Scholarships and Financial Support

Higher Degree Researchers may obtain financial support through a number of different funding schemes, including living allowances, tuition fee support scholarships, short term scholarships, grants, and, in exceptional circumstances, student loans. Whether you are looking for information to help you manage an existing scholarship, or you are searching for new funding opportunities to support your candidature, you will find detailed information below. For additional information on Higher Degree Research Scholarships, please refer to the UNSW Higher Degree Research Scholarships Policy and the UNSW Higher Degree Research Scholarships Procedure


Scholarship Payments

Once you have been awarded a scholarship, you can view the details of your scholarship and all scholarship payments that have been made to you through your myUNSW profile.

Unless you are receiving a one-off lump sum payment, your scholarship will be paid every two weeks, and the UNSW fortnightly payment schedule is available through myUNSW under Key UNSW Information. It is a candidate's responsibility to ensure that their payments are correct, and to notify the University about any errors in payment.

You can find further information on our Scholarship Payment Information Sheet.

Is my scholarship taxable?

Most full-time scholarships are not deemed taxable.

Your scholarship may become taxable if:

  • you are enrolled on a part time basis, or

  • you are required to undertake contractual obligations considered tantamount to employment or labour in return for receiving the stipend.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) provides an online interactive scholarship decision tool that can help you determine whether or not your scholarship should be taxed.


Tax File Number Declaration form

If your scholarship is taxable, you must complete a Tax File Number (TFN) Declaration form and return it to HR Salaries (The Chancellery, Room 119 Level 1, North Wing) before your scholarship payments commence.

You can obtain a Tax File Number Declaration Form from the ATO website or from UNSW Human Resources reception at Room 119, Level 1, North Wing, The Chancellery.


Additional Benefits and Allowances for Scholarship Recipients

A number of scholarship schemes provide allowances for various costs. Please visit Additional Benefits and Allowances for Award Holders for further information. 

UNSW Conference Funding

The Postgraduate Research Student Support (PRSS) Scheme assists enrolled UNSW PhD candidates with the travel costs associated with presenting their research – paper/poster/exhibition – at approved international conferences. 

Due to the spread of Covid-19 and the Australian Government restrictions on travel both domestically and internationally, PRSS is on hold for conferences held now until September.

At this time, 2020 funding is open for applications for conferences from October to December. 

Before applying or booking, please consider:

  • All advice from the government, particularly via Smart Traveller

  • insurance may not cover travel booked at this time stage

  • conferences & travel providers may not provide refunds if you are booking at this stage

  • your own and other people’s health and safety. 

Please continue to watch this page for updates. As the University cannot predict when or how the Government will change the restrictions, PRSS availability may change at any time.

We are sorry that this global health issue has caused you inconvenience and we remain united in supporting all in our community with acceptance, respect, compassion and inclusion.


Eligibility and application details

To be eligible for funding, you must:

  • have been accepted to present your work at an approved international conference (not available for conferences in Australia/New Zealand)

  • have not previously received PRSS funds, OR, have previously received PRSS funds but could not attend the approved conference and the funds were returned to GRS

  • be enrolled in a PhD or other doctoral program at UNSW at the time of the conference (not available for Masters)

  • not be overtime or have submitted your thesis at the time of the conference

  • have your application form signed by both your supervisor and Postgraduate Coordinator confirming that you have been accepted to the conference, and that they endorse your request

  • abide by UNSW's Travel and Candidature policies

To apply for funding, please complete the PRSS Application Form, include all signed approvals, and email to

PRSS applications are assessed in order of receipt, and assessment may take up to 4 weeks. All applicants will be notified of the outcome and, if successful, provided details of payment.

If your application is successful, you will receive a flat rate of $2,800.


Applications for special consideration

Special consideration for not meeting eligibility can be considered in the below cases. Note, you still need to meet all the other eligibility criteria.

  • You’re unable to attend the approved conference. You may use these funds for another conference provided it is approved by your supervisor and PGC. There is no need to return the funds unless you are unable to attend an approved conference before you complete your program.

  • You’re unable to attend an International conference. If international travel continues to be restricted in October - December or there are other reasons preventing international travel, you can apply for special consideration to attend a domestic conference. When submitting the completed PRSS Application Form, outline your reasons for domestic travel (with documented evidence), and provide a drafted budget for domestic conference and evidence of acceptance of conference presentation.

  • You’re submitting your thesis in 2020. If you can’t attend a conference prior to thesis submission due to the Government travel restrictions, you can apply for a conference post thesis submission, and prior to completion of the degree. When submitting the completed PRSS Application Form, outline the reason you couldn’t attend a conference prior to thesis submission.

  • You’re unable to attend a conference under the above special conditions. If you can’t attend a physical conference under the above special conditions, you can apply to attend an online conference. Approved funding for virtual conferences will be at a lower rate, and will be a contribution to registration cost only. When submitting the completed PRSS Application Form, outline the reason you couldn’t attend a conference under any other conditions, and provide details of the conference including direct weblink to costing.

Conference travel

All postgraduate research candidates travelling on UNSW business, including attending conferences supported by PRSS funding, must comply with the UNSW Travel Policy and Travel Procedure.

You are not required to use the MyTravel system but you are required to register your trip details through MyTrips to ensure you are covered under the UNSW Travel Insurance Policy. Please log in to MyPortal to register your travel. For further information, visit UNSW Travel

UNSW PhD Candidate Paid Maternity Leave Scholarship

UNSW Paid Maternity Leave Scholarships are available to domestic PhD candidates currently in receipt of a scholarship with no maternity leave entitlements.

Successful candidates receive paid maternity leave for up to 12 weeks equal to the value of their scholarship, under the same conditions provided for RTP and UPA scholarships.

To be eligible, candidates must have held their scholarship for at least four terms (full-time equivalent).

To apply, please email Cheryl Law at and include the dates of your maternity leave and a copy of your doctor's certificate.


Faculty, Donor, and Externally Funded Scholarships and Grants

There are a number of Faculty and donor funded scholarships that may be made available throughout the year. There are also a range of organisations outside of UNSW that offer full scholarships, top up scholarships, and small grants to higher degree research candidates.

A number of these funding opportunities are made available to support research costs such as equipment, facilities, and printing. Others support the costs involved attending conferences or conducting research or field work overseas. Some grants are available to support candidates who are preparing to submit their thesis.

For more information, visit Faculty and Donor Funded Scholarships and Externally Funded Scholarships.

Student Loans

UNSW Sydney supports both domestic and international candidates experiencing financial difficulties to persist in their studies through the student loans system. All loans are repayable and interest free. 

Candidates must satisfy specific application and approval criteria, and sign a legally binding contract that outlines the repayment arrangement.

Candidates typically receive $1,500 interest free, however applicants who demonstrate exceptional circumstances may receive up to $4,000. 


What Can I Apply For? 


For Materials and Equipment Loans: 


For more information, please download the HDR Student Loans Information Sheet, and read the Student Loans Procedure.  


Writing Up Fee Concession

If your data collection is complete and you are re-enrolling solely to write your thesis, you may be eligible for a 50% tuition fee concession. To apply, please obtain a letter from your supervisor or Postgraduate Coordinator confirming that you have completed your data collection, and send an email to the GRS Candidature Management Officer for your Faculty requesting the fee concession.