8. Funding details

8.1 Level and Duration of Funding

The funding duration of Postgraduate Scholarships will vary between one and three years FTE, depending on the award applied for, and any periods of study already undertaken.  Funding will cease from the day the PhD/Masters thesis is submitted.  Awardees (through their RAOs) are required to notify the NHMRC at the time their thesis is submitted and provide evidence of date of submission.

8.1.1 Stipend

The stipend rates for 2018 are outlined on the NHMRC website.

8.1.2 Standard Stipend

The standard stipend is provided to non-allied health graduates and non-medical graduates.

8.1.3 Priority Stipend

The priority stipend is provided to nursing, midwifery and allied health graduates.  In order to receive the priority stipend, nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals must be currently registered at the time of application

For allied health professions that do not require registration, applicants must provide evidence that they are current members of their bona fide professional organisation and therefore authorised to practice at the time of application.

8.1.4 Medical Stipend

The medical stipend is provided to medical and dental graduates.

8.1.5 Part-time Stipend

Rates for part-time Postgraduate Scholarships will be paid pro-rata e.g. a 50% part-time Postgraduate Scholarship will receive 50% of the applicable stipend rate. 

Note:  Rates are revised annually and may change.

8.1.6 Allowances

Allowances are automatically incorporated for the following:

  • An allowance of $2,250 pa is provided to assist with the purchase of goods related to the Scholarship and/or travel to relevant conferences.  This allowance may be used flexibly between these items of expenditure.  Pro rata applies for this allowance for part-time Scholarships
  • A thesis allowance (one off) of $500 is provided in the final year of the Postgraduate Scholarship as a contribution towards costs associated with the presentation of a thesis. No further allowances or claims are available in relation to the costs of thesis preparation and presentation.  Applicants do not need to apply for this allowance as it will be paid automatically to the scholar in the final year of the Postgraduate Scholarship.

Allowances are payable upon application in the following circumstances:

  • A relocation allowance is payable for successful applicants to assist with the cost of moving from their normal place of residence to the town or city in which they will take up their Postgraduate Scholarship:
  • The allowance is only available at the commencement of the award and is not payable for transfers to another location at any other time during the duration of the Postgraduate Scholarship
  • The maximum rate at which the reimbursement is calculated is equal to the economy class airfare at the student or concession rate
  • The allowance is only available for travel within Australia
  • The allowance includes reimbursement for a dependent spouse and any dependent children
  • The maximum amount payable for the scholar (including dependents) is $1,385
  • The allowance is only available by way of reimbursement and will not be paid in advance
  • Claims should be submitted to the NHMRC through the RAO of the institution administering the Postgraduate Scholarship
  • Evidence of previous residence and of the travel undertaken must be included with the claim
  • Copies of original documents are acceptable so long as the RAO has sighted the original documents and indicates that they have done so in the documentation accompanying the claim
  • There is no claim form that needs to be completed; a letter outlining the details of the reimbursement claimed is sufficient
  • Claims must be submitted within six months of the date on which the Postgraduate Scholarship is taken up.

​8.2 Full-Time Postgraduate Scholarships

Postgraduate Scholarships are provided for full-time study and cannot be held concurrently with full-time employment.  However, postgraduate scholars are entitled to undertake paid work not related to their PhD during the term of their scholarship in line with the conditions of their Administering Institution, providing that it does not interfere with the Postgraduate Scholar’s full-time study commitments.

8.3 Study Part-Time Postgraduate Scholarships

Postgraduate Scholarships are provided for part-time study and cannot be held concurrently with full-time employment (refer to section 5.4.2 of this document).  However, Postgraduate Scholars are entitled to undertake paid work not related to their PhD during the term of their Postgraduate Scholarship in line with the conditions of their Administering Institution, providing that it does not interfere with the scholar’s part-time study commitments.

8.4 Short Term Support to Facilitate International Indigenous Researcher Networks

Funding to ‘Facilitate International Indigenous Researcher Networks’ (FIIRN) is available to Postgraduate Scholarship award holders who identify as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent.  The purpose of this funding is to:

  • Facilitate appropriate international mentoring linkages for early career researchers of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, building further on the intentions of the former Tripartite Agreement and current ‘Letter of Intent
  • Support NHMRC’s strategic objectives in relation to building capacity among researchers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent.

Awardees who identify as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent are able to request an additional total $11,000 as part of their grant funding for travel to appropriate international conferences and/or short term collaborative activities. Travel to/within New Zealand or Canada is particularly encouraged. Eligible applicants that wish to be considered for this funding supplement must tick the relevant check box as part of their application in RGMS, otherwise they will not be able to request the funding supplement at a later date. Where there is an oversubscription from eligible applicants for this funding which exceeds NHMRC’s allocated funds to this supplement (currently $100,000), NHMRC will contribute a pro rata share of the available funding to each applicant.

In order to receive the funding supplement, applicants must be able to demonstrate all of the following at the time of application:

  • They are of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent (see information available here)
  • They intend to use the funds for travel to relevant international conferences and/or for collaborative purposes
  • The supplement was requested (via the relevant “tick box”) as part of their application.

Awardees who choose to utilise the FIIRN supplement are required to report on their use of the funds. The scholar’s supervisor must submit a statement to NHMRC (through Postaward@nhmrc.gov.au) no later than six months prior to the end date of the grant.  This statement  must outline the following:

  • What the funding supplement was used for
  • The mentoring linkages established as a result of utilising the funding supplement.

Awardees who have not utilised the FIIRN supplement at the time the statement is required, but still plan to use it prior to the cessation of their grant must report on how the funds will be intended to be used and how this will establish mentoring linkages. Any unspent FIIRN funds remaining at the cessation of the grant will be recovered by NHMRC.

8.5 Taxation

Responsibility for taxation components for part-time Postgraduate Scholarships is entirely between Postgraduate Scholarship holders and their institutions. Postgraduate Scholarship holders should seek professional advice from qualified taxation advisors to clarify their personal taxation responsibilities.