Covid-19 – Information for PGR Students
How do I contact the Graduate and Researcher College?
If you have any questions then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you have a specific skills and development question please email us at email@example.com. The Graduate and Researcher College will be in touch regularly by Kent email and will be updating its social media pages.
Are PhD/MRes students entitled to an extension?
All PGR students who were registered and began their programme before September 2021 are entitled to apply for a 3 month fee-free extension, irrespective of where they are in their studies. This will be applied as you approach the end of your research or studies. It can also be applied for within the continuation year.
In response to feedback and your views, you can also apply for a further maximum fee-free 3 month extension if you have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic. This includes those researchers who have been unable to access resources/ research base/ labs/ clients, those who have caring duties, who are home schooling or have faced serious illness etc.
The process is explained in the Covid-19 Further Extension Application Process form.
What level of supervision will I receive if I take an extension?
During the extension, there will be no change to the level of support you receive from your current supervisory team or access to facilities and resources where these are available or accessible in the current circumstances.
How do I submit my thesis?
You should submit your thesis to Moodle and Turnitin in the normal way. Copies of the thesis will be circulated by your school to the Examiners in PDF format.
All research students submitting their theses can also submit an optional Covid Impact Statement along with their theses.
This can alert your examiners to any objective/material impact Covid might have had on your research such as limiting data collection, smaller interview groups.
Details about this process are on the Academic Regulations webpages under Instructions to Examiners and Candidates.
If you think this might be useful for you, then please do discuss this with your supervisors in the first instance as they will need to sign off and approve the statement.
What is a Covid Impact Statement?
From the start of the pandemic, research students have been advised to adapt (where possible) their research activities to address and manage disruptions caused by Covid-19 restrictions. Staff have also been advised to show leniency and understanding in their roles as internal examiners without lowering the quality of the theses being examined. Kent is now extending mitigation in relation to such disruption to allow students to include a statement in their dissertation on the impact of Covid-19 disruptions on their PhDs.
How do I take my viva?
The Dean of the Graduate and Researcher College has agreed that all PhD vivas can be conducted by video link via Skype, Zoom or other online video technology without the requirement for an independent observer. Students will be asked by the school to give their permission for their viva to take place via video link. Students can also make a request via their supervisor to have an independent supporter in the room with them at the viva exam. This person can be a colleague, member of staff or a friend. This person CANNOT participate in the viva and is there only to support the student. Where a viva cannot take place due to illness of the student or the examiners, an alternative date should be arranged for a video viva.
Online vivas are still encouraged however face to face vivas may resume where it is deemed necessary to do so. Agreement must be obtained from all parties and the Divisional Director of Graduate Studies must be informed. The viva must take place in a room that is a suitable capacity to allow for 1+ metre social distancing. Masks should be worn and the room ventilated where possible. It is strongly encouraged that all parties obtain a lateral flow covid test prior to the viva.
Further information for Graduate Teaching Assistants
Since the University has moved to blended delivery of teaching, where possible GTAs should still be able to fulfil their teaching commitments (lectures, seminars etc) remotely. Where this is not possible, your School may assign you other duties commensurate to a GTA contract. Contact your GTA coordinator if you have any queries relating to your teaching commitments. If you have a GTA scholarship enquiry, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.