UKRI & COVID-19 Extensions

by | May 1, 2020 | NWCDTP | 0 comments

Please find below guidance on how UKRI and the NWCDTP are responding to COVID-19. The guidance depends on your stage of funding, judged by your current studentship funding end date (including any prior suspensions/extensions that have moved your original studentship end date). If you are not sure what your current studentship funding end date is, please contact your nominated administrative contact (add Hyperlink to list of contacts).

PhD Students in the Third Year of Funding

Students whose studentship funding end date is between 1st March 2020 and 31st March 2021, who have not submitted their doctoral thesis and whose work has been affected by the pandemic are eligible to apply for an extension. UKRI will be providing the NWCDTP with additional funding to facilitate this.

UKRI have been clear that this will not be an automatically applied extension. Students will be asked to prepare in consultation with their supervisors a short description (up to half a page) of the case for their extension, including how you and your research have been affected by the pandemic, and the additional time you think you will need (up to a maximum of six months) to complete your doctoral work.

Your home institutions will coordinate this review process, with oversight from the NWCDTP. Your Institution will send you a form and give you instructions about where to submit it. Extension requests need to submitted to UKRI by 29th May. While you are waiting to be contacted, please start discussing your statement with your supervisor.

Some of our Institutions are involved in several DTP/CDTs, so they may send you a form they have created, while other may use a form with the NWCDTP logo on it. Please be reassured that all forms will have the same information and Institutions will follow the UKRI guidelines in assessing the applications.

If you do not receive instructions from your university by the 8th May, please contact your nominated administrative contact (see below).

Your case for extension will be reviewed by an institutional panel, involving NWCDTP scrutiny, and a recommendation then made to the AHRC who will make the final decisions.

For fees-only students, the extension will only cover fees. For part-time students, the time scales and payments will be adjusted accordingly.

Should discussions with supervisors indicate that you do not require the full six months to complete you research programme, partial awards covering a reduced extension can be requested. You do not have to request the full six months.

This funding is only to enable students to complete their doctoral work. It should not be used, for example, to provide additional resources to carry out more research beyond doctoral work or time for writing papers once doctoral work is complete. If students ultimately submit their thesis before or during the period of the extension, in line with current UKRI Training Grant Terms and Conditions, they will receive funding for the remaining quarter and then payment will cease.

PhD Students in the First or Second Years of Funding

This covers students whose studentship funding end date is after the 31st March 2021 and whose work has been affected by the pandemic.

UKRI has stated that extensions for students whose current funding ends on or after 1st April 2021 may be granted on a case-by-case basis. We are currently discussing a process for requesting extensions. As suggested by UKRI, we think it may be appropriate to delay formal decisions on what length of extension is appropriate until the full impact is better known.

We will communicate further with you in the coming months to explain the process. Please be reassured that you will be able to apply for extensions.

As previously mentioned, you should keep a record of any impact you feel COVID-19 is having on your progress (be that due to caring responsibilities, illness, including mental health, or delays to research-related activity) and work with your supervisors to consider revisions to your workplan to mitigate the disruption, when possible.

PhD Students Whose Studentships Have Ended

PhD candidates whose studentship funding end date was before 1st March 2020 are not entitled to request a funded extension. However, no cost extensions to your submission date can be requested and you should follow your institution’s processes and policies on this.

Thank you all very much for your patience during this time. If you have any queries regarding the above, contact Please bear in mind that the NWCDTP Team is also being impacted by the repercussions of COVID-19, potentially resulting in some delays in response, and we will get back to queries as soon as we are able.


Keele University
Lancaster University
University of Liverpool
University of Manchester 
University of Salford