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Australian Commonwealth Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship Policy Schedule

Schedule overview

1 Purpose

To outline the Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship Policy parameters.

2 Scope

This schedule must be read in conjunction with the Scholarships Bursaries and Prizes Policy and is subordinate to it. This schedule applies to all University Scholarships that are funded by the Australian Government. This schedule applies to all Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Student RTP Scholarship recipients.

3 Schedule

The provision of funding through the RTP is governed by the Australian Commonwealth Scholarship Guidelines (Research) 2017.

3.1 Types of RTP Scholarships

A Scholarship may provide one or more of the following types of support:

  • An RTP Fees Offset Scholarship to meet the full cost of an Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Student's Tuition Fees. Tuition fees Scholarships do not cover the Student Services Amenities Fee or other Student fees that may be introduced by the University from time to time.
  • An RTP Stipend Scholarship to support the general living costs of an HDR Student through fortnightly tax-free payments for the standard duration of the Academic Program.
  • An RTP Scholarship allowance to assist Students with ancillary costs. Ancillary costs may include, but are not limited to:
  • standard Overseas Student Health Cover that covers either:
    • a Student for the standard duration of their Academic Program, or
    • a Student, their spouse and dependents (if any) for the standard duration of the Academic Program
  • relocation costs
  • Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Thesis printing and academic publication costs.

3.2 How to apply

Domestic RTP Fees Offset Scholarship applicants are assessed for eligibility at the point of application into an HDR Academic Program. There is no separate application process.

Instructions on how to apply for an RTP Scholarship and the due dates are listed on the USQ Scholarship website.

3.3 RTP Fees Offset Scholarships

3.3.1 Eligibility and conditions

RTP Fees Offset Scholarships are available for study in Australia or overseas, Part-Time or Full-Time, in an HDR Academic Program. Domestic Students eligible for a full RTP Fees Offset Scholarship are those who have not used any RTP Fees Offset or Research Training Scheme funding in the previous three years, at any Australian University; or have already used the RTP Fees Offset funding and have successfully completed an HDR program. Once a Student completes an HDR program, full entitlements of the RTP Fees Offset Scholarship are restored.

Scholarship recipients must not be receiving an equivalent Award from the Australian Commonwealth Government designed to offset HDR Tuition Fees.

Overseas Students are eligible to apply for an RTP Fees Offset Scholarship.

3.3.2 Value and duration

The RTP Fees Offset Scholarship covers the full cost of the program fees for an HDR Student:

  • for a minimum of three years and up to a maximum of four years (at the discretion of the University) if the Student is undertaking a Doctoral program at a Full-Time Study load, or a minimum of six years at a Part-Time Study load; or
  • for a maximum of two years if the Student is undertaking a Masters by Research program at a Full-Time Study load, or a maximum of four years for a Part-Time Study load.

The RTP Fees Offset Scholarship support is based on the HDR program commencement date, which may or may not have occurred at a previous University and may or may not have been supported by the RTP. If a Student's RTP Fees Offset entitlement expires before completion of the program, the Student will normally be required to pay full Tuition Fees.

3.4 RTP Stipend Scholarships

3.4.1 Eligibility and Conditions

To be eligible for an RTP Stipend Scholarship a Student must be a domestic or Overseas Student undertaking Full-Time Study in an HDR Academic Program, and not be receiving a Stipend from another source which is greater than 75% of the RTP Stipend Scholarship rate. Income unrelated to the Student's program, or income received for the Student's program but not for the purpose of supporting general living costs will not be taken into account.

RTP Stipend Scholarships offered by the University are not transferable to other universities. For Students transferring to the University, an RTP Stipend Scholarship will only be awarded after a competitive selection process.

3.4.2 Value and duration

Each year the Commonwealth Government Department Responsible for Higher Education sets a minimum and maximum rate of Stipend. At the University all Students will receive the same Stipend rate, which will be set between the minimum and maximum amounts. The amount of the Stipend will not change during the candidature period as the commencing rate will take into account the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The duration of an RTP Stipend Scholarship is normally three years for a Full-Time Doctoral program, and 1.5 years for a Masters by Research program. Scholarship recipients may apply to the University to extend their Scholarship payments for up to 12 months for a Doctoral program, and up to six months for a Masters by Research, by submitting a Variation to Candidature request form.

Scholarship extensions will be considered for approval by the Dean (Graduate Research School) only if the Student is making satisfactory progress and the circumstances for the delay of the project were outside the control of the Student.

Periods of study undertaken in the Academic Program prior to the commencement of the Scholarship will be taken into account. Scholarships will be adjusted accordingly for Stipend recipients studying Part-Time.

3.4.3 RTP Part-time Enrolment

On request, an RTP Stipend Scholarship recipient is be permitted to enrol Part-Time in demonstrated extenuating circumstances. If approved the RTP Stipend Scholarship will be adjusted accordingly. The University will require Part-Time Scholarship recipients to convert to Full-Time Study if the reasons for which Part-Time Study was approved no longer applies. For Students studying Part-Time, the rate of Stipend will be 50% of the Full-Time rate. Part-time Scholarship payments are liable for tax.

3.5 Employment conditions

Scholarship recipients are permitted to engage in paid employment providing it does not interfere with their study. Any work undertaken would also have to meet the conditions of a Student visa.

3.6 Process for awarding RTP Scholarships

Scholarships will normally be advertised through the University and, as appropriate, external websites.

The website will normally include information on:

  • how to apply
  • value of the Scholarship
  • duration of the Award
  • eligibility requirements
  • conditions of the Award, and
  • closing dates.

3.6.1 Assessment process

The Scholarship committee will Assess applicants on:

  • Academic Merit
  • the research topic and its relevance to the USQ's strategic research priorities
  • research publications and/or presentations (if any), and
  • progress of existing Student (if applicable).

3.6.2 Applicant Notice

Unsuccessful Scholarship applicants will be notified via email.

Successful Scholarship applicants will be sent a letter of offer via email.

The Scholarship letter of offer will normally include:

  • Scholarship benefits
  • duration of the Award
  • leave arrangements
  • Student and University obligations
  • a due date by which the Student must accept the offer, and commence the Academic Program.

Scholarship offers not accepted by the due date, or declined, may be withdrawn.

3.6.3 Accepted Scholarships

Scholarships accepted are held until such time as the applicant is expected to commence their Academic Program. Normally, Scholarship recipients must commence their program within 12 months of the offer, or by the date nominated. Scholarships may be withdrawn where Students do not commence study by the required date.

3.7 Leave entitlements

Scholarship recipients are entitled to receive up to 20 working days paid recreation leave and 10 working days paid sick leave for each year. These leave entitlements may be accrued over the life of the Scholarship but will be forfeited when the Scholarship finishes.

Scholarship recipients are entitled to receive additional paid sick leave of up to a total of 60 working days for illness where the Student has insufficient sick leave entitlements available, provided that a medical certificate to cover the period of illness has been provided by the Student to the University.

All leave entitlements are subject to the Requesting Changes to your Candidature guidelines.

3.8 Provisions for transferring Students

Students transferring to the University will be required to provide information from their previous University regarding program commencement date and Equivalent Full-Time Student Load (EFTSL) consumed in that program. If the Student is transferring away from the University, on request the University will provide this information to the other University.

3.9 Provisions for changing HDR Enrolment

Where an RTP Scholarship recipient changes from one HDR Academic Program to another Academic Program at the same level, the duration of the Scholarship remains the same. For example, if an RTP Scholarship recipient has completed one year of a Masters by Research program and then changes to a different Masters by Research program, then the Student will be entitled to up to one further year of Full-Time equivalent support.

Where an RTP Scholarship recipient commences studies in a Masters by Research program and then changes enrolment to a Doctoral program, the Student is entitled to a maximum of four years Full-Time equivalent study, including the time enrolled in the Masters by Research program.

In the circumstances where an RTP Scholarship recipient is required to change enrolment from a Doctoral program to a Masters by Research program, the Student is limited to support for a maximum duration of two years Full-Time equivalent including the time enrolled in the Doctoral program.

A Student who has previously completed an HDR program, held a research Scholarship, or withdrawn from a research program, is eligible to apply for an RTP Scholarship.

An HDR Student may change their enrolment status from Full-Time to Part-Time or vice versa.

3.10 Provisions for changing topic and/or field of research

Where an RTP Fees Offset Scholarship or RTP Stipend Scholarship recipient changes their topic and/or field of research, the duration of the Scholarship remains the same and is not automatically extended. Scholarship extensions will be considered and approved by the Dean (Graduate Research School) only if the Student is making satisfactory progress and if the circumstances for the delay of the project were outside the control of the Student.

3.11 Arrangements for continuing Students

Domestic Students supported or offered support under the former Research Training Scheme will be offered an RTP Fees Offset Scholarship for the duration necessary to provide at least equivalent support to that which the Student would have received under the Research Training Scheme.

Overseas Students supported or offered support under the former International Postgraduate Research Scholarships will be offered an RTP Fees Offset Scholarship for the duration necessary to provide at least equivalent support to that which the Student would have received under the International Postgraduate Research Scholarship.

Students supported or offered support under the former Australian Postgraduate Awards will be offered an RTP Stipend Scholarship for the duration necessary to provide at least equivalent support to that which the Student would have received under the Australian Postgraduate Awards.

3.12 Suspension or withdrawal of Scholarship

Students unable to continue in the Academic Program for any reason must notify the University immediately in writing either physically or electronically. The Scholarship will be suspended or withdrawn.

Scholarship payments will cease upon submission of the Thesis for examination, or at the end of the Scholarship period, whichever comes first.

Students are expected to make satisfactory progress in their studies. Progress will be monitored by the submission of regular progress reports. In addition, Students will be required to meet any milestones imposed by the University. If the University does not consider progress to be satisfactory, or an Academic, General or Research Misconduct has been committed, the Scholarship may be withdrawn.

Students whose Scholarship has been withdrawn will be sent a Notice in writing, and will be advised of their right to Appeal in accordance with the Student Complaint and Appeal Policy. RTP Stipend Scholarship payments would normally be suspended throughout the duration of the enquiry/Appeal process.

3.13 Complaints

The Decision by the University made in respect of a Scholarship application is final and not reviewable. Students who wish to submit a Complaint in relation to the Scholarship allocation process should do so in accordance with the Student Complaint and Appeal Policy.

3.14 Additional information

3.14.1 Acknowledgement statement

The Australian Commonwealth Government's contribution to the RTP Scholarships must be acknowledged in the Thesis and on all published material. The acknowledgement statement should read: 'This research has been supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship.'

3.14.2 Industry engagement

HDR Students are encouraged to undertake industry placements, research internships, professional practice activities or other similar activities during their candidature. Where Students are funded by an RTP Scholarship, the activities must relate closely to the Thesis research topic.

RTP Fee Offset scholarship students may have their scholarship extended by the duration of the placement, internship, or professional practice activity up to the maximum period of RTP support.

RTP Stipend scholarships may be available for the duration of industry placements, research internships and professional practice activities if:

  • the student already holds an RTP Stipend
  • there is no other income associated with these activities
  • the maximum duration of the Academic Program has not been reached, and
  • the Thesis examination process has not been finalised.

Students undertaking a placement, internship, or professional practice are not eligible to have their RTP Stipend scholarship extended beyond the maximum period of RTP support.

3.14.3 Supervision and provision of facilities

Information about research supervision at the University and the facilities provided to Students is set out in the Higher Degree by Research Supervision and Student Support Procedure, and in the Minimum Standards of Support for Research Students Policy and Procedure.

4 References

Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2017 (Cth). Retrieved from: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2016L01602

5 Schedule Information

Accountable Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)

Responsible Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)

Policy Type

University Procedure

Approved Date

9/2/2018

Effective Date

9/2/2018

Review Date

22/12/2020

Relevant Legislation

Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2017

Higher Education Support Act 2003

Related Policies

Enrolment Policy

Research Code of Conduct Policy

Scholarships, Bursaries and Prizes Policy

Student Code of Conduct Policy

Student Complaint and Appeal Policy

Related Procedures

Higher Degree by Research Supervision and Student Support Procedure

Higher Degree by Research Thesis Examination Procedure

Research Scholarship Management Procedure (under development)

Related forms, publications and websites

Feedback, Complaints and Appeals

Requesting changes to your candidature

USQ Scholarship website

Variation to Candidature Request Form

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Academic Merit

Academic Merit is based on an Applicant's level of academic achievement during their prior studies. It is generally assessed on an applicant's OP score, International Baccalaureate (IB) score, Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank, or equivalent rank based on the applicants qualifications and/or work experience....moreAcademic Merit is based on an Applicant's level of academic achievement during their prior studies. It is generally assessed on an applicant's OP score, International Baccalaureate (IB) score, Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank, or equivalent rank based on the applicants qualifications and/or work experience.

Academic Misconduct

Academic Misconduct involves providing aid or assistance in relation to, creating or making, obtaining or acquiring, or using information, services or equipment that may unfairly give a Student an unauthorised advantage relative to other Students with regard to a Formal Examination or other Assessment Item. 'Unauthorised advantage' includes any advantage not identified for the Fo...moreAcademic Misconduct involves providing aid or assistance in relation to, creating or making, obtaining or acquiring, or using information, services or equipment that may unfairly give a Student an unauthorised advantage relative to other Students with regard to a Formal Examination or other Assessment Item. 'Unauthorised advantage' includes any advantage not identified for the Formal Examination or Assessment work. Academic Misconduct includes but is not limited to Collusion, Plagiarism, contract cheating, impersonation of a Student or University Employee, and Failure to Comply with Formal Examination or Assessment Instructions.

Academic Program

An approved Higher Education Award of the University, consisting of a combination of Courses the successful completion of an offering of which, together with any credit transfers and Exemptions in accordance with the relevant requirements, will fulfil the prescribed requirements for that particular Award....moreAn approved Higher Education Award of the University, consisting of a combination of Courses the successful completion of an offering of which, together with any credit transfers and Exemptions in accordance with the relevant requirements, will fulfil the prescribed requirements for that particular Award.

Appeal

A formal, written request made by a Student or Employee to a higher authority to have a Decision overturned....moreA formal, written request made by a Student or Employee to a higher authority to have a Decision overturned.

Assessment

The process of evaluating the extent to which Students have achieved the objectives of a Course....moreThe process of evaluating the extent to which Students have achieved the objectives of a Course.

Award

The qualification conferred upon a Student following the successful completion of an Academic Program. The categories of Award include: Associate Degree, Diploma, Bachelor Degree, Bachelor Honours Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Master Degree (both Coursework and research), Doctoral Degree (both Coursework and research) and Higher Doctorate....moreThe qualification conferred upon a Student following the successful completion of an Academic Program. The categories of Award include: Associate Degree, Diploma, Bachelor Degree, Bachelor Honours Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Master Degree (both Coursework and research), Doctoral Degree (both Coursework and research) and Higher Doctorate.

Commonwealth Government Department Responsible for Higher Education

As at September 2015, the Department of Education and Training....moreAs at September 2015, the Department of Education and Training.

Complaint

A Complaint is an “expression of dissatisfaction made to or about the University, related to its products, services, staff or the handling of a complaint, where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected or legally required”....moreA Complaint is an “expression of dissatisfaction made to or about the University, related to its products, services, staff or the handling of a complaint, where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected or legally required”.

Decision

A determination made by an Employee, contractor or other authorised delegate in the course of their duties on behalf of the University....moreA determination made by an Employee, contractor or other authorised delegate in the course of their duties on behalf of the University.

Domestic Student

A Student who is an Australian citizen, a New Zealand citizen, an Australian Permanent Resident or the holder of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa....moreA Student who is an Australian citizen, a New Zealand citizen, an Australian Permanent Resident or the holder of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa.

EFTSL

An equivalent Full-Time Student Unit (EFTSL) is a measure of the workload for students undertaking a full year of study in a particular year. At this University, one EFTSL is equal to eight Units....moreAn equivalent Full-Time Student Unit (EFTSL) is a measure of the workload for students undertaking a full year of study in a particular year. At this University, one EFTSL is equal to eight Units.

Full-Time Study

A Student will be deemed to be in Full-time Study where they are enrolled in at least 75% of the equivalent full-time load (8 Units) during an Academic Year. A Student enrolled in 3 or more Units in a single Semester may be deemed as full-time for that Semester. Additionally for visa requirements, International Students studying in Australia on a student visa must complete their progra...moreA Student will be deemed to be in Full-time Study where they are enrolled in at least 75% of the equivalent full-time load (8 Units) during an Academic Year. A Student enrolled in 3 or more Units in a single Semester may be deemed as full-time for that Semester. Additionally for visa requirements, International Students studying in Australia on a student visa must complete their program within the time specified on their Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) and therefore must maintain a full-time load per Academic Year.

General Misconduct

Behaviour or conduct by a Student which: is deemed to be serious in nature; and is a deliberate failure to comply with the specific provisions of the Student Code of Conduct; and/or is persistent or negligent behaviour in breach of the Student Code of Conduct; and does not constitute as Academic or Research Misconduct, including a breach in research or failure to implement the Research...moreBehaviour or conduct by a Student which: is deemed to be serious in nature; and is a deliberate failure to comply with the specific provisions of the Student Code of Conduct; and/or is persistent or negligent behaviour in breach of the Student Code of Conduct; and does not constitute as Academic or Research Misconduct, including a breach in research or failure to implement the Research Code of Conduct.

Higher Degree by Research (HDR)

A Research Doctorate or Research Masters program for which at least two-thirds of the Student load for the program is required as research work....moreA Research Doctorate or Research Masters program for which at least two-thirds of the Student load for the program is required as research work.

Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Student

A Student enrolled in an HDR program....moreA Student enrolled in an HDR program.

Notice

A Notice from the University is a document, whether physical or electronic. A Notice may be: given by hand to the addressee or delivered to the address provided by the addressee to the University; or sent by registered or pre-paid mail to the address provided by the addressee to the University; or sent by electronic communication to the University-issued email account provided by the Unive...moreA Notice from the University is a document, whether physical or electronic. A Notice may be: given by hand to the addressee or delivered to the address provided by the addressee to the University; or sent by registered or pre-paid mail to the address provided by the addressee to the University; or sent by electronic communication to the University-issued email account provided by the University to a Student during the period of Enrolment until the completion of their program; or sent by electronic communication to the email address provided to the University by an addressee not enrolled at the University. A Notice is taken to be received if: given by hand to the addressee or delivered to the address provided to the University by the addressee; or sent by registered or pre-paid mail - three University Business Days after the date of posting; or sent by electronic communication - at the time that would be the time of receipt under the Electronic Transactions Act 1999 or its succeeding legislation. A Notice that would be deemed to have been received out of business hours or on a non-University Business Day will instead be deemed received on the next University Business Day.

Overseas Student

A Student who is not a Domestic Student....moreA Student who is not a Domestic Student.

Part-Time Study

Enrolment in less than .75 EFTSL in any year shall be deemed to be Part-Time Study....moreEnrolment in less than .75 EFTSL in any year shall be deemed to be Part-Time Study.

Research Misconduct

Breaches of the University Research Code of Conduct and the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research occur on a spectrum, from minor (less serious) to major (more serious). Some major/serious breaches may be regarded as 'research misconduct'. The University uses the definition recommended in the National Health and Medical Research Council Guide to Managing and Investigating P...moreBreaches of the University Research Code of Conduct and the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research occur on a spectrum, from minor (less serious) to major (more serious). Some major/serious breaches may be regarded as 'research misconduct'. The University uses the definition recommended in the National Health and Medical Research Council Guide to Managing and Investigating Potential Breaches of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research and defines Research Misconduct as a serious breach of the Code which is also intentional or reckless or negligent. The use of the term Research Misconduct for serious breaches will be considered in the context of other institutional processes, Regardless of whether a Code investigation and an investigation done under an employment or student disciplinary agreement are separate or integrated, the University will take all reasonable steps to ensure that these do not conflict, or hinder the timely implementation of all corrective actions. Research misconduct does not include honest differences in judgement. Unintentional errors do not usually constitute research misconduct unless they result from behaviour that is reckless or negligent. Repeated or persistent breaches will likely constitute a serious breach, which will trigger consideration of Research Misconduct.

Scholarship

A Scholarship is Student recognition, typically based on Academic Merit, which provides a financial grant to a Student to undertake or complete a program of study at the University over a nominated period of time, in accordance with the selection criteria. A Scholarship may take the form of periodic payments to the Student or a reduction in specified costs, such as tuition fees for the...moreA Scholarship is Student recognition, typically based on Academic Merit, which provides a financial grant to a Student to undertake or complete a program of study at the University over a nominated period of time, in accordance with the selection criteria. A Scholarship may take the form of periodic payments to the Student or a reduction in specified costs, such as tuition fees for the duration of the Scholarship.

Student

A person who: has been Admitted or Enrolled in an Academic Program at the University, but has not yet graduated from the program; or has been Enrolled in a Course at the University but has not yet completed the Course....moreA person who: has been Admitted or Enrolled in an Academic Program at the University, but has not yet graduated from the program; or has been Enrolled in a Course at the University but has not yet completed the Course.

Thesis

Also known as a Standard Thesis, is the material outcomes of a program of research. It is also referred to as a 'dissertation'....moreAlso known as a Standard Thesis, is the material outcomes of a program of research. It is also referred to as a 'dissertation'.

Tuition Fees

Fees charged to non-Commonwealth supported Students for enrolment in a Course. USQ uses the term “tuition/direct fees”....moreFees charged to non-Commonwealth supported Students for enrolment in a Course. USQ uses the term “tuition/direct fees”.

University

The term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland....moreThe term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland.

Definitions that relate to this schedule only

Stipend

Stipend is a fixed regular sum paid as a salary or allowance. This usually applies to Students studying with a Scholarship or Award.

Source: Australian Government Department of Education and Training Research Training Program (RTP) - Frequently Asked Questions for university administrators, https://www.education.gov.au/research-training-program-rtp-frequently-asked-questions-university-administrators

Keywords

Research Training Program, RTP, Scholarship, Fees Offset, Stipend, Research Training Scheme, HDR, Program, Masters by Research, Doctoral, Research, Apply, Scholarship Recipient, Australian Commonwealth Government, leave entitlement

Record No

16/2362PL

Complying with the law and observing Policy and Procedure is a condition of working and/or studying at the University.

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