To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education on providing support for UKRI-funded extensions for PhD students whose research has been impacted by the covid-19 outbreak.
28 January 2021
We are aware of the enormous pressures that the pandemic has had on doctoral students and their ability to conduct their research. UKRI has made over £62 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.
UKRI’s engagement over the summer with universities and supervisors found that many were supporting their students to find creative ways to re-plan their work to enable students to graduate on schedule. In addition, we know that different students have been impacted to different extents.
I regularly meet with my Hon. Friend the Minister of State for Universities and with the CEO of UKRI, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, to monitor how the pandemic is affecting UKRI-funded PhD students and the wider research system. We will continue to monitor the impacts of COVID-19 and UKRI continues to listen and respond carefully as the situation evolves.