Thursday, April 28, 2011

Australian Development Awards: Sri Lanka


Long term Development Awards are an important component of the Australian Government’s development program in Sri Lanka. They support study at Australian tertiary institutions. The objectives of the awards are to develop the capacity and leadership skills of awardees so they can contribute to development in Sri Lanka, and build people-to-people linkages at the individual, institutional and country levels. In Sri Lanka, long term Development Awards include the Australian Development Scholarships (ADS) and Australian Leadership Awards (ALA) Scholarships.

ADS in Sri Lanka are available only to government employees to support study at Masters Level. ALA Scholarships are open to all, and support study at Masters or Doctoral level.

Applications for the intake commencing academic year 2012
Close at 6:30pm, 31 May 2011
Applications received after 6:30pm on the closing date will not be accepted. Applicants are strongly encouraged to complete their application online at For assistance, please contact the South Asia Scholarships Program (SASP) Office via the contact details provided below.

Applicant profiles

To ensure equity and broad participation, AusAID encourages women and men, people with a disability, people from ethnic minorities, people living in rural areas and members of socially and/or economically disadvantaged groups to apply.

ADS Applicant Profile

ADS in Sri Lanka aim to strengthen human resource capacity in the government service in bilaterally agreed priority sectors. The scholarships provide opportunities for awardees to develop higher professional and technical knowledge and to build professional linkages with individuals and institutions within the region and Australia. Alumni returning to the government service are expected to contribute to improved service delivery and development outcomes in Sri Lanka.

ALA Scholarship Applicant Profile

ALA Scholarships aim to develop leadership, build partnerships and networks within the Asia-Pacific region, and address priority regional issues. ALAS is an open scheme and any eligible Sri Lankan citizen may apply.
Selection for ALA Scholarships is highly competitive, and based on an assessment of leadership qualities, academic excellence, and potential development impact. To be successful, applicants must either be leaders or have the potential to become leaders and influence social and economic policy reform and development outcomes both in Sri Lanka and the region.

For more information on ALA Scholarships please refer to the ALA Scholarships page:

Priority sectors

ADS Priority Sectors

ADS support study at Masters level, either by coursework or by coursework with a research component, in the following priority sectors.

  1. Governance: ADS in the governance sector support improvements in public financial management, economics and public sector management.
  2. Environment: ADS in the environment sector are open to candidates working on natural resource management.
  3. Education: ADS in the education sector are open to candidates working in education policy and management. Candidates with demonstrated capacity to implement Government policy on improving primary and secondary education are encouraged to apply.
  4. Health: ADS in the health sector are open to candidates working in public health management. Candidates with demonstrated capacity to implement Government policy on reducing malnutrition are encouraged to apply. (Medical degrees will not be considered).

ALA Scholarship Priority Themes

ALA Scholarships support study at Masters (by research, coursework, or a combination of both) or Doctoral level. Applicants must demonstrate that their proposed study fits within one of the following priority themes: Disability, Economic Growth, Education, Environment, Food Security, Gender, Governance, Health, Human Rights, Infrastructure, Regional Stability, Rural Development and Water & Sanitation.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants for any scholarship must:

  • be a citizen of Sri Lanka;
  • be resident in Sri Lanka or somewhere other than Australia;
  • not have applied for permanent residency in Australia or New Zealand;
  • not be married or engaged to be married to a person who holds or who is eligible to hold Australian or New Zealand citizenship or permanent residence status;
  • have completed a tertiary level qualification at least equivalent to an Australian Bachelor degree;
  • not already be following a course of study at a university abroad;
  • not have held a scholarship for study outside Sri Lanka in the 24 months preceding to application; and
  • have a minimum Academic IELTS overall score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0, OR
  • have a TOEFL paper-based test score of at least 580, or a TOEFL computer-based test score of at least 237, or a TOEFL internet-based score of at least 92, valid at the time of application and which remains valid until the commencement of studies in Australia.

In addition, an applicant for an ADS scholarship must:

  • be less than 45 years of age on 1 January 2012;
  • have a first degree with preferably a second class pass from a Sri Lankan or recognised foreign university;
  • have at least 3 years experience in the public sector and be confirmed in their position, and
  • have at least 2 years experience in the public sector in a field relevant to the proposed course of study.
  • not have previously received any Sri Lankan or overseas government funded award for long term academic studies in a foreign country.

Applicants are encouraged to carefully consider course selection before applying. Apart from exceptional circumstances, AusAID will not consider requests to change a selected course.

Awardees are required:

  • to sign a contract with the Commonwealth of Australia declaring they will comply with the conditions of the scholarship;
  • to return to Sri Lanka for at least two years after completing their scholarship, to contribute to economic and social development of the country. Failure to do so will incur a debt to the Commonwealth of Australia for the total value of the scholarship; and
  • to meet all requirements of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Failure to satisfy visa requirements within the required timeframe will result in the scholarship being withdrawn.

Participating Australian institutions

ADS and ALA Scholarship awardees are accepted widely by most universities and institutions in Australia. A detailed list of the participating institutions for the 2012 intake is available at:

Benefits and entitlements

ADS & ALA Scholarships are offered for the minimum period necessary for an individual to complete the academic program specified by the Australian higher education institution. Masters courses must be no longer than 2 years and a Doctoral program no longer than 4 years.

The following benefits generally apply:

  • full tuition fees;
  • return air travel—payment of a single return, economy class airfare to and from Australia, via the most direct route;
  • establishment allowance—a once only contribution towards expenses such as rental bonds, text books, additional medical insurance, excess baggage etc;
  • contribution to Living Expenses (CLE)—a fortnightly contribution to basic living expenses;
  • Introductory Academic Program (IAP)—a compulsory 4-6 week program on life and study in Australia prior to the commencement of formal studies;
  • overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the duration of the award (for award holder only). This covers basic hospital and medical costs, excluding pre-existing conditions;
  • supplementary Academic Support (Tutorial Assistance) to improve a student’s performance to ensure their academic success, if required; and
  • contribution to fieldwork costs may be available for eligible research students only for one return economy class airfare via the most direct route to Sri Lanka or within Australia.

For more details on benefits and entitlements please read the Scholarships handbook, available at

How to prepare

  1. Applicants must first check if they are eligible to apply for a scholarship. Eligibility criteria for ALA Scholarship & ADS are detailed above. ADS in Sri Lanka are available only to government employees (public sector) whereas ALA Scholarships is an open scheme.
  2. Applicants should download the Scholarship handbook and peruse its contents thoroughly. Please visit
  3. When selecting a course, applicants must first check the participating institutes/universities listed at Applicants may then go to and to individual university websites to search for a suitable course.

Applicants must ensure that:

  • The course is in line with identified Priority Themes for ALAS or Priority Sectors for ADS.
  • If applying for an ADS, the course is a Masters degree of no longer than 2 years duration and comprised either of coursework, or coursework with a research component.
  • If applying for ALA Scholarship, the course is a Masters degree of no longer than 2 years or a Doctoral program of no longer than 4 years.
  • The course will enable them to contribute to poverty alleviation and sustainable development of Sri Lanka when completed and they return to the country.
  • They satisfy all requirements specified by a university for enrolment in a selected course, including English language proficiency requirements.

Required documentation

All applicants must submit the following documents at the time of application. Failure to do so will result in an application being deemed ineligible.

  • Proof of citizenship i.e. birth certificate, passport (if available), national ID;
  • Tertiary degree certificates (certified copies) and copies of any additional awards;
  • IELTS or TOEFL certificates valid at the time of application, and remaining valid until the proposed start date of the nominated course (i.e. at least until February 2012 for Semester 1 starters).

Please send/ arrange for academic transcripts to be sent to the SASP Office by 15 June 2011. If your University asks for a letter from SASP requesting transcripts for purposes of applying for the scholarship, please contact our staff ASAP.

In addition:

  • ADS applicants must complete the External Resources Department (ERD) Form 2 and obtain ERD endorsement (available at ). To be granted ERD endorsement, candidates must first have written approval from their Ministry Secretary.
  • Applicants seeking to undertake a Doctoral degree, Masters by research or Masters by coursework with a research component must provide two academic referee reports. Templates for referee reports are available at

How to apply

  1. A common application form is used for both scholarships. The online application form is accessible at Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications online. Those wish to apply in hard copy are requested to contact the SASP office well in advance of the application deadline. Personnel at the SASP office can discuss options with you for lodging an application. If required, they can arrange to forward a copy of the form to you.
  2. Government employees eligible to apply for ADS must select only one of the following options from 14 themes listed in the application form: Governance, Environment, Education or Health. ADS applicants may also elect to be considered for ALA Scholarship. In this case they should complete all parts of the application form including the “Leadership Award” section. ADS applicants who do not wish be considered for an ALA Scholarship do not complete the “Leadership Award” section.
  3. Applicants from the open category, who are only eligible to apply for an ALA Scholarship, must complete the entire application form including the “Leadership Award” section. ALA Scholarship applicants from the open category may choose any of the 14 themes listed above, which are included as options in the online application.
  4. The “Supporting Statement” section of the application form is particularly important. Applicants must provide strong arguments to support their suitability for a scholarship.
  5. Applicants who wish to pursue studies by research (including a Doctoral degree, Masters by research, or Masters by coursework with a research component) must complete the “Research Proposal Details” section.
  6. Applicants must complete the “English Language Proficiency” section in full, including the scores obtained. Applicants must attach a copy of their IELTS or TOEFL certificate.
  7. Certified scanned copies of all supporting documents must be uploaded to the online application form. Applicants lodging hard copy applications must provide 3 copies of the application form with certified copies of the relevant supporting documents attached.
  8. For more information on ADS, first read the FAQs and then contact the SASP office using the contact details below. For more information on ALAS, first refer to the FAQs and then write to or visit
  9. Applications hand delivered will not be accepted. Hardcopy applications must be received by post by the SASP office at the following address before 6:30pm on 31 May 2011:

South Asia Scholarship Program (SASP)
Coffey International Development – Liaison Office
43/28, Nugagaha Place, Piliyandala Road, Maharagama

Scholarship management process

The selection process is open and transparent. The 9 key steps in the processes are:

  1. Intake opens – 11 March 2011
  2. Submit online or postal applications with necessary supporting documents
  3. Intake closed online – 6:30pm 31 May 2011
  4. Compliance checks
  5. Short listing, interviews and ranking of applications
  6. SASP seeks university placement
  7. Immigration / visa and health clearances
  8. Pre-departure briefing and mobilisation
  9. In-Australia support

Useful links

Contact Us

Dr. Hemamali Palihakkara
Country Scholarship Coordinator - Sri Lanka

Dinukshi Shiyara Fernando
Scholarship Associate – Sri Lanka & Maldives

South Asia Scholarships Program (SASP)
Telephone: (94) 112842639, 115018938
Mobile: (94) 773638958

Please quote on your application when applying for this scholarship

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