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The Australian Government RTP Scholarship

The Australian Government RTP Scholarship

The Australian Government RTP Scholarship

This article contains information about the Australian Government RTP Scholarship.

The Research Training Program (RTP) grant, funded by the Australian government and worth up to $129,000, supports excellent overseas research students by paying their tuition as well as providing a living stipend.

Higher education providers (HEPs) receive block funding from the Research Training Program (RTP) on a calendar year basis to support domestic and international students pursuing higher degrees by research (HDRs), such as research doctorates and research master’s degrees.

The objectives of the RTP scheme are to:

  • provide flexible funding arrangements to support the training of domestic students and overseas students undertaking HDRs at Australian HEPs
  • deliver graduates with the skills required to build careers in academia and other sectors of the labor market
  • support collaboration between HEPs and industry, and other research end-users
  • Support overseas students undertaking HDR studies at Australian HEPs.

Students can be offered RTP Scholarships for one or more of the following:

  • tuition fees offset
  • stipend for general living costs
  • Allowances related to the ancillary cost of research degrees.

Research masters students – period of support

Students from Australia and other countries who are enrolled in an HDR course at an Australian HEP are eligible for RTP Scholarships. For a research master’s degree, RTP Scholarships are offered for up to two years.

Research doctorate students – period of support

At the HEP’s discretion, RTP Scholarships are given for a research doctorate for a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 4 years.

Individual HEPs, each with their own application and selection procedure, handle the administration of RTP financing. To inquire about how to apply for the RTP plan, students must speak directly with their preferred provider.

Information on commencing a postgraduate research degree HDR courses can be found on the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching website. General information about support arrangements that may be available to students can be viewed at the StudyAssist website.

For HEP administrators, RTP Frequently Asked Questions for administrators are available.


Value Eligibility Open date Close date
$37,207 p.a.
  • International postgraduate research students
l year round Refer to deadlines below.

You must have submitted your degree application by these dates.

How to apply

When submitting your application for a postgraduate research degree, beginning students should click the option to be eligible for the RTP scholarship. There is no need for a different application. To be considered, your research degree course application must be submitted before the applicable RTP deadlines.

Application and award timeline

Commencing research period Submission deadline* Offers received from Research
h periods 1 and 2, 2023 30 September 2022 1 December 2022
Research Period 3 and 4, 2023 12 December 2022 3 March 2023
Research Period 1 and 2, 2024 15 September 2023 24 November 2023

*New students must complete the RTP submission, along with their course application, by the submission deadline. Current HDR students will need to submit a separate application.

Guidelines, conditions and calculations

Australian Government funding is provided through annual research block grants to eligible Australian HEPs by section 46-20 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA).

The Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2017 provide the legislative basis for the provision of funding to this program and prescribes the conditions that apply to RTP grant amounts.

The 2023 RTP grant amounts allocated to participating providers are based on a formula that is reflective of their overall research performance.

A detailed guide to calculating RTP grant amounts is available.

Research Training Program stipend rates

Every year, by the first of October, the RTP stipend rates for the upcoming year are released. Starting on January 1, the RTP stipend rate range will be in effect. The most recent and current RTP stipend rates are shown in the table below.

RTP Stipend Rates

Year Full-time base RTP stipend rate ($) Full-time max RTP stipend rate ($)
2023 29,863 46,653
2022 28,854 45,076
2021 28,597 44,674

Historical stipend rates for postgraduate research scholarships are also available.

Application process

HEPs are responsible for the application and selection processes for RTP Scholarships. Prospective candidates need to contact their chosen HEP’s postgraduate research office directly to discuss how to apply. The list of eligible HEPs is available in Table A and B of HESA.

Who’s eligible

You must:

  • be a commencing or enrolled international postgraduate research student
  • have an outstanding record of academic achievement and research potential (research publications are highly regarded)
  • Have an unconditional offer of admission or be currently enrolled in a master’s by research or Ph.D. at the University of Sydney.

Terms And Conditions


  • Applicants must be an international student at the time of award.
  • Holders of the Research Training Program (RTP) Stipend International Scholarship (referred to as “the Scholarship”) are required to enroll full-time in a postgraduate research degree program. When the University is convinced that there are unique circumstances outside of the student’s control (such as medical issues, financial difficulty, or employment commitments), the relevant Associate Dean (Research Education) may authorize a part-time RTP Scholarship*.

*A part-time scholarship may have tax implications and students should seek tax advice from registered tax agents.

  • When requesting admission to their HDR Course, applicants must request consideration for RTP Scholarships. They must also provide the necessary supporting documentation in the manner outlined on the Scholarships Office website. Candidates who have already started their HDR candidacy must apply by filling out the form found on the website of the Scholarships Office.


  • For research doctorate studies, the scholarship may be used for up to 14 full-time research periods; for research master’s studies, it may be used for up to 7 full-time research periods. The maximum term of the award will be reduced by any time spent working toward a degree previous to the start of the award.
  • No extensions are possible.
  • A student is expected to commence the Scholarship by the census date of their commencing intake, and during the year the Scholarship is awarded. If a student has commenced their studies, the scholarship may commence immediately.
  • A recipient may defer their RTP Scholarship for up to one research period with the approval of:
  • their supervisor; and
    b. the relevant Associate Dean (Research Education).
  • RTP Stipends may be provided for the duration of an approved industry placement, research internship, or professional practice activity (as stated in clause 32 of this document) if:
  • the recipient already holds, and remains eligible for, an RTP Stipend;
    b. no other income is received from these activities; and
    c. the maximum duration of the RTP Stipend has not been reached.

Stipend and Allowances

  • Holders of the Scholarship who enroll full-time will receive a stipend of $37, 207 per annum (2023 rate), indexed annually on 1 January.
    10. A student who relocates from another country to accept the Scholarship is eligible to receive a relocation payment. The allowance is worth up to $1,250 for travel from the student’s home country to Sydney at the start of the semester and up to $1,250 for travel from Sydney to the student’s home country after the semester has been completed.
  • Students who had commenced their postgraduate research degree studies in Australia before the scholarship was awarded are not entitled to claim relocation allowance for travel to Australia. Students who become permanent residents of Australia are not entitled to claim a travel allowance to return to their home country.
  • According to the University’s thesis allowance claim information, qualified claims for direct costs associated with producing a thesis will be reimbursed up to $420 for Masters candidates and up to $840 for Doctoral candidates. Within one year after the thesis submission and no later than two years after the award’s termination, the claim must be submitted to the Higher Degree by Research Administration Centre (HDRAC – hdrac.scholarships@sydney.edu.au). Because a printed thesis is no longer necessary for submission and review, printing costs are not eligible.
  • Holders of the Scholarship may receive a concurrent award, scholarship, or salary to undertake their research degree provided such award, scholarship or salary provides a benefit less than 75% of the Scholarship. The Scholarship will be terminated if this limit is exceeded. Salary for work unrelated to the student’s research is not subject to this limit.

Selection Criteria

  • The successful applicant will be awarded the Scholarship based on:

a. academic merit,
b. research experience,
c. availability of a high-quality research environment and resources to support the candidature, and
d. availability of high-quality supervisory arrangements to support the candidature

  • Preference may be given to applicants who:
  • Identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person as per University of Sydney policy,

a. have not previously received an Australian Government or University Scholarship to complete an HDR course at the same level,
c. have not previously completed an HDR course at the same level of study.

  • The Higher Degrees by Research Scholarships Sub-Committee (HDRSSC), at the advice of the Faculty, will award the Scholarship to the successful applicant.

By email to the student’s University email account (for existing students) or the student’s preferred email address listed in the student’s application for admission, the University of Sydney will inform candidates of the results of their RTP Scholarship application.


  • The Scholarships are not transferrable to another university. Should the holder of the scholarship transfer to another faculty, school, or supervisor within the University of Sydney, the duration of the scholarship will not be extended.
  • Holders of the Scholarship may not apply to suspend their award within the first six months unless

a. permitted by a legislative provision; or
b. approved by the relevant Associate Dean (Research Education) based on special circumstances

Special circumstances include career responsibilities or medical conditions and will generally be out of the recipient’s control. International students should check the terms and restrictions applicable to their visas before applying.

  • After the initial six months, holders of the scholarship may seek for a suspension of up to 12 months for any reason within the period of their grant, subject to applicable visa rules. Suspension periods add up, and if you don’t start studying again after one, your reward will be revoked. Suspension requests must be approved by the appropriate Associate Dean (Research Education). The maximum term of the Scholarship will be reduced to account for time spent pursuing a degree while it was suspended.
  • A RTP Scholarship will be suspended during any period of suspension of studies. International students should check the terms and restrictions applicable to their visas before suspending them.
  • Subject to relevant visa conditions, holders of the Scholarship are entitled to an additional 12 months suspension (less any period of paid parental leave) following the holders becoming a parent. The Scholarship holder should apply for suspension within four weeks of the expected date of becoming a parent.
  • The institution is required to notify immigration officials whenever a student suspends their studies, and the student may be required to return to their home country for the period of the suspension. As a result, if a student intends to stay in Australia during a time of study suspension, they must get in touch with the nearest Australian immigration office within 28 days of receiving the authorization notification to request permission to do so.


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