Australian Postgraduate Awards

Application: The Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) scheme is administered by individual universities on behalf of the Department of Education and Training. Each university has its own application and selection process, please contact your chosen university directly to discuss how to apply for the APA scheme.

For Students:
Applications for an APA need to be made directly to participating universities. Information on commencing a postgraduate research degree and university courses can be found on the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching website. General information about the support arrangements for students may be obtained from the Study Assist website. Frequently asked questions have been provided to assist with your enquiry.

The objectives of the APA scheme are to:

  • Support postgraduate research training in the higher education sector; and
  • Provide financial support to postgraduate students of exceptional research promise who undertake their higher degree by research (HDR) at an eligible Australian higher education provider (HEP).

APA scholarships are awarded to students of exceptional research potential undertaking a HDR in Australia. APAs are provided to assist with students' general living costs. From 2011 commencing International Postgraduate Research Scholarship recipients are eligible to apply for an APA.

Awards are available for a period of two years for a research masters degree or three years, with a possible extension of six months, for a research doctorate degree. Award holders receive an annual stipend and may also be eligible for other allowances.

Guidelines, conditions and process for determining APA grant amounts

Australian government funding is provided through annual block grants to eligible Australian HEPs in accordance with section 46-20 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

Chapter 2 of the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2012 provides the legislative basis for the provision of funding to this scheme and can be downloaded from the Australian Government Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.

The 2016 APA grant amounts to participating providers is based on a formula that is reflective of their overall research performance. 2016 APA grant conditions are also available.

APA Stipend Rates

Each year, APA stipend rates for the following year will be announced prior to 1 October. The APA stipend rate is effective from 1 January. The table below details current and recent APA stipend rates.

APA Stipend Rates
Year Full-time APA stipend rate ($) Part-time APA stipend rate ($)
2016 26,288 13,144
2015 25,849 12,924
2014 25,392 12,696
2013 24,653 12,326*
2012 23,728 12,898

* Prior to 2013, the part-time APA stipend included a component to ensure that part-time HDR students received the equivalent of half a full-time stipend after tax. From the 2012-13 financial year, the tax-free threshold increased to $18,200. As a result, the part-time stipend rate is half of the full-time rate.


For more information, email with "APA" as the subject line.