Scholarships for Research Masters and Doctoral Students

Policy Research Education Scholarships for Research Masters and Doctoral Students

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Policy and Procedures

1. Eligibility

Scholarships are normally only available to those who will be undertaking a Master’s or Doctoral degree and who:

  1. have completed a four year undergraduate degree or equivalent at Honours Class IIA level or equivalent;

  2. are enrolling as full-time students at James Cook University;

  3. are not receiving salary to undertake the proposed program; and

  4. will not already have completed a degree at the same level as the proposed candidature, or at a higher level.

2. Commencement and Tenure of the Scholarship

All new Scholarships should normally be formally accepted and commenced by 31 March or 31 August;

  1. The normal period of tenure of a Scholarship shall be two years for a Master's degree and three and a half years for a PhD degree, subject to satisfactory progress (Note: that if the Australian Postgraduate Award is extended to 4 years this policy will be extended to 4 years);

  2. Periods of study already undertaken towards the degree prior to the commencement of the Scholarship or undertaken during suspension of the Scholarship will normally be deducted from the maximum period of tenure of the Scholarship.

3. Stipend and Allowances

  1. A scholarship shall carry a tax-exempt stipend at a level to be determined by the Head of School in conjunction with the funding body. Stipends are paid in fortnightly instalments, directly into a nominated account, beginning two weeks after the date of commencement of study;

  2. A scholarship holder may be allocated a place under the Research Training Scheme (RTS), subject to the agreement of the relevant Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor and a place being available.

4. Leave Arrangements

Recreation Leave

A Scholarship holder is entitled to twenty days (four weeks) paid recreation leave each year calculated on a pro-rata basis within the period of the Scholarship.

Sick Leave and Maternity Leave

A Scholarship holder may take up to ten days (two weeks) paid sick leave a year and up to 12 weeks maternity leave per pregnancy within the tenure of his/her Scholarship. If a longer period of leave is required, the Enrolment & Scholarships Officer must be notified and the Scholarship may be suspended.

5. Employment

  1. A scholarship holder is only permitted to work an average of no more than 416 hours (8 hours employment per week) averaged out over the whole calendar year, irrespective of the hours of work, the source of income or whether work is done during normal working hours;

  2. The scholarship shall not include any requirement for unpaid employment;

  3. All University employment must be paid as per the University’s Union Collective Agreement.

6. Remote Candidature/Research

  1. Except with the written agreement of the Head of School and the Dean of Graduate Research Studies, a scholarship holder may only spend a total of twelve months during the tenure of their Scholarship as an overseas-based student, enrolled as a remote student;

  2. The Head of School and the Dean of Graduate Research Studies will approve overseas research only if there is adequate supervision, the Scholarship holder remains enrolled and the work is directly related to the Scholarship holder's research topic.

7. Research at Other Organisations

The Head of School and the Dean of Graduate Research Studies may approve a Scholarship holder conducting substantial amounts of the research at organisations outside the higher education system. In such cases the University is still responsible for the Scholarship holder and must ensure adequate support, supervision, training and research freedom for the Scholarship holder.

8. Leave of Absence from Studies and Leave of Absence from the Scholarship

  1. A Scholarship holder must obtain approval for leave of absence from the Advisor, Head of School and funding body before notifying the Enrolment & Scholarships Officer to have the stipend and candidature suspended;

  2. Periods of study undertaken towards the degree during suspension of the Scholarship will be deducted from the maximum period of tenure of the Scholarship;

  3. It is necessary to apply for the Scholarship to be reinstated following any period of leave of absence.

9. Termination

The Scholarship will be terminated:

  1. two weeks after the thesis is submitted or at the end of the Scholarship tenure, whichever is earlier;

  2. before this time if, in the opinion of the Head of School and the Dean of Graduate Research Studies, the course of study is not being carried out with competence and diligence or in accordance with the offer of Scholarship, and no suitable alternative arrangements can be made for continuation of the postgraduate degree;

  3. when the Scholarship holder ceases to be a full-time student (unless arrangements are made for the student to be a part-time scholarship holder in accordance with University policy, as outlined below);

  4. on the death, incapacity, resignation or withdrawal of the Scholarship holder;

  5. if the Scholarship holder does not resume study at the conclusion of a period of Leave of Absence, or does not make arrangements to extend that period of Leave of Absence;

  6. If a Scholarship is terminated, it cannot be reactivated unless the termination occurred in error.

10. Specific Scholarship Holder Obligations

  1. A Scholarship holder shall diligently and to the best of his/her ability apply himself/herself to the successful completion of the degree;

  2. A Scholarship holder shall abide by the NH&MRC statement on human experimentation: Supplementary Notes 1992 and rulings of the University's Ethics Review Committee and the University's Workplace Health and Safety Committee;

  3. A Scholarship holder is required to conform to the regulations (including disciplinary provisions) of the University;

  4. A Scholarship holder must provide all reports required by the University including an annual report submitted through the supervisor. If the University does not consider that progress is satisfactory the Scholarship will be terminated or the holder placed on probation;

  5. A Scholarship holder is required to notify the Enrolment & Scholarships Officer within seven days in writing if:

  1. he/she leaves Australia for reasons other than approved overseas study, approved Leave of Absence or approved recreation leave; or

  2. (ii) discontinues full-time studies or is absent for any reason for a period of ten working days or longer from his/her place of study or research site, without the approval of his/her Advisor; or

  3. (iii) is granted a scholarship, bursary or similar Scholarship for a course of postgraduate study.

11. Absence from Studies

A Scholarship holder must report any absence from studies to the Head of School as soon as possible. Short absences (e.g. due to illness or attendance at conferences relating to postgraduate studies) which the Head of School considers would not interfere with the Scholarship holder's progress need not be reported to the Dean of Graduate Research Studies. However, longer absences (two weeks or more) should be reported to the Head of School and a request made through the Enrolment & Scholarships Officer to the Dean of Graduate Research Studies for Leave of Absence of the Scholarship.

12. Part-Time Scholarships

A Scholarship holder must normally be able to demonstrate one of the following;

  1. substantial carer commitments or;

  2. a medical condition which would preclude full-time study (supported by medical certification) or;

  3. professional commitments relevant to their study.

Legitimate care commitments include:

  1. are responsibilities for a pre-school child; or

  2. care responsibilities for school-aged children as a sole parent with limited access to outside support; or

  3. care responsibilities for an invalid or disabled partner, child or parent.

A Scholarship holder must be enrolled in a part-time postgraduate research degree at James Cook University. A holder of a part-time Scholarship may convert to full-time at any stage with the approval of the Head of School. The University may also require a holder to convert to full-time if the compelling social reasons that determined the holder's eligibility, no longer apply.

1This policy applies to all internally and externally funded scholarships with the exception of Australian Post-Graduate Awards and International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (the policy for which is determined by the Australian government) and JCU Postgraduate Research Awards (the policy for which mirrors that of Australian Postgraduate Awards).

2External funders of HDR stipend scholarships at JCU are asked to contribute $1,000 per year per scholarship to a central fund that underwrites sick leave and maternity leave as required for all such scholarship holders.

Related documents, legislation or JCU Statutes

Approval Details

Policy sponsor:

Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor

Approval authority:

Academic Board

Approval date:


Version no:


Date for next review:


Modification History


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Policy sponsor and approval authority amended to reflect approved policy framework


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Approved by Academic Board

08 - 1



Approved by Council

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