Annual Leave

ARIES-funded PGRs are entitled to a maximum of eight weeks’ annual leave per academic year (pro rata if you have a non-October start date). This includes bank holidays and mandatory Institutional Closure dates. Please note we do not expect our PGRs to work on bank holidays or during institutional closures and these days may not be taken in lieu at other times.

It’s important that you clarify the expectation of your own institution and host organisation if appropriate.

Stamina is important to get the most out of your PhD and opportunities within the DTP – it’s easy to get caught up in you research and training, and forget that maintaining a healthy body and mind will bring you better results and give you a better experience while you are studying with us. For this reason ARIES encourages all of our PGRs to take up the full opportunity of annual leave.

Booking annual leave does not involve the DTP, however – please talk to your supervisor and follow local guidance from your Doctoral College (and host organisation where relevant).

Medical Absence

ARIES-funded PGRs are entitled to up to 13 weeks paid Medical Absence, within any 12-month period in line with this policy can be found on the UKRI website.

Eligibility guidelines and full details of this scheme are available in the Medical Absence Policy

To request Medical Absence and commensurate extension of your studentship, please review the policy guidance given, and complete the Medical Absence Request Form. You will also need to follow local guidance from your Doctoral College and host organisation – ARIES is able to provide you with confirmation of funding and commensurate extension to aid this.

If you are ill due to COVID, there are some specific guidelines:

Sick leave:

  • you may not need a medical certificate to prove sickness caused by the pandemic
  • sick leave extensions aren’t limited to 13 weeks in length.

Find out more in the ‘student health and well-being’ section of UKRI’s guidance for doctoral students supported by UKRI (PDF, 147KB).


If you are shielding, and are not able to work from home, you can use your shielding letter to claim sick pay.