Information for Current Funded Postgraduate Research Students
Please be sure to note the below information for Current Funded Postgraduate Research Students.
The Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes has been written for students, staff, examiners, and other stakeholders. It covers all students on research, and outlines University procedures, processes and areas of good practice.
In addition funded students are subject to their specific Funding Body terms and conditions. Funded students should refer to their funder’s terms and conditions (or contact the Postgraduate Awards Team, firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss queries or potential implications to their funding arrangements for example due to possible changes in programme / course, registration.
The major funding bodies include: the Department for the Economy (DfE) and the Research Councils. The Research Councils do not fund students directly therefore please contact the Graduate School on email@example.com if you have funding queries.
- Postgraduate Studentships Terms and Conditions funded by the Department for the Economy (DfE) previously the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL)
- RCUK JeS Data REview Form
- Research Council Terms
- Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
- Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
- Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
- Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
- Medical Research Council (MRC)
- Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
- Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
- RCUK Gateway to Research
- University Special Research Scholarship Terms and Conditions (under review)
Offer of Studentship
The University’s Graduate School is responsible for the issue of official studentship offers for University-administered funding (including the Department for the Economy and the Research Councils). The official studentship offer letter issued states the duration of the PhD studentship. Studentships are intended to be held on a continuous basis. In exceptional circumstances and subject to funder’s terms the award may be temporarily suspended.
Students must register at the start of research and at the beginning of every subsequent academic year. Registration in the second and subsequent years shall be subject to satisfactory progress reports. Continued Studentship payment is subject to registration and to confirmation of satisfactory progress from your School.
It is a requirement that details of Research Council funded studentships are recorded on the RCUK Joint Electronic System (Je-S). The Awards Team in the Graduate School will issue instructions to RCUK studentship holders regarding how to complete and access Je-S Student Level Accounts and how to complete an online studentship form. For further details please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Illness, Suspension, Extension and Termination of Studentships
The Study Regulations for Research Degree Programmes, regulation 4 outlines the minimum, normal and maximum periods of study for a student completing a Research Degree Programme. These periods exclude approved temporary withdrawal periods. In addition some funders have specific timeframes for expected thesis submission.
Some funders will permit a student’s award payments to continue during absences covered by medical certificates for a limited period. Where a student continues to receive their payments during periods of illness and / or accident this period of time will count towards the time permitted for thesis submission, ie it is not an approved period of suspension or temporary withdrawal.
For further details students should refer to their funder’s terms and the University Regulations.
If a situation arises where a funded student feels incapable of working on their research on a full-time basis due to exceptional circumstances (i.e. illness or compelling personal reasons), the student should speak to their supervisor as the circumstances arise. Students in this situation are advised to take a temporary withdrawal or suspension of their studies and award, in conjunction with their funder’s terms and conditions and the University’s regulations. The supervisor should contact the Postgraduate Awards team to determine if other options are permitted by the funding body.
A period of permitted temporary withdrawal shall not count as part of the time allowed by the University for thesis submission.
3. Extension of Studentship
If a situation arises where a funded student is unable to continue working on their research on a full-time basis due to:
- factors outside the control of the student; and
- factors outside the control of Queen’s University.
The University may be able to extend the award to compensate for time lost if both of the above criteria are met. In these circumstances, the student’s School should contact the Postgraduate Awards team. To consider extension of the award, the School will need to evidence:
- How the factors have impacted on the student’s ability to complete their research training within the funding period;
- What measures the School is taking to ensure no further impact on the student’s ability to complete their research training;
- The amount of additional time that the student will be continuing to complete research and research training on a full-time basis.
The request for an extension must demonstrate that the factors which have arisen were unforeseen and outside the control of both the student and the University. For example a University laboratory and/or equipment, essential to the student’s research, is damaged accidentally due to fire or flooding and the University is unable to make alternative provision. The extension request should demonstrate that the long term lack of the laboratory or equipment, which is essential to the student’s research, would cause excessive delays to the research.
When the situation arises the student should consult with their supervisor as soon as possible. The School will then submit the request for an extension of funding as outlined above. The request must be made by the School in a timely manner normally within one month of circumstances arising. Retrospective requests will not be considered nor requests which are made after the student’s funded period has ended.
All requests will be considered with reference to the relevant funding body terms and conditions, and may require the University to seek relevant authorisation or clarification from the relevant funding body. The request for an extension of studentship will be considered by the Graduate School Manager and the Senior Postgraduate Officer (Awards) or their nominee(s).
It should be noted that a studentship is awarded for a student to be trained in research methods and not necessarily to obtain the higher degree within the period of the award. Requests for a funding extension cannot be permitted where the student is entering their writing up period at the end of their initial funding period.