Frequently asked questions (FAQs) for Current Postgraduate Research Scholarship Recipients
|Advanced standing||Overpayment||Top-Up Scholarships|
|Extensions||Payments Ceased||Additional FAQ's for International Students|
Advanced standing refers to periods of enrolment in the degree prior to receiving a scholarship, or periods of enrolment in the degree while the scholarship is suspended.
Example 1: if you have already been enrolled full-time in a PhD for one year before commencing a scholarship, your advanced standing is one year.
Example 2: if you are enrolled as a part-time student for six months while your scholarship is suspended, you will incur three months (full-time equivalent) of advanced standing.
I’m downgrading my candidature from a PhD to a Masters. Does my scholarship tenure decrease?
Yes, your tenure will typically decrease by one year. Please note: if you receive a scholarship which can only be held by a PhD student, such as the VCRS, your scholarship will cease if you downgrade. If you intend to downgrade candidature, please advise the Scholarships Office immediately to avoid overpayment.
Are there any limitations on the hours of employment I can undertake if I receive a scholarship?
Yes. If your employer is the University you can hold a maximum of 50% of a full-time appointment if you are a full-time student. If you have casual employment or your employer is an external organisation you can work up to 20 hours in any one week, evening and weekend work included, if you are a full-time student. This limitation applies to every week of the year.
If you have been approved to hold a scholarship as a part-time student, the maximum part-time employment is 10 hours per week (half of the 20 hour limit applicable to full-time students).
Please note that some external funding bodies may specify a higher limitation on part-time work (i.e. less than 20 hours per week for full-time students, or less than 10 hours per week for part-time students.)
For financial reasons I need to stop my research for a year and take up full-time employment. What happens to my scholarship?
In general, after you have completed at least the first six months of your scholarship you can suspend your scholarship for up to twelve months. Go to the Forms for Research Scholarship Recipients page to download the Application for Suspension of Postgraduate Scholarship form. (You will also need to suspend your candidature with your Faculty.)
I’m completing my PhD and I’ve already received a six month extension to my RTP Stipend (formerly APA)/UPA, which is now is about to end. Can I get a second extension?
No. You can only request one six month extension to your RTP Stipend/UPA. You should check with your Supervisor to see if they have any funds available to provide you with a short completion scholarship. Your Supervisor will need to fill in the Request to set up a PhD Completion Scholarship form available from For Staff - Create an award if they have the funds available to set up this type of scholarship.
I receive a Departmental scholarship/Supervisor funded scholarship. I was told by my Department/Supervisor that my scholarship had been extended, but my payments have stopped. What’s happened?
Your Department/Supervisor may not have advised the Scholarships Office that they have agreed to extend your scholarship. The Scholarships Office manages the scholarship payroll, so if our office is not advised of the extension, your payments will still cease on the original end date.
My PhD scholarship is due to end soon but I’m not ready to submit my thesis. How do I apply for an extension to the scholarship?
Check the conditions of award for your scholarship to see if an extension is possible. If so, read through the extension information on the Forms for Research Scholarship Recipients page.
You should refer to Postgraduate Research Scholarship Payments information, which is available as part of the Scholarships Commencement Form document, on our Forms page.
How is the fortnightly amount for my stipend calculated?
The payroll office uses a formula to calculate your fortnightly payment based on your annual rate.
How do I get a copy of my scholarship payslip?
You need to log in to myHRonline using your Unikey and password. The system can be accessed from the Staff page.
I’m applying for a loan/rental property. The bank/real estate agent wants the University to confirm my scholarship payments. How can I organise this?
The Scholarships Office can provide you with a Statement of Income letter, showing the details of your scholarship and the amount that you receive each fortnight. Please email , stating your contact details and student number, the reason for your request, and whether you would like to collect the letter, or have it posted or emailed to you.
If the bank/real estate agent wants to telephone the Scholarships Office to obtain these details, you must email , stating your contact details and student number, the details of who will be calling, and what information you are giving us permission to release over the phone.
Do I need to tell the Scholarships Office that I’m taking some annual leave?
You are entitled to take up to four weeks annual leave per year. The Scholarships Office doesn’t need to be advised when you take the annual leave. You and your supervisor must keep a record of the annual leave taken.
My scholarship conditions entitle me to additional paid sick leave/maternity leave. How do I claim this?
You need to complete the appropriate form on the Forms for Research Scholarship Recipients page and submit this to the Scholarships Office along with your supporting documentation.
I’ve received a much larger scholarship payment than normal. Have I been overpaid?
If you were not expecting the larger payment you should contact the Scholarships Office immediately. If an overpayment has occurred you will need to return the funds to the University straight away.
Why have I received an overpayment?
Overpayments can occur if you vary candidature at the Faculty without directly informing the Scholarships Office, or if a candidature variation has been backdated by the Faculty. Examples of candidature variations include (but are not limited to) leave of absence, suspension, changing attendance to part-time, and thesis submission. Overpayments can also occur if the candidature variation occurs on or a few days prior to a University pay day, as it may not be possible to halt payment in the payroll system. If you are unsure about how a candidature variation will affect your payment, please contact the Scholarships Office immediately.
I’ve received overpayment advice. How do I respond?
If your scholarship is overpaid, you are required to return the overpaid amount to the University as soon as possible. It is important that you respond to overpayment advice. If you wish to discuss the overpayment please contact the Scholarships Office.
I’m going overseas to conduct my research for a while. Do I need to fill in anything for my scholarship?
If you will be conducting your research overseas for more than one month you need to complete the Application to Hold Postgraduate Award Overseas form available on the Forms for Research Scholarship Recipients page. You also need to apply to your Faculty to Count Time Away.
I’m travelling overseas to present my research at a conference. Is there any University funding that I can apply for to assist me with the costs of the trip?
See the information on the Postgraduate Research Support Scheme. If, as well as presenting at a conference, you will also be conducting a period of research overseas, you may be eligible to apply for a Grant-in-Aid.
I need to change my enrolment from full-time to part-time. Can I continue to receive my research scholarship?
The University applies the RTP Stipend (formerly APA) rule to all postgraduate research stipends. This rule states that a part-time scholarship can only be approved in exceptional circumstances if the student has an ongoing medical condition or disability which prevents full-time enrolment, or has heavy carer commitments which prevent full-time enrolment.
If you are changing to part-time enrolment for one of the above reasons you must apply for approval to the Scholarships Office prior to changing your enrolment. Changing to part-time status without first applying to the Scholarships Office will result in the scholarship payments being suspended. Please contact the Scholarships Office for details of the documents you need to provide.
If you obtain approval to hold the scholarship part-time, please note that the limit on part-time employment is a maximum of 10 hours per week (half the 20 hour limit for full-time students).
If you are changing to part-time enrolment for a different reason, then you will need to contact the Scholarships Office to organise the suspension or termination of your scholarship.
My stipend payments have stopped suddenly. I know that my scholarship wasn’t due to end, so why have I stopped being paid?
(1) Have you made a change to your candidature? If you have suspended, taken a leave of absence, changed to part-time, or downgraded your candidature your scholarship payments may have been stopped. Please contact the Scholarships Office.
(2) Do you hold a scholarship from an external funding body, and was a temporary end date put on your scholarship due to pending ethics approvals? If the temporary end date has passed and you have not yet supplied the ethics approval to the Scholarships Office, your payments will have stopped.
My scholarship isn’t due to end for another couple of months but I’ve just submitted my thesis. Can I keep receiving my scholarship?
Once you have submitted your thesis your scholarship will cease. The only exception is in the case of Sydney College of the Arts students who submit a thesis and then have their work examined in an exhibition. In their case the scholarship will cease on the examination date.
Why do I see tax on my payslip?
If you are also employed by the University you will also see your employment income, and the tax being deducted from this income on your payslip.
I’m completing my tax return. Should I receive a payment summary (group certificate) for my scholarship at the end of the financial year?
If you are a full-time student your stipend payments are tax-exempt so the University does not deduct tax from your fortnightly payment, and you will not receive a payment summary for your scholarship. If you are receiving the scholarship as a part-time student the University does deduct tax, so you will receive a payment summary for your scholarship. This should be accessed electronically through myHRonline via the Staff page.
My Supervisor wants to set up a top-up scholarship for me. How do they organise this?
Please refer to the Conditions of Award of your primary scholarship to make sure that you are allowed to receive a top-up scholarship, and to check the limit on the value of any top-up scholarship (normally capped at 75% of the primary scholarship).
Your Supervisor should then complete the Request to set up a Top-up Scholarship form available from the For Staff- Create an Award page and send it to the Scholarships and Financial Support Service.
I’m transferring my candidature to another university/OR I’m transferring into the University of Sydney. Can I take my scholarship with me?
This depends on the type of scholarship you receive. Contact the Scholarships Office.
I’m upgrading my candidature from a Masters to a PhD. Does my scholarship tenure increase?
This depends on the type of scholarship you receive. The RTP Stipend (formerly APA)/UPA tenure is automatically increased by one year once the Scholarships Office becomes aware of your upgrade. You should advise the Scholarships Office directly if you upgrade your candidature. If you receive a departmental /supervisor funded scholarship you should check the tenure with the Scholarships Office. If there is no mention in our records of the possibility of an increase in tenure due to an upgrade, you will then need to contact your department/supervisor to see if they will agree to the increase.
I receive an RTP Fee Offset (formerly IPRS)/USydIS that entitles me to a relocation allowance. How do I claim this?
The relocation allowance claim should be submitted to the International Office using the Application for reimbursement- international scholarship/sponsorship form, which is listed under ‘other paper forms’ at the International Student Office Forms for Students page. Please direct any relocation claim queries to the International Student Office.
How do I submit a request for an extension to my scholarship?
Scholarship extension requests should be submitted to the Scholarships Office using the Application for extension of research scholarship form, which is listed under ‘other paper forms’ at the International Student Office Forms for Students page.