Postgraduate research students have the opportunity for a suite of postgraduate research funding opportunities. This includes support for periods of research or fieldwork outside Sydney and abroad, international and domestic conference travel, and cover for miscellaneous expenses that are an essential cost of research.

HDR Faculty Supported Research Funding

As of April 2016, the previous faculty funding schemes - The External and Essential funding schemes - have been combined into a single funding scheme. This funding scheme is titled HDR Faculty Supported Research Funding. Since then, the guidelines have been updated for 2018. Please pay close attention to the new funding guidelines, and the FAQs available on this page, prior to submitting your application.

2019 Application dates:

Round 1

  • Applications open 30 October 2018
  • Application close 27 November 2018

Round 2

  • Applications open 1 May 2019
  • Application close 30 May 2019

Application Process:

Before you apply you must download, read and understand the 2019 Funding Guidelines, available here:

HDR Faculty Supported Research Funding Guidelines (PDF) [281 Kb]

Any applications which do not meet all eligibility criteria outlined in the funding guidelines will automatically not be considered for funding. Therefore it is essential that your application is developed within these guidelines.

Applications include two parts:

  • The relevant online application form, which will be available here once applications open
  • The completed HDR Faculty Funding Template, including all related supporting documentation, in a single PDF document. This template requires:
    • Breakdown of the costs requested, plus a 100 word justification for each item
    • Travel itinerary, if relevant to the request
    • Letter of support from your supervisor, which meets the standards outlined in the funding guidelines
    • Evidence of your most recent successful APR result, less than 1 year old
    • Evidence of ethics approval, or an ethics statement
    • Quotes and/or receipts for all funding items requested
    • If funding is being sought to support a second research grant, include a statement with a clear justification as to why a second grant is necessary. This includes providing a detailed report of the activities and outcomes achieved as a result of the first grant, and identifying how the second grant will be necessary for the completion of the thesis

Postgraduate research students intending to undertake fieldwork or off campus data collection must adhere to the fieldwork guidelines for HDR students and supervisors.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions regarding the HDR Faculty Supported Research Funding scheme, please refer to the frequently asked questions, which you can find below:

HDR Funding Scheme FAQs

Workshop Your Application

The Associate Dean Research Training will be facilitating a workshop session for candidates who would like additional guidance in developing their funding application for Round 2, 2019. Bring your draft application along, so that you can work on it during the workshop

When: Thursday, 16th May 2019, 10am - 12.00pm
Where: John Goodsell Room 119

HDR School and Centre Supported Essential Research Funding

This funding scheme is open to research students enrolled in one of the six Schools or Centres in Arts & Social Sciences, or in Nura Gili, to support costs essential to their research. This funding is intended as a contribution towards minor essential expenses not elsewhere funded, for example, books, printing and photocopying, entry fees to relevant archives and museums etc. 

Funding will be available in two rounds in 2019:

Round 1

  • Applications open 1 June 2019
  • Application close 30 June 2019

Round 2

  • Applications open 1 October 2019
  • Application close 30 October 2019

Please read the guidelines for information on eligibility criteria, rules, modes and levels of funding, and how to apply

HDR School and Centre Supported Essential Research Funding (PDF) [211 Kb]

A&SS HDR Equity Scholarships

The Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences is offering two equity scholarships, of the value of $5000 per year for up to a maximum of 3 years, to either domestic or international higher degree research candidates.


This scholarship is open to applications from international and domestic higher degree research students currently enrolled either full-time or part-time and who are on-track for timely completion (4 years FTE for PhD or 2 years FTE for MARes). This scholarship is not available to Scientia scholarship holders. Students can be nominated to the Higher Degree Committee by supervisors and/or Postgraduate Coordinators if they are:

  1. International students on home country scholarships of a lesser value than the RPT / UIPA
  2. International and local students with a disability or illness
  3. Students with carer responsibilities
  4. Domestic students who relocate from remote or regional areas to attend university
  5. Domestic students living in areas identified as socio-economically disadvantaged

Nomination process

The candidate will use the Equity Scholarship Application Form to write a paragraph identifying the criterion/criteria under which they are eligible to be considered for this scholarship, and describing how they meet the eligibility criteria. Any additional reasons and supporting documentation may be included as appropriate. The statement should be less than 500 words.

The application should be submitted to the supervisor and the Postgraduate Coordinator for endorsement. Endorsed applications are then submitted to the HDR Team Leader, Neha Desai ( as attachment to email.

Equity Scholarship Application Form

Assessment and Allocation of funds

The collated nominations will be assessed by a subcommittee of the HDC once per semester, when that semester’s admission and scholarship offers have been finalized.

Applications for scholarships in 2019 are now closed. Check back here for new application rounds to be announced in mid to late 2019. 

Responsibility of Recipient (and supervisor)

Each subsequent year’s funding will be conditional on declaration by the candidate that the circumstances for which they received the scholarship remain unchanged. The student must submit this declaration by email to the HDR Team Leader, copying in their supervisor/s.

If the candidate’s circumstances resolve during candidature, the top-up equity scholarship will then be re-allocated to another deserving student in the same cohort/year of candidature for the remaining period of the scholarship’s value.

HDR Thesis Editing and Proofreading Allowance

This allowance is intended to support eligible higher degree research students in Arts & Social Sciences with the production of a Research Masters or Doctorate Thesis. The allowance is intended as a contribution towards thesis editing and proofreading costs, not elsewhere supported. This allowance has very specific eligibility criteria and rules, so please refer to the funding guidelines available below. 

HDR Faculty Thesis Editing and Proofreading Allowance Claim Guidelines and Form (PDF) [208 Kb]

International Doctoral Practicum Fund

The faculty is pleased to announce the creation of a funded doctoral practicum scheme to support its internationalisation goals. The Arts and Social Sciences International Doctoral Practicum Fund is designed to support the exchange of doctoral students. Under this program two inbound students will be funded ($5,000 each) to undertake supervised research in the faculty. And two outbound students will be funded ($5,000 each) to undertake supervised research at an approved overseas university.

Please note, this scheme does not support conference/workshop participation as such but is intended for a visit of at least 4-6 weeks and up to 6 months. The aim is to provide students with the opportunity to experience different research cultures and to work with a supervisor / supervisory team, preferably leading to co-publication.

Expression of Interest Process
Applications for a research practicum exchange program in 2019 are now open. Applications must be submitted by no later than Tuesday 27th November 2018

Proposals for funding under the Doctoral Practicum program will be evaluated by the faculty’s Higher Degree Research Committee.

Inbound Students
Successful proposals (max 4 pages) will be required to

  • Articulate the mechanisms that will ensure that the student will be integrated into a relevant research program of the School or Centre.
  • Indicate the potential benefits to the student of undertaking research at UNSW.
  • Indicate potential to develop longer-term research relationship with student’s home university / supervisor.
  • Provide letters of endorsement from supervisors at the home institution and at UNSW

Successful inbound applicants must apply for the Study Abroad Research Program after they are notified of the outcome of their funding application. Instructions on this will be emailed to successful applicants and their supervisors. Please note that applicants to this program are required to meet UNSW’s minimum English Language Requirements.

Outbound Students
Successful proposals (max 4 pages) will be required to:

  • Demonstrate the benefit to the student of conducting research at the overseas institution.
  • Describe existing or developing collaborative relations with the potential supervisor(s)
  • Students must be in their 2nd or 3rd year of candidature with satisfactory progression towards timely completion
  • Scientia scholars are not eligible to apply for this funding scheme, and should instead use their Scientia funding
  • Endorsement of supervisor(s) and the PGC
  • Provide letters of endorsement from supervisors at the recieving institution and at UNSW

Eligible university partners:

Any overseas member of Universitas 21

PLuS Alliance partners: Arizona State University, King’s College London

Chinese Foreign Affairs University, Nanjing University, Renmin University of China, Shanghai International Studies University, Sun Yat-sen University, Tsinghua University, Wuhan University, Xi’an Jiaotong University (China); The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong) O.P. Jindal Global University, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (India).

Applications to fund a doctoral practicum program with an institution not included in the eligible partners list will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

How to Apply
Applications for 2019 programs are now closed. Please check back here for 2020 application dates to be released in late 2019.

Inbound to UNSW - Application Template

Outbound from UNSW - Application Template

A&SS HDR Emergency Hardship Funds

Principles and Criteria for funding

HDR Students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences who are experiencing unexpected circumstances causing financial hardship may apply to the A&SS HDR Emergency Hardship Fund. This fund is designed to cover expenses up to a maximum of $2000 for items including but not limited to:

  • Unexpected health costs
  • Unexpected necessity to relocate (rental accommodation, domestic matters)
  • Unexpected caring responsibilities / costs
  • Unexpected loss of income (incl. end of RTP in 8th semester, if students is surely to submit)
  • Unexpected reasonable and necessary other one-off costs, for example, urgent domestic repairs, etc.

Eligibility and Application

This fund is open to applications from international and domestic higher degree research students currently enrolled either full-time or part-time and who are on-track for timely completion (4 years FTE for PhD or 2 years FTE for MARes)

Applicants must provide documentation (bills, receipts, correspondence) for their request and have their Supervisor and the PGC endorse their request.

Only in exceptional cases will Faculty fund or contribute to the cost of the same cause more than once. Students are encouraged to find their own longer term solution if they are experiencing ongoing issues.

Applications will be accepted on a continuing basis, and should be submitted to Neha Desai, HDR Team Leader. Associate Dean of Research Training, Professor Dorottya Fabian will assess the applications and determine the outcome of each application.

HDR Emergency Hardship Funding Form

Other sources of emergency/hardship funding

The university offers a range of other emergency financial support for students experiencing financial hardship. Please see the below links for more information:

Arc emergency help

UNSW Student Financial Assistance

HDR Student Loans – GRS process

UNSW Scholarships and Financial Support for HDRs

Higher Degree Researchers may obtain financial support through a number of different funding schemes administered by the Graudate Research School, including living allowances, tuition fee support scholarships, short term scholarships, grants, conference funding, and, in exceptional circumstances, student loans. Whether you are looking for information to help you manage an existing scholarship, or you are searching for new funding opportunities to support your candidature, you will find detailed information on the GRS website in the link below.

GRS Scholarships and Financial Support