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Scholarship Opportunities at the University of New South Wales

NICTA's Education portfolio


NICTA (National ICT Australia) provides a range of scholarships to support postgraduate ICT research primarily within the Schools of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) and Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications (EET) at UNSW, or within a school or Faculty that offers related research ICT programs.

NICTA scholarships may supplement Australian Government, University, International or NICTA-sponsored primary scholarships; alternatively, they may be awarded as independent NICTA-sponsored scholarships. Recipients must accept the conditions of award established by UNSW. One of these conditions requires recipients to apply for any government or university scholarships for which they are eligible, at the earliest opportunity.


NICTA scholarships are available to local and international students who are:

  • eligible for admission to UNSW as research candidates within CSE or EET, or within a school or department that offers ICT research programs linked with CSE or EET
  • supervised by a university-appointed panel including at least one NICTA-affiliated researcher and one academic in the school of enrolment
  • proposing, or undertaking, a research project aligned with NICTA’s Research Groups, Business Teams and supervisory capabilities
  • candidates deemed competitive, in the joint NICTA-UNSW selection process, as an applicant for an APA or IPRS award.

Normally, NICTA scholarships are only available to candidates whose NICTA-supported research can be undertaken without third-party encumbrances that could affect the (resolution of) ownership of any resulting intellectual property. Students in receipt of an APA(I) or similar award should be mindful of this condition.


Application Deadlines  

The closing dates for receipt of applications by the University are published each year. NICTA scholarship deadlines are in line with UNSW scholarship application rounds.Typically, they are as follows:

For scholarships commencing in Semester 1 of any year –

  • International Applications - 6 September of the preceding year
  • Local Applications - 18 October of the preceding year

For scholarships commencing in Semester 2 of any year –

  • 28 February in the same year for international applicants
  • 24 May in the same year for local applicants

Applicants should bear in mind that they also need to meet the deadlines for Government and external Scholarships, which may be slightly earlier than these dates.

Students already holding a primary government-sponsored award, such as an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA), International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS) or equivalent, may apply for the NICTA-enhanced PhD program at any time.

Level of Award

The level of scholarship award is influenced by University advice on the applicant’s prospects of gaining an APA or IPRS. Applicants may already hold one of these Australian Government awards, or similar awards funded by another government.

Supplementary Award 

  • The NICTA Research Project Award (NRPA) is offered as a supplement, or "top-up", to local and international students in receipt of a primary Government, University or NICTA-funded scholarship. Currently, the NRPA gives recipients an annual tax-exempt stipend of AUD$7,300 per annum, and is available for the same period of tenure as the primary award. The conditions of award for the NRPA include an obligation on students, under the guidance of their supervisors, to take advantage of the opportunities for enhanced research training offered by NICTA. 


Primary Award 

NICTA also offers two additional scholarships to students who demonstrate outstanding research potential. These scholarships match the APA stipend amount ($25,849 per annum in 2015) and are extremely competitive. In general, they are only awarded to applicants who have a four-year first class honours degree or equivalent, demonstrated research potential and strong academic references.

  • The NICTA Local Postgraduate Award (NLPA) is available to local PhD students for a period of up to three years, and provides recipients with an annual tax-free stipend at the APA equivalent rate.
  • The NICTA International Postgraduate Award (NIPA) is available to international PhD students for up to three years, and is offered in conjunction with an NRPA (as part of a NICTA-sponsored scholarship package).  The two NICTA scholarships provide recipients with an annual tax-free stipend at the APA equivalent rate. The NIPA scholarship may also cover international tuition fees, OSHC and visa cost reimbursement at NICTA's discretion.

Applicants for an NLPA or NIPA are automatically considered for the NRPA. Award of the NRPA is conditional on the completion of the UNSW–NICTA Student Scholarship Agreement, which deals with intellectual property and confidentiality issues that may affect the student, the University and/or NICTA.

NICTA scholarships may be extended for a period of 6 months, in circumstances supported by UNSW and NICTA. A separate application form should be requested at and must be submitted by students seeking to extend their existing NICTA scholarship. Applications for extension of NICTA scholarships are assessed on three criteria – progress and performance as a research candidate, plans for thesis submission and beneficial engagement with NICTA as a NICTA-enhanced PhD student.


Making an Application for NICTA Enhancement

To apply for a NICTA scholarship, carefully follow the outlined application procedure.  

Enquiries relating to NICTA scholarships at UNSW should be directed to