Policy Scholarship Scoring Procedure

Scholarship Scoring Procedure

Print Friendly and PDFPrint Friendly

Competitive JCU Scholarships 2023


Every year James Cook University via the Graduate Research School awards via a competitive process, scholarships to candidates of exceptional research potential undertaking a Higher Degree by Research (Doctorate or Master of Philosophy) at James Cook University.  The scholarships are provided to assist with the general living costs of the candidate.

This document contains the procedure for scoring and ranking competitive JCU scholarship applications to commence in 2023.

James Cook University offers several types of competitive scholarship including:

  • Indigenous RTPS Scholarships (RTPSI) for applicants who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Research Training Program Scholarships, for both domestic (RTPS) and international (IRTPS) applicants
  • JCU Postgraduate Research Scholarship (JCUPRS), for both domestic and international applicants
  • AIMS@JCU Scholarship for both domestic and international applicants


  • Honours degree – A Bachelor degree with an additional honours year or component that included an advanced level research project which resulted in the production of a thesis or dissertation which was formally examined. Note: This does not automatically include the “UK Honours” degree.
  • Masters by Research – A Masters degree that included an advanced level research project of at least 12 months full-time or equivalent and resulted in the production of a thesis or dissertation which was formally examined.
  • Postgraduate degree with significant research component – A Masters, Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate which included an advanced level research project of at least six months full-time or equivalent which resulted in the production of a thesis or dissertation which was formally examined and completion of a Research Training Subject.
  • Research Training Subject – A formally taught and examined subject comprising at least 0.125 of an annual full-time load (e.g. one subject out of eight equally weighted subjects completed in a year of full time enrolment) which provided training in research e.g. literature review, qualitative methods, statistics, epidemiology.


  1. Scholarship applications will be received at any time during the year. Closing dates for application rounds are as per the HDR Scholarships page.
  2. The process for submitting an application for scholarship can be found at “How to Apply” https://www.jcu.edu.au/graduate-research-school/how-to-apply.
  3. Applications can score a maximum of 35 points based on two possible components:
    1. Degree and Performance (maximum 25 points, see appendix 1)
    2. Publications Scoring (maximum 10 points, see appendix 2)
  4. Each application will have the “Qualifying Degree and Performance” component scored by the ADRE from the relevant college and by the GRS, independently, and an independent scorer e.g. ADRE from another college if the two scores discrepant.  No individual can score an application more than once or where there is a conflict of interest.
  5. Where two or more applicants have received the same final overall score, but there are not sufficient scholarships to award to all applicants on that score, the applications will be ranked according to the following criteria which will be used in the order listed below:
    1. The applicant is a new candidate, rather than an already enrolled candidate.
    2. The GPA of the most recently completed year of coursework, based on a full time load or equivalent.
  6. ADREs cannot score an application for a candidate whom they are on the current or proposed Advisory Panel.
  7. Where the Final Score received by an applicant is questioned, an Associate Dean of Research Education from a different College than the applicant will review the scoring.
  8. Changes to a Final Score will only be made where a genuine mistake has been made (e.g. data entered incorrectly).
  9. The scoring for the Publication section is undertaken by the Library and Information Services team.
  10. The overall ranking of applicants will be endorsed by the Research Education Sub Committee, and will be offered in order by GRS upon budget advice provided by the GRS.
  11. Applications for scholarships from Master of Philosophy applicants/candidates will be ranked in a separate order of merit list. Up to ten scholarships will be available to Master of Philosophy applicants.
  12. Applicants who obtain a score marked with an * in Appendix 1, and who graduated (or will graduate) from JCU with the degree for which that score was awarded, will be offered a scholarship, contingent upon approval from the College.  These are Honours Class I, Master of Philosophy, or Postgraduate degree (coursework Masters, Grad cert/dip research methods) with a research component of 6 months FTE and a course GPA of 85-100% with 85-100% for the thesis component.  Note that a JCU GPA of 6 out of a maximum of 7 is equivalent to 85%.  Note that if there are more candidates that fall into this category than there are scholarships available, the competitive process via ranking on the order of merit list will apply.
  13. Applicants who are eligible for the Indigenous RTPS Scholarships (RTPSI) must be endorsed by the DVC Indigenous Education prior to the scholarship being offered.  If not endorsed by the DVC Indigenous Education, applicants will be returned to the pool of scholarship applicants for consideration for other scholarships.
  14. Priority scholarships for grant applicants and those with external co-funding will be considered as below.  Please note this is subject to change at short notice.
  • DECRA awardee (1 scholarship, must commence within 12 months of fellowship commencement.)
  • NHMRC Investigator Grant (1 scholarship, must commence within 18 months of fellowship commencement.)
  • ARC Future/ARC Laureate Fellow (1 scholarship, unless 2 received via the fellowship, which case 2 will be awarded, must commence within 12 months of fellowship commencement.)
  • As per HDR Co-funded Scholarship Procedure
  1. The Supervision Procedure Ruling that ‘Advisor Mentor’ level advisors should not be the Primary Advisor of more than seven Higher Degree by Research Candidates, and ‘Primary Advisor’ level advisors should not be the Primary Advisor of more than three Higher Degree by Research Candidates (as at 1 December in the awarding year) will be enforced when awarding scholarships.  These totals will exclude Higher Degree by Research candidates who are under examination but include candidates who are on a leave of absence.
  2. JCU reserves the right to alter or deviate from this procedure if required to respond to external factors beyond the control of JCU or changes to JCU’s strategy.
  3. A maximum of only two scholarships will be awarded per primary advisor for the year.
  4. The outcome of scholarship applications will be sent only by the Graduate Research School, usually between December and February although occasionally at other times.
  5. All correspondence relating to Scholarship Outcomes should be directed to grs@jcu.edu.au.
  6. No individual applicant’s score will be released to any party.
  7. Associate Deans Research Education and Primary Advisors will be notified by the Graduate Research School when scholarship offers are made to candidates of their College.

Appendix 1

The Degree and Performance score is allocated according to the criteria below:

Qualifying Degree and Performance  


Masters of Philosophy (> two thirds research)


Postgraduate Coursework with research project (thesis) >= 6 months and GPA of research project

  • 65-75%
  • 75-85%
  • 85-100%




Honours Class 1


Honours Class IIA  


Honours Class IIB  


Bachelor Degree (at least 3 years) or Postgraduate Degree (at least 6 months) with Professional Experience + Publications


MPhil Applicants Only

Postgraduate Degree of at least 6 months with research component < 6 months and overall grade point average of  

  • 65-75%


  • 75-85%
  • 85-100%



Bachelor Degree with minimum GPA of 78.5% (JCU 5.5)  


Bachelor Degree with minimum GPA of 78.5% (JCU 5.5) with Research Methods Subject  


* Only one Degree and Performance criterion can be used i.e. the scores from two or more components cannot be summed.  Where an applicant is eligible for to be more than one score for the Degree and Performance component, the higher of the scores will always be used.

Appendix 2

A maximum of 3 publications can be submitted for this section.

A maximum score of 10 can be obtained for this section.

Publications that can contribute towards the scholarship score must be:

  • Excellence for Research in Australia (ERA) eligible publications.  Publications must be PUBLISHED or ACCEPTED (provide evidence) journal articles, book chapters, books and full conference articles (abstracts only are excluded).  “ERA eligible” means that the publication must meet specific criteria, such as being based on research, and peer-reviewed.  A link to Excellence for Research in Australia criteria can be found at:  http://libguides.jcu.edu.au/publishing/ERA
Please use the Publication Table Form to provide the details of your publications. You do not need to provide copies of the publications.  For a publication to be considered it must be published or accepted for publication by the scholarship deadline. Publications will be scored as follows:
First author of ERA eligible publication (except conference article) 5
Second or subsequent author of ERA eligible publication (except conference article) 2.5
First author of an ERA eligible peer reviewed full conference article. 2.5
Second or subsequent author of an ERA eligible peer reviewed full conference article. 1


Note: Printed copies of this procedure are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy Domain Research Education

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research

Approval Authority

Academic Board

Date for next review:

April 2023

Revision History

Version no.

Approval date

Implementation date


23-1 15/06/2023 15/06/2023 Minor amendment to Clause 1 to remove outdated scholarship deadline and instead direct reader to HDR Scholarships webpage.
22-2 2/6/2022 6/6/2022 Review for 2023 Applications
22-1 1/3/22 1/3/22 Administrative change: Scholarships granted by this method must be taken up in the year of award to allow for the new cohort of grant recipients in the subsequent year.
21-2 26/10/21 26/10/21 Administrative change: Added "NHMRC Investigator Grant" to clause 14.




Review for 2022 Scholarships




Review for 2021 Scholarships




Domestic Prestige scholarships disestablished, not fit for purpose. Funds used for MPhil or “Equity” group scholarships or top ups.

Confirmation of Candidature removed as a scoring mechanism,  current students scored as per others




New procedure for scholarship Applications 2019


29 June 2017

4 July 2017

New procedure for scholarship Applications 2018


20 May 2016

1 July 2016

New procedure for scholarship  Applications 2017