Postgraduate Research Students
Key information for our postgraduate research students.
Returning to campus
On Monday 4th January the Scottish Government announced further restrictions that are being brought in across Scotland following the emergence of a new, highly contagious strain of the Coronavirus.
The new restrictions do not alter the information we are providing to postgraduate research students and essential research work may continue in our laboratories and other research facilities.
Please speak with your supervisor for further information on how these new restrictions may impact your work.
Please note that international postgraduate students who have not yet arrived in the UK should continue with their existing plans to arrive when they have secured their visa and made travel arrangements. Students who may need the dates on existing CAS or visas changed should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
Facilities and building access
Access to University Buildings
The University has taken a phased approach to opening buildings and access is being managed locally by relevant management teams.
You will hear from your School, Institute or Supervisor about the process for gaining entry to buildings and detailed instructions about staying safe when you are able to have access.
Further details can be found here.
Access to the Library
The Library’s webpages have up to date information about access to Library and University Collections facilities and services. Current information on the Centre for Research Collections can be found here.
Information Services have a detailed webpage with links on remote working guidance, how to set up your remote desktop and access to tools for working remotely.
Supervisory meetings should take place regularly and you should discuss with your supervisor how this can work best, taking into consideration technology, mutual expectations and caring responsibilities (if applicable). Expectations for the supervisory team and postgraduate researchers are set out in the Code of Practice for Supervisors and Research Students.
Working remotely can be challenging but there are many opportunities for connecting with others virtually. Ensure that you are aware of what is available at local level by making sure you are connected with your Graduate School, Deanery or Institute.
The Doctoral College
The University of Edinburgh Doctoral College is a coordinating structure for all postgraduate researchers, supervisors and relevant staff at the University. The webpages link to support, training and information for PGRs. There are monthly updates on central University training, support and opportunities for PGRs on the Doctoral College Sharepoint site.
The Doctoral College can also be followed on Twitter @UoE_Doc.
Institute for Academic Development
The Institute for Academic Development (IAD) has an extensive programme of professional and personal development training for postgraduate researchers. The Careers Service, Digital Research Services, Digital Skills and Training and Edinburgh Innovations also have a wide range of support available. There are monthly updates on central University training, support and opportunities for PGRs on the Doctoral College Sharepoint site. The Doctoral College can also be followed on Twitter @UoE_Doc.
Other student support services
Our 'Accessing support' pages will provide more information on the student support services available to all of our students.
PGR parents and carers
If you are a parent or carer, your circumstances may have an impact on your ability to continue with your research to your usual standard or at your usual pace. Please discuss the impact this has on your research with your supervisors and use the concessions process to take account of the impact of exceptional caring responsibilities.
Measures to mitigate the impact of Coronavirus
- Students can apply to interrupt or extend their studies where their progress has been negatively affected by the pandemic, especially where this is due to caring or employment commitments;
- Research students taking taught courses can make use of the Special Circumstances provisions, described on our Exams and Assessment webpage
- PhD and MPhil students can make the Board of Examiners aware of the impact the pandemic has had on their research when they submit their thesis.
Fees and funding
The University is working with governments and external funders to provide financial support to all students who may require it to be able to complete their research. Be assured that enabling and supporting you to successfully complete your degree is our highest priority.
Additional Financial Support is available. Please follow this link for details of the application process.
Fieldwork and Placements
Fieldwork and placement activity options should be discussed with your supervisor, programme director, Postgraduate Director and local contacts. UK and local government advice should be followed and monitored regarding travel and physical distancing. The usual risk assessment processes must be followed for research students.
Advice about returning to research, produced by the Edinburgh Research Office, can be found here:
Assessments, completion and graduation
Thesis submission and vivas
All PGR students should submit their thesis electronically. Students should consult the relevant College Office guidance:
PhD and MPhil students can make the Board of Examiners aware of the impact the pandemic has had on their research when they submit their thesis.
At the current time Vivas will continue to be conducted remotely and guidance will be provided by your local PGR support team.
PGR students working as tutors
PGR students who will be working as guaranteed hours tutors will receive training in their Schools, but can find additional guidance on training via Institute of Academic Development (IAD):
In particular, students contracted to teach in 2020/21 will find new guidance on hybrid teaching on the IAD website:
If you have further questions about postgraduate research programmes, please get in touch.