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Scholarship Holders

Information for Current Scholarship Holders

|  Satisfactory Progress for Scholarship Holders  |  Change in Status  |  Change of Supervisors  |  Off-site Research  |  Sick, Maternity and Recreation Leave  |  Suspension of Award  |  Employment  | Taxation | Extension of Scholarship  |

Satisfactory Progress for Scholarship Holders

Under the conditions of award all Scholarship holders must maintain satisfactory progress to be eligible to continue receiving their award. Please note that this does not imply you will have no problems with research delays during your award tenure. Your annual report reviews your progress and your Faculty may also schedule other reviews of your progress across the year, depending on their own policies. The Faculty determine unsatisfactory progress and notify the Higher Degree Research Office. Should your progress be found unsatisfactory you would be advised that your award will be terminated and the date from which this will apply.

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Change in Status

You are expected to notify the Higher Degree Research Office immediately if you have changed status in any way that changes your award eligibility. This is also monitored in your annual report, for example the outside working hours limit of 728 hours per scholarship year. Please note that breaches of award conditions mean that your award can be immediately terminated. Part time award holders should particularly note that if their reason for part time enrolment changes they must report the change in circumstances to the Higher Degree Research Office.

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Change Of Supervisors

Scholarship holders are not able to transfer to supervisors outside the area in which the scholarship was awarded unless approved under exceptional circumstances. When applying for a change of supervisor, you would need to include a brief case with the application outlining your exceptional circumstances.

See the following for general advice on Changing Supervisors (PDF).  

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Off-Site Research

Scholarship holders travelling off-campus to conduct research for a period of time (for example, to visit a library/archive, conduct fieldwork or visit a lab) or to attend conferences essential to their research at other locations, including overseas, need to complete an Offsite Research (OSR) form. An application should be submitted at least 4-6 weeks prior to departure (the more notification the better to ensure there are no scholarship overpayment issues). Applications for OSR may be approved for a maximum of 12 months in total, or 18 months for Anthropology students. Scholarship holders usually continue to be paid whilst on overseas research unless they are a visiting cotutelle/joint degree student. Visiting Cotutelle students are usually only funded for the periods of time they are conducting research at Macquarie University, and not returning to their partner university for research/study (refer to your conditions of award and/or the cotutelle/joint agreement). Cotutelle scholarship holders should complete and OSR form for periods of approved study overseas at their partner university that were noted in their Cotutelle agreement.

For insurance purposes, if you are working off-site you should notify your supervisor and Faculty HDR Manager of your plans (where you are going, what you are doing and for how long).

See the following for general advice on Off-site Research (PDF).

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Sick, Maternity/Paternity and Recreation Leave

Most scholarships offer sick, maternity/paternity and recreation leave under their conditions of award eg. APA/MQRES/RAACE/iMURS/MUPGRA. If you are uncertain if your award has entitlements, please contact the Scholarships Team for advice, hdrschol@mq.edu.au.

General advice for claiming benefits - if eligible:

In the first instance, your principal supervisor should be notified of any period of illness. In addition, notify your Faculty HDR Team and the Higher Degree Research Office, hdrschol@mq.edu.au, as soon as practicable, and within 14 days, when you want to claim sick leave. Sick leave over 10 working days should be supported by an appropriate medical certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner. If you have an ongoing medical condition or limited ability to work then this should be clearly stated by the medical practitioner on the certificate.  If necessary, and the illness is ongoing and serious, you may wish to apply for a Leave of Absence and Suspension of Award (see Changes to Candidature). Sick leave may also be used for care of immediate family/dependants who are ill, where you are the primary care giver. An extension to a scholarship, if allowed, will only apply where periods of medically attested  sick leave are greater than 10 working days. APAI holders are eligible to apply for sick leave but any period granted will be deducted from the maximum 6 month extension of award.

Paid maternity leave is available for up to 12 weeks for award holders who have completed at least 52 weeks of continuous full-time study (or equivalent part-time study) on the award. If you have transferred from part-time to full-time during the year prior to requesting maternity leave, the benefits are determined on a pro-rata basis. The application for maternity leave must be made to the Higher Degree Research Office through the Faculty Associate Dean HDR not later than four weeks before the expected date of commencement of leave. The application must be accompanied by a medical certificate from a medical practitioner stating the expected date of birth of the child or confirmation of the date of official adoption from an adoption agency. If eligible, partners of people giving birth may be entitled to a maximum of one week paid parenting leave and should provide the same documents. Where an award holder is unable to resume their studies for medical reasons following approved maternity leave, sick or other leave provisions may apply.

Recreation leave is 20 days per year once you have been on your award for at least a year (this may be available pro rata if you have been on your scholarship for less than a year), with a maximum 20 days able to be accrued (that is, unused leave in one year does not ordinarily carryover), and must be taken during the award tenure. Leave is assumed to be taken in December-January each year and you do not need to apply for leave taken at this time. If you wish to take your leave at another time, please discuss this with your supervisor in the first instance for their approval, and fill in the Scholarship Leave Request Form downloadable from the Forms webpage. This form will need to be signed by your supervisor and submitted to the HDRO - usually via your Faculty (or Department) HDR Office since you should also keep them informed of any time you are away - and before you take your leave.

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Suspension of Award

Scholarship holders can apply for a suspension of their award for a minimum of two - 6 months at a time, to a maximum 12 months. Generally this will not be given during your first year of candidature unless approved under exceptional circumstances. If you remain enrolled during your award suspension, this will generally count as advanced standing on your award tenure and is deducted from your award tenure when you resume studies. If you do not resume on the expected date and have not applied for further extension your award can be terminated. Full time employment will not usually be considered a valid reason for suspension of award.

See the following for general advice on Suspension of Award and Leave of Absence (PDF).

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Employment

Under the University conditions of award, scholarship holders are not obliged to undertake any additional teaching, academic or any other forms of employment. Whether paid or voluntary, employment plans should be discussed with your prinicipal supervisor. The University prescribes a maximum of 14 hours per week, or 728 hours per year as limit on all award holders, but this may be reduced by the supervisor or Dean of Faculty if working commitments adversely impact on your ability to conduct your research and make satisfactory progress.

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Taxation

The stipend for full time scholarships is currently tax exempt under Section 51-10 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. This tax exemption status is determined by the Australian Government and no guarantee can be given by the University on this matter. It is the responsibility of individual award holders to seek their own taxation advice.

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Extension of Scholarship

Your scholarship offer letter states the duration of award and will usually state if an extension under the conditions of your award is possible.In many cases, a maximum duration is given and no extension is possible.Refer to your conditions of award to see if your scholarship can be extended. Requests for scholarship extension should be lodged at least two months in advance of award expiry date. If you are unsure of your award expiry date or have questions regarding the extension policy as it applies to your award, contact the Scholarships Team at

hdrschol@mq.edu.aufor advice.

  • Research related delays: requests for extension, if possible, are usually only granted on the basis of research related delays (and not for personal reasons), that have been beyond the control of the candidate. For example, exceptional problems in finding suitable subjects, unanticipated and exceptional problems with experiments, damaged equipment, or prolonged problems accessing archival materials, etc.
  • For APA/APAI/E-IPRS/IPRS: Under the conditions of award for Government PhD scholarships students may be able to apply for a 6 month extension to their award on the basis of research related delays (and not for personal reasons), that have been beyond their control.
  • For APAI: When applying for an extension to an APAI, awardees will also need to seek support, in writing, from their Industry partner (this should be sought in conjunction with, or by, the project CI - who is usually the principal supervisor) for the additional funding. The confirmation of available continued funding from the Industry partner should be returned with the project's Annual Report. A Variation to Funding request will also need to be submitted through the Research Office to the ARC. If the variation of funding is not approved by the Industry partner, and an extension has been requested and supported by the supervisor/project CI, the scholarship holder's Faculty or Department may need to agree to underwrite an extension.
  • For coututelle/joint degree candidates: If your cotutelle or joint degree scholarship allows for a possible extension you should apply for this at least two months in advance of the expiry deadline. You will need to make a case in writing for an extension based on research related delays, such as exceptional difficulties in accessing materials, equipment, problems recruiting subjects, unanticipated problems with experiments, etc. You will also need to submit a letter of support from each of your supervisors from each institution, as well as an appropriate timeline  and completion plan (see section below). Submit your request to hdrschol@mq.edu.au for consideration, and a copy to your Faculty HDR Manager.
  • Extension request using the APR: If you are on a government scholarship (APA, IPRS) that will expire in the next year and you have experienced research related delays and wish to apply for an extension (where this is possible) these delays should be noted in your Annual Progress Report (APR) in the appropriate section, with your supervisor adding their comment about this in their section of the report. You will also need to separately submit a time line and completion plan (see section below) directly to hdrschol@mq.edu.au. HDRO will usually process scholarship extension requests once the APR sign off process is complete in December each year. The availability of a possible 6 month extension will depend on the conditions of award in the year of the scholarship. For example, a six month extension to award is not available for APAI scholarship holders awarded scholarships for project funding commencing in 2011.
  • Extension request outside APR period: If your scholarship is due to expire prior to the return of a completed Annual Progress Report (APR) and a case for extension has not been previously made in the APR, you can submit your case in writing to the Faculty HDR Manager, in the first instance, outlining an appropriate timeline  and completion plan (see section below), accompanied by a letter of support from your supervisor. The request, once reviewed at Faculty level, may be forwarded to hdrschol@mq.edu.au for consideration.
  • Time line and Completion Plans: For all applications for extension to scholarship you should consult your supervisor and devise a time line and completion plan that details research milestones and goals in order to complete your research work and/or thesis during the period of requested extension. Your completion plan and time line will be read in conjunction with your APR and/or letters of support from your supervisor/s..

It should be noted that no extension is possible for MQRES holders. If you need further advice on your conditions of award please contact the Scholarships Team: hdrschol@mq.edu.au.

If your scholarship tenure has fully expired, then the only completion funding available is normally through Faculty or Department funding. You will need to contact the HDR Manager in your Faculty for advice on their completion funding policy.

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