by the University.
Thesis allowance The University will reimburse the cost related to the production of the final corrected version (accepted by the Faculty Examination Committee) of the thesis.  The allowance may be used for editorial assistance where approved by the supervisor.  The value of the allowance is specified by the University. The University will reimburse the cost related to the production of the final corrected version (accepted by the Faculty Examination Committee) of the thesis.  The allowance may be used for editorial assistance where approved by the supervisor.  The value of the allowance is specified by the University. The University will reimburse the cost related to the production of the final corrected version (accepted by the Faculty Examination Committee) of the thesis.  The allowance may be used for editorial assistance where approved by the supervisor.  The value of the allowance is specified by the University.
Duration of scholarship 3 years full-time for research PhD; 2 years full-time for research Masters.  Duration will be decreased by any periods of study undertaken previously while in receipt of a scholarship or postgraduate coursework award, or during suspension of the APA. Duration will be increased by periods of paid sick leave or maternity leave. 3 years full-time for research PhD; 2 years full-time for research Masters.  Duration will be decreased by any periods of study undertaken previously while in receipt of a scholarship or postgraduate coursework award, or during suspension of the FPRS. Duration will be increased by periods of paid sick leave or maternity leave. 3 years for research PhD; 2 years for research Masters.  Duration will be reduced by any periods of study undertaken towards the course of study prior to the commencement of the IPRS, or during suspension of the IPRS.
Extension

An APA for a research PhD may be extended by 6 months if progress is satisfactory and the grounds for extension relate to the study and are beyond the control of the candidate.

An APA cannot be extended for a research Masters.

A FPRS for a research PhD may be extended by 6 months if progress is satisfactory and the grounds for extension relate to the study and are beyond the control of the candidate.

A FPRS cannot be extended for a research Masters.

The University may approve an extension to an IPRS.  Change of university or change of research area do not constitute grounds for an extension, except where the change of research area results from circumstances relating to the research which are outside the control of the candidate and the University.
Suspension Suspension of the APA may be approved by the University. Suspension of the FPRS may be approved by the University. Suspension of the IPRS may be approved by the University.
Transfer to another university An APA is not transferrable to another University.  A candidate who transfers to another university may continue to receive an APA only if the new university has sufficient APA grant amounts of its own and agrees to continue the APA. A FRPS is not transferrable to another University. An IPRS is not normally transferrable to another University but may be transferred in exceptional circumstances.  A candidate who transfers to another university may continue to receive an IPRS only if the former university supports the transfer and the new university agrees to continue the IPRS.  Change of university does not constitute grounds for a subsequent extension of the IPRS.
Conversion of degrees A candidate may convert from a research PhD to a research Masters and vice versa and continue to receive an APA. A candidate who completes a research masters may continue to receive their APA for a research doctorate provided there is no interval between completion of the masters and commencement of the PhD.  The maximum duration of a converted APA becomes that for the new research degree minus periods of prior study towards the related degree. A candidate may convert from a research PhD to a research Masters and vice versa and continue to receive a FPRS only with the approval of the University. Such a request will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  A candidate who completes a research masters may be approved to continue to receive their FPRS for a research doctorate provided there is no interval between completion of the masters and commencement of the PhD.  The maximum duration of a converted APA becomes that for the new research degree minus periods of prior study towards the related degree. A candidate may convert from a research PhD to a research Masters and vice versa and continue to receive an IPRS. The maximum duration of a converted IPRS becomes that for the new research degree minus periods of prior study towards the related degree.
Change of research area A change in research area may be approved by the University providing the new area is one of the University’s areas of research concentration, and there will be no extension to the duration if the APA arising from the change in research area.  The only exception is where the change of research area results from circumstances relating to the research which are outside the control of the candidate and the University. A change in research area may be approved by the University providing the new area is one of the University’s areas of research concentration, and there will be no extension to the duration if the FPRS arising from the change in research area.  The only exception is where the change of research area results from circumstances relating to the research which are outside the control of the candidate and the University. A change in research area may be approved by the University providing the new area is one of the University’s areas of research concentration, and there will be no extension to the duration if the IPRS arising from the change in research area.  The only exception is where the change of research area results from circumstances relating to the research which are outside the control of the candidate and the University.
Leave entitlements

20 working days paid recreation leave per year.  May be accrued.

10 working days sick leave per year.  May be accrued.  Additional paid sick leave up to 12 weeks during the duration of the APA for illness where insufficient leave is available.  Medical certification is required.

Sick leave may be used for candidates with family caring responsibilities, subject to the University’s normal practice.

Maximum of 12 weeks paid maternity leave after completing 12 months of candidature.

Paid leave may be approved for adoption subject to the University’s normal practice.

A candidate who is the partner of a woman giving birth and who has completed 12 months of candidature may be entitled to paid parenting leave subject to the University’s normal practice.

Leave entitlements are forfeited if the APA is terminated.

20 working days paid recreation leave per year.  May be accrued.

15 working days sick leave per year.  May be accrued.  30 days up front on commencement.  Additional paid sick leave may be approved on a case-by-case basis.  Medical certification is required.

5 working days paid carer’s leave per year.  An additional 5 days may be used from sick leave.

1 week of paid maternity leave for each month if less than 12 months candidature completed.  Maximum of 14 weeks paid maternity leave after completing 12 months of candidature. An additional 12 weeks of paid leave if return to work.  A further 26 weeks of unpaid leave may be approved.

A candidate who is the partner of a woman giving birth may be entitled to 10 working days paid parenting if they are not the primary care giver.  If they are the primary care-giver they may be entitled to an additional 50 weeks of unpaid carer’s leave.

15 working days paid leave may be approved for adoption or foster parent leave if the candidate is the primary care giver.

2 days paid compassionate leave per occasion.

5 days paid additional leave per year for religious, ceremonial or culturally significant reasons, blood donor leave.

Paid miscellaneous leave for jury service, Defence Force Reserve, voluntary organisation emergency assistance

Leave entitlements are forfeited if the FPRS is terminated.

20 working days paid recreation leave per year.  May be accrued but may not be taken so as to exceed the maximum duration of the IPRS.

10 working days sick leave per year.  May be accrued but may not be taken so as to exceed the maximum duration of the IPRS.  Additional paid sick leave up to 12 weeks during the duration of the IPRS for illness where insufficient leave is available.  Medical certification is required.

Sick leave may be used for candidates with family caring responsibilities, subject to the University’s normal practice.

Maximum of 12 weeks paid maternity leave after completing 12 months of candidature.

Paid leave may be approved for adoption subject to the University’s normal practice.

A candidate who is the partner of a woman giving birth and who has completed 12 months of candidature may be entitled to paid parenting leave subject to the University’s normal practice.

Leave entitlements are forfeited if the IPRS is terminated.

Work A candidate in receipt of an APA may undertake work subject to approval by the University.  Approval is based on satisfying the University that the work will not interfere with the satisfactory progress of the candidate’s study.  Work commitments cannot be accepted as grounds for an extension. A candidate in receipt of a FPRS may undertake work subject to approval by the University.  Approval is based on satisfying the University that the work will not interfere with the satisfactory progress of the candidate’s study.  Work commitments cannot be accepted as grounds for an extension. A candidate in receipt of an IPRS may undertake work subject to the circumstances being consistent with the candidate’s visa conditions and with the approval of the University.  Approval is based on satisfying the University that the work will not interfere with the satisfactory progress of the candidate’s study.    Work commitments cannot be accepted as grounds for an extension.
Termination An APA will be terminated if the candidate ceases to meet the eligibility criteria, the maximum duration of the APA has been reached, the course of study is completed, the candidate ceases to be a full-time candidate (unless part-time candidature has been approved under the circumstances outlined above), the course of study is not being carried out with competence and diligence, the candidate has failed to maintain satisfactory progress, or the candidate has committed serious misconduct (including the provision of false or misleading information).  If an APA is terminated it cannot be re-activated. A FPRS will be terminated if the candidate ceases to meet the eligibility criteria, the maximum duration of the APA has been reached, the course of study is completed, the candidate ceases to be a full-time candidate (unless part-time candidature has been approved under the circumstances outlined above), the course of study is not being carried out with competence and diligence, the candidate has failed to maintain satisfactory progress, or the candidate has committed serious misconduct (including the provision of false or misleading information).  If a FPRS is terminated it cannot be re-activated. An IPRS will be terminated if the candidate ceases to meet the eligibility criteria, the maximum duration of the IPRS has been reached, the course of study is completed, the candidate ceases to be a full-time candidate, the course of study is not being carried out with competence and diligence, the candidate has failed to maintain satisfactory progress, or the student has committed serious misconduct (including the provision of false or misleading information).
Provision of false or misleading information If the University has reason to believe that a candidate in receipt of an APA has provided false or misleading information in relation to the APA it must re-assess the candidate’s entitlement to the APA and notify the Department.  The candidate may be required to repay any scholarship benefits to which they are not entitled. If the University has reason to believe that a candidate in receipt of a FPRS has provided false or misleading information in relation to the FPRS it will re-assess the candidate’s entitlement to the FPRS and may terminate it and the candidate may be required to repay any scholarship benefits to which they are not entitled. If the University has reason to believe that a candidate in receipt of an IPRS has provided false or misleading information in relation to the IPRS it must re-assess the candidate’s entitlement to the IPRS and notify the Department.  The candidate may be required to repay any scholarship benefits to which they are not entitled.

 Special Overseas Student Scholarships

A SOSS is only available to international HDR candidates and specifically applies to coverage of the tuition fee component of candidature.  A SOSS is normally awarded for the full period of candidature, including any extensions granted by the University.  A candidate exceeding the maximum allowable period of candidature will be required to pay tuition fees.  Visa conditions for international candidates require full-time enrolment.

Industry Funded Scholarships and Pre-committed Scholarships

Under some circumstances, 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.  The procedure for awarding such scholarships is detailed below.  The procedure for pre-committed University scholarships commences at Step 6.

STEPS Responsibility COMMENTS
1. Funding offered Funding Body Funding Body notifies the University of the offer of the grant.
2. Contract provided Funding Body / University In response to notification from the Funding Body, Research Services and the Legal Office may draw up the contract for the project and forward it to the Funding Body.
3. Draft contract reviewed Funding Body, School, Research Draft contract is reviewed by Funding Body, School, Research Services, Legal Office and Finance Office.
4. Contract negotiation Funding Body and Research Services After negotiation and agreement, Legal Office approves contract and Funding Body and VC sign off on contract. Copies are retained by Funding Body and Research Services. Legal Office retains the original signed contract.
5. Contract sign-off Research Services and Finance Office Following receipt of signed contract, Research Services and Finance Office set up a research account for the project and expenditure against the grant can commence.
6.Scholarship is advertised if required Scholarships Office Scholarships Office is responsible for coordinating advertising of the scholarship.
7. Application Form Research Services The new applicant applying for the Externally funded scholarship must complete the approved HDR application for admission to candidature form, and the application for scholarship form and submit to Research Services, as per Candidate Selection Procedure.  An enrolled candidate applying for the Externally funded scholarship must complete the application for scholarship form and submit to Research Services.
8. Faculty Selection Committee Faculty/Chief Investigator The Faculty recommends entry to the HDR program and the award of the External funding to the RHDSC, using the Principles for Awarding Scholarships Guidelines.
9. A letter of offer is forwarded to the successful applicant Research Services/Scholarships Office The letter of offer will detail all the conditions of the scholarship.

Responsibility

Research Services

Awarding of Scholarships

  • Review overarching principles for the awarding of scholarships and provide recommendations for changes to RHDSC
  • Coordinate the administration of scholarship applications
  • Forward applications to Faculties for review
  • Process HDR application form using the Selection and Awarding of HDR Places Procedure
  • Make scholarship offers to prospective candidates

Industry funded Scholarship

  • Review draft contract
  • Retain copy of contract between University and funding body
  • Create research account for scholarship funding
  • Process HDR application form using the Selection and Awarding of HDR Places Procedure
  • Make an offer to the preferred applicant of place and scholarship

General

  • Record scholarship details in the Research Management System
  • Ensure scholarship terms and conditions are adhered to
  • Advise recipients of obligations and restrictions regarding scholarships, where relevant

Executive Dean (or nominee)

Awarding of Scholarships

  • Review Faculty based scholarship ranking criteria
  • Forming Faculty Scholarships ranking committee
  • Industry funded scholarships
  • Approving / rejecting applications for Research funding

Associate Dean Research (or nominee)

Awarding of Scholarships

  • Awarding of additional points for strategic considerations for scholarship rankings

Faculty

Awarding of Scholarships

  • Forming a committee to rank scholarship applications
  • Ranking scholarship applications against approved criteria
  • Returning rankings to Research Services
  • Industry funded scholarships
  • Review draft contracts

Research by Higher Degree Sub-Committee

Awarding of scholarships

  • Approving overarching principles for the awarding of scholarships
  • Approving Faculty based processes for the awarding of scholarships
  • Checking applications for candidature to ensure eligibility requirements are met
  • Provide a recommendation to DVC, (RI) of final ranked list of scholarship recipients

Industry funded scholarships

  • Check candidature application to ensure applicant meet eligibility requirements

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research and Innovation

Awarding of Scholarships

  • Approving the final ranked list of scholarship recipients

Scholarships Office

Awarding of Scholarships

  • Administering the application process for scholarships in conjunction with Research Services
  • Administering the payment of scholarships to recipients

Industry funded scholarships

  • Advertising industry funded scholarships
  • Administering the payment of scholarships to recipients

Promulgation

The Awarding of Scholarships Procedure will be communicated throughout the University via:

  1. an Announcement Notice under ‘FedNews’ website and through the University Policy - ‘Recently Approved Documents’ webpage to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy;
  2. inclusion on the University Policy, Procedure and Forms website; and/or
  3. distribution of e-mails to Head of School / Head of Department / University staff; and/or
  4. documentation distribution, eg. posters, brochures.
  5. Other - please describe

Implementation

The Awarding of Scholarships Procedure will be implemented throughout the University via:

  1. Information Sessions; and/or
  2. Training Sessions; and/or
  3. Other - please describe

Records Management

Title Location Responsible Officer Minimum Retention Period
Higher Degree by Research Scholarship Application Form - Successful applicants Research Services Director Temporary - retain 7 years after delivery of award
Higher Degree by Research Scholarship Application Form - Successful applicants Research Services Director Temporary - retain 12 months after application decision