Scholarships, Prizes and Research Funding

A variety of scholarships and prizes are available to HDR students within the School of Communication and Arts. The values, requirements, and application procedures of these awards vary greatly, and students are urged to determine those most appropriate to their plans and achievements. Additional information on UQ HDR scholarships can be found on the Graduate School Website. 

Please view some featured School specific HDR schoalrships below. 

Kinnane PhD Bursary in Art History and Museum Studies

The scholarship was established in 2017 and is maintained by the income of a perpetual endowment fund from a bequest to The University of Queensland under the will of Paula Ruth Kinnane, who graduated from The University of Queensland in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. The scholarship recognises Tony and Paula Kinnane who were lifetime lovers of art, art galleries, and collected art for their own pleasure, and to support emerging art museum professionals and art museums, especially in rural and regional Australia.

Kinnane PhD Scholarship in Art History and Museum Studies

Established in 2017, the scholarship is maintained by the income of a perpetual endowment fund from a bequest to The University of Queensland under the will of Paula Ruth Kinnane, who graduated from The University of Queensland in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. The scholarship recognises Tony and Paula Kinnane who were lifetime lovers of art, art galleries, and collected art for their own pleasure, and to support emerging art museum professionals and art museums, especially in rural and regional Australia. The scholarship is open to Higher Degree by Research students in the disciplines of art history or museum studies applying to the Doctor of Philosophy in Art History by Exhibition program, which includes the curating of an exhibition as part of the doctoral research. The value of the scholarship includes a living allowance equal to the current UQGSS rate (2023 rate, c. $32,000 pa tax free) plus top up funding for research. The next application round will commence in 2025 at the earliest. More information on the scheme can be found here.

The Alfred Midgley Postgraduate Scholarship 

Established in 2010, the purpose of this scholarship is to support a research higher degree student (MPhil or PhD) engaged in research in the field of Australian literature working in the School.  It was established by a bequest from the estate of Zoe Ann Burnett, in memory of her grandfather the late Dr Alfred Midgley.  Dr Midgley contributed to many aspects of early Queensland life.  He was a member of the ninth Queensland parliament, an early published Queensland poet, and a minister in the Methodist Church. Zoe Ann Burnett graduated in Arts from The University of Queensland in 1948 and was awarded a Master of Literary Studies in 1989.

The amount of the scholarship will be $6000 per annum for a maximum of three years. One or more scholarships may be awarded each year, on the recommendation of the Head of School.

The Cecilie Anne Sloane Postgraduate English Creative Writing Research Scholarship 

Established in 2006, the Sloane Scholarship was established in memory of a former tutor and lecturer in the English Department, Cecilie Anne Sloane.  It is maintained by the income of a perpetual endowment fund set up by a bequest from Ron and Helen Diamond.  The scholarship takes the form of a $2000 MPhil/PhD top-up scholarship for the best Creative Writing candidate to be confirmed each year and is intended to assist the student whose project shows the greatest promise in both its creative and critical components, and whose application outlines a legitimate use for the funds to support the successful completion of the research higher degree.

Confirmed MPhil and PhD candidates are invited to apply in October each year.

The Helen Kay PhD Scholarship 

Established in 2001, this scholarship commemorates the work and life of a promising young scholar of Australian literature, life writing and the environment, Helen Kay.  Helen was a postgraduate research student who died in 1999 while completing her degree in the School.  The Helen Kay scholarship is a completion scholarship which offers a three month stipend to assist a PhD student in the School to complete their degree.  Donations from Marie and Alf Berry established the scholarship in memory of their grand-daughter with the School providing matching funding. 

Applications must be submitted to the HDR Administrative Officer by the due date.  

The scholarship may not be held concurrently with another award.  

School of Communication & Arts PhD Completion Scholarship

The School offers a scholarship which will assist its postgraduate research students to complete their degree in a timely and effective manner. Applications will be called once or twice in a calendar year as funding permits, and will be open to PhD scholars in their final year of candidature. Applicants will provide evidence that this financial assistance will enable them to submit their dissertation within three months. The Scholarship is conditional upon candidates enrolling or being enrolled full-time and must not be held in conjunction with any other substantial award or scholarship. The value of the scholarship will be determined by the Head of School and will be paid as a fortnightly stipend for a period of not more than three months.

 Find additional PhD Scholarships

The A. E. E. Pearse Prize

Established in 1993, the A. E. E. Pearse Prize is awarded annually to a School postgraduate for the best article in literary or cultural studies submitted to a scholarly journal.  It is maintained by the income of a bequest from the late Archibald Ernest Edgar Pearse.  Previous winners include:

  • 2023: Shared between Martine Kropkowski and Maria-Gemma Brown
  • 2022 Meg Thomas
  • 2021 Rosie Clarke
  • 2020 Shastra Deo
  • 2019 not awarded
  • 2018 Sarah Holland-Batt
  • 2017 Jacob Warren
  • 2016 Margaret Cook
  • 2015 Wilson Koh
  • 2014 Elliott Logan
  • 2013 Wilson Koh
  • 2012 Paul Davies
  • 2011 Xanthe Ashburner
  • 2010 Rebecca Hazleden
  • 2009 Natalie Owen-Jones
  • 2008 Shared between - Matthew Campora and Andrew Williamson
  • 2007 Abigail Dennis
  • 2006 Kylie Cardell
  • 2005 Estelle Castro
  • 2004 Emma Cox
  • 2003 Shared between - Robert Clarke and William Hatherell
  • 2002 Peta Mitchell
  • 2001 Shared between - Kate Douglas and Elizabeth Hall-Downs

Dr John McCulloch Memorial Prize 

Established in 2011, the Dr John McCulloch Memorial Prize is awarded to the best paper presented by an RHD student to the annual Work-In-Progress Conference (WiP).

  • 2023 Maria-Gemma Brown 
  • 2022 Rosie Clarke
  • 2021 Christian Rizzalli
  • 2020 Saran Singh
  • 2019 Renee Mickelburgh
  • 2018 Robyn Gulliver
  • 2017 Jill Barker
  • 2016 Jamie Freestone
  • 2015 Giang Nguyen
  • 2014 Prateek
  • 2013 Chari Larsson
  • 2012 Prithvi Varatharajan
  • 2011 Elliott Logan

Dr Melanie McKenzie Postgraduate Teaching Excellence Award 

Established in 2015, the Dr Melanie McKenzie Postgraduate Teaching Excellence Award recognises the outstanding pedagogical dedication of Research Higher Degree students who work as sessional teachers in the School of Communication and Arts.  The award commemorates Dr Melanie McKenzie, who made a valuable contribution to the School as a teacher and a researcher while she was a postgraduate student.

  • 2023: Lisa Enright
  • 2022 Bernadette Huber
  • 2021 Kiah Hawker
  • 2020 Daniel Cruz Lopez and Kathleen Jennings
  • 2019 Matthew Cipa
  • 2018 Meg Vann
  • 2017 Amber Gwynne
  • 2016 Jessica Hughes
  • 2015 David Richard

School of Communication and Arts 2024 Research Funding Policy


Full-time HDR students may apply for the following funding support:

  • MPhil up to $2000.00 during the first two years (or part-time equivalent) of active candidature;
  • PhD up to $4000.00 during the first four years (or part-time equivalent)  of active candidature.

Prior to confirmation, students may only avail themselves of 25% of their conference and research travel funding. Where a student converts from MPhil to PhD the total amount able to be applied for over the entire active candidature will be that applicable to a PhD, viz $4000.00.

MPhil students whose program has exceeded two years and PhD students whose program has exceeded four years may not apply for funding. Application and use of these funds is restricted to these program periods.

HDR Placement Award 

The School of Communication and Arts offers a special Higher Degrees Research Fund Top Up award of $500 to all PhD candidates who at their R3 can demonstrate they have completed or are on track to complete an official industry Placement.

The Placement must be organised and meet all the requirements of The Graduate School Career Development Framework. Please note that this award is not available to candidates who have completed a Global Change Scholars placement, or are visiting scholars through the UQ-IITD joint PhD program.

Candidates can apply for the award using the SCA - Application for Research Funding form and by gaining the approval of their Principal Adviser and Head of School. Relevant supporting documentation must be included with the application. 

Award recipients will have the sum of $500 added to their Research Fund and this Top Up will be available to be used for all standard HDR research-related and thesis completion activities.


Funding can be used to present work at academic conferences, to conduct fieldwork and to support research training. It is strongly recommended that candidates attend at least one mainstream disciplinary conference over the period of their candidature. Funding requests for other research-related items will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and must be supported by the candidate’s Principal Adviser and the HDR Director. Justification should be provided for how the request supports and assists the candidate’s program of research. Any associated tax invoices and receipts should be retained as you may be requested to substantiate funding claims. Students whose travel includes a personal component of 50% or more of the total absence may only apply for 50% of the allocation. This applies for all travel whether funded by the School or covered under a research grant etc. Funding will not cover costs towards the purchase of any equipment. Please note the level of annual funding forms part of the School’s overall budget. As such there is no guarantee that funds will be available.


Applicants are asked to plan ahead and submit their application form as early as possible as funds can be exhausted early in the year. 

SCA Application for Research Funding Form (DOCX, 41.4 KB)

Submit application forms to the SCA HDR Funding Coordinator:

Notification will be sent via email once an application has been approved.

Acceptance Procedure

The notification email will include:

  • an offer Letter
  • an acceptance Form
  • a reimbursement Form
  • a travel notification template (for international travel only)

Please complete the Acceptance Form (including your full banking details), the Reimbursement Form and the Travel Notification Template, and return both to the HDR Liaison Officer:

The Acceptance Form must include an actual signature – a scanned copy of the form is acceptable. You are required to make your own travel arrangements and bookings.

Please note that no reservations or payments should be made prior to receiving the offer letter approved by the Head of School. Insurance The Travel Notification spreadsheet will be submitted to the Insurance Office on your behalf and you will be supplied with a Travel Notification Reference Number (for international travel) once approved. This provides cover under the UQ Travel Insurance policy to the traveller provided they are a current UQ student. All travellers are requested to access the UQ Finance and Business Services website to familiarise themselves with UQ travel policy, field trip risk assessments, travel insurance, and other related items before applying for travel.


If your application involves any fieldwork, you must complete the Online Fieldwork Safety Training Module prior to departure. A copy of the certificate showing proof of successful completion must be attached to your travel form. It is also important to read and understand the Fieldwork & Work Off-Campus OHS Guidelines. Other Applications may not be made retrospectively. Cash passports are not available for HDR students.

Our Staff

SCA Director of Research Higher Degrees: 
Associate Professor Venero Armanno (
The HLO for SCA
 Dr Luna Xing  (