Coronavirus (COVID-19) funded extensions

Funded Extensions

The UKRI guidance (on which ESRC policy is based) for students affected by COVID19 is available at  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 policy 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 1 April 2024 and 30 September 2024. The deadline for applications is 11th January 2024.

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.
  3. Cohorts who started in the 21/22 academic year may be eligible for phase 3 support but would need to make a strong case for this. 

The COVID-19 funded extension scheme is specifically designed to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on your ability to complete your primary research to a doctoral level standard. If you contract COVID-19 or the pandemic has indirectly affected your health, you will need to apply for a period of sick leave rather than a COVID-19 extension. See our FAQs for more information.

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

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 11 January 2024, is for those LISS DTP students with a fund end date between 1st April 2024 and 30th September 2024.

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 17:00 on 11th January 2024.
  2. LISS DTP STUDENT – submit a revised plan (one-sided page) for completing your thesis to by 17:00 on 11th January 2024.
  3. SUPERVISOR – complete the Supervisor Supporting Statement form and return it to your PhD supervisee in time for them to submit their application before 17:00 on 11th January 2024. Supervisor Supporting Statements should be emailed to by 17:00 on 11th January 2024.
Whom should you approach with queries?

It is essential that you discuss your application with your supervisor. Your supervisor should provide a Supporting Statement (see point 3 under ‘How to Apply’, which you should submit to by the application deadline. If you and your supervisor have queries about the process, please send your queries to, and 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

  • 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 recognises 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?

We aim to confirm the outcome by email to students and their supervisors within of the application 3 weeks after the application deadline.

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.