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UKRI-funded final-year PhDs to get six-month grant extension

Doctoral students whose research has been disrupted by Covid-19 will get extra support, funder says

Final-year PhD students funded by UK Research and Innovation will be provided with additional support if their studies have been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the funder.

Students whose courses are due to be completed by 31 March 2021 will get an extension to their research with additional grants of up to six months, said UKRI on 9 April.

“We are committed to investing in the future of our world-leading science and research community,” said science minister Amanda Solloway.

“The extra six months study funding…will give students who have spent years on their research, and who in some cases are helping in the fight against coronavirus, certainty that they will be able to complete their courses in spite of the disruption caused by this outbreak.”

UKRI said it would provide further detailed guidance “as soon as possible” and that it would review the extension in four months’ time.

Duncan Wingham, executive chair of UKRI’s Natural Environment Research Council, said: “We know the Covid-19 pandemic has led to major interruptions to research and innovation and we appreciate that many of the doctoral students we support are concerned about completing their studies.”

“We will continue to work with government, and with the universities, research organisations and businesses we support to identify and understand issues and to help provide further support where we can.”