Scholarship for International Research Fees
Note: These conditions are under review by University committees and subject to change for 2015 awards.
Scholarships for International Research Fees (SIRF) awards are
available to eligible overseas candidates for higher degrees by
research (HDR) at The University of Western Australia ('the
University') and provide course tuition fees and standard health
cover only for each semester of the course in line with the
scholarship tenure and conditions described below.
The requirements, regulations and benefits
contained in these conditions of award apply to commencing and
continuing students. The conditions are determined by
the Australian Government and are subject to change
from time to time.
Part 1—Tuition fees, stipend and
1. Tuition fees
1.1 A SIRF covers the cost of international
tuition fees, and required health insurance premiums for the
1.2 A SIRF does not cover the
cost of health insurance premiums for dependants of the award
1.3 A SIRF does not cover the
cost of student union or amenities fees, costs associated with
overseas fieldwork, living expenses, bridging English language
course or travel expenses associated with the relocation of the
student to take up the award.
2. Concurrent scholarships
2.1 A SIRF may be held concurrently with another
external or University award provided that the conditions of the
concurrent award so permit.
3. Visa entitlements and requirements
3.1 A SIRF is not an approved Australian Government
funded scholarship scheme and SIRF holders are required to pay
for visa application fees for themselves and their
3.2 A SIRF does not cover any
medical costs associated with the issue or renewal of a student
3.3 It is the responsibility of
the student to ensure they hold a valid visa while in
3.4 If a visa expires, the
student may be removed from Australia.
3.5 Where a SIRF holder is
granted an extension to their scholarship, they may be required
to renew their student visa. Further details can be obtained from
the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).
4. Health care cover
4.1 SIRF holders and their dependants are required to
join the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. The
University meets the cost of a standard OSHC policy for the award
holder only. It is the responsibility of the award holder to pay
for the cost of health cover for their dependants.
4.2 SIRF holders may wish to
purchase additional OSHC if they require cover for ancillary
services such as dental, optical, physiotherapy, etc. A
SIRF does not cover OSHC for ancillary benefits.
Part 2—Scholarship conditions
5.1 For the purpose of these conditions the
'head of school' is the person appointed as head, acting in that
capacity or a graduate research coordinator who has been approved
by the Board of the Graduate Research School to act on matters
pertaining to research higher degrees.
5.2 For the purpose of these
conditions an 'international applicant' is an applicant who is
not an Australian citizen, a New Zealand citizen, or an
Australian permanent resident.
6.1 The scholarship is called the Scholarship for
International Research Fees (SIRF).
7.1 The purpose of the scholarship is to enable
graduates of the University or another recognised university to
undertake an HDR at the University.
8. Value and number of scholarships
8.1 The value of the scholarship is as set out in Part
8.2 The number of scholarships
available each year is determined by the number awarded by the
Australian Government to the University.
9.1 To be eligible to apply for a SIRF an
(a) must be eligible to
enrol or be enrolled as a full-time student in a higher degree by
research at the University upon commencement of their
(b) must not have commenced
a higher degree by research prior to year for which the
scholarship is sought unless the applicant was unable to
apply for a scholarship in the last selection round due to the
timing of their enrolment;
(c) must not already be in
receipt of another UWA Postgraduate Research International
Tuition Fee Scholarship (SIRF or IPRS) or a UWA International
Living Allowance Scholarship (UIS or UPAIS);
(d) must have completed at
least four years of tertiary education studies at a high level of
achievement demonstrated by the award of a degree of First Class
Honours standard or equivalent;
(e) must be a citizen of an
overseas country, excluding New Zealand;
(f) must meet the
University’s English language requirements for scholarship
(g) must not have completed
a degree either at the same level as, or at a higher level than,
the degree for which candidature is sought;
(h) must enrol in an area
of research concentration and be recommended by the head of the
school in which the proposed study is to be undertaken;
(i) must not be an overseas
student who is currently on an Australian Government sponsored
scholarship such as Australian Awards Development
Scholarship seeking to apply for a SIRF immediately
following the Australian Awards Development Scholarship funded
study. Such candidates must meet the terms and conditions of
these awards prior to applying for future funding. This applies
to students under the Australian Sponsored Training Scholarships,
the Equity and Merit Scholarship Scheme (EMSS) and the Australian
Development Scholarships (ADS).
10. Selection criteria and policy
10.1 SIRF must be awarded in a competitive application
process, and applications must be submitted in the form approved
by and on the date determined by the University.
11.1 Applications must be by the on-line application
process at http://www.scholarships.uwa.edu.au/search
by the advertised closing date.
12. Awarding body
12.1 The scholarship is awarded by the Scholarships
Committee of the University.
13. Duration of award
13.1 The tenure of a full-time scholarship
(a) up to two years for
the degree of master's by research; or
(b) up to three years
for a doctoral degree.
13.2 No extensions are possible
for a student undertaking the degree of Master.
13.3 Periods of study already
undertaken towards the degree prior to the commencement of the
scholarship or undertaken during suspension of the scholarship
are deducted from the maximum period of tenure.
13.4 Doctoral students may apply
for an extension of up to 12 months, by applying for six months
only at one time, subject to satisfactory progress, provided the
grounds for extension are related to their research and are
beyond the control of the student.
13.5 A second six-month
extension will not be approved if work has not progressed during
the first extension.
13.6 Extension of tenure is
conditional upon the submission of the Research Proposal and
Confirmation of Candidature, and all outstanding milestone
reports including Annual and Interim Reports and Travel Award
Reports, if applicable.
13.7 An application for
extension must include the following—
(a) a completion plan
detailing the work to be undertaken by the student and supervisor
to achieve the submission within the specified period of the
scholarship and signed by the student, the supervisor and the
head of school/graduate research co-ordinator.
(b) for a second
extension, Ad Hoc Scholarships proposal form confirming the
provision of living allowance stipend for the duration of the
scholarship with school/faculty funding details including valid
Business Unit and Project Grant numbers.
14. Criteria for continuation
14.1 Continuation of the scholarship from year to year
is subject to the recipient—
continuous enrolment at the University as a full-time student;
(b) submitting, through
their supervisor and the head of school, a satisfactory Annual
Progress Report to the Board of the Graduate Research School.
15. Administering Body
15.1 The scholarship is administered by the Scholarships
15.2 In administering the
scholarship the University—
(a) must be fair and
equitable in the use of its discretionary powers;
(b) must abide by the
Commonwealth Information Privacy Principles;
(c) must advise
students of appropriate appeal mechanisms for the resolution of
any academic dispute that might arise during their
(d) must provide the
student with all entitlements due under the award;
(e) must provide the
scholarship holder with adequate facilities and appropriate
(f) does not accept any
liability for injury suffered or damage caused by the scholarship
(g) must make provision
for Student Plan Personal Accident Insurance for all
16. Specific student obligations
16.1 Notwithstanding the provisions of 15.2, students
must inform the Scholarships Office at least two weeks in advance
if they intend to suspend, terminate or change their enrolment.
Failure to provide this notice may have financial implications
that become the responsibility of the award holder.
16.2 Students must diligently
and to the best of their ability apply themselves to the
successful completion of the degree.
16.3 Students must abide by the
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) codes on
human and animal experimentation, guidelines established by the
Australian Government's Recombinant DNA Monitoring Committee and
rulings of the safety and ethics committees of the
16.4 Students must conform to
the conditions (including disciplinary provisions) of the
16.5 An award holder must
maintain 'international student' status for the duration of the
degree or notify Student Administration, the International Centre
and the Graduate Research and Scholarships Office upon being
granted permanent residence status.
16.6 When at any time during or
after completion of the Scholarship the award holder publishes a
book, article, newsletter or other literary or scientific work
which relates to research carried out under the Scholarship, the
publication must acknowledge that the research was carried out
while the author was a SIRF scholar in Australia (see clause
17.1 An award holder must commence the degree in the
School specified in the letter of offer of candidature by the
date set by the University or the scholarship may be withdrawn
and reallocated to another applicant.
17.2 If a scholarship holder has
not commenced within six months of the date of offer of the award
then the scholarship may be withdrawn.
17.3 If an award holder requires
an extension to the commencement date, this must be applied for
in writing to the Scholarships Office for approval.
18. Conversion between master's and
18.1 On the recommendation of the BGRS, approval may be
given for the conversion of a SIRF for the degree of master
to a scholarship for doctoral studies.
18.2 A scholarship for doctoral
studies can be converted to a scholarship for the degree of
18.3 The maximum duration of a
converted scholarship becomes that for the new candidature.
18.4 In approving the conversion
of a SIRF from master’s to doctoral study, the maximum
period of a scholarship for a student progressing from
master’s to doctoral study is three years (or three and a
half years to four years if an extension is approved) from the
date the student commenced the degree of master.
19.1 Where students are unable to pursue the degree they
must seek approval in the first instance from their supervisor
and head of school for a period of suspension.
19.2 Applications for suspension
must be submitted to the Scholarships Committee for
19.3 If the proposed suspension
is to commence after the first six months and is of less
than 12 months' duration the Scholarships Committee may, at
its discretion, approve the suspension.
19.4 Failure of the award holder
to resume study or to make arrangements to extend a period of
suspension within the specified time will result in the
scholarship being terminated.
19.5 If the proposed suspension
is to commence within the first six months or the accumulated
period of the suspension(s) is of more than 12 months'
duration an application must be made to the Scholarships
Committee to seek approval of the suspension. The application is
only considered if there are exceptional circumstances beyond the
control of the student.
19.6 A suspension, or
accumulated periods of suspension, of more than 12 months'
duration or one that commences within the first six months
without the written permission of the Scholarships Committee is a
breach of these conditions and the scholarship may be terminated
19.7 A scholarship holder who
suspends a scholarship must suspend candidature in the degree for
the commensurate period. Periods of study undertaken during
suspension of the scholarship are deducted from the maximum
period of tenure on scholarship.
19.8 The University endeavours
to ensure that scholarship holders are advised of their option to
suspend rather than relinquish their scholarships (subject also
to meeting the requirements relating to suspension of
candidature), thus keeping open the option of resuming their
scholarships at a later date.
19.9 In exceptional
circumstances a further period of suspension of not more
than 12 months, subject to the approval of the Board of the
Graduate Research School, may be approved.
19.10 Suspensions must not
exceed two years in total under any circumstances.
19.11 International scholarship
holders must seek advice from the University’s
International Centre in relation to the effect that a period of
suspension may have in relation to visa regulations. A SIRF
holder will not be covered by Overseas Student Health Cover
during a period of suspension.
20.1 An award offered at the University may not be taken
up at another institution.
20.2 The award may be
transferred in exceptional circumstances only, such as the
supervisor leaving the University and no suitable replacement
20.3 As SIRF are allocated to
institutions based on their research performance, any request by
an award holder to transfer a scholarship requires the support of
the Scholarships Committee. A request to transfer a scholarship
may be refused where the Scholarships Committee ascertains that
the circumstances presented do not warrant a transfer.
20.4 Transfer arrangements are
agreed between institutions, subject to the award holder being
offered a research degree place at the new institution.
20.5 Transfer of an award does
not constitute sufficient grounds for a subsequent extension of
21.1 The University will terminate a
(a) on submission of the
thesis or the death, incapacity or withdrawal of the student or
at the end of the scholarship, whichever is earlier;
(b) if in the opinion of
the Scholarships Committee, the student has committed serious
misconduct including, but not limited to, the provision of false
or misleading information;
(c) if in the opinion of
the Scholarships Committee, the course of study is not being
carried out with competence or in accordance with the offer of
scholarship, and no suitable alternate arrangements can be made
for continuation of the postgraduate degree;
(d) when the student ceases
to be a full-time student; or
(e) the scholarship holder
does not resume study at the conclusion of a period of
suspension, or make arrangements for an extension to the period
(f) upon the granting of
permanent resident status to the student (other than under the
Permanent Resident Class 818 provisions);
(g) if the cumulative
period of suspension of the award exceeds 12 months and an
application for an additional period of suspension of not more
than 12 months due to exceptional circumstances has not been
21.2 If an award is terminated,
it cannot be reactivated unless the termination occurred in
22.1 The University has established and must abide by a
Code of Good Practice for Graduate Research and Supervision. It
is recommended that scholarship holders read the Code of Good
Practice for Graduate Research and Supervision.
23.1 Any thesis, dissertation or other publication,
including books, articles, television, radio programs or
interviews resulting from research undertaken by the recipient
while in receipt of the SIRF at The University of Western
Australia must acknowledge the support of the Australian
Government, the scholarship and carry the University by-line.
24. Intellectual property
24.1 Intellectual Property is governed by the
University Policy on: Intellectual Property.
Part 3—Leave entitlements and paid
25. Leave entitlements
25.1 Approval of all paid and unpaid leave is
conditional on scholarship holders having submitted the Research
Proposal and any milestone reports such as Confirmation of
Candidature, Annual and Interim Reports and Travel Award Reports
which are due at the same time of the proposed leave.
26. Recreation leave
26.1 Students undertaking an HDR are entitled to four
weeks' paid recreation leave per year calculated on a pro-rata
basis. Recreation leave may be accumulated.
26.2 Recreation leave may be
accumulated, subject to 26.3.
26.3 No more than five weeks'
recreation leave may be accumulated and leave must be taken
during the tenure of the scholarship.
26.4 Approval to undertake
periods of recreation leave must be obtained from the supervisor
and head of school before the leave is taken.
26.5 Applications for paid
recreation leave will not normally be approved within the first
six months of the commencement of the award or prior to the
submission of the Research Proposal.
27. Sick leave
27.1 Scholarship holders are provided with up to 10
days' paid sick leave each year of their scholarship which may be
accrued but cannot be taken after the scholarship has
27.2 Paid sick leave is not in
addition to the normal duration of the scholarship.
27.3 Scholarship holders may
receive up to a total of 12 weeks’ paid sick leave which is
additional to the normal duration of the scholarship.
27.4 Paid sick leave referred to
in 27.2 is only for medically substantiated periods of illness
lasting longer than two weeks (10 University working days).
27.5 Periods of sick leave
longer than 12 weeks must be accessed through the suspension
provisions set out in 19.
28. Maternity leave
28.1 On completion of 12 months of a scholarship a
scholarship holder may access up to 12 weeks’ paid
maternity leave in addition to the normal tenure of the
28.2 A student is not permitted
to take paid maternity leave in the first year of the
scholarship; however unpaid maternity leave may be accessed
through suspension provisions.
29. Parenting leave
29.1 Scholarship holders who are partners of women
giving birth and who have completed 12 months of their
scholarship are entitled to a period of five days’ paid
parenting leave in addition to the normal tenure of the
29.2 Paid parenting leave cannot
be taken in the first year of a scholarship; however unpaid
parenting leave may be accessed through the suspension provisions
set out in 19.
30. Paid overseas leave
30.1 The BGRS may grant approval for paid overseas leave
for scholarship holders to—
(a) take annual
(b) to attend
conferences; and /or
(c) undertake field
work and conduct research towards their HDR, outside
30.2 Application for paid
overseas leave for recreation or research will not normally be
approved within the first six months of commencement of the
scholarship or prior to the submission of the Research
30.3 Approval of paid overseas
leave is conditional on scholarship holders having submitted the
Research Proposal, and having submitted any milestone reports
such as Confirmation of Candidature, Annual and Interim Reports
and Travel Award Reports, which are due at the time of the
30.4 Approval to undertake
fieldwork or conduct research outside Australia is only granted
where it can be demonstrated that the fieldwork or research is
essential for completion of the course.
30.5 The BGRS approves paid
overseas leave to undertake fieldwork or conduct research only
where the student has confirmed in writing that the proposed
destination has not been listed as an area to which the
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have advised against all
travel and there is adequate supervision at the overseas
30.6 The scholarship holder must
maintain contact with their supervisor and remain enrolled at
30.7 Students should note that
in the event of war or civil disturbance breaking out in a
country to which a student has travelled for the purpose of
research, the University's travel insurance policies may cease to
30.8 Failure to obtain approval
for paid overseas leave may result in the award being suspended
31. Research at other organisations
31.1 The BGRS may approve a scholarship holder
conducting fieldwork or undertaking a substantial amount of
research in Australia at organisations outside the higher
education system provided adequate support, supervision, training
and research freedom for the student is available at the other
31.2 Applications to conduct
such fieldwork or research must be approved by the Scholarships
Committee and on the understanding that the University remains
responsible for the student.
32.1 The University does not require a student to
32.2 A scholarship holder may
undertake only a strictly limited amount of paid employment
during the notional standard working hours of 9am to 5pm, Monday
32.3 No more than eight
hours’ employment a week during notional standard working
hours is permitted.
32.4 The head of school is
responsible for ensuring that excessive part-time employment is
not undertaken to the detriment of the student’s
32.5 Working hours must be noted
on the scholarship holder’s Graduate Research School Annual
32.6 From April 2008,
international students are automatically granted permission to
work when granted a student visa.
32.7 Restrictions in 32.2 and
32.3 apply to all scholarship holders, domestic and international
students, enrolled full-time or part-time.