FAQs - Research Training Program (RTP)

From 1 January 2017 the Australian Government is replacing Australian Postgraduate Awards (APA), International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (IPRS) and the Research Training Scheme (RTS) with a single program, the Research Training Program (RTP). Universities must transfer all APA, IPRS and RTS recipients to the new Research Training Program by 1 January 2017.

What does this transition mean for you?
This transition will only affect you if you are a current recipient of APA, IPRS or RTS support or if you have already accepted an offer from a university that includes APA, IPRS or RTS support.

This transition will not affect your existing level or duration of support.

Each university must transition each continuing student onto an RTP Scholarship in a form that does not disadvantage the student and provides at least equivalent support to that provided, or that would have been provided, through the three predecessor Australian Government programs.

What support is offered by the RTP?

Previous scholarship awarded

New scholarship awarded

Period of scholarship support

Estimated annual value – Australian Government contribution

RTS

RTP fees offset

2 years Masters /

4 years PhD

$30,000 for 2017* ^

IPRS

RTP fees offset

2 years Masters /

3.5 years PhD

Cost of tuition fees

APA

RTP stipend

2 years Masters /

3.5 years PhD

$26,682 for 2017**

IPRS

RTP stipend

2 years Masters /

3.5 years PhD

$26,682 for 2017**

APA (thesis allowance)

RTP allowance (thesis publication)

N/A – provided on application on completion of HDR (see GRS website for details)

Up to $420 Masters / $840 PhD

IPRS (OSHC allowance)

RTP allowance (OSHC)

2 years Masters /

3.5 years PhD

Reimbursement to a maximum of 2 years Masters / 3.5 years PhD

* Paid to the University from the Australian Government on your behalf - subject to variation in later years based on actual HDR expenditure.

^ Modelling of the full cost of research training estimates that the additional cost borne by UNSW is approximately 40% more than the RTP contribution.
 ** Increased annually by Consumer Price Index (CPI) 

My APA or IPRS stipend (living allowance) has expired. Can I receive an extension under the RTP program?

No. We are making no change to the duration of support.

I don’t currently receive any scholarship support. Why have I received an email titled “Notification of transfer to new Research Training Program (RTP)”?

If you are a domestic student and have completed up to 2 years full time equivalent in a Masters by Research or up to 4 years full time equivalent in a PhD you were previously supported by the Research Training Scheme (RTS). All students supported by RTS will be transferred to the RTP Fees Offset scholarship. An RTP Fees Offset is not a stipend and is not paid directly to a student. Your university uses this amount of RTP money to give you free research training instead of charging you a tuition fee. The Australian Government requires UNSW to advise you of this change.

What is a Stipend?

A stipend is a living allowance scholarship paid directly to you on a fortnightly basis.

Will my Stipend increase under the RTP Scholarship?

No. We are making no change to the stipend rate – we will continue to use the RTP base rate with an annual increase based on CPI.

What is a Fees Offset?

An RTP Fees Offset is not a stipend and is not paid directly to a student. Your university uses this amount of RTP money to give you free research training instead of charging you a tuition fee.

I am an international student receiving the IPRS and I currently receive a transport concession. Will this be changing with the RTP?

UNSW has not received any advice from Transport for NSW to suggest they plan to make any changes, but it would be completely out of UNSW’s control if this were to happen. The following information can be found on the Australian Government’s Department of Education and Training website:

Q: Currently IPRS students enjoy some additional benefits beyond other international students – travel concessions, childcare support, visa processing fees waiver. What will happen to these with the switch to RTP? 

A: These additional benefits are not specified in IPRS Guidelines and therefore are not covered by the RTP no disadvantage requirement for continuing students. The Department of Education and Training does not hold any authority in relation to these additional benefits and therefore cannot provide any advice on whether these will change under the RTP.

Reference: https://education.gov.au/research-training-program-rtp-frequently-asked-questions-university-administrators#28-currently-iprs-students-enjoy

Where can I find more information about the RTP?

Read the slides from the Graduate Research Town Hall (under Related Files) or visit the Australian Government’s Department of Education and Training website https://education.gov.au/research-training-program-frequently-asked-questions-students. If you have visited the department’s website and still have any questions you can call the department’s hotline on 1300 566 046 and ask about the ‘research training program’ or email RBGrants@education.gov.au with ‘RTP – continuing student’ in the subject line.