Updated Research and PGR FAQs: Funding extensions, Library services, laptops
01 May 2020
Frequently asked questions are updated regularly
This advice is correct at the time of publication of this news article.
If you have health concerns then you should refer to the NHS website as recommended by Public Health England. For other queries regarding the current situation, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following new questions have been added to the PGR FAQ:
Will my project funding / stipend payments continue?
Many PGRs are understandably concerned about their research and funding. During this period of remote working due to COVID-19, all PGRs who are still within their funded period and in receipt of a studentship or funding managed by the University, will continue to receive their stipend payments up to the end of their current funded period. Any issues should be discussed with your local PGR support team. The Living Cost Support Fund is also available to assist in overcoming financial hardship.
Can I apply for an extension to my research?
Yes, PGRs have always been able to apply for an extension to their research. Wherever possible you should continue to work from home but if the progress of your research has been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak you should contact your supervisor and local PGR support team to discuss whether an extension is needed. While extensions to your programme end date may be granted, the funding of any extension will be dependent on the source of funding for your studentship and the stage you are at in your programme - see below for further details.
UKRI funded Doctoral PGRs: UKRI will fund programme extensions of up to 6 months for Doctoral PGRs whose funding end date is between 1 March 2020 and 31 March 2021, who have not yet submitted their thesis, and whose research has been affected by the pandemic. PGRs who meet these criteria will be sent an extensions request form directly by their DTP/CDT Director or administrator or local Faculty PGR support team. This form should be completed jointly with your supervisor and your supervisor is required to return this by 18 May 2020. Any extensions have to be requested by this date in order for the University to return information to UKRI by the deadline of 29 May 2020. If you think you meet these criteria and have not been contacted by 8 May 2020, please refer any questions to your Faculty PGR Managers:
- Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health – doctoralacademy@Manchester.ac.uk
- Faculty of Science and Engineering – EPSGradEd@manchester.ac.uk
- Faculty of Humanities – email@example.com
For PGRs who are partially funded by UKRI and partially funded from other sponsors, the University will ensure that all students will be funded to UKRI standard stipend rates irrespective of your source of co-funding.
Wellcome Trust funded Doctoral PGRs: Wellcome Trust funded PGRs with a programme end date between 1 March 2020 and 31 December 2021 will be contacted directly by their Programme Director.
Other funded PGRs: Other funded PGRs with a programme end date between 1 March 2020 and 31 March 2021, who are in receipt of a stipend managed by the University, should continue to keep a log of any lost time and will be able to submit a request for an extension within three months from their funding end date (programme end date) in order for you to better assess the length of extension required. The University will cover the cost of approved programme extensions up to 6 months relating to COVID-19 where your sponsor is unable to financially support an extension period.
Self-funded PGRs: Self-funded PGRs with a programme end date between 1 March 2020 and 31 March 2021 should continue to keep a log of any lost time and will be able to submit a request for an extension within three months from their programme end date in order for you to better assess the length of extension required. For approved programme extensions of up to 6 months duration due to COVID-19, the University will waive any tuition fees due during the extended period. You can also apply for support for living costs during any approved extension period via the University’s Living Cost Support Fund.
Other PGRs with funding end dates beyond 31 March 2021: These PGRs should continue to keep a log of any lost time - you will be able to submit a request for an extension within three months from your programme end date in order for you to better assess the length of extension required. The extent to which any approved extensions will be funded is dependent on the terms and conditions of the funder. UKRI has committed to reviewing their position within four months of their 9 April announcement. The University will review its own policy along similar timelines.
What is happening with training and development workshops for PGR students?
Faculty training teams and the Library My Research Essentials team are moving to online delivery where possible – there may be some disruption to delivery while these arrangements are being put into place. PGRs who are still interested in participating in upcoming training and development courses are advised not to cancel face-to-face sessions, but wait to be contacted by the training organisers with details of how to access course materials / online webinars. If you have any further questions please contact the appropriate training provider:
- FSE Researcher Development
- Humanities Researcher Development
- FBMH Doctoral Academy Training Programme
- The Library – My Research Essentials
Can I get a laptop?
Due to the limited supply of loan equipment, we encourage everyone to use their own devices or the remote desktop service wherever possible. If you need help to do this please log a ticket in the Support Portal and request a call back. If no other device is available, you can request the loan of a University laptop by completing the ‘COVID19 – Request to be considered for a laptop’ form in the Support Portal (you'll need to login first). Please ensure that you get authorisation from your supervisor before submitting the request. Requests are subject to authorisation by your Faculty Leadership Team. As equipment is prioritised for essential workers during this period, we cannot guarantee that you will be provided with a University laptop.
The following new questions have been added to the PGR FAQ:
What Library services and resources can I access?
Some publishers are temporarily providing access to e-resources, including e-books, during the period of the COVID-19 outbreak. More information is available on the Library resources website. For information about other Library services that are available online please check the Library service availability page.
Can I apply for an interruption?
Yes, PGRs have always been able to apply for an interruption to their research - please follow the interruptions procedure for PGRs.
The following new question has been added to the Research FAQ:
Are EPSRC doctoral prize awardees eligible for an extension?
The University is liaising with EPSRC who are aware of the issue and currently working on developing policy. The EPRSC will be treating the Doctoral Prize fellows in line with the policy developed around research grants. Further information will be provided as soon as possible.