JCU Competitive Research Scholarships

Applications close on 31 October 2016!

Every year James Cook University is able to provide scholarships, in the form of a stipend or living allowance, to Higher Degree by Research candidates on a competitive basis. The scholarship is to cover the living expenses of excellent candidates so that they can focus on their studies and be supported to successful completion of their degree.

The award value is $26,288 (2016 rate) per annum, tax free, paid as a fortnightly stipend for 3 years initially.

Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis to the top ranking applicants.

James Cook University offers two types of competitive scholarship:

1. JCU Competitive Scholarship

These competitive scholarships are open to domestic and international research applicants. This scholarship incorporates the Australian Postgraduate Award (APA), International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS) and James Cook University Postgraduate Research Scholarship (JCUPRS.)

  • International applicants must apply by 31 August 2016.
  • Domestic applicants for a 2017 commencement only must apply by 31 October 2016.

Note: There MAY be some opportunities for Domestic applicants only to commence a scholarship in 2016. If you are a Domestic candidate wishing to be considered for a 2016 commencement please apply by 31 August 2016 and indicate so at the final question in the application.

2. AIMS@JCU Scholarship

These competitive scholarships are open to domestic and international research applicants and have specific requirements, including the agreement of an Advisor from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS).

  • All applicants must apply by 31 October 2016.

International applicants: are defined as applicants other than Australian citizens/New Zealand citizens/Australian permanent residents. Domestic applicants: are defined as Australian citizens/New Zealand citizens/Australian permanent residents or Humanitarian Visa holders. Proof of citizenship is required on application.

Application requirements

All competitive JCU scholarship applicants must ensure they:

  1. Consulted the 2017 Scholarship Scoring Procedure to check their eligibility and competitiveness.
  2. Submitted a completed application for candidature a Higher Degree by Research, or be currently enrolled in an eligible degree at JCU.
  3. Submitted a completed scholarship application by the deadline for that scholarship.
  4. Demonstrated English Language proficiency at Band 3a by the application deadline if not already enrolled in a Higher Degree by Research at JCU.  Band 3a means that the applicant must have an IELTS of 7.0 with no component lower than 6.5, or the equivalent in the TOEFL or Pearson tests.
  5. Have an Advisory Panel which complies with the HDR Supervision Procedure.
  6. Are not in receipt of major stipend funding (>75% of 2016 standard rate, approximately $19,700 per year), although candidates already receiving a stipend may be eligible for a “top-up” scholarship.
  7. Will be based on a JCU campus (enrolled as an ‘internal’ candidate) to undertake the degree unless formal approval has been granted to be off-campus.
  8. Will be enrolled as a full-time candidate unless formal approval has been granted for part-time enrolment.
  9. Have completed the degree used to contribute to the scholarship score and degree entry criteria by 21 January 2017 (grades finalised and completion of all degree requirements confirmed by institution).
  10. Will be available to commence their scholarship before the 1 July 2017, otherwise the scholarship offer will lapse.
  11. Include a completed and approved AIMS@JCU coversheet (AIMS@JCU scholarship applicants only)
  12. Possess at least one of the following qualifications:
  • Honours 2A or above
  • Masters by Research
  • Postgraduate Degree with significant Research Component
  • Bachelor or Postgraduate degree with a research component (minimum of 3 months) and senior authorship of an ERA eligible publication
  • A Graduate Diploma or Certificate in Research Methods with an undergraduate degree of at least 3 years
  • Current enrolment in a Higher Degree by Research at JCU

How to apply

If you are currently enrolled in a Higher Degree by Research at JCU, go directly to step 2.

  1. First submit an application for HDR candidature. To do this go to the Graduate Research School 'How to Apply' page and follow the instructions.
  2. Once you have completed your candidature application, or if you are already enrolled in a Higher Degree by Research at JCU, go to the 'My Scholarship Applications' tab in eStudent to submit your scholarship application.

Where do I go for help?

Applicants are encouraged to speak to their prospective Advisors regarding their intention to apply for a scholarship. Specific questions regarding competitiveness should be directed to the relevant College Associate Dean of Research Education. Questions regarding the application process should be directed to the Graduate Research School at

For the procedure on the communication of scholarship applications or how the applications are ranked, please refer to the 2017 Scholarship Scoring Procedure.

Forms you may need

A note on the Student Services and Administration (SSA) Fee

JCU competitive scholarships do not cover the University's Student Services and Amenities Fee, which applies to  both domestic and international HDR candidates. For further information, please visit the SSA Fee webpage.

JCU competitive scholarships do not cover international relocation costs to JCU to commence the research degree.

JCU competitive scholarships do not cover the cost of any type of health insurance or overseas health cover.

Other Scholarships

JCU Funded Short Scholarships for Current HDR Candidates

Externally Funded Research Scholarships

Prospective international and domestic applicants can apply for externally funded research scholarships at any time, according to the terms and conditions of the scholarship or grant program. On the award of a scholarship from the funding body, the applicant should apply to undertake a research higher degree candidature at JCU. Enquiries relating to the award of external scholarships and candidature application and enrolment should be forwarded to

Below is a list of some of the scholarship opportunities currently available. In addition, JCU staff and students are encouraged to use Research Professional to search for funding opportunities and funding related news. For further information on Research Professional, contact the JCU Research Services team. See also the JCU Scholarships, Bursaries and Grants webpage