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Funded COVID Extensions Policy

Introduction

The final deadline to apply for a Funded Covid Extension was 30 January 2022. Only if there is a significant reason why they were unable to meet this deadline, such as being on temporary withdrawal, or an exacerbating relevant disability, can a student now apply for a Funded Covid Extension. Missing the final deadline due to time management will not be accepted.

Eligibility

Where they demonstrate they cannot complete a doctoral-level thesis within their current funding period, due to research disruptions directly caused by the pandemic that cannot be mitigated against even with significant changes to the research project, eligible doctoral students can request further financial support. Approval is subject to sufficient funding being available and is not guaranteed. The focus is to provide additional time that a student requires to complete their revised doctoral research project, not to directly compensate for time lost. New cases for support must be increasingly exceptional.

To be eligible to apply for a funded Covid extension, doctoral students must:

  • Have a significant reason for missing the final deadline of 30 January 2022, such as being on temporary withdrawal or an exacerbating disability, and
  • Have a funding start date of before 4 October 2021 (funding start dates from July 2020 onwards are only considered in exceptional cases), and
  • Currently be funded by a UKRI training grant, University of Warwick, China Scholarship Council, or Wolfson Scholarship, and
  • Be within twelve months of the current funding end date (we recommend applying nine months prior to the current funding end date to allow sufficient time for decisions to be made and communicated), and
  • Have not submitted their thesis for examination, and
  • Have not already received the maximum Funded Covid Extension of six months, and
  • Have declared any/all additional sources of financial support provided, from any source, for the purpose of mitigating delays caused by the pandemic as part of their application.

Examples of Disruption

Examples of disruptions that may be covered (mitigation must have been attempted in all cases):

  • Lab and/or archive closures, delayed and/or disrupted fieldwork directly caused by the pandemic that has necessitated project redesign
  • Increased caring responsibilities directly caused by the pandemic

Examples of what cannot be covered:

  • Homeworking, unless there are significant additional exacerbating factors such as antisocial behaviour or pandemic-related caring
  • Disruptions without attempts at mitigation
  • Disruptions that are not related specifically to the pandemic
  • Travel for personal reasons, unless there are significant additional exacerbating factors such as the most severe local government restrictions or pandemic-related caring
  • Absence for medical reasons – please refer to the paid sick leave policy
  • Disruptions that have been successfully mitigated against to the point that a doctoral level thesis can be completed within the current funding period

+3 Month Exceptional Circumstances

Most funded extensions granted are up to three months in total. Only in the prescribed exceptional circumstances will requests for funded extensions totalling up to six months be considered. This will be balanced with a consideration of other factors, including the student’s current funding start and end dates.

  • A disability, neurodiversity, specific learning difference or long-term illness previously disclosed to Disability Services that significantly affects the student’s ability to adapt their disrupted research project.
  • Caring responsibilities directly resulting from the pandemic that significantly affect the student’s ability to adapt their disrupted 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. Examples include:
    • Total project redesign due to a collapsed collaboration with an integral partner organisation or continually unexpectedly unfeasible field- or lab-work
    • Long-term disrupted access to multiple specialist spaces of primary importance to the research project, spanning at least two academic departments or collaborators.

How to Request a Funded Covid Extension

How you request a funded Covid extension depends on your precise source of funding. Please select from the following options to see how to submit a request.

Further Guidance

Students who are funded by the following UKRI training grants should refer to their programme administration for access to additional financial support (any co-funding support must be requested from the partner organisation), noting that funding may be very limited and is not guaranteed.

Further Support

Students who are not able to study for medical reasons, including self-isolation or shielding due to the pandemic, should take paid sick leave. Requests may be backdated beyond 28 days in reasonable circumstances, determined on a case-by-case basis.

Further support for all students can be provided through the following routes: