Maternal Environmental Factors Postdoctoral Fellowship

1. Origins

a. This scholarship was established to provide financial assistance to a doctoral student undertaking research on maternal environmental factors that shape fetal programming at the Nepean Clinical School.

b. This scholarship is funded by the Norman Ernest Cummins Bequest.

2. Eligibility

a. The scholarship is offered subject to the candidate having an unconditional offer of admission or being currently registered to study full-time in a PhD within the Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney.

b. Applicants must conduct research on maternal environmental factors that shape fetal programming at the Nepean Clinical School.

3. Selection criteria

a. The successful candidate will receive the scholarship on the basis of:

I. academic merit,
II. cover letter (detailing interest in the field), and
III. two academic referees.

b. Shortlisted candidates will be required to attend an interview.

vs. The successful candidate will be awarded the scholarship upon the nomination of the relevant research supervisor(s) or his/her designated delegate(s).

4. Value

a. The scholarship will provide a stipend of $35,000 per year for up to 3 years, subject to satisfactory academic performance.

b. Extension of the scholarship is not allowed.

vs. The recipient must begin the fellowship by or during research period 1, 2023.

D. The scholarship must begin in the relevant research period in which it is offered. The start of the scholarship may be deferred if the recipient:

I. does not receive an unconditional offer of admission to begin their doctoral application before a subsequent period of research, or
II. their application is approved for deferral to a later research period, and
III. approval is received from the Associate Dean (Research Teaching), Faculty of Medicine and Health to defer the fellowship to the subsequent research period.

e. If the fellowship term is not completed by June 30, 2025, the fellowship will be automatically terminated.

F. No other amount is due.

g. The scholarship will be offered subject to the availability of funds.

5. Eligibility for Progression

a. Progression is contingent upon attendance and successful completion of the annual progress review.

6. Leave Provisions

a. The scholarship holder receives up to 20 working days of leisure leave each year of the scholarship and this can be accumulated. However, the student will forfeit any remaining unused leave when the scholarship ends or expires. Recreational leave does not result in a leave charge and supervisor approval must be obtained prior to taking leave.

b. The scholarship holder may take up to 10 working days of sick leave each year of the scholarship and this can be accumulated during the duration of the scholarship. Students with family responsibilities, caring for sick children or parents, or victims of domestic violence, may convert up to five days of their annual sick leave entitlement to carer’s leave upon presentation of one or more several medical certificates. Students taking sick leave should notify their supervisor as soon as possible.

7. Research abroad

a. The Fellow cannot normally carry out research abroad during the first six months following the award.

b. The Fellow may undertake up to 12 months of research outside Australia. Approval must be sought from the student’s supervisor, principal, and faculty via a Higher Degree Application from the Research Administration Center (HDRAC), and will only be granted if the research is essential for graduation. All periods of research abroad are cumulative and will count towards a student’s application. Students must remain enrolled full-time at the University and receive approval to count time away.

8. Discontinuation

a. The scholarship holder cannot suspend his scholarship during his first six months of study, unless a legislative provision applies.

b. The scholarship holder can request up to 12 months suspension from the scholarship for any reason during the duration of the scholarship. Periods of scholarship suspension are cumulative and failure to resume studies after suspension will result in termination of the scholarship. Approval must be sought from the student’s supervisor, principal, and faculty via a Higher Degree Application from the Research Administration Center (HDRAC). The periods of study towards the degree during the suspension of the scholarship will be deducted from the maximum duration of the scholarship.

9. Registration Changes

a. The scholarship recipient must promptly notify HDRAC and their supervisor of any intended changes to their enrollment, including, but not limited to: attendance pattern, suspension, discharge, withdrawal, course transfer, and the upgrade or downgrade of the application. If the scholarship holder does not provide notice of the changes identified above, the University may require reimbursement of any overpaid stipend.

10. Termination

a. The scholarship will be terminated:

I. in the event of resignation or withdrawal of the holder of his research diploma,
II. upon submission of the thesis or at the end of the scholarship,
III. if the recipient ceases to be a full-time student and has not obtained prior approval from the Associate Dean (Research Teaching), Faculty of Medicine and Health to hold the scholarship on a part-time basis,
IV. when the recipient has completed the maximum application for their degree in accordance with the policy of the University of Sydney Rule 2011 (Higher Degree by Research),
V. if the beneficiary receives an alternative primary scholarship. In such circumstances, this scholarship will be terminated in favor of the alternative allocation scholarship where it has a higher value,
VI. if the Beneficiary does not return to school at the end of an approved period of leave, or
VII. if the recipient ceases to meet the eligibility criteria specified for this scholarship (other than during a period in which the scholarship was suspended or during a period of approved leave).

b. The scholarship may also be terminated by the University before this date if, in the opinion of the University:

I. the course of study is not carried out with skill and diligence or in accordance with the terms of this offer,
II. the student fails to maintain satisfactory progress, or
III. the student has committed misconduct or other inappropriate conduct.

vs. The scholarship will be suspended for the duration of any investigation/appeal process.

D. Once the scholarship is terminated, it will not be reinstated, except in the case of error by the University.

11. Misconduct

a. Where during the scholarship a student engages in misconduct or other inappropriate conduct (either during the scholarship or in relation to the student’s application and eligibility for the scholarship), which in the opinion of the University, justifies the recovery of the funds provided, the University may require the student to reimburse the payments made under the scholarship. Examples of such conduct include and are not limited to; academic dishonesty, research misconduct within the meaning of the Code of Conduct for Research (e.g. plagiarism in proposing, carrying out or reporting research results, or failure to declare or manage a serious conflict of interest), violation of the Code of Conduct for Students and misrepresentation in application documents or other documents associated with the scholarship.

b. The University may require such reimbursement at any time during or after the scholarship period. Further, by accepting this scholarship, the student consents that all aspects of any investigation of misconduct related to this scholarship will be disclosed by the University to the funding agency and/or any relevant professional body.