Graduate research scholarships to study in Australia and the UK for 2021

Australia and the UK are education powerhouses. Pursuing your graduate research in either country will prove to be an invaluable experience.

By U2B Staff 

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Funding opportunities, big or small, are always a welcome respite for any postgraduate student. Graduate research scholarships, however, are a great way to lessen your financial burden to help you focus on continuing your higher education without financial stress hanging at the back of your mind and weighing you down. 

Many universities offer some form of financial assistance to eligible students, especially those in Australia and the UK. Both locations tend to have similar education structures and are known globally for their world-class education.


Here are some graduate research scholarships for both local and international students in Australia and the UK that you can still apply for: 

Swansea University

This Welsh university offers a number of awards for students pursuing PhD, MPhil, MRes or Master’s by Research studies.

Some of their scholarships include the EU Transitional Bursary Scheme For Research Students 2021/22 Entry, which is being offered in light of the fact that EU students will no longer be eligible for UK fee status post-Brexit.

Deadline: Varies, depending on the scholarship offered.

University College London

UCL Graduate Research Scholarships (GRS) aim to attract high-quality prospective and current UCL research students from any country. 

The selection criteria are based on academic merit while full- or part-time research degrees are eligible. “You do not need to have secured an offer of a place at UCL in order to apply for the scholarship, but you must have submitted your admission application,” said UCL.

UCL notes that awards are generally tenable for years 1, 2, and 3 of a full-time MPhil/PhD/EngD degree programme (or years 1-5 of a part-time programme), subject to annual review and renewal.

“Where students are undertaking integrated four-year doctoral programmes the award will be extended to the final year of study.”

Deadline: 13 January 2021


University of Nottingham

Nottingham currently offers the China Scholarship Council Research Excellence Scholarship, a PhD scholarship for students from China, in partnership with the China Scholarship Council.

“In 2021 we are offering 10 scholarships, with 100% of tuition fees covered by the University of Nottingham and a stipend of £1,200 per month for living expenses including healthcare insurance from the China Scholarship Council. The China Scholarship Council will also cover the costs of your air travel between China and the UK,” said Nottingham.

Chinese nationals can apply for this scholarship and must hold an unconditional offer to start a full-time PhD course in any subject area at University of Nottingham UK with a start date that falls on or between Oct. 1 2021 and Feb. 1 2022.

The scholarships are valid for up to four years of study on a PhD research degree course, subject to satisfactory progress (three years of registered study, and one year to prepare your thesis).

Deadline: 19 February 2021

University of Liverpool

The Duncan Norman Research Scholarship at the University of Liverpool is a competitive scholarship that is offered annually. 

It offers a competitive annual maintenance stipend of £15,000 (or top-up to this level of maintenance if the candidate is in receipt of another source of funding), full payment of tuition fees (home, EU or overseas), free University accommodation of up to £4,635 per annum or an allowance of the same amount for students wishing to live off campus, a laptop or desktop computer of up to £1000 in value and support for conference expenses of up to £500 in years 2 & 3.

The scholarship is open for application to all prospective full-time postgraduate research students irrespective of nationality, tuition fee status or subject area.

Deadline: 5 April 2021

The University of Melbourne 

No application is required for the university’s graduate research scholarship — students will be automatically considered for this award upon application of a graduate research course.

Some of the benefits include a full fee offset for up to two years for students undertaking a Masters by Research degree or up to four years for students undertaking a doctoral degree;

living allowance of AU$31,200 per year pro rata (2020 full-time study rate) for up to two years for students undertaking a Masters by Research degree or up to 3.5 years for students undertaking a doctoral degree; and a relocation grant of AU$2000 for students moving from States or Territories other than Victoria or $3000 for students moving from outside Australia.

The scholarship is open to all study areas and is applicable for both domestic and international students.

Deadline: N.A. New students who have applied for a graduate research course by the application closing date for that course will be automatically considered for the Graduate Research Scholarships.

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

UNSW offers domestic and international graduate research scholarships, and has three scholarship application rounds per year. 

Their international research scholarships include Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship, University International Postgraduate Award (UIPA) and the Tuition Fee Scholarship (TFS) plus a Research Stipend, each valuing around AU$28,000.

Their domestic research scholarships include the RTP Scholarship, University Postgraduate Award (UPA) and Faculty Top Up Scholarships – attached to RTP Scholarship or UPA, and is valued around AU$28,000.

The following applies to both scholarships: “To apply for a scholarship, simply indicate that you would also like to be considered for a UNSW scholarship on your application for admission to a programme, and select your preferred scholarship application round.”

Deadline: 8 January 2021 or 26 March 2021, depending on the term you wish to enrol in.


University of South Australia

UniSA offers a number of graduate research scholarships for both domestic and international research students.

The International Research Tuition Scholarships, for instance, are awarded to international candidates on the basis of academic merit and demonstrated research capability, and who will be supported during their degree by a full living stipend supported by external funding. 

The IRTS will cover the international tuition fee for three years (plus a possibility of a six month extension) for a PhD student and the international tuition fee for two years for a research master’s student. Applications are open at any time of the year.

Options for domestic students include the Research scholarship for SEAM training centre, the Plasma Physics Scholarship and Plasma Touches Life Scholarship that have varying values.

Deadline: Varies depending on the scholarship applied.