Australian Indigenous Higher Degree Research Scholarships Terms and Conditions

Basic eligibility requirements

To be eligible for a UNE Indigenous Higher Degree Research (IHDR) Scholarship a student must:

  • be of Australian Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent and be able to provide confirmation of Aboriginality
  • have completed a Bachelor Degree with First Class Honours, or be regarded by UNE as having an equivalent level of attainment (See * below)
  • have a letter of offer for a place in a UNE Research Degree (PhD, Professional Doctorate or Research Masters), or have applied for a place at UNE
  • normally must not have previously held a postgraduate research scholarship unless it was terminated within six months of the scholarship’s payments commencing
  • not be receiving an equivalent award, scholarship or salary providing a benefit greater than 75% of the UNE Australian Indigenous HDR Scholarship stipend rate to undertake the research degree
  • be a full-time, on campus student.

*Educational Attainment equivalent to a Bachelor Degree with First Class Honours

If a student does not hold a Bachelor degree with First Class Honours, then the Selection Panel at UNE may determine that the student has demonstrated an equivalent level of academic attainment. In determining this, UNE may consider previous study, relevant work experience, research publications, referees’ reports and other research experience.

Application, selection and offer

The Pro-Vice Chancellor Research will appoint a Selection Panel to oversee the selection process. The Selection Panel must have equal representation of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal University staff, and will include the Director, Oorala. Research Services will administer the application, selection and offer processes, and will administer the scholarship once successful applicant/s have been selected. Management of the successful candidate’s academic program will be the responsibility of the School in which they are enrolled. The Oorala Aboriginal Centre will have an active role in supporting successful candidates across cultural, academic and administrative aspects of the candidature.


Research Services will ensure that there is a competitive application process for awarding UNE Australian Indigenous Research Scholarships, and that scholarships are advertised widely and appropriately to relevant organisations and networks, per the advice of expert stakeholders.

Selection policy

UNE will maintain a selection process which accords with the University’s policies on fairness and equity, with the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness, and will observe confidentiality as per the UNE Privacy Management Rule.

Offer process

  • UNE will only offer a UNE IHDR Scholarship as a result of an application lodged as part of a competitive application process;
  • UNE must offer a UNE IHDR Scholarship to a student in writing and advise the student in writing of the conditions and benefits to which they are entitled and the conditions of the scholarship.
  • Successful applicants must commence their scholarship within three months of the date of offer.
  • Successful applicants will be expected to be on campus students.


A UNE IHDR Scholarship will be granted for a total of two years full time for a Research Masters, and three years full time for a PhD or doctoral program. There is no possibility of extension.

Payment to students

  • The successful applicant will be paid the full value of the UNE Australian Indigenous Research Scholarship in fortnightly instalments for three years for a PhD program, or two years for a Research Master’s program
  • Taking into account approved suspensions and leave entitlements
  • UNE will pay the stipend to the successful applicant in fortnightly payments, through the University’s payroll system to an Australian bank account in the student’s name.

Value of an IHDR Scholarship

UNE IHDR Scholarship commencing in January 2017 will be paid at a fixed, annual rate of $30,000.00 per year for three years (36 months) for a PhD program (or equivalent), and for a maximum of two years (24 months) for a Research Masters. The scholarships will not be extended beyond these maximums. In addition, successful IHDR applicants will receive $7, 000.00 per annum to pay for cultural supervision and/or mentoring.

Thesis allowance

Students are eligible for a thesis allowance for printing and editing their thesis. This allowance will be a maximum of $800 and may be spent entirely on editing.

Leave entitlements

Successful applicants will receive the following leave entitlements:

  • 20 working days’ paid recreation leave; and
  • 10 working days’ paid sick leave for each year of the UNE IHDR Scholarship; which may be accrued over the life of the UNE IHDR Scholarship but will be forfeited when the UNE IHDR Scholarship is terminated.


The over-riding aim of the UNE IHDR Scholarship is to support successful applicants to complete a research degree and gain experience in a higher education context. However in providing this scholarship the DVCR also recognises that employment within the higher education sector, in both administrative and academic positions, can be equally important in supporting Indigenous Australian’s participation in higher education. In regards to paid employment then:

  • UNE IHDR Scholarship holders are encouraged to seek periods of paid employment within the University and as much as possible this will be supported by Research Services with the provision of advice regarding suspensions options, and by the supervisory team in the School.
  • All paid employment will need to be approved by the student’s Principal Supervisor.


The DVCR may terminate this scholarship if:

  • the student has not maintained satisfactory academic progress;
  • the student ceases to be eligible for the scholarship;
  • the student ceases to be a full-time student without the appropriate approvals;
  • they complete the degree for which they were granted the scholarship;

Once a UNE IHDR Scholarship is terminated, it cannot be re-activated unless the termination occurred in error.

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
  • 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 HDR policies and rules.

Supervision and facilities

An academic unit accepting a student on a UNE IHDR Scholarship will:

  • ensure that adequate facilities and appropriate supervision are available for the student undertaking a research degree
  • ensure appropriate pastoral and academic support is available
  • ensure a supervisory agreement is completed in the first four weeks of research candidature, and maintained throughout the life of the candidature.