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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. Students who are unwell should take sick leave.

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, China Scholarship Council and Wolfson Foundation Funded Students

Where a UKRI training grant, University (including central, department and philanthropic donation), China Scholarship Council or Wolfson Foundation funded doctoral student demonstrates that they are unable to complete a doctoral-level thesis within their current funded period, including after making significant changes to their research project, they can apply for a funded extension to their stipend and registration period.

The final deadline all eligible students is 30 January 2022.

To be eligible to apply for a Funded COVID Extension, doctoral students must:

  • Have a funding start date of before 4 October 2021, and
  • Currently be funded by a UKRI training grant, University of Warwick (including department and centrally funded scholarships), China Scholarship Council, or Wolfson Scholarship, and
  • Have not submitted their thesis for examination, and
  • Have not already received the maximum funded COVID extension of six months.

We anticipate most funded extensions granted will be up to three months in total. Only in the following exceptional circumstances will funded extensions totalling up to six months be considered:

  • A disability, neurodiversity, specific learning difference or long-term illness previously disclosed to Disability Services 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.

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 whose stipends are fully funded by an external sponsor other than China Scholarship Council, 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.

Further Support

After the final deadline of 30 January 2022 has passed, students will be able to access limited financial support. However, cases for support will need to be increasingly exceptional.

  • UKRI funded students should refer to their CDT or training programme (EPSRC DTP funded students should refer to the Doctoral College).
  • Warwick funded students (including central scholarships, department scholarships and the Wolfson Foundation) should refer to the Doctoral College

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

Students 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.

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.