Frequently asked questions (FAQs) for APA/UPA applicants
I recently submitted my APA/UPA application, but since then I’ve had a journal article accepted for publication. Can I add this to my application?
If there is still time for the information to be included in the assessment of your application we will add it. Please forward the article details and proof of acceptance to the Scholarships Office. In most cases, resubmission of your RPI form is not required.
Where can I get the APA/UPA application form and instructions?
While applications are open, you can download the application form and instructions here.
Can I still get a copy of the APA/UPA application form after the closing date?
No, please consider applying in the next round. The high volume of applicants and competitive nature of the ranking process means eligibility requirements must be strictly applied.
When are applications open?
The University awards these scholarships twice a year - applications for Round One open in September and applications for Round Two open in May of each year.
Round One is for admission to research period 1 or 2, i.e. January to March, in the following year, and Round Two is for admission to research period 3 or 4, i.e. July to October, of the same calendar year.
What are Research Periods?
For more information on Sydney University's Postgraduate Research Periods, visit the Admissions Timeline page.
How do I apply for a Merit Award, Alumni Scholarships or other Top Ups?
Your eligibility for the following scholarships will also be considered as part of an APA application: UPA, University-wide top-up scholarships such as the Vice Chancellors Research Scholarship, Merit Awards Alumni Scholarships and some Faculty / School / Department specific scholarships (refer to Sections 3 and 4 of the APA/UPA Student Information Pack). For scholarships other than the above-mentioned, please check the website for application requirements.
Can I apply for an APA/UPA now and then defer it if my application is successful?
APA / UPAs awarded for Round One can be redeemed in Research Periods One or Two. Awards for Round Two can be redeemed in Research Periods Three or Four. Deferment between Rounds will only be considered in special circumstances.
I am still waiting on the final result of my current studies (e.g. Honours / Masters degree by research/Masters degree by coursework) Can I still apply for APA?
Yes. You only need to submit your APA / UPA application by the published APA / UPA submission deadline.
A scholarship award benchmark is set by the selection committee and an applicant will be considered for a scholarship if the applicant’s ranking is at or above the benchmark, and has received unconditional admission offer for the relevant research period by the respective census date. Therefore, you will not be disadvantaged because of the timing of your final result.
Applicant must provide either Student Identification Number (SID) or IPU code (applicable to non-USYD students) in the application. To obtain the IPU code, simply commence a separate application for admission into a postgraduate research degree in Sydney Student (the University’s student system). You will then receive the IPU code by email. If you already have an SID, which you may have received for your application or having studied or are currently studying at Sydney, you may provide your SID.
Applicants may be ranked without having yet received a PG Research course offer, but will only be considered for a scholarship offer once they have received an unconditional admission offer. It is your responsibility to ensure your application for admission is submitted by the deadline relevant to the APA/UPA application round.
The APA/UPA application round is specific to admission for research periods. Applications for Round One APA/UPA scholarships is for admission to research periods one and two, and will open in September. Applications for Round Two is for admission to research periods three and four, and will open in May.
What type of degree can an APA/UPA be awarded for?
Applicants for the APA/UPA must undertake a postgraduate research degree, e.g. a Masters by Research, a PhD, a research doctorate.
I intend to enrol in a coursework Masters which has a research component. Can I apply for the APA/UPA?
No. The conditions of these scholarships state that you must be enrolled in a postgraduate research degree.
I want to do a second PhD. Can I apply for an APA/UPA?
You cannot apply for an APA/UPA if you have already completed a degree at the same, or higher, level as your proposed candidature.
My application for an APA/UPA was unsuccessful. Can I get some feedback?
The University does not provide specific ranking outcomes apart from notifications to successful and unsuccessful applicants. Applicants are encouraged to refer to selection criteria and RPI / REP Information and Appendix Guide for questions related to scholarship award process.
How can I improve my application next round?
The University is unable to provide information on the likelihood of success in a future round, as ranking guidelines and eligible cohorts change over time. Unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to take into account factors beyond the possible award of a scholarship when making a decision to defer their course offer.
Note also, that the University places limits on the number of times an applicant may be reconsidered in a 5 year period.
What is Honours 1 equivalence?
To be eligible to apply for the APA/UPA, you must have an Australian degree awarded with First Class Honours (H1), a qualification considered by the University to be Honours 1 equivalent, or have completed a degree and have an outstanding record of professional and/or research achievements since graduation.
Please refer to section 5.2 of the APA/UPA Student Information Pack document for information on Honours 1 equivalence (download the information document here). Section 5.3 of the same document provides details on the information required to substantiate any professional experience and research publications or outputs.
I received Honours 2 from another University, but if I’d gotten the same mark at the University of Sydney I would have received Honours 1. Can I apply for an APA/UPA?
Your result remains at Honours 2 level.
I received an Honours 2 result but there were mitigating circumstances. Can I still submit an APA/UPA application and apply for special consideration of my APA/UPA application?
The APA/UPA are awarded on academic merit and research potential only.
I don’t have Honours 1 or Honours 1 equivalence, but can I apply for an APA/UPA based on financial need?
The APA/UPA are awarded on academic merit and research potential only.
I'm currently an international student but I've applied for Australian permanent residency. Can I apply for an APA/UPA?
You must receive your Australian permanent residency by the APA/UPA application closing date to be eligible to apply for these scholarships.
I’ve only just found out about the APA/UPA and the closing date for applications has passed. Can I still submit a late application?
No. The Scholarships Office cannot accept late applications for the APA/UPA. Please consider applying in the next round. Eligibility requirements are strictly applied due to the high volumes of application received.
What is the likelihood of my APA/UPA application being successful?
The Scholarships Office cannot pre-assess your APA/UPA application. Only a submitted application can be assessed against published eligibility requirements and ranked against applicants for the intake(s) under consideration. The outcome of application will only be released following the relevant published timeline.
Section 5 of the Student Information Pack document (found here) lists the things that are taken into account when assessing your application.
If I am not successful in gaining an APA/UPA, what other scholarship options are available?
There are many scholarship options available beyond the APA/UPA. You should refer to the Current Research Scholarships webpage to access the Research Scholarships Database, our Weekly Research Scholarships Email Bulletin and our Scholarships for Postgraduate Research Students information brochure. We recommend that you also check your faculty/department’s website for any additional scholarships that they may have on offer.
I previously held a scholarship for two years for a Masters candidature I completed a couple of years ago. I’m now starting a new PhD candidature. Can I apply for an APA/UPA?
If your previous scholarship was a UPA you can apply, but the period that you have already held the UPA for will be subtracted from the scholarship tenure if you are awarded an APA/UPA for your PhD. So, if you held the UPA for 2 years for the Masters, you could receive an APA/UPA for a maximum of 1.5 years (including the 6 month extension period) for a PhD.
If your previous scholarship was an APA you are not eligible to apply, as the eligibility conditions prohibit applications from anyone who has previously held an APA for more than 6 months.
Can I apply for an APA/UPA scholarship after I commence my research?
Yes, although this depends on the length of your prior enrolment.
You will incur advanced standing. Periods of prior enrolment in a postgraduate research degree will be deducted from the tenure of your APA/UPA. Advanced standing refers to this period of deducted tenure. For example, a doctoral scholarship is awarded for 3 years with a possible maximum extension of 6 months. If you have already completed 1 year of your doctorate degree before being awarded a scholarship, you are only eligible to hold the scholarship for a maximum of 2.5 years (including the possible 6-month extension since your advanced standing is 1 year).
To be eligible to apply for an APA/UPA you must be eligible to receive at least 1 year of scholarship tenure after your advanced standing is deducted.
When will I find out if my APA/UPA application has been successful?
The last page of the Student Information Pack states when the results will be released.
I’m going overseas just before the APA/UPA results will be released. Can I get my result a little bit earlier?
No, the Scholarships Office does not release results early.
I've been offered an APA/UPA but I've also applied for an NHMRC scholarship. Can I wait for my NHMRC scholarship result before I reply to the APA/UPA offer?
You can initially accept the APA/UPA offer, and then subsequently decline it if you are offered a NHMRC scholarship.
Do I need to compile a RPI Appendix?
If you have scholarly publications, significant output in the art or music areas and/or relevant professional or direct research experience that meet the criteria in Section 5.3 of the Student Information Pack document, you need to compile and attach a RPI Appendix to your application. Both documents may be located on the Postgraduate Scholarships website.
I want to apply for an APA/UPA but I haven’t got a Supervisor or research project yet. Can I still apply?
To be considered for an APA / UPA, you must also apply for admission into a research degree.
Please note that some Faculties may close their applications for admission prior to the APA/UPA closing date. You must submit your application for admission by the Faculty's deadline if this is earlier than the APA/UPA closing date.
If the Faculty deadline for applications for admission is after the APA/UPA closing date, you must submit your application for admission by the APA/UPA closing date to be eligible to be considered for an APA/UPA.
I hold an APA at another university but I want to transfer my candidature to the University of Sydney. Can I directly transfer my APA?
The APA funds were awarded to your original university and remain with that university. (They don’t move with you.) You will need to go through the University of Sydney’s APA/UPA application process.
Applying for entry into the degree
- Applying for entry into the degree is a separate process to applying for an APA/UPA.
- Visit the Domestic Postgraduate Research website to see how to apply for entry.
- Check your faculty’s deadline for submitting an application for entry into the degree. Some faculties may set a closing date earlier than the APA/UPA closing date.
Preparing your APA/UPA application
- Read through the APA/UPA information document thoroughly before you start your scholarship application. As well as stating eligibility requirements, conditions and benefits, the document states how the applications are assessed.
- If you are a current honours student, it is important that you submit your honours thesis on time if you intend to apply for an APA/UPA. Your honours thesis mark is used in the APA/UPA application ranking, so if your thesis is submitted late your marks may not be available in time to include you in the APA/UPA ranking.
- The application itself is relatively simple to put together for most applicants who are completing or have recently completed their honours or final undergraduate year of studies and best to get out of the way as soon as possible. If you are stressed and trying to complete the application at the last minute you may find that you are unable to provide the required documentation, or make simple mistakes.
About the form
- The APA/UPA application form is an interactive PDF file. Please submit it in the interactive format so the university can extract your application information. Please submit your 2 PDF files (application form and supporting documents, both with your name at the end of each filename) by the application closing date to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Hard copies will not be accepted
- Academic transcripts – if you have studied at another University you must provide copies of your transcripts with your APA/UPA application (even if you have already provided them with your application for entry into the degree).
- Proof of citizenship/permanent residency – if you have not been enrolled at the University previously, or have changed your citizenship/residency status since you were last enrolled, you must provide a copy of your proof of Australian citizenship/Australian permanent residency.
- Evidence of publications, output in the arts or music, professional experience – If we cannot verify your publications etc, they cannot be counted towards your application. See Section 5.3 of the Student Information Pack document and the RPI Appendix Guide for details on what you need to provide with your application, and the format to be used.
The University of Sydney accepts scanned documents submitted online in support of applications for admission to courses of study and photocopy of documents for APA/UPA applications. All supporting documents must be true and complete records. You should be prepared to provide original documents or original certified copies of supporting documents upon request at any time. Detailed checking of supporting documents is an inherent element of our admissions and scholarship ranking processes and may involve contacting the original issuing authority or relevant tertiary admissions centre, or other organisation (whether education or otherwise), or individual, whether in Australia or overseas, to verify documents. A failure to provide documents on request, or the discovery of either fraudulent documents or a misrepresentation of true circumstances in association with your application, may lead to the rejection of your application for admission/scholarship, the withdrawal of your offer, or the cancellation of your enrolment.
Documents submitted in a language other than English must be accompanied by a complete English translation. The University accepts translations to English made by an accredited translator with a government body, the Registrar of the issuing institution.