The UKRI awarded funding to the University to make available to students within the UKRI Covid-19 Phase 2 Doctoral Extensions scheme. The UKRI has advised that the final decision-making body for the allocation of this funding should be the University, rather than individual Training Grants. The University has therefore established a dedicated Governance Committee to oversee the allocation of funding, which will report to the University Postgraduate Committee. 

The Committee is responsible to ensure that the process for allocating the funding is open, fair and transparent and meets the guidance set out by the UKRI. The Committee has produced a Governance Plan for the allocation of funding which has been approved by UKRI.


Name Academic Role/Discipline Responsibility
Prof Graham Virgo Senior PVC Education Chair
Academic Representation
Dr Kristine Black Hawkins* Deputy Head of School Humanities and Social Sciences/Education Moderator for AHRC/ESRC
Dr Mattias Landgraf* Deputy Head of School (Graduate Strategy) Biological Sciences/Zoology Moderator for BBSRC/MRC
Dr Christopher Thomas PG Admissions Co-ordinator DAMPT Moderator for EPSRC/NERC/STFC
Dr Melanie Keene* Graduate Tutor (Homerton)/HPS College liaison
Other Representation
Dr Aastha Dahal**   President (Postgraduate) of the Cambridge Student Union
Ms Catherine Fage   Head of Student Operations
Ms Sally-Ann Gannon Grant Holder; Committee Secretary Head of Student Funding team
Ms Kerri Gardiner   Deputy Head of Education Quality & Policy (with special focus on PGR students)
Ms Eleanor Girt-Izod   Senior Disability Adviser, Disability Resource Centre
Dr Miriam Lynn   Senior Equality and Diversity Consultant;  Equality, Diversity and Inclusion section, HR
Penuel McCarthy   Internal Communications Manager

* indicates Members are also members of the University PG Committee

** Student Representatives will not be involved with the assessment of student applications but will contribute to policy and process discussions


Decision Making Process

  1. A student makes an application for a funding extension - January 2021 (first round) or June 2021 (second round)
  2. The application is considered by their Training Grant Holder, who makes a recommendation on the length of funding required and identifies priorities for support to the Governance Committee (February/July 2021).
  3. The Committee will conduct its review of applications in a way that ensures equality, diversity and inclusion is considered and supported. It will consider several factors including:
    • the number of extensions requested compared to the available funding,
    • the number of students in the priority groups identified by the UKRI (see application guidance),
    • the recommendation from Training Grant Holders alongside the full application submitted by students. Committee members with the relevant expertise will moderate between subject areas to ensure that recommendations have been made in a fair and consistent way across Training Grant Holders.
  4. The Committee will make the final decision about how to award funding on a needs-priority basis (as per the UKRI guidance). These decisions will be communicated to students by email by the end of March 2021/August 2021.
  5. The Committee Secretary will work with Training Grant Holders to ensure that students who have been awarded a funding extension by the Committee, receive additional stipend payment(s) at the appropriate time.

Appeals may be made against the decision of the Committee within 14 days of the outcome letter solely on the grounds that the University’s published applications and allocations processes have not been followed as set out in the Governance Plan. Appeals will be considered by an independent adjudicator and the Committee will accept the decision of the adjudicator.

The Committee approved an interim report (May 2021) at the conclusion of the first round of funding allocation. The final report of the Governance Committee was approved in February 2022.