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 and Financial Support Service.
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?
The application form can be downloaded once the APA/UPA applications open. For the rest of the year only the Information document is available for reference purposes.
Can I apply for more than one scholarship?
Yes. The APA/UPA application form covers you for the APA, UPA, University-wide top-up scholarships such as the VCRS, Merit Award and Alumni scholarships, and some Faculty/School/Department specific scholarships (refer to Sections 3 and 4 of the APA/UPA Information for Applicants document, found here).
Can I apply for an APA/UPA now and then defer it if my application is successful?
Applications for deferment of a Semester one APA/UPA are only considered in exceptional circumstances. In general, a deferment will only be considered if it is requested due to events beyond your control, which were not foreseeable at the time you submitted your application.
Deferment cannot be requested due to employment commitments or travel. You should apply in the Semester two application round if you do not intend to commence your degree in Semester one.
For Semester two APA/UPA applicants, deferment is not possible at all.
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?
Please contact the postgraduate administration office in your faculty for feedback on your application.
What is Honours 1 equivalence?
To be eligible to apply for the APA/UPA, you must have an Honours 1, Honours 1 equivalence, 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 Information for Applicants 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 and Financial Support Service cannot accept late applications for the APA/UPA.
What is the likelihood of my APA/UPA application being successful?
The Scholarships and Financial Support Service cannot pre-assess your APA/UPA application.
Section 5 of the Information for Applicants 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 UPA at University of Sydney for two years for a Masters candidature I completed a couple of years ago. I’m now starting a 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.
Do I need referee reports?
If you are currently enrolled or have been enrolled at this University at any point during the last two years, you do not need to provide referee reports.
Referee reports are required for applicants who have not been enrolled at the University of Sydney previously, or who have not been enrolled at the University within the last two years.
Referee reports do not add any points to your APA/UPA ranking, but they are helpful in assessing your application if you have not previously been a University of Sydney student, or if it has been some time since you were a student at the University of Sydney.
Can my referee reports be submitted before my APA/UPA application is submitted?
Yes. Once applications are open, your referees can submit their reports to the Scholarships and Financial Support Service.
When will I find out if my APA/UPA application has been successful?
The last page of the Information for Applicants document 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 and Financial Support Service does not release results on this basis.
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 Information for Applicants document, you need to compile and attach a RPI Appendix to your application. Please follow the format and refer to the examples given in the RPI Appendix Guide.
I want to apply for an APA/UPA but I haven’t got a Supervisor or research project yet. Can I still apply?
You must also apply for admission into the research degree, so you must organise a Supervisor and research project and complete these details on the APA/UPA application.
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. You should save the form and then type your answers, print and sign the application. The application must be signed and any supporting documents must be submitted by hard copy (1 original + 2 photocopies) to the Scholarships and Financial Support Service by the closing date.
- 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 Information for Applicants 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.