The University of Newcastle, Australia

FAQ - VCs PhD Training Priority Scheme

FAQ - Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarships – Vice-Chancellor’s PhD Training Priority Scheme

These Frequently Asked Questions have been compiled to assist supervisors, Faculty Selection Committees, potential nominees and applicants with common queries regarding the Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarships – Vice-Chancellor’s PhD Training Priority Scheme.

Please refer to the Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarships Guidelines for comprehensive information regarding the nomination, selection and award process for this round.

If you have a query that isn't answered on this page or in the Guidelines, please email

1. As a UON academic I wish to nominate an applicant for a scholarship under this scheme, where may I find the nomination form?

  • The nomination form is available online.

2. Are current UON HDR candidates eligible to apply for this scholarship scheme?

  • Yes. However, applications from current HDR candidates who commenced prior to 1 September 2019 will be considered after all other applications if scholarship funding allows.

3. Should nominators assess the eligibility of their nominee before making their nomination?

  • Yes, nominators are advised to check their preferred nominee's eligibility against the standard HDR admissions criteria. As shortlisted nominees will also be assessed against the HDR Scholarship criteria, as described in the Section 7 of the Guidelines, supervisors may wish to look at these other criteria (e.g., publications; research experience) when selecting a nominee.

4. Are there any restrictions on which HDR supervisors are eligible to nominate a potential applicant for this scheme?

  • Each UON academic is limited to one nomination in this Australian Government Research Training Program round. The UON academic is to be appointed and remain as the nominee’s Principal Supervisor should their nominee be awarded a scholarship under this scheme. The supervisory requirements stated in Clause 71 of the Code of Practice for Higher Degree by Research Candidature also apply.

5. As part of the Academic Career Preparation (ACP) pathway, will successful candidates be required to undertake teaching activities?

  • As stated in the Guidelines, the ACP associated with this scholarship scheme is intended as a learning and development opportunity for the scholarship recipient and allows for a tailored experience for each candidate. It will include working closely with UON academic staff to develop a portfolio of academic experiences – this may include opportunities to develop competencies in conducting tutorials, lab demonstrations, effective educator practice, assessment design, and the use of transformative technologies. Students will be expected to do 50 hours of teaching activity each year (as defined in the relevant school workload model) in each of the second and third years. These scholarships have been designed for applicants who aspire to an academic career. Successful completion of the ACP and their PhD candidature, will be formally recognised by the Vice-Chancellor and acknowledged on the candidate’s Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement.

6. What is the selection criteria to be applied for shortlisting nominees?

  • As stated in the Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarships Guidelines, the Faculty Selection Committees will determine Faculty Research Priority and ACP component scores (based on the nominee’s Statement of Intent) for nominations consistent with the advised criteria. Applicants who have received a First Class Honours from UON, or an equivalent UON award as determined by the relevant School or Faculty, within two years of the application closing date (12 March 2020) will be prioritised in the shortlisting and selection processes.