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  3. Scholarships, resources and funding

Scholarships, resources and funding

As a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) student there are several ways to receive funding to advance your research, including the Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarships (RTP) and the University of Sydney Postgraduate Awards (UPA). Both are offered to domestic and international HDR students. The UPA for international students is called the University of Sydney International Scholarship.

This article covers:

  • types of scholarships
  • applying for a scholarship
  • other funding and resources for postgraduate and HDR students
  • further support and relevant policies.


Types of scholarships

Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarships and University of Sydney Postgraduate Awards (UPA)

All domestic students who received an unconditional offer to undertake a Higher Degree by Research course at the University of Sydney will be offered the RTP Fees Offset Scholarship, which covers tuition fees. This scholarship lasts for up to 4 years for PhD students.

The RTP Stipend Scholarship is awarded by competitive process, based on application rankings. This scholarship is intended to cover general living expenses, at a rate of $35,000 per year. For PhD students it covers up to 3.5 years. Both the Fees Offset and Stipend scholarships are funded by the Australian Government.

The UPA is funded by the University of Sydney and is similar in tenure and benefits to the RTP Stipend Scholarship. Students who apply for the RTP Stipend Scholarship will automatically be considered for the UPA as well. The stipend rate is $35,000 per year.

Although the RTP is funded from an Australian Government grant it is up to each university to set the rate each year.

More details on the UPA and RTP scholarships, including deadlines and application process.

HDR Completion Scholarship

Full-time HDR candidates in their final research period may be eligible for a completion scholarship worth $7,000.

General and faculty scholarships

In addition to the RTP and UPA, a range of general or University-wide scholarships are available to HDR students. Faculty- or discipline-specific scholarships are available to candidates who are enrolled in those faculties or researching in those disciplines. These scholarships will have their own applications, tenures and benefits.

You can usually apply for scholarships even after you have commenced your candidature, but check each scholarship for application and eligibility information.

Applying for a scholarship

Use this check list when applying for scholarships:

  • Research what scholarships are available.
  • Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria for each scholarship you are interested in.
  • Carefully follow the application guidelines, including word limits, and make sure you address the selection criteria.
  • Make sure you submit all relevant documents.
  • Check your spelling and grammar.
  • Consider asking someone to proofread your draft application before you submit.
  • Take note of the due date and make sure to submit by the submission deadline.
Did you miss out on a scholarship? You can appeal.

If you were unsuccessful in applying for a scholarship you cannot be provided with feedback, but you may appeal by contacting the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Education at

Contact us for assistance with a scholarship appeal.

Scholarships FAQs

The types of scholarships, conditions, applications and eligibility can be complicated. What happens if you have to take a suspension, or if you change to part-time enrolment? What about tax on your scholarship payment? Your questions may be answered by the University’s scholarships FAQs.

Other funding

Postgraduate Research Support Scheme (PRSS)

The Postgraduate Research Support Scheme (PRSS) offers grants for travel and attendance costs at overseas conferences or fieldwork. The grants are available to domestic and international students, valued at up to $3,500 per student per round of funding. There can be more than one round of funding per year, and you may apply more than once. PRSS is administered by your faculty.

More information about funding categories and applications in your faculty is available on the University website.

Grants-in-aid (GIA)

Grants-in-aid (GIA) are travel grants worth between $500 and $2,500 to support domestic students undertaking short overseas research activities, not including attendance at conferences. Check the application details for Grants-in-aid.

Essential resources for HDR research

Many students assume they will be provided with a desk and computer, and maybe even their own secure office. In reality, most students are provided with a shared office space. Faculties and schools vary with the types of resources they can offer HDR students.

Key resources that your faculty must provide to you include:

  • appropriate office space
  • lockable storage
  • technology access
  • appropriate workspace and laboratory or studio space and equipment.

A list of the minimum resources that must be provided to each HDR candidate can be found in the Higher Degree by Research Supervision Policy 2020.

If you are not provided with these resources at the beginning of your degree, discuss the issue with your lead supervisor. If a resource or piece of equipment that you think is necessary for your research project is not provided, ask your lead supervisor if it can be provided by your faculty or by other means (such as hiring or sharing with another faculty). Note that sole use of a desk and laptop is not considered an essential resource.

If you buy equipment or resources yourself, you can apply for a bursary or loan of up to $2,000 through the University’s financial support.

More help

SUPRA can assist with advice, advocacy and support regarding scholarships and other resources. Contact us for help.


All policies can be accessed at the University of Sydney Policy Register:

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Written by SUPRA Postgraduate Advocacy Service November 2023.

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