Postgraduate research coronavirus FAQs

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Advice for PGR students

See answers to our frequently asked questions from postgraduate research degree students

Find out how to make sure you can continue your research and get support if your studies have been interrupted.

Further details of how we support PGRS and their research during the Covid-19 can be found on the Graduate School Covid-19 Moodle page.

Please email the Graduate School on or the Graduate School Development Programme (GSDP) on if you have any further questions.

Postgraduate research students

You can submit work and relevant forms for annual reviews, major reviews and theses electronically. You'll receive email prompts in advance of your deadlines.

Theses should be submitted to, unless an alternative email address is provided. When submitting a thesis, please copy in your first supervisor.

Where a PhD by publication can't be submitted electronically, an appropriate methodology for submission must be agreed by the Faculty Research Degrees Coordinator (FRDC). Your supervisor or Departmental Research Degrees Coordinator (DRDC) should also be able to advise.

Annual reviews, major reviews and vivas will be conducted online if all parties are happy to do so. If one or more of those present is not happy to do so, the date will need to be deferred. Where the outcome of a meeting is to undertake more work, candidates will be advised appropriately on when this can be commenced.

Where a student is experiencing difficulties in meeting deadlines to complete post-viva thesis corrections, the First Supervisor (or if necessary the FRDC) is able to approve extenuating circumstances and set a revised deadline.

Please see the Graduate School Moodle page for further details on reviews, vivas and interim examinations.

If you think your research timeline will be seriously affected by COVID-19, you'll be able to apply for an extension or interruption in the normal way. Any COVID-19 related issues will be taken into account when assessing delays and changes to thesis research through the annual review process.

All placements and field work involving face-to-face contact are suspended, and you should meet with your supervisor to discuss this.

If you're on an overseas placement The University will work on repatriating you, unless it's safer for you to remain where you are.

PGR students and others must suspend or plan to delay research where they are expected to come in close contact with human participants. Where possible, online research methods should be used instead. Where this is impossible students and supervision teams will need to consider alternative means to collect data or whether they can delay the face-to-face aspects of the research.

Where face to face interaction may still be necessary, researchers must update and gain approval for their risk assessment forms to take account of the ongoing situation. Information, checklists, and risk assessment forms for undertaking or restarting research during CoVID-19 can be found on the Restarting your Research Moodle page. Please note, UK based fieldwork and research visits (including archive visits and traveling to collect data outside of the campus) can now take place subject to approval through the restarting research procedure.

Where the research is simply paused for a number of months research ethics committees will not require notification, but if significant changes of research design are required a project amendment will need to be submitted in the normal way.

If your research relies on facilities that you cannot access in a period of shut down you will need to discuss with your supervisor whether alternative activities can be carried out until you can again have access to the equipment or facilities.

Your FRDC, DRDC, departmental ethics advisor, or supervisor should be able to offer further guidance.

If your research relies on facilities you can't access, talk to your supervisor to find out if alternative activities can be carried out until you get access to the equipment or facilities. There's some helpful guidance from the department of United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) for researchers in general as well as DTP and other research council-funded students.

Updated guidance has been provided on extension arrangements for fees and bursaries for university, research council and other funding sources. Please see the Graduate School Moodle page for further details on registration, fees and funding.

Postgraduate research students can now apply for financial help through the University Support Fund until the end of the 2020 academic year for exceptional and clearly justified hardships arising from the coronavirus situation.

If it becomes impossible to actively pursue your research, you'll need to discuss this with your supervisor(s).

Interruptions may be granted beyond the normal 1 year limit (2 years for PT) by the FRDC in exceptional cases. The extended interruption should not be in excess of that which is proportional to the nature of the interruption and time required.

You should talk to your supervisor and funder to consider any financial implications. Please see the Graduate School Moodle page for further details.

Talk to your supervisor about an interruption of studies to consider any financial implications. More information about the PGR bursary interviews and supervision meetings is on the Graduate School Moodle page.

Graduate School Events

All Graduate School and related events have moved online.

Graduate School Development Programme (GSDP) Sessions

GSDP sessions will be delivered online. If you're booked on a session or on the waiting list you'll be contacted with instructions for accessing the session. You also have access to a suite of GSDP online modules.

GSDP online modules will accrue the same hours as the face-to-face equivalents and you can record this in SkillsForge using a Certificate of Completion.

Up to date information about the current situation, working away from home and online training opportunities (such as LinkedIn Learning) is available on Moodle

GProf Sessions

If you've completed the GProf Orientation Session in 2019/20, you can use some online resources to complete the course. Alternatively, you may wish to wait until we return to experience the benefit of working with peers in the practical sessions (extra sessions will be available).

See more guidance on the GProf coronavirus arrangements. If you haven't completed GProf Orientation, you should register for the new course in October 2020.

Research Supervision Events (RSE)

Most Graduate School workshops for supervisors have good resources online, including videos of previous sessions, links, and for mandatory/required sessions we have full online training packages.

Please see the Graduate School research supervision events page for more information.

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