COVID-19 extensions

We realise that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP students, and we are keen to support our award holders to submit a high quality thesis.

UKRI expects award holders to do everything possible to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and lockdown on their research by working with their supervisors to adapt and adjust their projects so that they can complete a doctoral-level thesis within their existing period of funding. UKRI does however allow DTPs to provide short extensions to award holders most affected by the pandemic. This is being called ‘Phase 3’ of UKRI support.

UKRI has published a number of statements regarding its approach to the coronavirus pandemic. This guidance is made on behalf of all of the Research Councils that form UKRI, and so represents the AHRC’s advice on the subject to date. Please see the UKRI website: https://www.ukri.org/our-work/tackling-the-impact-of-covid-19/guidance-for-applicants-and-awardholders-impacted-by-the-pandemic/

As an OOC DTP-funded student, we encourage you to review this information, which continues to be updated regularly. It should be read in conjunction with guidance issued by your university and by the OOC DTP.

Framework for 'Phase 3' of UKRI Support

Under this phase of UKRI support, limited extensions may be granted where efforts to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and lockdown cannot ensure submission of a doctoral-level thesis within the existing period of funding. It might be that your amended research plans have themselves been limited by the pandemic, while further adjustments would jeopardize the doctoral standing of the project or necessitate its abandonment. It might be that adaptations made to avert major delays require more time than currently available to you.

The DTP cannot grant extensions solely on the basis of ‘time lost’ to the effects of the pandemic. Rather, applications should explain why the pandemic has prevented or endangered the completion of the thesis. They should also, if appropriate, make clear why existing or planned mitigations are not been sufficient to ensure timely submission.

Extensions will be granted only to enable students to complete their doctoral work. Extensions will not be approved for any other reason, for example, to provide additional resources to carry out research beyond doctoral work or to fund time for writing papers.

Extensions will be awarded for a period of weeks or months and will normally be limited to 3 months.

You may be eligible for an extension to the AHRC portion of your Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP studentship and submission deadline, if,

  • You are currently in receipt of an OOC AHRC DTP studentship;
  • You have not yet submitted your thesis;
  • Your OOC DTP studentship funding commenced in the 2019/20 or 2020/21 academic year and has not yet come to an end;
  • Progress with your research has been significantly limited by the pandemic and ongoing restrictions;
  • 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 submit a thesis of doctoral standing within the funded period.

Note:

  • If you have previously received a COVID-19 extension from the DTP or your university you remain eligible to apply, but you will need to make a case for why a further extension is required.
  • You should not use the COVID-19 Phase 3 extensions process for support to cover time lost to your own ill health, resulting from or exacerbated by COVID-19 and/or the effects of the pandemic. This is covered by the UKRI policy for paid sick leave. Please contact the DTP Manager if you are unsure about how to apply for this (manager@oocdtp.ac.uk).

Full award holders

If you are in receipt of a full award from the DTP, your studentship is co-funded by the AHRC and another scholarship organised by your home university (on a 2/3 to 1/3 basis). The DTP may only grant extensions to your university fees (if liable), the AHRC portion of your stipend and to your AHRC submission deadline.

The DTP will assess your needs, in relation to which it will approve an extension to the AHRC portion of your studentship (university fees and stipend) and to your AHRC submission deadline. It will then pass its recommendation to your home university, which will seek to confirm whether your institutional co-funder is able to match the DTP’s recommended extension. The DTP cannot assure co-funder support.

Fees-only award holders

If you are in receipt of a fees-only award from the OOC DTP (with an institutional scholarship paying your full stipend), the DTP may only grant an extension to your university fees (if liable) and your AHRC submission deadline.

You are however encouraged to apply to the DTP for an extension if required. The DTP will assess your needs, in relation to which it will approve an extension to the AHRC portion of your studentship (university fees) and to your AHRC submission deadline. It will then pass its recommendation to your home university, which will seek to confirm whether an institutional co-funder is able to match the DTP’s recommended extension in relation to your stipend. The DTP cannot assure co-funder support.

Alternatively, if you have secured an extension to your institutional scholarship or an alternative source of funding for your living costs, please let us know on manager@oocdtp.ac.uk, as we may be able to update your AHRC submission deadline to match your funding.

    Applications will be considered four times a year. Please submit by the deadline that relates to your current award end date, which will allow the DTP panel to assess your application when you are approximately 6 months from your award end date (taking into account any previous extensions, suspensions, sick leave etc.), as per UKRI guidance. If you are unsure of your current OOC DTP award end date, please get in touch with the DTP Manager (manager@oocdtp.ac.uk).

     

    Table detailing application deadlines
    Current award end date Deadline for application Outcomes anticipated by
    1 Jan - 31 Mar 2023 Monday 12 Sep 2022 Wednesday 19 Oct 2022
    1 Apr - 31 Jul 2023 Monday 7 Nov 2022 Wednesday 14 Dec 2022
    1 Aug - 31 Oct 2023 Monday 6 Mar 2023 Wednesday 12 Apr 2023
    1 Nov - 31 Dec 2023 Monday 5 Jun 2023 Wednesday 12 Jul 2023

     

    Please complete the OOC DTP C19 Extension Application Form in consultation with your supervisor. Once complete, please email to manager@oocdtp.ac.uk, cc-ing to your primary supervisor. Awards will be made subject to approval by your supervisor and institution.

    Applications will be assessed by members of the OOC DTP Management Board according to two considerations, priority and severity. The priority consideration relates to the nature and urgency of the need for an extension.

    Priority: During assessment, applications will be assigned to one of the following priority groups. 
    Priority 1 Applications from students who have had particular difficulty in adapting their research projects sufficiently due to disability, long-term illness, neurodivergency or caring responsibilities, and students with an imminent funding end date. 
    Priority 2 Applications from students who have tried to make adaptations and mitigations, but who, owing to the nature of their research, will unavoidably need longer to complete (for example those who lacked access to research facilities when libraries or labs were closed, or who could not undertake fieldwork). This group will be further prioritised by urgency (i.e. proximity of the applicant’s funding end date).
    Priority 3 Applications from students whose research is of a nature that should be amenable to adaptations and mitigations which would allow their project to be completed within the funding period.
    Severity: During assessment, applications will be judged on the following scale of severity, reflecting the degree of difficulty in adapting the project for completion within the funded period. 
    Severe Applications from students who will not be able to complete within the original funded period despite reasonable adaptations, and who require an extension in excess of three months. 
    High Applications from students who will find it very difficult to complete within the original funded period despite reasonable adaptations, and who require an extension of three months.
    Moderate Applications from students who will find it difficult to complete within the original funded period despite reasonable adaptations, and who require an extension of two months. 
    Low Applications from students who should be able to adapt their projects so that they can almost achieve completion within the original funded period, but who require a one-month extension.
    None Applications from students who should be able to adapt their projects so that they can achieve completion within the original funded period, and who should not require any extension.