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, and impacts on travel insurance, travel under the PRSS is not available for 2020/2021.

PRSS is open currently for virtual conferences in 2021 (flat rate of $200). 

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 conference

  • have not previously received PRSS funds, OR, have previously received but returned PRSS funds

  • be enrolled in a UNSW Doctoral program 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 your conference acceptance, and endorsing your request

  • abide by UNSW's Travel, Candidature, and other relevant policies

  • abide by any Australian Federal or State Government COVID-19 health guidelines

To apply for PRSS funding, please complete the PRSS Application Form (including all signed approvals) and, if applying for a virtual conference, you must outline reasons why you cannot attend an in-person conference during your degree (including in future). 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.

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 conference you were approved for. 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.


UNSW PhD Candidate Paid Parental Leave Scholarship

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

If you are unsure whether your current scholarship provides benefits, check with your Scholarship funder if they are/can be covered. 

Candidates successful for this scholarship receive paid parental 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) and be the main carer.

To apply, please email the Admissions and Scholarships team at and include the dates of your parental 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 Discount

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. 

External Enrolment Discount

If you are an International candidate and you are able to return to your home country to complete your research and finalise your thesis, you may be eligible for a 40% discount on your tuition fees. 

To be considered for this discount, you must be able to demonstrate that you have exhausted any available tuition fee scholarships, be in the final stages of your candidature (beyond 3 years full time equivalent for PhD or 1.5 years full time equivalent for Masters) and be approved to Work Away from UNSW.

To apply, please contact the GRS Candidature Management Officer for your Faculty. Your request will be considered by the Director, GRS. To apply to Work Away from UNSW, please submit a Variation to Candidature request in GRIS. For instructions on how to submit a Variation to Candidature request, please visit this page

For information on International tuition fees, please visit Student Fees and Payment.