Funded extension schemes
Extensions are additional periods of funded time that are added to your studentship, extending your award end date but not your final submission deadline. They recognise the fact that if you are undertaking activities such as an overseas institutional visits, difficult language training or an internship you will have less time during these periods to undertake your doctoral work.
We normally expect to be able to award a maximum of 13 weeks (56 days) worth of extension to each student. If you would like to undertake both an Internship and an Overseas Institutional Visit, for example, you should plan to divide the 56 days over the two schemes. Extensions for parental or sick leave, or for CV-19 mitigation are not subject to this restriction.
CV-19 Pandemic: If your planned extension activity (eg. Internship) has had to be cancelled or postponed due to the CV-19 pandemic, get in touch to discuss how to proceed with the Deputy Director for Training and Cohort Development. You will not lose the extension, but you may chose to repurpose it (eg. undertake an Internship instead of an OIV). Any such changes to plans must be approved by LISS DTP.
Applications are processed quarterly on the first working Monday of January, April, June and October. Decisions will take up to 2 weeks after this deadline. LISS DTP reserves the right to limit reviewing out-of-cycle review requests, students should plan appropriately and submit their application for funding within the quarterly review periods.
Internship or Secondment Extension
LISS encourages students to undertake internships in order to enhance their future career prospects and increase the impact of their research; however you should discuss a possible internship with your supervisor to ensure that it does not interfere with progress on your PhD. Internships enable students to develop a sharper sense of the wider relevance of their research as well as professional and transferrable workplace skills in line with the Vitae Researcher Development Framework. Placements may also build expertise in knowledge co-generation, where research questions, analytical frameworks and knowledge exchange processes are co-designed with academic and practitioner input.
There are three methods through which internships can be developed:
- devise your own internship, through your own initiative, supervisor or institutional support, or
- LISS DTP is informed of internship opportunities, often within major UK government departments, once to twice a year through various ESRC schemes and will advertise these as they are sent to us
- LISS DTP has a set of Research Assistant Internships giving students the opportunity to work on academic research projects at one of the three LISS institutions
If your internship is not arranged by LISS DTP, your application should also contain a confirmation letter from the host organisation that they have agreed to the internship. You should also check if any the host organisation has any indemnity or insurance requirements: your Careers Service will be able to advise on Host Agreements.
Some funding may be available to support additional travel costs. You will be expected to make use of your stipend payments to cover normal travel and accommodation costs.
Students may either interrupt their stipends in order to undertake an internship paid by the host organisation (externally funded internship); or receive a stipend extension of up to 13 weeks to undertake an internship funded by LISS DTP. In both cases, the internship must be approved by LISS DTP.
LISS Funded Internships:
Internship extensions can be for up to 13 weeks (65 days); this can be taken as a block or spread over a number of months on a part-time basis e.g. one or two days a week.
As your stipend will continue to be paid while you undertake the internship, this also means that you will be able to develop collaborative and networking opportunities with employers who might not otherwise be able to pay for your time. In addition to your stipend being paid during the internship, it will be extended by an equivalent period at the end of your original funding end date.
Some of the Masters degrees that 1+3 students undertake have an in-built internship or similar collaboration with an external partner. 1+3 students and their supervisors may also develop such collaborations on an ad hoc basis, for example, in the summer period between Masters and doctoral degrees. No extension is available for internships undertaken before the PhD portion of the studentship, but some financial support may be available. If you are interested in undertaking an internship during your Masters degree programme that is not already in-built into your programme, please consult with your supervisor and the Deputy Director, Training & Cohort Development.
Externally Funded Internship
If you are offered a full-time paid internship, secondment or consultancy, you will most likely need to suspend your studentship for its duration. A suspension involves stopping your studentship payments for the duration of the internship, and also delays your submission deadline. Full time ESRC funded students are allowed to undertake a small amount of paid work during their studentship, but this should not amount to more than 6hrs a week.
There is no rigid limit of the duration of time you may suspend for in this case, but the duration must be of sufficiently short duration that you and your supervisory team are confident it will not significantly disrupt your progress.
A suspension to undertake paid work must be justified as being relevant to your thesis or research training and career development. Suspension of studies requests can not be considered on the grounds of financial hardship.
Applications (other than for Research Assistant Internships) must be approved at least 3 months BEFORE the start date of the Internship, whether externally funded, or LISS DTP funded. Internship applications will be reviewed on the first working Monday of January, April, June and October each year.
Applications for Research Assistant Internships will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Although the 3 month notice period does not apply, students are encouraged to seek supervisor approval and put arrangements in place several weeks before the commencement of the internship.
If you have not received notification of outcomes within two weeks of the application review date, contact firstname.lastname@example.org . It may take a further 2 weeks to arrange payments or reimbursement. Queen Mary and Imperial students should contact their institutional LISS administrators (see Key Contacts table) about delays to payments or reimbursements. King’s students should contact email@example.com
You will be expected to submit a report at the end of your internship outlining how the experience has enhanced your understanding of wider significance of your research, your personal and professional skills and/or your understanding of knowledge co-generation. Additional stipend payments will not be added to your award until this report is received. In addition, you will be encouraged to develop other means of dissemination of your experience, e.g. a short film, to both the LISS DTP and a broader audience.
Overseas Institutional Visit (OIV) Extension
The purpose of the OIV scheme is to support and encourage the international engagement of ESRC funded students. The scheme funds an extension to the studentship of up to 13 weeks, plus some travel and subsistence costs, budget dependent ( £1500 for European destinations or £2500 for more distant destinations. Please note this only applies to OIV to be approved from June 2023 round. No retrospective increases.)).
Funds should be used to provide financial support and time for students to:
- undertake additional specialist research training not available in the UK
- develop language skills
- establish research links that will be beneficial to their current or future academic career
- disseminate early research career findings
- attend and participate in seminars where directly relevant to their research.
Restrictions and Eligibility
- Applications must be student-led
- Visits must be related to the completion of the student’s PhD and should not commence within the first three months of the studentship period. Visits taking place in the final year of the studentship must be completed at least three months before the end date of the award and prior to the extension period being implemented.
- Applicants must be from award holders in the +3 component of their studentship. Students in the initial masters year of a 1+3 award are not eligible.
- The purpose of the visits funded must not be for overseas fieldwork as this is supported through other mechanisms, but an OIV can be scheduled immediately before or after a period of fieldwork to save on travel costs.
- Visits can last for up to a maximum of 13 weeks, though LISS DTP can respond flexibly to the needs of the student.
- Visits must involve visiting a Higher Education institution, or an organisation with a substantive research office outside of the UK.
- Visits must not be undertaken if the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against visiting the country concerned.
Complete the application form available below. You are encouraged to discuss your OIV plans with the Deputy Director for Training and Cohort Development.
Applications must be approved at least 3 months BEFORE the start date of the OIV. OIV applications will be reviewed on the first working Monday of January, April, June and October each year. Decisions may take up to 2 weeks to announce, depending on volume of applications and it may take a further 2 weeks to arrange payment or reimbursement.
Note for Queen Mary students: The Queen Mary travel and expenses policy states that all travel and accommodation must be booked via KeyTravel. Please go to the KeyTravel website (https://www.keytravel.com/uk) for a quote to accompany your application and email it to the QMUL LISS Administrator firstname.lastname@example.org who will arrange the purchase of your travel/accommodation using the LISS budget code and raise a Purchase order number which you send to KeyTravel to confirm your booking.
If you have not received notification of outcomes within two weeks of the application review date, please contact email@example.com . Queen Mary and Imperial students should contact their institutional LISS administrators (see Key Contacts table) about delays to payments or reimbursements. King’s students should contact firstname.lastname@example.org Students will be expected to submit a report outlining the achievements of their OIV at the end of the visit before the additional stipend payments that comprise the extension will be approved.
Difficult Language Training Extension
Up to one extra year’s extra support may be considered if a student needs to acquire or develop working ability with a language in order to carry out fieldwork (including UK fieldwork) or other parts of their research; this is over and above the funded length of the studentship. Students following a pre-described Masters course are not eligible to apply during this training. Any anticipated language training should have been mentioned in the student’s application and project summary or be discussed with the Deputy Director, Training & Cohort Development as soon as possible upon commencing the studentship.
Language training extensions beyond six months will only be allowed if the student needs to spend an extended period of time overseas in order to obtain these language skills. If the student has already undertaken a pre-described Masters course, it is expected that some progress with language acquisition will have been made and therefore it is not expected that extensions beyond six months will be made. Extensions for language training do not automatically attract overseas fieldwork costs. Overseas fieldwork costs should only be considered alongside an extension where it is not possible to learn the language outside of the fieldwork site.
Please see Annex 3 p. 43 of ESRC funding guide for guidance on groupings of languages.
Quantitative Methods Teaching Preparation
It is an ESRC priority to help raise the quantitative skills of UK social science undergraduates and a need has been demonstrated to enthuse and train undergraduates in the use of quantitative methods. A key part of this will be to develop and train academic staff to design and deliver innovative quantitative methods training across the undergraduate curriculum. Providing doctoral students who are engaging with quantitative methods the opportunity to think, develop and deliver short training ‘courses’ around their particular interests will help build capacity in quantitative methods training and increase the employability of doctoral students if they enter the academic job market. For example, students may prepare their work into a publicly available training dataset with associated lab-based exercises. This would be particularly important in disciplines and subjects outside of economics and psychology where there is less availability of appropriately trained staff and good teaching examples and datasets.
To apply for this 3 month extension, students must be specialising in the application of advanced quantitative methods for their doctoral research and they must have completed the data analysis and/or data collection that is to form the basis of their proposal for the quantitative methods to extend their award.
An application for this extension can be found on the LISS DTP website below and should be submitted to the Deputy Director, Training & Cohort Development. Proposals should be submitted by the student and their supervisor which outline how the extension will be used to either develop skills or experience in quantitative methods teaching, or how they will contribute to quantitative methods provision within the student’s institution. The proposal should outline what hard output there will be at the end of the extension (eg. a new teaching dataset made publicly available, or a new short course), and should be accompanied by a supporting statement from the Director of the focal teaching programme.
Students will be expected to provide a short report at the end of their extension period to evidence how they have developed/implemented their quantitative teaching skills in order for the 3 additional months of funding to be granted.
I would strongly recommend the OIV Scheme to other students. An institutional visit is beneficial for developing expertise, exchanging ideas with scholars from another department, expanding research networks and setting up potential collaborations. A visit is also an excellent opportunity to disseminate early research findings and receive constructive feedback from diverse audiences.
As part of the LISS DTP Overseas Institutional Visit (OIV) scheme, I had the opportunity to travel to Australia between October and December 2022. I spent time in two leading addictions research centres in Australia (University of Queensland and the National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre based in the University of New South Wales), working with collaborators and sharing my PhD findings.
The OIV gave me an invaluable opportunity to discuss my research, plan my publications, learn more about research methodologies and research careers. I was also able to raise my research profile, make connections with international researchers, and set the groundwork for future collaborations post-PhD.
For a full report on the OIV please click here.