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Policy: Higher Degree by Research – Scholarships


To articulate the University’s standards and principles for higher degree by research (HDR) scholarships administered by the University.


This policy sets out the principles for the establishment, award, administration and management of HDR scholarships.


All HDR financial awards for HDR candidates offered by the University, including Research Training Program (RTP) scholarships.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the Research Awards Rule, the Policy: Student financial awards, the Procedure: Higher degree by research Scholarships, and the Policy: Gifts and fundraising.

Policy statement


  1. ANU HDR financial awards administered by the University:
  1. are created with the principles of equity, diversity, consistency, and fairness, regardless of the source of funding, and in alignment with the strategic goals of the University;
  2. attract and retain candidates on the basis of merit and/or access, and support on-time completions;
  3. have specific objectives, transparent application processes, eligibility requirements, selection criteria and processes;
  4. are appropriately funded for the standard program duration or greater unless otherwise approved by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Graduate Research) in exceptional circumstances;
  5. are awarded to candidates on the provision that funds are not to be used for illegal purposes or to be remitted to designated organisations or persons in contravention of Australian sanctions laws;
  6. provide for the University to be the decision maker in relation to recipients and their ongoing eligibility.
  1. HDR financial awards provide the recipient with financial support towards the costs related to candidature and are for educational purposes. It does not make the recipient an employee of the scholarship provider or the University, nor does it require the recipient to render services as a condition of receiving the scholarship.
  2. RTP Scholarships offered by ANU must meet Commonwealth legislative requirements as stipulated in the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2017 that is amended from time to time.
  3. HDR financial awards administered by ANU but funded by specific organisational units or external donors are established and managed within the parameters of this policy and the Gifts and Fundraising policy and associated procedures.
  4. Scholarships provided for educational purposes are exempt from income tax under Australian taxation laws but may be regarded as taxable income if a candidate is enrolled on a part-time basis. HDR Scholarship recipients are responsible for seeking independent taxation advice regarding their own individual circumstances.
  5. HDR financial awards are governed by the Procedure: Higher degree by Research Scholarships, and any associated Conditions of Award and documentation used in the establishment of the scholarship.
  6. HDR financial awards are advertised and conducted utilising a competitive process for the selection of recipients that is equitable and fair unless approved by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Graduate Research) in exceptional circumstances. In such cases, the award owner must demonstrate that the skill set of the applicant matches the requirements and it is unlikely that an advertising process would generate more qualified applicants.
  7. To be eligible for consideration for the award of an HDR financial award (including RTP), domestic and international students must have been offered admission or be enrolled in an accredited HDR program of study at the Australian National University.
  8. The decision to offer and award scholarships is determined in accordance with this policy alongside the Procedure: Higher degree by research scholarships. Decisions are considered final and are neither appealable nor reviewable. Any grievance about the application of this policy is managed in accordance with the Procedure: Student grievance and complaint resolution.
  9. HDR financial awards administered by the University will be recorded on the candidate’s academic transcript.

Scholarship support and benefits

  1. RTP support and benefits are available to all domestic and selected international ANU candidates, for eligible HDR programs; and can consist of:
  1. RTP Fee Offset scholarships, provided by the University, to pay for the tuition fees of a HDR candidate that would otherwise have been paid by the student;
  2. RTP Stipend scholarships, an annual amount paid to students to assist with their general living costs while studying;
  3. RTP Allowances, to assist with ancillary costs.
  1. Other HDR financial awards support and benefits are variable. HDR Scholarships are comprised of categories similar to RTP support outlined in section 11 of this policy.
  2. Stipend scholarship recipients must not be receiving income from another source to support that candidate’s general living costs while undertaking their program of study if that income is greater than 75 per cent of that candidate’s stipend rate. This precludes income unrelated to the student’s program of study or received for the student’s program of study but not for the purposes of supporting general living costs.
  3. Domestic candidates automatically receive an RTP Fee Offset scholarship when admitted to an eligible HDR program at the University.
  4. International candidates may be awarded an RTP Fee Offset scholarship in a competitive process.
  5. RTP Fee Offset Scholarship recipients cannot receive an equivalent scholarship from the Commonwealth designed to offset HDR tuition fees.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Higher degree by research - Scholarship
Document Type Policy
Document Number ANUP_7926387
Purpose To articulate the University’s standards and principles for higher degree by research (HDR) scholarships administered by the University.
Audience Students-Graduate-Research, Staff-Academic-Research, Students-Graduate
Category Academic
Topic/ SubTopic Students - Higher Research Degrees
Effective Date 15 May 2024
Next Review Date 14 May 2025
Responsible Officer: Pro Vice-Chancellor (Graduate Research)
Approved By: Academic Board
Contact Area Graduate Research Office
Authority: Racial Discrimination Act 1975
Research Awards Rule 2021
Delegations 83, 428

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