PLEASE READ: Coronavirus Update for PGR Students (16/03/2020)

by | Mar 16, 2020 | News | 0 comments

Dear Postgraduate Researcher,

We recognise this is a difficult time for all Postgraduate Researchers (PGRs) given the current disruptions and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the rapidly evolving national and international situation. The priority must be the health of PGRs and the people they care for. We will endeavour to make adjustments and take account of disruptions and more information will follow about deadlines and extensions where needed.  A frequently asked questions document is available for all students and will be updated regularly as the situation develops.

As it stands, as of 16 March 2020, the campus remains open.  If your local facilities are operational you should continue to undertake your research as normal. If you are unable to do this because facilities are not available, please inform your supervisor and local PGR support, Joanne Marsh, email: in the Graduate School Office. PGRs should follow local guidelines around attendance at seminar programmes and all teaching and training events will be delivered according to instructions from the course organiser.

PGRs should also start to prepare for the possibility of remote working including making sure any admin tasks are complete, making sure you have remote access to servers, and downloading data needed, but being mindful of compliance with GDPR and other regulatory requirements. Please also discuss with your supervisor tasks that can be reasonably completed whilst remote working. If your main supervisor is unavailable, please liaise with your supervisory team.

Some useful links around data management include:  

If you are a PGR on fieldwork or placement in a country where:

  • the UK Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Travel advice is against all but essential travel
  • the advice indicates that you should consider leaving
  • the advice is against all travel

please return to the UK or your home country.

All other PGRs are not required to leave, however if you wish to and are able to, please do so.  All future-dated fieldwork and placement activity should be postponed until further notice.   If you choose to leave your fieldwork or placement, please inform your supervisor and PGR team and they can advise further.

Where PGRs have already registered for conferences or events, and the events are still being run, you can continue to attend. PGRs should keep informed of any updates from event organisers in case events are cancelled or rescheduled. Where PGRs are considering attendance at future events, they should discuss this with their supervisor to assess whether it would be sensible to attend.  PGRs with Graduate Teaching Assistant and ResLife responsibilities should follow guidance issued to staff.

Whilst the campus remains open, electronic and hard bound thesis submission should continue as planned according to your submission deadline. Vivas can continue as normal, but consideration will be given as to whether it is appropriate for you and all members of the examination panel to travel depending on where they are coming from.  In all circumstances consideration should be given to undertaking the viva remotely (e.g. by skype).

PGRs with suspected novel coronavirus (COVID-19), or PGRs who are self-isolating must report their absence to  Please provide your name, PGR ID number and programme of study. Please also inform your supervisor and local PGR team. PGRs who think they may have symptoms of the coronavirus should call NHS 111 for advice.  If you are unable to work remotely due to caring responsibilities, and your usual care arrangements are unavailable due to corona virus, please keep your supervisor and local PGR team informed.

We are aware that some home governments are recalling their students or wish their students to return to their home country immediately.  If this is the case, we will use our best endeavours to support any PGR who is unable to remain for whatever reason.   International PGRs on a Tier 4 visa should liaise with their local PGR support team to complete a change of circumstances forms / interruption form in order that the sponsorship remains up to date.  This is to ensure there are no issues from a visa perspective.  Ultimately it is your decision whether you remain in the UK or decide to return home.

As we’re sure you understand the situation is changing rapidly and we will continue to keep you informed through this route and any updates can also be found on the frequently asked questions document.

Melissa Westwood (Associate Vice President for Research)

Jeffrey Penny (Associate Dean for Postgraduate Research, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health)

Sarah Heath (Associate Dean for Postgraduate Research, Faculty of Science and Engineering)

Stuart Jones (Associate Dean for Postgraduate Research, Faculty of Humanities)


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *