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Research: Students

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 115775, tabled on 16 November 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will bring forward proposals to enable UK Research and Innovation to prolong funding for research students unable to undertake face-to-face interviews as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered on

24 November 2020

The Government recognises that the disruption of recent months has impacted the ability of doctoral students to undertake their research projects. This has led to students having to adjust their projects, making decisions around changing their?approach, collecting different data, or changing the way they had planned to work with people, labs, archives or facilities.

As it is not possible for all students to adjust their projects and training plan in such a way, I announced in April that UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)-funded PhD students in the final year and whose studies have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic would be provided with additional support. Subsequently on the 11th November, UKRI provided a further £19.1 million of funding to support students in earlier years, including disabled students, those with long-term illness, those who are neurodivergent, or those with caring responsibilities.

Combined, these two interventions have meant that UKRI has made over £60 million of financial support available to students most impacted by the pandemic. It is estimated that this funding is available for up to 12,000 students.