Applications for APAs need to be made directly to participating universities. Contact details for participating universities and general information about the support arrangements for students may be obtained from the Study Assist website.
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.
Australian government funding is provided through annual block grants to eligible Australian HEPs. Section 46 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2012 provide the legislative basis for the provision of funding to this scheme. The department is currently consulting with the sector and stakeholders on changes to the guidelines.
The allocation of APA funding to participating providers is based on a formula that is reflective of their overall research performance.
Universities are responsible for the management of APA applications, the selection process and offers. Students and researchers need to approach their chosen university for direction about how to apply for an APA. Contact details for participating universities and general information about the support arrangements for students may be obtained from the Study Assist website.
Guidelines, conditions and process for determining APA grant amounts
The requirements for the APA scheme are in Chapter 2 of the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2012, which can be downloaded from the Australian Government Federal Register of Legislative Instruments at:
Each year, APA stipend rates for the following year will be announced prior to 1 October.
- APA stipend rates for 2013 are $24,653 for full-time students and $12,326 for part-time students*.
- APA stipend rates for 2012 are $23,728 for full-time students and $12,898 for part-time students.
- APA stipend rates for 2011 were $22,860 for full-time students and $12,388 for part-time students.
- APA stipend rates for 2010 were $22,500 for full-time students and $12,176 for part-time students.
- APA stipend rates for 2009 were $20,427 for full-time students and $10,957 for part-time students.
- APA stipend rates for 2008 were $20,007 for full-time students and $10,710 for part-time students.
* 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 has increased to $18,200. As a result, the part-time stipend rate is half of the full-time rate.
For more information on scholarships for postgraduate research students, please refer to the Study Assist website.
For more information, please email RBGrants@innovation.gov.au with "APA" as the subject line.