Doctoral School

Sussex Scholarship Extension Scheme

Information about the scholarship extension scheme open for PhD students funded by Sussex who have been impacted by Covid-19.

The University Executive Group has agreed two new funding schemes in support of PhD students impacted by Covid-19.

  1. The PGR Hardship Fund is open to PhD students without access to external funding extensions (e.g. UKRI scholarships), and
  2. The Sussex Scholarship Extension Scheme is open for PhD students funded by Sussex to apply for scholarship extensions.

With regards to the hardship fund(s) and the extension scheme, please note that:

  • any PhD student experiencing financial difficulties – regardless of their funding source – can apply to the general Student Hardship Fund;
  • PhD students experiencing Covid-19 related financial difficulties – bar those with access to externally-funded scholarship extensions (e.g. UKRI) and the Sussex Scholarship Extension Scheme – can apply to the new PGR Hardship Fund. Priority will be given to PhD students in the later stages of study;
  • PhD students who are applying to the Sussex Scholarship Extension Scheme can subsequently apply to the general Student Hardship Fund, following the outcome of the Extension Scheme.

Guidance for applicants

Applications must be submitted using this extension request form [Word document, 39.48KB]PhD students are responsible for the addition of Supervisor comments in the application, which must be emailed to your School Director of Doctoral Studies by 7 August 2020.

i) A fund of £75k is available to support the Scholarship extensions for PhD students whose stipends are funded by the University of Sussex (e.g. School Studentships, CIRS, but not those funded by an external grant, charities or UKRI).

ii) PhD students are eligible to apply to the fund if:

  1. they are funded via a Sussex scholarship, most normally a School-based scholarship or a Chancellor's International Research Scholarship;
  2. the scholarship funding end-date falls between 1st March 2020 and 31st March 2021, and the thesis has not been submitted;
  3. the ability to progress has been significantly impacted by Covid-19.

iii) An extension of 1, 2 or 3 months can be applied for. Applications can be made using the form above. PhD students are responsible for the addition of Supervisor comments before submitting applications to Directors of Doctoral Studies by 7 August 2020.

iv) Directors of Doctoral Studies must submit forms to by 14 August 2020.

v) An awarding panel will oversee the allocation of extensions. The panel will be chaired by the Director of the Doctoral School, and include representative School Directors of Doctoral Studies from Social Science; Science; Media, Arts and Humanities; and University of Sussex Business School. Support for the scheme is provided by staff across the Doctoral School and Research & Enterprise.

vi) The panel will assess applications against the following criteria:

  1. the extent to which the PhD students’ doctoral work has been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic (please refer to the application form for examples of the sorts of impact that can be considered);
  2. how efforts to mitigate and adjust the project have been undertaken;
  3. why the specific length of extension is requested.

vii) Scholarship extensions can be awarded in full, in-part or declined. Awards would normally follow the existing monthly stipend rate, and will include an allocation to Schools of pre-submission fees*.

viii) Outcome letters will be emailed to applicants by 21 August 2020. Scholarship extension payments will be made at the end of August for those PhD students whose scholarships ended before 30 September 2020. Extension payments will be made at the end of scholarship periods for those PGRs with scholarship end dates between 30 September 2020 and 31 March 2021.

*PhD students expecting to remain on full-fees or work in labs during an extension should contact the School Director of Doctoral Studies regarding their fee status during an extension.

Doctoral School

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