Support for research related activities

Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates have access to grants and funding at Macquarie University to cover expenses relating to the conduct of their HDR research or fieldwork.

There are two levels of funding available to HDR candidates:

  • The Macquarie University Postgraduate Research Fund (offered for activities that add value to a research project)
  • Faculty administered funding (offered for other research-based expenses)

Macquarie University Postgraduate Research Fund (PGRF)

The Postgraduate Research Fund (PGRF) is a designated fund of up to $3000 per candidate for activities that add value to a research project, such as a trip for a conference presentation or visit to a laboratory.

Candidates can apply for funding once during their candidature, with the exception of those partaking in a joint PhD program, who may apply to the Pro Vice-Chancellor HDR Training & Partnerships for permission to make a second application.

The PGRF has two application rounds per year. Applicants should seek advice from their supervisors in preparing their application.

Details of application dates, periods and activities covered are in the PGRF Funding Rules [DOCX 49KB]. All planned travel must conform to Macquarie’s Travel Policy.

Faculty funding

Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates in the Faculty of Arts may apply for the following:

  • HDR Research Project Funding (RPF)
    • RPF is funded and administered by Departments.
  • Faculty of Arts HDR Candidate Conference Travel Scheme (FACCTS)
    • FACCTS is funded by the Faculty and administered by Arts HDR Office.
    • Bookings and financial transactions are administered by Departments

Delineation of Departmental and Faculty sources of funding

Funding schemes are not intended to cover the actual cost of a research activity in full. Rather, they provide a monetary contribution to an approved research-related activity. Candidates must consult their Departments before commencing any funding application. It is at the discretion of the Department, Faculty and/or University to determine how much of a project will be funded.

The Research Project Funding (RPF) is available for the following activities:

  1. field trips, surveys, data collection or interviews;
  2. access to specialist archive collections;
  3. Department sanctioned production costs.

The Department/Faculty will not normally fund the following:

  1. Per diem travel expenses
  2. Airline cancellation fees
  3. Costs associated with home internet connections
  4. Research assistance
  5. Laptop/tablet purchases
  6. Equipment, spaces or services readily available from the Department or the University for use or loan (eg production equipment, studio spaces, editing programs, editing labs, etc)
  7. Alcohol consumption in any context
  8. Textbooks

Limits on timing of travel within the candidature

In keeping with current Faculty and University guidelines regarding confirmation and submission, funding will not normally be provided for travel to PhD or MPhil candidates within:

  • the first six months of candidature
  • within the final six months of candidature

Funding support will only be available to in-time candidates. Funding for MRes candidates is available in Year 2 of the program. Travel for MRes candidates is undertaken only in special circumstances as determined by each Department. MRes candidates are not eligible for the FACCTS.

Retrospective claims

Retrospective claims are not allowed in any circumstance, and candidates should not pay or commit to payments/travel arrangements without an approval confirmation from the Department or Faculty.

Travel Policy

All travel must comply with the University Travel Policy.


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Funding is normally available for three years for PhD candidates and two years for MPhil candidates (or part-time equivalents). PhD requests for a fourth year of funding will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Activities supported by funding vary depending on the research, but often include:

  • Fieldwork expenses: travel, accommodation, food, vehicle hire
  • Fieldwork equipment: recording equipment/data loggers, transcribers
  • Other minor equipment: scanners, technical software
  • Laboratory consumables: chemicals, gases
  • Analysis costs: DNA sequencing, NMR
  • Conference registration fees

You should discuss your need for funding with your supervisor before each Annual Progress Report.

You will need to submit a budget [XLSX 50KB], making full justification for all funding requested, related to the aims and methods of your research [RTF 121KB].

Once you and your supervisor have agreed on a budget, the Head of Department must approve it.

If approved, the amount requested for the year will be transferred into an account, which any reimbursements of expenses incurred by you in carrying out your research will be drawn against.

You must comply with the financial policies and procedures of the University and your department.

You will need to provide your department's finance officers with an approval form signed by your supervisor (download). All travel requires submission of a fully completed travel pack (available from the faculty).

You will need to report on how the funding was spent and the outcomes at your Annual Progress Report. Further funding is conditional upon satisfactory research progress. Any changes to your budget must be indicated via a revised budget.

Domestic conferences

Candidates can now use departmental funding to pay for airfares, accommodation and incidentals for domestic conference presentations. In your budget, you can allocate up to $1,500 for attending a maximum of two domestic conferences where you will be presenting a paper or poster. Contact your department for information on applying.

External research grants

Opportunities may arise where you can obtain additional funding from external organisations. Consult with your supervisor for more information.

In the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Human Sciences, research funding is provided by your department. Each department's process is different, so contact your department manager/administrator for the funding application process.

For the Department of Biomedical Sciences, contact your supervisor or Departmental HDR Director for the funding application process.

The School provides up to $10,000 for workshops, training, transcript services or colloquium and conference attendance. These funds are for essential research costs, and candidates should contact the School HDR team ( to apply.

For details of HDR funding provided by the School, refer to the MQBS HDR iLearn page (login required).