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FAQ: Data61 Scholarship FAQs

We enrich our students’ PhD experience with supervision from Data61’s expert scientists and engineers, contributing to the exemplary body of research of our groups and teams.

Our students are entitled to receive the provisions provided by the Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) subject to formal approval by your university. This includes benefits such as sick leave, parental leave and leave without pay (suspensions). For any sick leave cases that extend for lengthy periods, CSIRO may determine what effect, if any, the absence will have on the scholarship.

CSIRO’s supportive environment is enriched with work life balance, health and wellbeing and safety for our team members to flourish and thrive. Check out the CSIRO experience website to explore the benefits of working with us.

Applicants will be assessed on: 

  1. Academic calibre of the student: This is critical to the assessment of a scholarship and candidates must have a relevant first-class honours (or equivalent) degree from a recognised university (students near the completion of their honours year will be asked to demonstrate evidence of first-class honours upon receiving final grades before being accepted). 
  2. Research potential of the student:  The student must be able to demonstrate research potential to carry out the nominated research project such as previous research projects, Honours or Masters thesis research and industry projects.
  3. Evidence of skills and capability required to carry out the advertised project:  The student should demonstrate through their application the required skills and capabilities for successful completion of a PhD.
  4. Relevance of the selected university supervisor’s research background and their willingness to supervise the student in collaboration with the CSIRO’s Data61 supervisor should also be made clear by the student, as follow up references and confirmations will be actioned in the selection process.

Applicants may be invited for interview if they proceed to the next stage of the recruitment process.

 The assessment panels are made up of project supervisors and respected and experienced scientists and researchers from Data61.

H1 equivalency may be determined by the Data61 assessment panel on a case-by-case basis, and may consider:

  1. completion of a research project and its grade
  2. quality of publications (if any), including the percentage the candidate has contributed to a publication
  3. work experience in a field relevant to the research (if any)
  4. other degrees with a strong research component (if any)
All applicants will be informed of the outcome within 10-12 weeks from closing date of applications.

Successful applicants will be advised of the next steps to receiving a scholarship offer.
Successful applicants will receive a scholarship offer with the 'CSIRO Student Scholarship Agreement'.

The agreement is a three-way contract between CSIRO, the student, and the university. It must be signed by all parties to accept the award. This is managed by the students' supervisor.

The agreement provides the legal framework for intellectual property (IP) assignment, publications, copyright and confidentiality matters that may affect the student, the university and/or CSIRO.

Preferred candidates will receive a scholarship offer with the “CSIRO Postgraduate Student Agreement”.

  1. The agreement is a three-way contract between CSIRO, the student and the university
  2. The agreement must be signed by all parties to accept the award
  3. The agreement provides the legal framework for intellectual property (IP) assignment, publications, copyright and confidentiality matters that may affect the student, the university and/or CSIRO

Technically - no. Scholarships are advertised to start in a specific semester/period. 

The only exception is where students are delayed in commencing the scholarship due to visa waiting times or other unavoidable circumstances, the award will stand for one further semester for the student to rectify the circumstance in question. We need to receive written requests from the student or the students' supervisor to confirm an extension. Time of is of the essence and these requests should not be delayed.

Importantly, scholarship payments are made in line with your start date with Data61 (not your university enrolment date). There are no back payments for scholarships in these circumstances.

Once the scholarship is established, students will receive the scholarship payments their university on a fortnightly basis. Payments are linked to the continuation of the student candidature.

Payments will cease at the end of the scholarship’s maximum duration, or earlier upon PhD thesis submission, withdrawal from the PhD program at the university, termination of the student scholarship agreement or in the event the student ceases to meet the eligibility criteria.

Learning and development needs should be discussed and agreed with the Data61 supervisor and university supervisors. Learning and development expenses are managed by CSIRO’s Data61.

Maybe. We do recommend that candidates apply for other university or government scholarships at the same time as applying for the Data61 scholarship. Candidates who are awarded an Australian university or government base stipend may also apply for a Data61 top-up scholarship.

In rare cases, but it is possible, the conditions of other awards may come into conflict with the terms and conditions of a Data61 scholarship, which would prevent the award of a Data61 scholarship.

Some other important factors must be taken into consideration:

  • If at any time a Data61 PhD Scholarship (base stipend) holder receives a secondary award of a value greater than 75% of the Data61 PhD Scholarship rate, the Data61 PhD Scholarship will be suspended for the duration of the secondary scholarship. 
  • The Data61 Top-up Scholarship may continue to be held but will not convert to a full stipend if the base stipend ceases.
  • Candidates with existing base-scholarships from their university will be considered for Data61 top-up scholarships. The IP considerations of the existing scholarship may need to be considered as part of the candidate's assessment.
Data61 PhD Scholarships are set on a merit basis and are not awarded based on a quota

Leave entitlements of students who hold Data61 scholarships will follow the entitlements in line with the policies of the university of enrolment and the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2017 RTP guidelines. 

Scholarships may be undertaken on a part-time basis with the support of the Data61 supervisor. In this case, the scholarship will be paid on a part-time pro-rata basis. A student must inform Data61 if they are intending to change study load and provide a copy of any university approval paperwork for the review of the Data61 scholarships team with the student's supervisor.

Yes. Continuation of Data61 scholarship payments is conditional upon maintained satisfactory academic progress and satisfactory engagement with Data61. Progress is monitored through complementary annual scholarship and academic reviews undertaken by the university review panel which will include in its membership, the relevant Data61 supervisors. More informal progress reviews and check-ins will also be undertaken at Data61 to ensure candidates are progressing as expected.

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