Australian Postgraduate Awards (APAs)

APAs are awarded to local students or international students who hold an IPRS undertaking a research Doctoral or Masters degree on the basis of academic excellence and research potential.

Australian Postgraduate Awards are funded by the Commonwealth Government.

Value and duration

In 2016, the APA provides the following benefits to recipients:

  • a stipend of $29,288 per annum pro rata (full-time study) which is equivalent to the Government APA rate of $26,288 plus an RMIT top up of $3000. This stipend amount increases yearly in accordance with indexation.
  • a government-funded Research Training Scheme (RTS) place or equivalent. An RTS place is supported with a HECS exemption for the normal duration of the course. Applicants successful in receiving an RTS place are not required to pay tuition fees for the maximum duration of their candidature
  • a relocation allowance for the cost of relocating in order to take up their postgraduate research program, up to $515 per adult and $255 per child to a maximum of $1540
  • paid sick, maternity and parental leave (within the limits of the Scholarship Terms and Conditions).

The standard duration of a research doctorate scholarship is three years full-time. Candidates may apply for an extension of up to six months subject to satisfactory progress and school approval. The duration of a research masters scholarship is two years full time, with no additional extension available.

The duration of an Australian Postgraduate Award will be reduced by any periods of study undertaken towards a research degree at the same level, prior to the commencement of the RMIT research program.


To be considered for scholarship you must hold, or be currently completing:

  • a Master by research
  • a Master by coursework with a significant research component graded as high distinction, or equivalent
  • a Honours degree achieving first class honours
  • a 4 year bachelor degree achieving a GPA of 4 or equivalent (80% or above).

If you do not hold one of the above qualifications, you will only be considered for scholarship if you have previous publications or significant research experience. All other applicants will be considered ineligible.

In addition to the above, to be eligible for this scholarship you must:

  • be an Australian Citizen, New Zealand Citizen or Permanent Resident of Australia, or an international student who has been awarded an IPRS scholarship to commence at RMIT; and
  • have applied for a full-time postgraduate research program at RMIT. Part-time APAs may be approved for students with exceptional circumstances e.g. for medical reasons or due to significant care commitments. Part-time scholarships are not tax exempt. Please refer to the Scholarship Terms and Conditions for further details.

To be considered for an APA Scholarship, as a current candidate you must:

  • have more than 24 months remaining of PhD candidature as at 1 January 2017
  • have more than 12 months remaining of Master by research candidature as at 1 January 2017.

You will be considered ineligible for an APA if:

  • you are undertaking a Masters by Research and you already hold a Research Doctorate, Research Masters or an equivalent research qualification
  • you are undertaking a Research Doctorate and you already hold a Research Doctorate or an equivalent research qualification
  • you have previously held a Commonwealth-funded postgraduate research scholarship unless it was terminated within six months of the scholarship commencement date, or
  • you are currently receiving another equivalent award, scholarship or research related salary providing a benefit greater than 75% of the 2016 APA base rate ($26,288).

Key dates and how to apply

For information relating to scholarship opening rounds and to apply for scholarship, please refer to the instructions detailed on research scholarships.

Selection criteria

All domestic applications will be ranked based on a model that has been approved by RMIT’s Research Committee.

Further information

See the Research Scholarship Terms and Conditions (PDF 326KB 10p) for more information.


HDR Scholarships Team


+61 3 9925 5570