Support for UKRI- funded students affected by Covid-19
This page sets out how eligible UKRI-funded students at the University of Cambridge can apply for a funded extension from UKRI’s Covid-19 Phase 2 Doctoral Extensions Grant.
Please note that students who have already received a funded extension directly from their training grant holder under UKRI’s Phase 1 allocation or from funds redirected to Covid support are not eligible to apply for an extension from the Phase 2 grant.
Please note that EU students holding a UKRI ‘fees only’ award are not eligible to apply as the Phase 2 scheme is for extensions to UKRI stipend only. See notes below.
The information provided below is intended as an overview and students are advised to read the UKRI Covid-19 Phase 2 Doctoral Funding Extensions Application Guidance for Students carefully, in addition to the information provided on this webpage.
Am I eligible?
UKRI has advised that students should consider adapting their project and mitigating the impact of Covid-19 disruption before requesting a Covid-19-related extension.
If you haven’t already, talk to your supervisor about ways to do this. Adapting could involve:
- changing your research question
- changing your approach to data collection
- changing your analyses and the tools you use
- rescheduling aspects of your research
If you are unable to adapt your project sufficiently to complete your doctoral research in your existing funding period, then you can apply for a funded extension of up to three months under the ‘Phase 2’ scheme.
You will be eligible to apply for ‘Phase 2’ funding if:
- You are a registered doctoral student at the University of Cambridge (including if you are studying at a different University by agreement with your Cambridge UKRI training grant holder).
- Your funding start date is before 1 March 2020
- Your funding end date is after 31 March 2021.
- You have not yet submitted your thesis (soft bound).
- You have not already received extended funding from your training grant holder, either as part of UKRI’s initial allocation (known as ‘Phase 1’) or from funds redirected to Covid support – check with your training grant holder if you are not sure
- You have a full award including stipend, where the stipend is either fully or partly provided by UKRI.
- You have tried, and continue to try, to adapt and adjust your research project in order to mitigate the disruption caused by Covid-19, but you will be unable to complete your doctoral research within the funded period.
Please contact your training grant holder if you have any questions regarding your eligibility. By ‘training grant holder’ we mean your DTP, CDT (in some cases this might be a lead in your Department/Faculty) or the Principal Investigator of the UKRI research grant that funds your studentship.
How do I apply?
Applications open on Monday 11 January 2021 and should be submitted via the online application portal.
- You will be asked to log in to access the online application portal which uses the University’s Microsoft Office 365 tenancy – please ensure you use your CRSid@cam.ac.uk email address and Raven password to log in.
- If you have forgotten your Raven password please visit: https://help.uis.cam.ac.uk/service/accounts-passwords .
- If you are already signed into an alternative Microsoft Office 365 account on your device
(which did not require your Raven credentials in order to sign in), you will need to sign out of this account and clear your cache in order to access the portal.
- You should select the application form link for the UKRI Research Council you are funded by – you are strongly encouraged to check you can access the portal and the relevant online application form without any problems well before the deadline. If you have any problems with access please email: UKRICovid19extensions@admin.cam.ac.uk.
- As part of the application process, you will be asked to upload a statement of support from your supervisor and you also have the opportunity to upload a statement of support relating to your personal circumstances, should you wish (further information is provided below). If you experience any difficulties uploading a statement, you might need to change to a different browser.
- The online application form comprises several sections and it is not possible to partially complete the form, save it, and return to it later; you will need to complete and submit in a single session. The questions asked on the application form are included for reference as an appendix to the UKRI Covid-19 Phase 2 Doctoral Funding Extensions Application Guidance for Students and you are strongly encouraged to draft your answers in advance before completing the form.
- As part of the application process, you are asked to share the planned content of your application with your supervisor and ask them to provide a statement (of up to 400 words) in an email, outlining the academic reasons for supporting your application. Supervisors are not limited to commenting solely on academic matters – if they are aware of your personal circumstances they may also comment on these and make both an academic and personal case for support. You will need to have this statement ready in advance of submitting your application (with the email saved as a pdf document). If your supervisor has not yet received a letter of guidance about this process, a copy of the letter is provided under ‘Further information’ below so you can direct them to this.
- As part of your application, you will be asked to provide a statement describing the impact Covid-19 has had on your ability to complete your research as originally planned within your funded period. If you would prefer that this statement is not shared with your training grant holder you have the option to submit it directly to the central Committee that will be making the final decisions on funding allocations. Please complete the ‘Funding extension request statement’ proforma and email it to: UKRICovid19extensions@admin.cam.ac.uk by the application deadline. Please note that you must still complete and submit the other sections of the online application form.
- You also have the option to obtain a statement of support (of up to 400 words) relating to your personal circumstances and include it with your application. You are free to decide who provides this statement but you might wish to consider approaching your College Graduate Tutor, your College Nurse, or your DRC Mentor (if applicable). As with the supervisor statement, please request that this statement is sent to you in the body of an email and you must have it ready in advance of submitting your application (with the email saved as a pdf document). If you do not want this statement of support to be shared with your training grant holder, you may submit it directly to the Student Funding Team: UKRICovid19extensions@admin.cam.ac.uk so that it can be considered by the final decision-making Committee.
What is the deadline for submitting an application?
The deadline for submitting applications is midday (12.00 UK time) on Monday 1 February 2021.
How will the applications be assessed and who will decide how the funded extensions are allocated?
The University has set up a dedicated central decision-making Committee (known as the University Governance Committee Phase 2 or GCP2), reporting to the Postgraduate Committee, to oversee the allocation of UKRI funded extensions under ‘Phase 2’. To ensure that it will be able to take decisions in the fairest possible way, the Committee will include representation from different academic disciplines and from the University’s disability and inclusion support services - further information about the Committee is available here.
In the first instance, training grant holders will be asked to review their students’ applications and make recommendations to the central Committee. The central Committee will then moderate the recommendations to ensure they have been made in a consistent way and decide how the funded extensions should be allocated.
When will I be notified of the outcome?
All applicants will be advised of the outcome of their application by email in the week commencing 29 March 2021.
Can I appeal the final decision?
UKRI has advised that the University should allow appeals solely on the grounds that the University’s published applications and allocations processes have not been followed. You may appeal on this basis. Appeals cannot be made by students who are ineligible to apply for the UKRI’s Covid-19 Phase 2 Doctoral Extensions Grant according to the eligibility criteria set out by the UKRI.
The ‘UKRI Covid-19 Phase 2 Doctoral Funding Extensions Appeals process and form’ provides information on how you can appeal.
Who do I contact with questions?
- If you have a question regarding matters such as eligibility or other sources of support, please contact your training grant holder.
- If you are having problems accessing the online application form, please email the University Student Funding team: UKRICovid19extensions@admin.cam.ac.uk.
- UKRI’s full guidance on the Covid-19 Phase 2 Doctoral Extensions Grant
- UKRI’s email to UKRI-funded doctoral students (dated 11 November 2020)
- The University of Cambridge’s letter to UKRI-funded doctoral students (dated 7 December 2020)
- Letter of guidance for supervisors of UKRI funded doctoral students eligible to apply for a Phase 2 Doctoral funding extension in January 2021