Research Student Support Structure
Research Student Support Structure for Covid-19 Impact
The below guidance has been collated to update research students on further support being put in place by the University to benefit all research students, and to inform you about the next stage of stipend extensions / funding support aimed at those in 2nd year at the point of lockdown in March 2020.
Overview of current support
STAGE 3 FUNDING EXTENSIONS
The Stage 3 process is comprised of the following funding support for research students:
- Funded by UKRI and due to complete funding between 1 April 2021 - 30 September 2021. Students due to complete funding after 30 September 2021 who fit the ‘needs priority’ criteria outlined in 2 below.
- Funded by the Department for the Economy (DfE) NI and due to complete funding between 1 April 2021 – 30 September 2021. Where a student is part of a DTP cohort that falls within this timeline, they may be considered if their funding end date is just after 30 September 2021 to ensure consistent treatment of cohort.
- Students who have not received a funding extension or who is self-funding, who meet eligibility criteria set out below - funding contributed by the DfE and UKRI to support research recovery.
UKRI has articulated that in this stage of funding, they expect that the majority of students will be allocated a maximum of 3 months’ stipend extension, and that stipend extensions beyond 3 months will be in very exceptional cases. As the funding available at this point across all three categories is less than that which would be required to support all research students who would be eligible, it is anticipated that the majority of support awarded will not exceed a 3 month extension. However, if further funding becomes available, the information submitted during this stage could be revisited and further impacts recorded as appropriate.
Applications for stipend extensions / funding support will be considered from students who meet all of the criteria below.
- Research students who were registered on a PhD or EngD in the 2019-20 academic year before lockdown and had a start date for research programme before 1 March 2020.
- Currently registered full-time or part-time and completing research, and not yet on Thesis Only (writing up) status.*
*There may be exceptions for some students who have moved to Thesis Only whose funding / normal period of studies has recently completed (e.g. Dec 2020 - Feb 2021) and they were not eligible for any other extensions offered; however, stipends cannot be paid to students on Thesis Only status.
- Not already received a funding extension from funding body. Students who a jointly funded by two bodies where only one body has agreed limited extension support, or in receipt of only a small amount of additional stipend support from their funder or sponsor which does not cover the period of their agreed extension time may make a case for some additional support.
- Demonstrate through application form that you have experienced significant academic disruption due to Covid-19 and/or the lockdowns, and cannot sufficiently mitigate the effect or adjust their projects.
- AND must meet all criteria in either Priority 1 or Priority 2 categories:
Please note, due to the limited amount of funding available at this point and the high number of students falling within Priority 1, only students funded or part-funded by UKRI will be considered with funding/research period end dates after 30 September 2021 at this time (Priority 2).
The link to the Application Form and process for applications is set out below, under Application Procedure.
Criteria to Prioritise and Assess Allocation of Funding
Priority for allocation of additional stipend / funding support will be based on:
- the need for an extension has resulted from the Covid-19 disruption, either because the disruption has affected the project directly or the student’s ability to progress the project*, and
- mitigation is not possible or cannot be sufficient to allow a student to complete their studies to the required standard in the study period due to the disruption.
As the funding we have available is limited, applications will be assessed in relation to what is essential in order to successfully complete your research and achieve a doctoral outcome.
Extension stipend / financial support cannot exceed the standard level of support established by UKRI / DfE (i.e. this funding cannot support ‘top ups’ or higher stipend payments), and will not include extension of Research Training and Support Grants.
* This reference includes challenges due to additional factors such as disability, long-term illness, neurodivergence, caring responsibilities.
Deadline for Application Form: 26 February 2021
Stage 3 Funding: Timeline for decision-making
Applicants will be informed about any unanticipated delays to receiving their outcomes of extension requests.
|1st February 2021||Dissemination of process, criteria and guidance by the Graduate School, Faculty Deans and School Postgraduate Research Directors|
|26th February 2021 at 4pm||Deadline for eligible students to submit PART A and PART B to be considered for funding extensions in this round.|
|26th February 2021 - 10th March 2021||
School Postgraduate Research Committee (SPRC) to consider student applications for additional time and establish recommendation for additional time extensions.
SPRC submit their outcomes to the Institutional Assessment Panel by 10th March 2021, take forward requests for concessions to maximum study time and request period without fees to be added to student registration.
|SPRCs will communicate with students about outcomes relating to time extensions.|
|10th March - 19th March 2021||
Institutional Assessment Panel to consider all applications, apply additional prioritization criteria and determine source / duration of funding allocated.
|22nd March 2021 - 1st April 2021||
Outcomes of the stipend allocation process will be communicated to applicants by Postgraduate Awards.
|16th April 2021||
Deadline for Appeals or Complaints
|16th April 2021 - 30th April 2021||
Any complaints or appeals against decisions communicated will be considered.
Complaints or Appeals
Complaints can be submitted if you are dissatisfied with an element of service provision, to the relevant service provider. See the University’s Student Complaints procedure here.
Appeals will be considered on the grounds that the published institutional process has not been followed.
Please click the button below to download the Complaints & Appeals form.
Have a query?
For queries about adapting your research or mitigating delays, please ensure you have had a conversation with your Supervisor.
For queries about time extensions to your study period, please contact your School Postgraduate Office.
For questions specific to funding extensions or your funding body’s terms and conditions, please contact the Postgraduate Awards team (email@example.com).
For information / support relating to managing the impact of a disability or long-term medical condition, please contact Disability Services (firstname.lastname@example.org).