Postgraduate Studies Committee
School of Social Science, The University of Queensland
Last reviewed March, 2014

In its mission to enhance its current reputation as the leading school of its type in Australia, the School of Social Science is dedicated to significantly increasing postgraduate enrolment within its four disciplines of Anthropology, Archaeology, Criminology and Sociology. It also wishes to ensure that its Higher Degree Research (HDR) students achieve at the highest levels and garner the most consequential positions in Australia and overseas. An important part of this overarching goal is to endeavour to ensure that RHD students complete their degree programs within the temporal limits set by the Graduate School (3.5-4.0 years for Full-time PhD, 2 years for Full-time MPhil).

Unlike some schools that offer no financial assistance at all, this School allocates up to $3,500 to be applied for by PhD students and up to $1,750 for MPhil students from PGSC funds.

Funding Aid for Research Component Only

Financial support is limited to supporting the research component of a student's program, including the data collection and analysis portion of that research. Students are eligible to apply for financial support only after successful completion of the Confirmation milestone. Some separate funding support may be sought for conference attendance after the completion of the mid-candidature milestone (see below).

Who is eligible for funding?

Research Higher Degree students (PhD & MPhil) who undertake a significant research component leading to a thesis and whose thesis research is not funded in any way by an industry partner or a research grant held by the student or a staff member are eligible to apply. BA & BSocS Honours students are eligible for limited funding assistance in connection with their thesis research only.

How much may be sought in funding aid?

The Executive Committee reviews the funding formula regularly and the current funding formula is:

  • PhD research students are eligible to apply for up to $3,500 if the School of Social Science is their enrolling unit
  • MPhil students are eligible to apply for up to $1,750 if the School of Social Science is their enrolling unit.
  • PhD and MPhil students who are enrolled in other schools at UQ, but who have supervisors located in the School of Social Science are not eligible to apply. Please see your enrolling unit for research support.
  • BSocSc Hons students are eligible to apply for up to $250 for thesis research.
  • BA Hons students are eligible to apply for up to $250 for thesis research.

NB. As the amount of financial support available is dependent upon the state of the School budget each year, these amounts cannot be guaranteed. The funding should not be construed as any kind of legal entitlement, rather, it should be considered as supplementary support for thesis research.

What may be funded?

Fieldwork expenses are funded through the Fieldwork Bursary. For details about this, students can contact the Postgraduate Administration Officer - .


Items such as preparation of survey materials and postage may be funded. Data entry may also be funded.


Funding may be sought for the purchase of data sets relevant to thesis research.

Winter School Workshops

The School and Institute of Social Science Research schedule these each year which provide valuable experience for research higher degree candidates.


Some software may be funded, however, there are major licensing issues to be addressed and this item will be considered on the merits of individual cases.

For the above expenses (Library Research, Surveys, Data, Maintenance & Software) students apply through the RHD Support Funds Application.

Thesis Editing

Students may also apply for funding to help cover the cost of thesis editing to ensure that the submitted thesis is free from grammatical, typographical or other errors.  


Students may apply for funding to help cover the cost of transcription of audio recordings of interviews etc. It is strongly recommended that students aim to transcribe at least a couple of audio-recordings themselves so that they become familiar with the process. However, it is understood that transcription is a slow, laborious and time-consuming activity, particularly for those who lack typing skills and/or the appropriate software to make transcription easier, and that contracting it out to others may be a more efficient use of time.

What may not be funded?


Items of equipment such as cameras, tape recorders, microscopes, etc will not be funded. Rather, the School will purchase such items as required and lend these to students for use during the data collection portion of their research.


Students are expected either to own their own computer or to use one of those allocated to them in the School's designated RHD Open Spaces in the Michie building. If laptop computers are required for stints of fieldwork, then a laptop may be borrowed from the School for the duration of the fieldwork.

Books and Journal Subscriptions

Books deemed crucial to the pursuit of a student's thesis research may be purchased by the School through its annual Library Allocation Fund. Students should approach their advisory team for such purchases.

Final phase funding for conference attendance

The PGSC recognises the importance for advanced HDR students to present their research results to a wider audience. Normally such papers come from results achieved via analysis of collected data and they emerge during the final 'write-up' phase of the thesis.  Following  successful completion of the mid-candidature review milestone a HDR student can apply to use unallocated Research Support Funds to assist with a conference presentation.   In addition, an application may be made for an additional amount of up to $500 to support conference travel if the student's Advisory Team strongly supports attendance by the student.

For example, if a HDR student is eligible to apply for $3500 but has only spent $2500 on data collection then following successful completion of the mid-candidature review milestone they are eligible to apply for the remaining $1000 to assist them to present at a conference.  They are also eligible to apply for the $500 conference attendence funding.  Even if a HDR student has used the full amount of Research Support Funding for which they are eligible to apply they can still apply for the $500 conference attendance funding. 

NB: provision of this item is subject to funds being available in the School's budget.

When will funds be allocated?

Funding applications may be submitted at any time between February and November of each academic year. The applications are circulated to the HDR Committee for consideration. Once your application is approved by the Director of Research Training you will be notified by email and asked to complete the paperwork for processing by the Finance Officer. All funding is paid directly to the student's nominated bank account.