Handbook and Forms

Handbook and Forms

Training Needs Assessments

TNAs are an essential part of an ARIES PhD and offer the chance to stop, take stock, and make plans for the coming year and beyond. We expect that ARIES students will make this assessment five times during their studentship:

Year 1 | By mid-November | ARIES Initial TNA Form 2021

Year 1, 2, 3 & 4 | April-June* | ARIES Continuing TNA

*The TNA should be undertaken as an integral part of formal progress review meetings, which usually take place within this time-frame. ARIES will impose an annual deadline for the return of Continuing TNA forms, usually in late June or early July, but will be flexible as far as reasonably possible for part-time students, January starters, and others who may have become ‘out of sync’ with this annual cycle for other reasons.

ARIES students are required to submit written work as required by their department of registration, even if this is optional, and will be asked to confirm this submission as part of the TNA process.

Students will only be excused under exceptional circumstances and you must complete the online form for approval at least one calendar month prior to the event.


Student/Staff Expenses –

Expense claims made against ARIES budgets are subject to this guidance as to how much is considered ‘reasonable’ to claim for various categories.

All claim forms must be completed electronically, signed, and emailed to aries.dtp@uea.ac.uk, and MUST be accompanied by all relevant receipts/tickets.

When you open the expense forms below in Excel, you may need to enable macros when prompted for the form to function properly. We suggest converting the forms to PDF before submitting to ensure that details are not lost. Well-ordered claims are much appreciated (such that items listed in the expense form can easily be matched to the receipts etc provided).

Financial Assistance Form

If you are an ARIES-funded student you have a budget of up to £2,500 over and above the RTSG. These funds can only be used within your funded period (3.5 years in most cases). Please read the guidance in the ARIES Handbook 2019 20 (pps 19-20) where you will find details of the kinds of activities for which you can use these funds.

Examples include:
• visiting co-supervisors at another institute in the UK
• essential training courses at partner institutes or elsewhere, where costs are not covered by a bursary
• specialist training courses (you will usually need to show that the need for this training was noted in a previous Training Needs Assessment)
• presenting your work at an international conference or similar event.

Expenses up to £500 for a particular activity can be claimed by completing an expenses form together with receipts (see above). For activities costing £500 or more you must submit a Financial Assistance Form for consideration by senior DTP staff in advance of any expenditure.

If your request is approved you can then submit an expense claim in the usual way once expenses have been incurred.

  • Download the Financial Assistance Form [docx][PDF]

Medical Absence

ARIES-funded students 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.

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.

Annual Reports

Each year we file a report to NERC, and to ensure that we report as fully as possible, we will ask our students for information about their activities in the last 12 months. This request will usually be made via an online form, sent out in June or July each year.

Please note for 2020/21 this report has been delayed until the Autumn

Funder Acknowledgement and Logos

‘This work was supported by the Natural Environment Research Council and the ARIES Doctoral Training Partnership [grant number NE/S007334/1]’

ARIES-funded students must acknowledge NERC and ARIES in any outputs arising from the studentship (including papers and posters, but also images, video, etc). Acknowledgements should take the above form.

Download the ARIES logo for use on posters, presentations, email signatures, and in videos/photos, etc, as follows:

JPG (digital only): Colour | Black

PNG (digital only): Colour | Black | White 

EPS files for printing (in Colour: RGB, CMYK or Pantone; Black; or White) are also available. Request these by emailing aries.dtp@uea.ac.uk

n.b. NERC logos and guidance on their use can be downloaded from their website.