The Research & Innovation Office


Pacific Scholarship for Excellence in Research & Innovation (PSERI)

Applications are now CLOSED

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for the Pacific Scholarship for Excellence in Research & Innovation (PSERI) to undertake a Masters degree or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) by research only at The University of the South Pacific (USP).

The awards are tenable from early 2024 and may be held in any member country of the USP.

Generic Research Areas

The University is keen to fund interdisciplinary projects that fall within its Strategic Research Themes which are all underpinned by Innovation, Empowerment & Sustainability:

  • Sustainable, Inclusive and Equitable Economies
  • Oceans, Ecosystems & Climate Resilience
  • Education, Culture, Health & Wellbeing
  • Governance, Justice and Equality
  • Innovation, Empowerment and Sustainability

Specific Research Areas
The academic Schools, Departments, Institutes and Centres at The University of the South Pacific are organised into 6 academic units. These are:

An interdisciplinary centre that focuses on climate change and sustainable development is the Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PACE-SD). For details on specific areas of research that these institutions support in this current round of funding, please visit their websites.

Benefits and Conditions
A PSERI award in 2024 will comprise of the following:

  • Tuition fees (paid directly)
  • Book allowance of up to $750/year
  • General Services fees paid directly
  • Health Services fees paid directly
  • Living allowance of $21,600 for Masters students and $24,000 for PhD students per year to be paid on a monthly basis
  • Dependents Allowance of $10,883.00 per year to qualifying awardees
  • Establishment Allowance of $1,942.00 (one-off) to qualifying awardees
  • Research grant – only after the research plan and budget have been approved by the appropriate Academic Unit Research Committee (AURC)
  • One return airfare when the person receiving the award has to travel to a USP campus in another country to take up the offer.

All amounts are in Fijian dollars.

Scholarship Conditions
These scholarships are for full-time study only. Awardees are not permitted to be in paid employment during the tenure of their awards and will be required to work a minimum of 40 hours per week for the entire year on their research. Scholarship holders will also be expected to contribute to ongoing teaching in their respective faculties for a maximum of eight hours per week only during semester time.

Research Degree at USP
Masters awards will be for 18 months for applicants who have completed their Postgraduate Diploma, 24 months for applicants who have completed their Undergraduate Degree only and PhD awards for 36 months. Applicants for a Masters degree should normally have completed a Postgraduate Diploma (or equivalent) while applicants for a PhD should have completed a Masters by thesis degree. The University recognises that there are special circumstances in which some applicants without these pre-requisites may be eligible for enrollment in these degree programmes. More details can be accessed in the University Calendar at

Applicants must be citizens of a USP member country, and preferably be 35 years or younger for Masters studies and 45 years or younger for PhD studies at the time of application to be considered for the scholarship. Applicants for the Pacific Scholarship for Excellence in Research & Innovation under the Master’s programme must have a grade point average [GPA] of at least 3.5 at the undergraduate level. Applicants who also have a Postgraduate Diploma GPA of at least 3.5 will be given preference, however, this is not necessary. Applicants for PhD are required to have completed a Master’s degree by thesis.

Completed applications must be sent via email to with the subject line “PSERI 2024 Application – [Your Name]”. 

Emailed applications must include:

  1. Completed Applicant Detail Form 
  2. An Applicant Checklist
  3. Cover letter or a letter of application
  4. An outline of a proposed research topic*
  5. Curriculum vitae
  6. Name and contact details of three referees
  7. Certified true copies of relevant transcripts and certificates
  8. Proof of citizenship

*Applicants may discuss their applications with a potential supervisor. 

Please Note:

  • Final year undergraduate students who wish to apply for the Pacific Scholarship for Excellence in Research & Innovation need to explicitly state the expected date of completion of their current programme in the application letter.
  • Undergraduate and Postgraduate students applying for a masters award must have a GPA of 3.5 or above in both levels to be considered for the scholarship.
  • Applicants must enrol in their respective academic units; the scholarship does not guarantee a place in the academic unit.

Closing date for applications is  midnight Friday 22 December, 2023. 

Queries regarding the scholarship can be emailed to or to:

Anushka Maharaj
Research Student Coordinator
Phone: 3231888

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