From the beginning of Term 1 2023, UNSW Sydney will increase the stipends for the HDR scholarships we offer. The increase will help to ease some of the financial stress our students are facing due to cost-of-living pressures.  

In 2023, all new scholarships will be offered at the rate of $35,000. The rate will further increase to $37,684 in 2024.  

For all current scholarship holders whose stipend is currently below $35,000, the stipend will also increase to $35,000 in 2023 and $37,684 in 2024.  

The 2023 rate will be the second-highest stipend among Group of Eight universities and is above the Department of Education’s standard rate of $29,863 for 2023. The 2024 amount of $37,684 is expected to be one of, if not the highest, for an Australian university. 

For more information on the stipend increase please refer to the candidate FAQs below.

For staff FAQs, please click here


What is the new Higher Degree Research (HDR) scholarship rate at UNSW?

From Term 1 2023, there will be a 17.2 per cent increase from the standard Research Training Program (RTP) rate of $29,863 rate to $35,000. 

The stipend will rise again in Term 1 2024 to $37,684, which is expected to be one of, if not the highest for an Australian university. 


What about existing scholarship holders – do they get the increased stipend?

All candidates who hold an ongoing UNSW-administered stipend (including supervisor/school/faculty supported scholarships such as the TFS) in 2023 and are studying in UNSW’s Doctor of Philosophy, Professional Doctorate, Masters by Research and Master of Philosophy higher degree research programs, including international candidates, are eligible for the new rate of $35,000 in 2023 providing their current scholarship is less than $35,000. 

Any scholarship currently worth more than $35,000 in 2023 will not be supplemented. However, if the scholarship is less than $37,684, it will be topped up in 2024 to that amount. 

UNSW will fund the stipend top-up difference. 


What if I already receive a top-up to my scholarship?

For existing scholarships above the RTP but below the proposed new rate, UNSW would provide a top-up to bring it to $35,000 in 2023. That is, for those receiving a top-up from their supervisor, school or faculty, UNSW would only supplement the stipend from their existing rate, not the RTP baseline rate. In 2024, the scholarship stipend will be topped up to $37,684. 


When will I receive the increased amount if I am an existing scholarship holder?

Payments will begin from Term 1 2023. Please note the increase is not effective immediately and some payments may be received in the form of back payments over the course of Term 1 2023 given the short timeframe to carry out this change.


What if I receive Centrelink benefits? Do I need to report my scholarship increase to Centrelink?

Yes, any change in income should be reported to Centrelink to ensure your reportable income is accurate. 


I am a part time scholarship holder. Will this increase effect my reportable income to the Australian Taxation Office?

Part time scholarships are taxable. Any increase in the scholarship rate should be reported as taxable income at the end of the financial year.

Please note that the duration and value of part time scholarships is pro rata. 

What is the duration of the scholarship?

3 ½ years for PhD.

2 years for Research Masters.

Please note that the duration and value of part time scholarships is pro rata. 

Where can I find more information?

Please visit the HDR Hub for the latest information about Higher Degree Research at UNSW.