Most HDR students will require a UQ scholarship in order to be able to undertake a PhD or MPhil. A HDR scholarship comprises a living stipend, tuition fee scholarship and, for international students, Overseas Health Cover (OSHC). Scholarships must be awarded through a transparent, competitive process (Higher Education Act) and in line with government requirements (Research Training Program – RTP), UQ policy, and set criteria - the Assessment Matrix.

How are scholarships funded?

UQ receives a RTP block grant annually which contributes to the cost of research training for the University. This block grant is used to fund RTP stipends and tuition fee offset scholarships with a cap of no more than 10% spent on international students. Additionally, UQ funds additional HDR scholarships to supplement this funding, in particular for international students.

Other scholarships are provided through philanthropic donations, international government sponsors, and peak body or, industry funding. The Graduate School works with Research Partnership Managers, Advancement, and Global Engagement to facilitate these scholarships and ensure they meet UQ’s requirements.

The Graduate School’s HDR scholarships are governed by the UQ and RTP Research Scholarships policy awarded as RTP or UQRT, depending on the funding source. The terms and conditions of these scholarships are aligned to pose no disadvantage to the recipient, including a base rate at least equal to the RTP set annual rate, leave conditions and duration. UQ also awards single OSHC cover to all international HDR students as part of these scholarships.
Note scholarship recipients must be full-time and not remote unless permission is given by the Dean, UQ Graduate School.

How are scholarships awarded?

Major Rounds

UQ scholarship rounds for international and domestic HDR applicants each year. To be considered, HDR applicants must complete a full application, and receive Advisor, and DHDR endorsement in time to be reviewed and nominated by their Unit.

Nominated applicants are considered by one of four Scholarship Committees, chaired by the Dean or Deputy Dean of the Graduate School and with representation of Associate Deans (Research) and DHDRs from the relevant Units. The Committee uses an assessment matrix to assess each applicant on merit giving a score for the candidate. Following the Committee meeting, outcomes are verified by the Dean and applicants are notified via the Online Application (OLA) portal, and DHDRs receive confirmation of outcomes for their Unit from the Dean.

Responsive Rounds

A number of scholarships are awarded responsively due to various strategic imperatives. The scholarship committee for these rounds comprises the Dean, Deputy Dean and the ADR/DDR or Pro Vice Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Scholarships, who score according to the assessment matrix. The responsive round schemes are listed below:


Chief Investigators of successful UQ-led Category 1 grants may be eligible to apply for an aligned Earmarked PhD scholarship. Once your eligible grant or fellowship is confirmed (usually with a Grant Record Letter), the CI completes the project notification form and sends it and the GRL/early account opening to the Dean to request permission to advertise a scholarship. Note there are conditions that must be met in the interests of a student aligned to any project grant or fellowship, including at least 2 years of funding available from the commencement of the student. Further details on the process, and copies of the required forms are outlined on the Earmarked Post Award page. 

Responsive Mode

This scheme aims to attract and retain exceptional HDR students who may take up an offer from another institution if they had to wait for the next main round. A justification to support this is required. 

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Research Scholarships

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Scholarships are offered by the Graduate School throughout the year for eligible applicants. These are awarded with a top up. 

Sponsored Scholarships

UQ’s Global Engagement Sponsored Students team coordinate a number of global scholarship and grant programs with external sponsors. These scholarships vary in value and length, and sometimes require additional funds to top them up to ensure the candidate is supported to the RTP rate.  Two of the most common sponsored scholarships are outlined below.

China Scholarship Council (CSC)

These scholarships are managed via the CSC, with externally set rounds and terms and conditions. Note, the amount is below the RTP base rate, so a top up is required from the AOU or Advisor in order to accept a student on a CSC.

Australia Awards

Australia Awards are prestigious international scholarships and fellowships provided by the Australian Government to foreign nationals. The round dates vary depending on the region. These are important scholarships for UQ in both the long term strategic relationships they develop and the partnerships they represent with the Australian Government.

Philanthropic Scholarships

Donors support a range of HDR scholarships, including stipends, top-ups and travel awards. These are advertised on the UQ scholarships page during the year. When new scholarships are established they are first approved through the Vice Chancellor. The Graduate School Dean oversees the establishment of new HDR philanthropic scholarships, their amendment, and award.

Industry Scholarships

Industry Sponsored Scholarships

There are a growing number of Industry Embedded Scholarships. These include sponsors such as peak bodies, and government organisations. Research Partnership Mangers support contract research and the development of agreements. When speaking with industry partners about HDR scholarships use the Industry Sponsored Scholarships Guide and ensure you understand the key principles behind the development of HDR Scholarships.  The Graduate School works with research partnerships managers on agreements involving HDR candidates before they are finalised. 

Engagement and Impact

The UQ Industry PhD Partnership, or UQIPP, aims to build a PhD cohort in collaboration with an end-user partner to provide an industry engaged PhD experience. Five have been established with partners so far including Boeing, CSIRO, Newcrest and Ecotourism Australia. For more information contact the PVC (Research Training) and Dean of the Graduate School. 

I hold funds, how do I activate a scholarship?

To activate a scholarship funded from an industry partner or grant, please complete a notification of HDR scholarship form