Scholarship requirements and how to apply

Scholarship requirements and how to apply

Advice on Eligibility

Each scholarship scheme specifies some eligibility requirements that need to be met in order to be considered for the award of that scholarship, for example, being of specified citizenship, meeting minimum English language proficiency levels, enrolment in a specific program, demonstrating an outstanding academic background and/or research experience and/or potential in an area of expertise.

A major prerequisite is eligibility for admission to a Higher Degree program at Macquarie University. Information about eligibility criteria for Doctorate (PhD) and Master of Philosophy (MPhil) programs is available through the following links:

Doctor of Philosophy
Master of Philosophy

Information about eligibility criteria for the MRes program is available at Research Training Pathway Program Admission Requirements and the criteria for MRes program scholarships at Research Pathway Scholarships.

Macquarie University uses the National Office for Overseas Skills Recognition (NOOSR) guidelines in assessing overseas programs for equivalence to Australian programs. Macquarie University rates PhD and MPhil applicants on academic merit, peer reviewed research related activity such as publications and/or conference and poster presentations, and relevant academic background, while consideration is also given to competitively awarded prizes, scholarships or other awards, relevant work or professional experience and academic referee reports.

Advertisements for scholarships on our webpages will ordinarily list the eligibility requirements for application, including citizenship, the minimum academic standard expected, and appropriate areas for background and/or experience for the project.

Please note that it is an eligibility requirement of most Macquarie University awarded scholarships, including MQRTP and RTP scholarships, that candidates are enrolled full time and are in attendance on campus (internal). Candidates will be able to apply for periods of off-site research once enrolled and on campus, subject to any scholarship conditions and the nature of the research.

How to Apply

Applicants are assessed on academic merit; proven research capacity including peer-reviewed research activity; prior scholarships, awards and prizes; and relevant work or professional experience.

Scholarship applicants should complete the combined HDR candidature and scholarship online application form which can be accessed at the How to Apply webpage. There is no need to submit separate application forms for scholarship and candidature. Currently enrolled Macquarie University HDR candidates wishing to apply for a scholarship only should use the hard copy form which can be downloaded from the Forms webpage.

Applications are initially assessed for completeness and eligibility before they are forwarded to a Faculty for consideration. This generally takes around 2-4 weeks, but can take longer at peak times. Time in the Faculty varies. Once a scholarship nomination returns from a Faculty the Higher Degree Research Committee delegate reviews the application and recommendation of Faculty. For major scholarship rounds applications are usually ranked by a Selection Committee. Once an outcome is finalised we will advise applicants of the decision. Please note that any advice on outcomes supplied via other parties, such as your potential supervisor, cannot be considered an official University offer.

Refer to the 'Scholarship Rating Criteria' guidelines document linked in the Rating Scholarship Applicants section below, for a guide to how scholarship applications are rated at Macquarie for specified scholarships.

Important Note: legitimate available research student scholarships available for applicants to apply for are limited to those listed on our official Macquarie University research scholarships website.

Government Scholarship Eligibility

The number of government-funded higher degree research scholarships on offer varies from year to year.  Given the number of applications received, there is strong competition for these awards. To receive a first round offer, or to be ranked highly in a reserve list (if there is one), an applicant would normally need to have an excellent academic record including a substantial research project undertaken at a high level, some additional proven research capability demonstrated through peer reviewed research activities, such as publications and/or conference or poster presentations, and/or a history of competitive awards, prizes or scholarships, an appropriate research proposal, and excellent references.

Refer to the 'Scholarship Rating Criteria' guidelines document linked in the Rating Scholarship Applicants section below , for a guide to how scholarship applications are rated at Macquarie. Where we have to make a decision between applicants having the same rating level, the University reserves the right to give preference to candidates in areas of research strength within the University.

English Requirements for Scholarship Holders

Scholarship applicants need to meet English language proficiency requirements for admission. Information about Proof of English Proficiency can be found at the Applications Entry Criteria webpage.

Advanced Standing for Scholarship Holders

Successful scholarship recipients who have been previously enrolled in the same level of degree, at Macquarie University or another Australian University, are considered to have advanced standing in their course. Under the conditions of award for most scholarships, this is deducted as advanced standing from the maximum scholarship tenure. This requirement may sometimes be waived when candidates are currently enrolled in equivalent level research degrees overseas depending on individual circumstances.

Advice Regarding Part time Status for Scholarship Holders

Scholarship applicants wishing to be awarded a scholarship while undertaking a part time research degree need to outline their individual case for requiring part time status. In general, only cases where there is evidence of significant carer responsibilities or a medical condition which limits a candidate's capacity to undertake full time study will be considered. A written statement and appropriate supporting documentation should be included with the admission application. The request for part time status should not be work-related in nature, and international applicant requests are subject to visa restrictions or requirements.

Advice on Deferment of Acceptance

Scholarship offers are valid for the semester of offer. Deferment is not automatic and may not be possible, especially for project linked or competitive round scholarships. If you wish to defer an acceptance of offer you will need to submit a request in writing outlining the reason you wish to defer your commencement of award and the anticipated start date. The request will be assessed in line with the scholarship award conditions, any funding restrictions, and requires the agreement of your supervisor and Faculty of registration. Requests for deferment beyond one year are usually not approved.

Referee Reports

Scholarship applicants for scholarships requiring referees reports should ask two senior academics who can comment on your research experience and capability to fill in a referee report form and send it directly to the Higher Degree Research Office so it can be matched to your application. If your referees are not senior academics, then another academic or professional who has supervised and/or taught you, and can comment on your research experience, skills and capabilities, would be appropriate. If your referees cannot fill in some of the questions on the referee report form, they can leave these blank. You can ask your proposed supervisor to be a referee, however, if you are doing so, you should obtain a third reference.

All referees are welcome to attach further information to the referee report form if they wish to.

If you want to know if your referee has forwarded their reference/referee report, please check with them directly. The responsibility to ensure referee reports are submitted rests with you, the applicant.

As a rule, referee reports are usually only valid for six months . If you are reapplying for a scholarship more than six months since the first attempt you should get up-to-date references.

Academic Referee Reports are available at the  Forms webpage.

Rating Scholarship Applicants

For specified scholarships, Macquarie University assesses applicants for scholarship based primarily on academic merit and research experience. Additional information such as peer-reviewed publications, conference and poster presentations and relevant work or professional experience may also be taken into account and add weight to your application, as does the information provided by your academic referees.

The Macquarie University Scholarship Rating Guides are available below:

MQ HDR 2019 Scholarship Admissions Criteria

Scholarship Rating Sheet for 2019 commencement (effective September 2018)


MQ HDR 2019 Scholarship Admissions Criteria

Scholarship Rating Sheet for International HDR Main Scholarship Round S1 2019


Please send an email the HDR Management Officer (Scholarship) in the Higher Degree Research Office (HDRO) for the Scholarships Rating Criteria prior to 2019.

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