CoronavirusPostgraduate research student update: 8 April

Dear PhD Researchers,

I hope you are all very well and managing to adjust to new ways of working and that you and your families are safe and well. Please do remember to stay in touch with your supervisor at this difficult time and also with your fellow Doctoral Researchers – it’s a great time to be able to offer friendship and lend support to one another.

Since contacting our Doctoral Researcher community on 19 March, we also let you know about the launch of the Covid-19 Student Hardship Fund on 25 March. I promised to keep you up to date with developments relating to our ongoing support for our doctoral community and I am getting in touch today to inform you of 3 new developments which I hope you will find useful and informative. As things evolve, I will maintain contact with you, ensuring you are kept up to date with new communications and initiatives as these emerge.

Research Plans and Regular Communication with Supervisors

Following on my request to supervisors and doctoral researchers that you maintain regular contact, I can now confirm that in line with other agencies, such as UKRI, Strathclyde has agreed that in cases where a PGR’s progression is impeded because of COVID-19 restrictions, the likelihood is that extensions will be granted. As all requests for such extensions will need to be supported with evidence of  impact, I have written to supervisors, asking them to work with their PGRs to collect evidence of any impact that Covid-19 restrictions may be having the progression of research plans. By collecting evidence of the impact that Covid-19 related restrictions are having on their students’ research progress, extensions can be considered on a case by case basis. Of course, not all PGRs will require an extension however, we are introducing this new measure to be able to make informed decisions about extensions should they be requested.

Weekly Doctoral Researcher ‘Meet Ups’

From Wednesday 15 at 2pm (UK time), the Strathclyde Doctoral School is introducing weekly ‘meet ups’.  We are preparing a series of weekly one hour Zoom webinars, meetings, workshops and discussions on topics relevant to our PhD community.  We want to give you the opportunity to grab a coffee and join these meet ups by listening, contributing and connecting with your peers and the broader Strathclyde research community. We will email you an invite to this first meeting next week – look out for that in your inbox on Tuesday 14. This first session will be on the topic of ‘Research Resilience in a Challenging Context’ and will be facilitated by myself and Dr Stephanie Colvan.

Dedicated Online ‘One Stop Shop’ for all things PhD related

We are developing a dedicated Strathclyde Doctoral School site on MyPlace. We will use this to share all communications with you and also to encourage you to ask questions and to share information through discussion forums and the posting and sharing of information and advice. We will use this site to collate useful information and make it easy to access and share. If you have questions or concerns or if you have tips and strategies for flourishing during ‘lockdown’ please use this forum to share with and support your peers. We will send more information in due course of the link to this site.

On behalf of the University of Strathclyde and the Strathclyde Doctoral School, I wish you and your families the very best at this difficult time. Stay safe and take care.

Best wishes,