RMIT Research Training Program Scholarship - Policy References

Information for Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) applicants, current HDR candidates and staff about the processes, policies and conditions of the Research Training Program (RTP) scholarships at RMIT.

Student eligibility and type of support1

(1) The Commonwealth Government of Australia provides funding to support research training at RMIT via its Research Training Program (RTP) block grant. The program supports the following scholarship types:

a. RTP Fees Offset: A contribution to the costs incurred by the University in the provision of higher degrees by research. All Australian and New Zealand citizens (domestic candidates) are eligible for this support unless they are already receiving an equivalent award or scholarship from the Commonwealth designed to offset HDR fees. International candidates in receipt of a Tuition Fee Scholarship at RMIT will receive this support.

b. RTP Stipend: Funding to assist candidates with living costs while undertaking a higher degree. To be eligible for a RTP Stipend a student must not be receiving income from another source to support that student’s general living costs while undertaking their course of study if that income is greater than 75 per cent of that student’s RTP Stipend rate. Income unrelated to the student’s course of study or income received for the student’s course of study but not for the purposes of supporting general living costs is not to be taken into account.

c. RTP Allowances: funding to assist candidates with ancillary costs of a higher degree, such as health cover and relocation costs for overseas candidates, thesis printing and academic publication costs. RTP allowances are available to candidates in receipt of a RTP Stipend, in accordance with the eligibility criteria outlined in the RMIT Research Scholarship Terms and Conditions (PDF 279KB 10p).

1Source: RMIT Research Scholarship Terms and Conditions (PDF 279KB 10p)

Period of support2

(2) Duration of RTP support is as follows:

a. For domestic candidates the RTP Fees Offset may be provided up to the maximum duration of candidature.

b. For all RTP support provided to international candidates, and for domestic RTP stipend recipients, RTP support is for the full time equivalent (FTE) of up to three years for doctoral study (six month extension may be applied for); and for Masters by Research study, a maximum of two years (FTE).

c. The candidate’s period of support will be adjusted to account for any periods of leave approved by RMIT.

(3) Extensions to candidature duration are subject to approval by the Associate Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research Training and Development and any other applicable scholarship terms and conditions.

2Source: RMIT Higher degrees by research policy sections 3 and 8, and section 4.2.4 of the RMIT Research Scholarship Terms and Conditions (PDF 279KB 10p)

(4) RTP Stipend Rates

a. In 2017 the RMIT RTP stipend rate is $30,000. Find out about current stipend rates and information on fees offset scholarships.

(5) Further information

a. Additional information about eligibility, selection, entitlements, paid leave for stipend recipients and other terms and conditions for Scholarships in accordance with the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines are set out in the RMIT Scholarship Terms and Conditions (PDF 279KB 10p).

Application, selection and offers processes for awarding RTP Scholarships

(6) Information is available on the entry requirements for a place in a PhD program or Masters by research program at RMIT.

(7) In order to be eligible to apply for an RTP Stipend, applicants must have completed a bachelor degree with first class honours, or be regarded by RMIT as having an equivalent level of attainment in accordance with section 2.2 of the RMIT Scholarship Terms and Conditions (PDF 279KB 10p).

(8) The application process for a place in a research program is available on the How to apply page.

(9) Information is available on the RMIT Selection and admission policy and procedure and the RMIT Scholarships, grants and prizes policy. Information about RTP Stipends is available in the RMIT Scholarship Terms and Conditions (PDF 279KB 10p).

Transition arrangements for continuing students

(10) All candidates may access information about the new RTP Scholarships and the transition arrangements applying to their previous RTS places and Australian Postgraduate Awards (APA) or International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS) at the RMIT RTP FAQs for candidates.

(11) Further information is also available from the Department of Education and Training's RTP FAQs for Students.

Admission principles – facilities and supervision3

(12) Admission for enrolment in a higher degree by research (HDR) at RMIT is in accordance with RMIT’s Selections and Admission policy and procedure.

a. By instructing an offer of admission to be made to an applicant, the enrolling school confirms that:

      • it has the appropriate discipline expertise to house the research;
      • it has the necessary space, facilities, equipment, technical and resource staff and funding for the applicant, for the duration of the program; and
      • it has the capacity to provide dedicated supervision for the duration of the program.

(13) The enrolling school must abide by its commitment to provide the above for the duration of candidature.

(14) HDR workspace allocation will be aligned with (and should not exceed) the published principles governing workspace allocation for staff of the University.

(15) The normative allocation of space to HDR candidates is by means of bookable and shared-use space.

(16) Each school enrolling HDR candidates will have a transparent HDR space management plan that is publicly available and its principles should inform all space allocation decisions within the school.

(17) Where possible HDR candidates will be located within their enrolling school.

(18) As a minimum, the school or college must provide access to appropriate, bookable, shared work space with secure and appropriate storage that where possible is within close proximity to the desk space, in addition to non-bookable space for candidates to be able to complete the agreed program of research.

(19) The facilities:

a. Must comply with relevant Occupational Health and Safety regulations and the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research; and

b. Should allow for after-hours access.

3Source: RMIT Higher degrees by research policy sections 1 and 2

Supervision4

(20) RMIT will provide all HDR candidates with a suitably qualified senior supervisor and at least one other supervisor who have expertise in the discipline area of the candidate.

(21) Supervisors are responsible for providing guidance regarding the candidate’s research project, assisting in resolving research-related issues and providing timely feedback.

(22) Supervision must be undertaken in accordance with the Supervision responsibilities process and the Code of practice for Higher Degrees by Research (PDF 189KB 9p).

(23) The Dean/Head of School/Centre (or delegate) is accountable for the allocation of supervisors to candidates throughout the period of candidature and the oversight of supervision performance.

(24) The Senior Supervisor or at least one of the Joint Senior Supervisors must be an RMIT staff member.

(25) Candidates or HDR Coordinators may request a change to supervisory arrangements at any time as detailed in the Supervision arrangements process.

(26) All supervisors are required to be accredited and listed on the RMIT supervisor register before they can be allocated to candidates.

(27) Categories of supervisor registration are determined by a combination of supervisory experience and research activity.

(28) In order to maintain their level of registration supervisors must:

a. meet ongoing eligibility requirements, and,

b. demonstrate they are effectively supporting candidates to achieve their expected milestones and research outcomes.

(29) The requirements for supervisor registration are detailed in Schedule Four: HDR Supervisor Registration Requirements (PDF 96KB 4p).

4Source: RMIT Higher degrees by research policy sections 4 to 6

Employment5

(30) Full-time commitment will average at least 4 days per week over the course of the year. Part-time commitment will average at least 2 days per week over the course of the year. Any work, paid or otherwise, undertaken by the candidate outside of their research project may not affect their ability to maintain this commitment.

(31) Any changes between full- and part-time study mode must be applied for in accordance with the eligibility requirements and processes set out in the Program duration process.

(32) Should candidates undertake a research internship, industry placement or other professional development activity, this should normally be within their permitted candidature duration period, with the exception of any enrolled activity undertaken post-submission.

(33) Additional provisions relate to employment while in receipt of a RTP Stipend scholarship or other type of stipend, further details are available in the Research Scholarship Terms and Conditions (PDF 279KB 10p).

5Source: RMIT Higher degrees by research policy sections 8.5 to 8.7

Changes to enrolment

(34) Any changes between full- and part-time study mode must be applied for in accordance with the eligibility requirements and processes set out in the Program duration process.

(35) Further information about: program transfers (within or external to RMIT), study load changes and other enrolment changes can be found in the HDR candidature processes.

Termination of an RTP fees offset

(36) RMIT can terminate an RTP fees offset on the basis of a candidate having established unsatisfactory academic progress, in accordance with the RMIT Higher degrees by research policy sections 14 and 15.

(37) Any RTP Fees Offset will be terminated at the same time as candidature termination.

Termination of an RTP Stipend

(38) RMIT can terminate an RTP Stipend in accordance with the Research Scholarship Terms and Conditions (PDF 279KB 10p). If a research stipend is terminated, it cannot be re-activated unless the termination occurred in error.

Grievances, reviews and appeals

(39) For the resolution of concerns or grievances in candidature or a review of a decision, candidates should follow the provisions of RMIT Student complaints policy and procedure or relevant RMIT policy.

(40) Candidates seeking to appeal against their examination outcome, or termination of candidature may do so in accordance with the Assessment, academic progress and appeals regulations and the RMIT Higher degrees by research policy section 16.

Further RTP Scholarships resources for candidates and staff

(41) Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2017

(42) Department of Education and Training RTP FAQs for Students

(43) Department of Education and Training RTP FAQs for Administrators

(44) RMIT RTP FAQs for candidates