Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19) Information

Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19) Information

Dear Applicants, Students, Supervisors, and Partners,

The global pandemic is a continuously evolving situation and we recognise that you may have concerns related to your studentship(s) and research, as well as personal concerns for your health and wellbeing, and that of those close to you.

Our policies are based on the UK government’s advice to the education sector, and guidance from NERC/UKRI, and on the following principles:

  • Students and staff involved in ARIES activities (funded or otherwise supported by the consortium) should be able to follow advice to minimise infection without fear that they will be financially penalised.
  • Students funded by the ARIES DTP should receive appropriate advice and support to complete their PhD projects within the restrictions imposed by COVID-19.

The DTP Contingency Plan is being regularly updated and we have created a fund to support homeworking. Details of suitable spend and process can be found in our Small Purchase Protocol.

ARIES Policy for Funded Extensions

UKRI recognise that some studentships may experience significant disruption due to the global pandemic, and have published detailed guidance for those in receipt of UKRI funding.

All students with funding end dates prior to 31 March 2021 have now been awarded funded extensions according to their need.

For students with funding end dates after 31 March 2021, ARIES recognises that disruption to research may still be a significant concern. As part of tracking the impact COVID-19 is having on DTP research, we have compiled a DTP Risk Register which all students are asked to complete (with their Primary Supervisor’s input). This will help us determine the most at-risk areas of research within DTP cohorts

You can also access our latest DTP Policy On Funded Extensions. Please refer to this when considering your eligibility to apply for an extension to your PhD. Each request for an extension will be considered by the ARIES Executive Team on a case-by-case basis. As always with PhD extensions, please discuss with your Primary Supervisor in the first instance, and only request extra time if you urgently need it. We are keen to allocated our limited resources to those most in need.

Funding for Additional Research Costs Associated with the Pandemic

We recognise that in some cases there may be some additional unforeseen costs associated with disruption to research caused by the pandemic. For example, there may be additional costs associated with mandatory quarantine when undertaking fieldwork. In all cases, PGRs should complete and return the usual ARIES Financial Assistance Form and submit to the DTP. All requests will be considered on their own merit.

Illness caused by COVID

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.

Coronavirus Guidance from HEIs

University of East Anglia – Postgraduate Researcher-specific guidance / University-wide guidance

University of Essex – Postgraduate Researcher-specific guidance – Scroll down for link to download  ‘Advice and FAQs for Postgraduate Research Students (PGR Students) and Supervisors’

University of Kent – Postgraduate Researcher-specific guidance / University-wide guidance

University of Plymouth – Postgraduate Researcher-specific guidance / University-wide guidance

Royal Holloway University of London – Postgraduate Researcher-specific guidance / University-wide guidance