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Funded COVID Extensions Policy

Current doctoral students should adapt and adjust research projects in consultation with their supervision teams to mitigate the delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and, where possible, complete their research to a doctoral standard within their original funding period. New students should develop their projects from the outset with any future restrictions and limitations in mind.

The focus of supporting funded COVID extensions is to provide additional time that a student requires to complete their revised doctoral research project.

All queries that are not answered by the information below should be sent by email to the Doctoral College using the subject “Funded COVID Extension”.

UKRI, University of Warwick and Wolfson Foundation Funded Students

Where a UKRI (including its Research Councils), University or Wolfson Foundation funded doctoral student demonstrates that they are unable to complete a doctoral-level thesis within their current funded period, even with significant changes to their research project, they have the opportunity to request a funded extension to their stipend.

Students should submit a single request when they are within 12 months of their current funding end date and can give a realistic timeline of the work still required for completion.

Requests for funded extensions of up to three months will be considered, restricted to the time needed to complete a PhD thesis of sufficient standard to pass examination.

In order to be eligible, the student must:

  • Be funded by a UKRI training grant, University of Warwick or Wolfson Scholarship, and
  • Have not submitted their thesis for examination, and
  • Have not already received the maximum funded COVID extension.

In exceptional circumstances and only where there is sufficient funding, requests for funded COVID extensions of up to a maximum six months will be considered, restricted to the time needed to complete a PhD thesis of sufficient standard to pass examination. Exceptional circumstances are limited to:

  • A disclosed disability, neurodiversity, specific learning difference or long-term illness that affects the student’s ability to adapt their research project.
  • Additional and ongoing caring responsibilities resulting from the COVID pandemic that affect the student’s ability to adapt their research project.
  • Specific, extraordinary and unavoidable disruptions that cannot be mitigated against by even significant changes to the research project, beyond disruptions due to University closures (March – July 2020), ongoing reduced capacity of workspaces, travel disruptions or remote working.

Applications will only be considered where a fully completed application form is submitted, following the guidance provided.

Should a student submit a request more than 12 months in advance of their current funding end date, only in the most exceptional circumstances will the panel consider it, otherwise the student will be asked to defer and reapply at a later date.

*NEW* If a student has received or will receive additional financial support relating to the COVID pandemic, including but not limited to the Wellcome Covid Relief for Health and Medical Research Projects Fund or department funding, they must disclose this to the panel and provide sufficient justification of why further stipendiary support is required.

Externally Funded Students

Doctoral students who are fully funded by an external sponsor other than UKRI or the Wolfson Foundation should refer any request for an extension to their funder via their academic department. Extensions must cover the costs of stipend at the same proportion as the overall studentship.

Doctoral students whose stipends are part-funded by UKRI or Warwick and an external partner must request additional support from their external partner through their CDT/DTP or department. Where an external partner is unable to provide financial support for the extension granted, Warwick will provide additional stipendiary support to the standard minimum UKRI rate only.

Self-funded and Unfunded Students

Students who are self-funded or unfunded are not able to apply for a funded COVID extension.

Other Support

Students who are unwell can take sick leave following the current policy.

Students who do not receive a funded extension can request an unfunded extension to their registration through Student Records Online when they are in the final three months of their current registration period. Requests of up to three months that relate to the COVID pandemic will usually be approved.

Any student experiencing exceptional financial hardship may seek support through the Hardship Fund. Applications from unfunded/self-funded students will be prioritised.

Covid Relief for Health and Medical Research Projects - Applications are invited from eligible postgraduate and early career researchers for funding to mitigate the effects of the current pandemic on their research activities. This funding call is available to anyone within the University, including the humanities and social sciences, providing their research falls under the general Health and Medicine remit of the Wellcome Trust. The deadline for applications is 1 July 2021. We strongly encourage all potential applicants to apply for this support if they are eligible. For PGRs, the funding can provide a stipend and/or consumables for up to four months to facilitate the completion of their thesis work only. It is expected that the PGR will be in the final stages of their PhD and priority will be given to students closer to writing up their thesis.

There is support available for incoming students who are required to pay for managed hotel quarantine because they’re travelling from a country on the UK Government’s red list to start or continue their studies in September 2021.