Coronavirus – Important Message for PGT Students from the Dean of the Graduate School

Dear Postgraduate Students,

I would like to pass on some advice and information in relation to impacts resulting from Coronavirus. Whilst we might all feel alone in the face of this pandemic, please remember that we can and should work together to overcome it. If the Graduate School specifically can help with anything that your module or programme convenor or School/Centre cannot, please do ask. We might not be in the office but we are still very much at work.

You will find general advice and information from the university here as well as on the government’s webpages. Do follow these regularly as they are frequently updated. Below are some reflections on issues which you might be facing.

  1. If you anticipate that the nature of your research methods or process for your dissertation or a special project are being severely affected by the current situation (eg unable to meet specific groups, visit an archive, unable to travel etc) please discuss this with your dissertation supervisor in the first instance. They will be able to help you adjust/rethink your approach and make appropriate changes. If it is getting late in the progress of your research to make significant alterations, then be honest and open about any such limitations in your thesis. Those examining you will be understanding, but they can only be so if you make this explicit in your writing. Give serious thought to moving away from using person-to person evidence in the short and possibly longer-term towards deploying other safer or virtual modes of data collection where feasible. Your health and that of others is paramount!
  2. Please check with schools, supervisors and your Director of Graduate Studies about access to facilities such as work spaces and labs. This might well change in the coming days, so it is best to start planning bearing this in mind.
  3. Keep in touch with your supervisor/course convenor by skype, phone calls or by email.
  4. You should no longer do any group work or other social activities related to your dissertation research or course. We all need to follow the government’s social distancing guidelines. The university advises that where your research involves working at or with an external partner, for now you should be following that institution or group’s own guidelines for safe working. This may of course be changed at short notice.
  5. Further information and guidance about examinations and assessments is currently being prepared by the Academic Registrar’s office and you will all be notified of this once that is finalized.

Everything will probably take more time than usual at the moment, and it will be hard to focus – we will all need to learn to adjust. There may well be further changes to processes that need to be made as the pandemic unfolds. We will let you know of any that affect you as soon as possible.

Above all, please stay safe and look after yourself and those close to you.

Best wishes

Professor Paul Allain
Dean of the Graduate School