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The Research Training Program (RTP) provides block grants to higher education providers (HEPs) to support both domestic and overseas students undertaking research doctorate and research masters degrees, known as higher degrees by research (HDRs). Funding is provided on a calendar year basis.
The objectives of the RTP are to:
- provide flexible funding arrangements to support training domestic students and overseas students undertaking HDRs at Australian HEPs
- deliver graduates with the skills required to build careers in academia and other sectors of the labour market
- support collaboration between HEPs and industry and other research end-users.
Students can be offered RTP scholarships for one or more of the following:
- tuition fees offset
- a stipend for general living costs
- allowances related to the ancillary cost of HDRs.
From 1 January 2017, the RTP replaced the Australian Postgraduate Award (APA), International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS), and the Research Training Scheme (RTS).
RTP scholarship periods of support
RTP scholarships are available for a minimum of 3 years and up to a maximum of 4 years at the discretion of the HEP for students undertaking a research doctorate at a full-time student load, and for a minimum of 6 years up to a maximum of 8 years for research doctorate students studying at a part-time student load.
For students undertaking a research masters, RTP scholarships are available for up to 2 years for students studying at a full-time student load, and for up to 4 years for those studying at a part-time student load.
RTP scholarship applications
RTP scholarships are administered by individual HEPs who each have their own application and selection processes. Students need to contact HEPs directly to discuss how to apply for an RTP scholarship. Prospective students may choose to apply for an RTP scholarship at more than one HEP.
Please see the RTP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for students and administrators for additional information.
Guidelines, conditions and calculations
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 (HESA) and the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2017.
2024 RTP grant amounts allocated to eligible HEPs are based on a formula that reflects the relative performance of each HEP in attracting research income and supporting students to complete HDRs.
A detailed guide to calculating RTP grant amounts is available.
RTP stipend rates
The RTP base and maximum stipend rates are indexed each year, effective from 1 January. The base and maximum RTP stipend rates for the following year are announced by 1 October each year. The table below details current and recent RTP stipend rates.
Full-time base RTP stipend rate ($)
Full-time max RTP stipend rate ($)
A time series of historical stipend rates for postgraduate research scholarships is available.
RTP industry internship weighting
The Government announced the introduction of the RTP industry internship weighting through the 2021–22 Budget to incentivise early engagement between industry, HEPs and research doctorate students, and strengthen links between the latest research and industry innovation. It will also open a pipeline of highly skilled research doctorate students for employment in industry based, non-academic roles.
An additional weighting of 2.0 within the RTP funding allocation formula is applied to each research doctorate student reported from 2022 as completing their course having undertaken an eligible industry internship.
Eligible industry internships must be at least 3 months long, consist of 60 full-time equivalent days of engagement, and agreed in written form between the student, HEP and research end-user within 18 months of course commencement for a full-time student, or within 36 months for a part-time student.
HEPs, research doctorate students, and research end-users have the flexibility to decide on optimal arrangements for each industry internship within the eligibility criteria, including the timing of their commencement.
Research doctorate student completion data collected from 2022 will be used in 2024 RTP funding calculation and allocation processes onwards.
Further information is available on the RTP industry internship weighting FAQs page.
HDR grievance factsheet
The HDR grievance factsheet provides information for HDR students, including RTP scholarship recipients, on the avenues available to pursue a grievance in regard to issues with their HEP.
For more information, refer to: