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Updated PGR FAQs: Funded extensions, annual reviews

09 Jun 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

We have made a number of updates to the coronavirus FAQ for postgraduate researchers.

Updated answer to Will I still need to do my annual review/continuation review?

Yes, the University feels it is important to keep the scheduled reviews in place. This provides an opportunity for you to consider your progress over the last year, discuss any impact that COVID-19 has had on your research and agree any further support that may be required during the next progression period.

Supervisors and reviewers will take into account the extent of any disruption caused to your planned programme of work - the review will focus on providing constructive feedback rather than a judgement on your progress. Where there are progression issues unrelated to the disruption caused by COVID-19, normal policy will be followed. 

The review should be completed remotely using (for example) Zoom or Skype.

Additional information added to Can I apply for a funded extension to my research?

Prior to making an extension request, all PGRs should first discuss with their supervisor / supervisory team whether an extension is required in order to bring their work to completion at doctoral standard. PGRs and supervisors should bear in mind the intellectual and practical competencies expected of doctoral candidates, as set out by the QAA doctoral characteristics document. hese emphasise that doctoral degrees should be awarded based on the quality of the work rather than the quantity of the research undertaken.

In some cases PGRs may have already met the required doctoral standard, without having to complete all of the work originally planned. Alternatively these competencies could be met by adjusting the original research question, or by re-scoping the project in order to address the topic by undertaking research remotely. For examples, see the Rescoping PhD projects in response to COVID-19 impact: Guidance for Supervisors.

More information