Coronavirus (COVID-19) Funded Extensions

The UKRI guidance (on which ESRC policy is based) for students affected by COVID19 is available at https://www.ukri.org/news/coronavirus-impact-on-ukri-supported-research/#Training%20grants under ‘Students and Training Grants’. UKRI published further guidance in March 2021 on Action to Support Doctoral Students Affected by COVID-19.

The LISS DTP has implemented an application process (referred to as ‘Phase 3’) in line with UKRI’s recent update to further support doctoral students affected by COVID-19, to support funded extensions for students. Applications will be considered in six-month periods, the LISS DTP will contact students and their supervisors within 6 months of their funding end date to invite them to submit a funded extension request.

This current round of applications is for students with a funding end date between 1st April 2022 and 30th September 2022. The deadline for applications is 10th January 2022.

 

Who is eligible? 

  1. All UKRI funded students whose research has been impacted by COVID-19 and who are unable to mitigate the impact or adjust their projects to complete on time, and
  2. In exceptional circumstances further requests from students who had an earlier request turned down or who have already received an extension under Phase 1 or Phase 2.

 

What support is available?

The majority of extension requests are expected to be for up to 3 months of UKRI support, but longer extensions can be considered where exceptional circumstances apply, and funds are available.

 

How to apply

Here is the link to the online form that you need to complete.

Applications will be considered in six-month periods, the LISS DTP will contact students and supervisors who are eligible in the upcoming round. This round of applications, with a deadline of 10 January 2022, is for those LISS DTP students with a fund end date between 1st April 2022 and 30th September 2022.

Please follow the guidance on the online application form, ensuring that all the information requested is provided.

  1. LISS DTP STUDENT –  complete the online application form form by 12:00 (midday) on 10 January 2022.
  2. LISS DTP STUDENT – submit a revised plan (one-sided page) for completing your thesis to liss-dtp@kcl.ac.ukby 12:00 (midday) on 10 January 2022.
  3. SUPERVISOR – complete the Supervisor Supporting Statement form and return it to your PhD supervisee in time for them to submit their online application before 12:00 (midday) 10 January 2022.

 

Whom should you approach with queries?

It is essential that you discuss your application with your supervisor. Your supervisor should provide a Supporting Statement, which you should upload with the online application form and submit a copy to liss-dtp@kcl.ac.uk. If you and your supervisor have queries about the process, please send your queries to liss-dtp@kcl.ac.uk, and relevant colleagues in the team will help.

 

How will the application be assessed?

All applications will be evaluated based on UKRI guidance by a panel chaired by the LISS DTP Director [https://www.ukri.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/UKRI-240321-PolicyStatementFinal.pdf]:

  • The priority remains for students to adapt and adjust research projects to mitigate the delays caused by COVID-19, where possible, to complete their research to a doctoral standard within their original funded period.
  • New students should develop their projects from the outset with any future restrictions and limitations in mind.
  • The focus of supporting extensions is to provide the additional time an individual student requires to complete their revised doctoral research project.
  • All UKRI-funded students are treated fairly, using an inclusive process that recognizes the impact of the pandemic on individual personal circumstances of students.
  • Costs can only be provided by UKRI for stipend (or equivalent) and fees at the agreed UKRI contribution level – costs cannot be used to cover the extension of co-funding from non-UKRI sources, including institutional sponsors or the public, private or voluntary sectors.

 

When and how you will the LISS DTP notify you of the outcome of your application? 

A student and their supervisor will receive an email with a confirmation of the award within 2 weeks after thereviewing panel have met to consider applications..

 

What will happen to my Submission Date if awarded a COVID-19 related funded extension?
Your submission date will normally move forward in line with any extension to your funding end date unless you have already been granted a COVID-19 related extension to your submission date.  (All KCL students registered in 2019/20 were awarded a three-month extension to their submission date.) Please note however that processes across institutions vary, and you should check with your home institution about changes to your submission date following any extensions to your funding end date.

 

How are COVID-19 related extensions funded?

Any extensions granted by the DTP are funded from its existing Training Grant, approval is dependent on the DTP budget overall as well as the justification provided in the application.  Many students are funded partly by the ESRC and partly by their home institution.  Funding extensions approved by LISS will cover only the ESRC portion of a student’s funding.  If LISS approves your application it will ask home institutions to provide their portion, but contribution from the home institution cannot be guaranteed.

 

Is a COVID-19 funded extension the correct option for me?

Please note that the reviewing panel may assess that your application for a COVID-19 funded extension is not the correct route. Where this is the case we will direct you to other sources for support, in many cases we may advise that where a student is experiencing a significant health issue that we advise them to apply for funded sick leave. UKRI is treating sick leave caused or exaggerated by the pandemic differently to UKRI’s normal sick leave policy. In summary, if you are ill for more than 1 month but less than 28 weeks in any 12-month period, you can apply for an extension to your stipend for up to 28 weeks, additionally the studentship would be extended by a commensurate period.  Should you wish to choose this option, please submit a request for Interruption of Studies (IoS) using to liss-dtp@kcl.ac.uk, referencing UKRI CV19 policy for sick leave and requesting up to 6 months IoS.