UNE International Postgraduate Research Award (IPRA) Terms and Conditions

Eligibility

A Scholarship holder:

  • must be an overseas student as defined in the Higher Education Support Act 2003
  • must have received an Offer of full-time internal HDR Candidature at UNE but not be enrolled.
  • must not be in receipt of an equivalent award, scholarship or salary providing a benefit greater than 75% of the Scholarship stipend rate, whilst in receipt of the Scholarship.
  • must not have completed a research degree at the same level as the proposed candidature, or at a higher level.
Duration of a Scholarship

The period of tenure of a Scholarship shall be a maximum of two years for a Masters degree (with a research component of at least 66%) or three years for a Doctoral degree.  Any period of study already undertaken towards the degree (including advanced standing), either prior to the commencement of the Scholarship or during an approved Leave of Absence from studies, will be deducted from the maximum period of tenure.

Scholarships are renewable annually subject to satisfactory progress.  Scholarship holders must complete and submit all HDR Progress Report forms as part of their higher degree research candidature obligations.

Commencement

A Scholarship holder must commence studies by the date specified in the offer letter, or the offer may be withdrawn and reallocated to another applicant.

Stipends and Allowances

Stipend:

The Scholarship includes a stipend of $26,000 per annum, paid as a fortnightly allowance, and is tax-free. The level of the stipend will not be reduced over the period of the Scholarship.

A UNE IPRA covers tuition fees for a maximum of two years for a Masters degree or three years for a Doctoral degree.

A UNE IPRA covers standard overseas health insurance premiums for the student only for the period of HDR candidature.

Overseas Health Cover

A UNE IPRA covers standard overseas health insurance premiums for the student only for the period of HDR candidature.

All international students studying in Australia are required to purchase and maintain Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). A standard OSHC policy covers the costs of medical and hospital care in Australia, most prescription drugs, and emergency ambulance transport. UNE IPRA Scholarship students may wish to purchase extra OSHC if they require cover for ancillary services such as dental, optical, physiotherapy, etc. An UNE IPRA does not cover the costs of extra OSHC. For detailed information on OSHC provisions, please refer to the Department of Health and Ageing web site.

Exclusions

A UNE IPRA does not cover:

  • Overseas Health Cover for the award holder’s spouse and dependants
  • Visa fees
  • Travel and medical costs associated with visa application or renewal
  • The cost of English Language Testing or tuition fees for bridging or English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS)
  • Costs associated with overseas fieldwork
Annual Leave

Scholarship holders are required to pursue their HDR studies on a full-time basis, unless approval has been given for part-time study.  Short absences of under two (2) weeks, which would not interfere with the overall progress, fall under the provisions of Annual Leave.  All HDR Students are entitled to take four (4) weeks Annual Leave each year.  It is expected that Annual Leave will be taken throughout the year, including on public holidays and during UNE’s end-of-year shutdown period.  Annual Leave must be negotiated with, and approved by the supervision team. Stipend payments will continue to be paid whilst on Annual Leave. 

Annual Leave does not affect any of the following:

  • enrolment status
  • submission deadline
  • the expiry date of the Scholarship
  • eligibility for paid leave under the conditions of the Scholarship

For the purpose of calculating Leave balances, the stipend is considered to be paid on a daily basis for every day of the year, i.e. including on weekends and public holidays. 

Leave Arrangements – Leave of Absence

Scholarship holders are expected to submit their thesis for examination by the deadline stated on their Welcome Letter. However, UNE recognises that there may be unforeseen and extenuating circumstances which hinder research progress. 

Research Services should be notified of any changes to circumstances which may impact a student meeting their thesis submission deadline. Scholarship holders have both paid and unpaid leave provisions available.

Students who take a substantial amount of time off from their studies, e.g. an absence of two weeks or more, must make a formal request for a leave of absence.  A leave of absence effectively ‘stops the clock’ on the candidature, and the following changes are applied to the Scholarship stipend payments:

  • Unless students are eligible for paid leave (outlined below), stipend payments will be suspended whilst the student is on leave.
  • The expiry date of the Scholarship will be extended by the same number of days as the duration of the student’s leave of absence (for both paid and unpaid leave).
  • Periods of study undertaken towards the degree whilst on an approved leave of absence, will be deducted from the maximum period of tenure.

All Leave of absence applications must include the following:

  • the reason that leave is required
  • relevant supporting documentation
  • a realistic timeline demonstrating progress towards submission
  • a signature or supporting statement from the principal supervisor
  • approval from the relevant Head of School, or nominee

Paid Sick Leave:

Students may receive up to 10 days paid sick leave for each year of the Scholarship and this may be accrued. Documentation must be provided to substantiate an application for paid sick leave. Where a Student takes a period of medically substantiated sick leave, the tenure of the Scholarship is extended by the same length of time. The following conditions apply to all applications for paid sick leave:

  • Documentation must be provided to substantiate an application for paid sick leave
  • Child day care is not considered to be an acceptable reason to take paid sick leave, unless it is supported by a medical certificate.

A Scholarship holder may be eligible to take sick leave, if a close relative for whom they are the primary carer, is ill or injured. This still falls under the provision of paid sick leave. Paid sick leave will be paid at the same fortnightly rate as the normal stipend allowance.

Leave of Absence (without pay):

In many cases, a Scholarship holder who is permitted to take a leave of absence does not meet the eligibility criteria for paid leave.  In these cases unpaid leave will be granted, and the stipend payments will be suspended until the student resumes their studies.  As with paid leave, the expiry date of the Scholarship will be extended by the same number of days as the duration of the leave.

Extension of a Scholarship

There is no option to extend the duration of a UNE IPRA.

Masters to Doctorate

UNE may permit a student to convert from a Research Masters degree to a Doctoral degree and continue to receive a Scholarship. The maximum duration of the converted Scholarship will be the same as the duration of the converted candidature.

Employment

Scholarship holders are required to pursue studies on a full-time basis, and it is the responsibility of both the student and the principal supervisor to monitor progress. Any outside work undertaken must be disclosed to and approved by the principal supervisor. If it becomes apparent that the student’s employment commitments are hindering progress, action must be taken to mitigate against this.  Failure to do so may result in the student being asked to ‘show cause’ as to why they should continue to receive the Scholarship.

Field Work in Australia

A Scholarship makes no contribution towards expenses for field work or research away from UNE, other than through the stipend payment. Enquiries regarding further financial support in such circumstances should be directed to the supervising School. If a student wishes to conduct fieldwork in Australia, approval should be sought from the Principal Supervisor and the Research Services Directorate should be notified of any approved fieldwork.

Termination of a Scholarship

Scholarship payments will cease upon the submission of the thesis or on the specified expiry date, whichever occurs first.  The Scholarship will be terminated before this time if: 

  • If the student ceases to meet the Scholarship eligibility criteria;
  • If, in the opinion of UNE, the student is not carrying out the course of study with competence and diligence, or in accordance with the offer of Scholarship, and no suitable alternative arrangements can be made for the continuation of the HDR candidature;
  • If the student ceases to be full-time and approval has not been obtained from the appropriate Head of School to hold the Scholarship on a part-time basis;
  • On the death, incapacity, resignation or withdrawal of the student;
  • If the student fails to resume study at the conclusion of an approved leave of absence, or does not make arrangements to extend that period of leave; or
  • If the student has committed serious misconduct, including, but not limited to the provision of false or misleading information.

If a Scholarship is terminated it may not be reinstated unless the termination occurred in error.

Administration of a Scholarship

UNE will be fair and equitable in the use of its discretionary powers.  UNE recognises the rights of students to appeal against decisions.  In the first instance problems should be directed to Research Services. UNE will pay the student all entitlements under the Scholarship.

Specific Student Obligations

Scholarship holders shall:

  • diligently and to the best of their ability apply themselves to the successful completion of their degree.
  • abide by the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research
  • abide by the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research and
  • abide by the Australian code of practice for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes.
  • conform to the regulations, including disciplinary provisions, of UNE, as described in UNE’s policies and rules.