From 2012, SPARQ-ed will offer the opportunity for students participating in research immersion programs to undertake an additional program which qualifies them for a bonus point under the University of Queensland Bonus Rank Scheme. This is designed to reward achievement and the attainment of useful skills by improving students’ chance of getting entry into their preferred program at the University of Queensland.

How it works

Successful SPARQ-ed students may be eligible for one bonus point under UQ’s Bonus Ranks Scheme.

UQ’s Bonus Ranks scheme offers an incentive for current Senior students to participate in Languages other than English (LOTE), Mathematics C and university enrichment courses. There is no additional application process - bonus points will be applied automatically to UQ preferences after the student’s secondary results are released to QTAC.  

These bonus points are added to the applicant’s existing OP or entry rank and the applicant competes for places on the basis of this inflated rank.  

Current studies attracting a bonus

  • 2 ranks for passing one or more LOTE subjects,

  • 2 ranks for passing Mathematics C,

  • 1 rank for passing one or more university-level enrichment course (eg SPARQ-ed)

Students may be awarded up to a maximum of 5 bonus points, regardless of how many entry schemes they may qualify for.  No additional points are granted if a student completes more than one LOTE subject or more than one university enrichment course.  

Further information on the Bonus Ranks Scheme can be found here.

What it entails

Students wanting to take part in the SPARQ-ed Bonus Rank Program will need to complete the following requirements :

  • A pre-program component, consisting of :
    • Successfully applying for a SPARQ-ed research immersion program
    • Completion of a literature review related to the project they will be undertaking
  • Attendance for the five consecutive days of the research immersion program conducted at the SPARQ-ed teaching laboratory located at the University of Queensland Diamantina Institute in the Translational Research Institute close to the Princess Alexandra Hospital. This component includes:
    • Participation in the experimental project
    • Attendance at the UQDI scientific seminars
    • Attendance at the Library Research tutorial at the PACE Medical Library
    • Attendance at the Scientific Communication tutorial at UQDI
    • Preparation and delivery of the SPARQ-ed Closing Symposium
  • Production of a scientific paper based on the results of the research project undertaken

Copies of the assessment task sheets and assessment criteria are available at the SPARQ-ed website in Microsoft Word format (download .docx, 136kb) or as a pdf (download .pdf, 746kb).


Candidates for the Bonus Ranks program will be assessed on the basis of a portfolio submitted to the SPARQ-ed Coordinator. This portfolio will consist of :

  • The candidate’s application for inclusion in a research immersion program (required before the candidate is to be placed within a program)
  • Literature review (due on the first day of the program)
  • Program log (to be completed during the course of the program and submitted on the final day)
  • Scientific paper (due by the end of November of the year that the Bonus Rank is to be used)

Portfolios will be assessed by the SPARQ-ed coordinator and the UQDI researcher who contributed the project used in the program.

How to apply

The SPARQ-ed Bonus Rank Program is open to current Year 11 and 12 students from all Queensland Schools. Students should indicate on their SPARQ-ed Research Immersion Program application form whether they wish to take part in the Bonus Rank Program. Participation in this program is not compulsory for participation in the research immersion program. Once their application has been approved, students do not need to complete any further application process. Students may withdraw from the SPARQ-ed Bonus Rank Program at any time without penalty.