PhD Researchers

All staff, students and PhD Researchers are asked to consult the University advice which will be regularly updated regularly on this site.

As it is possible that issues relating to Covid-19 could cause setbacks to research, this section is intended to highlight specific factors that occur more frequently in a research context and to aid planning as an individual PhD researcher.

Setbacks could range from minor delays through to the irrecoverable loss of significant work.  It is recommended that you proactively consider the likely impacts with your supervisory team and develop contingency plans.

All researchers are reminded that there may be a delay in accessing the emergency services in the event of an incident or accident at work, as such, essential research must be of a low risk basis.

If we don’t answer your question

If you have a question which is not answered here, please submit a query and a member of staff will be in touch.

Go to enquiry form  

Continuing your research work and extensions of time

Return to Campus

The University continues to work towards a safe return to campus for all of our PhD Researchers, students and staff – in line with the guidance online and the Target Operating Plan.

If progressing your PhD project requires you to be on campus, please contact your Supervisor and Postgraduate Tutor in the first instance to let them know that you wish to return.  Your request will be considered by the relevant Research Director and Head of School based on feasibility, risk assessment and the overall return to campus plans.

You will also be aware of the possibility of seeking approval for one-off visits to campus to collect belongings to assist you with working from home. We know some of you have availed of this already.  This is a separate to process to the ‘return to campus’ one mentioned above.

Researcher Development

  • How will the Researcher Development Programme be delivered?

    In response to the new ways of working, the Doctoral College is delivering the Researcher Development Programme online.

    A full online and live-taught programme of workshops, in partnership with the University of Anglia, is ongoing until the end of June. Further workshops hosted by the Doctoral College are being added each week including Preparing for Submission and Your Viva.

    All forthcoming workshops appear on PhD Manager under ‘Events/Workshops’.

    The Weekly Update on the Researcher Development Programme continues to be sent to each PhD Researcher every Wednesday afternoon.

    Questions and suggestions relating to the Researcher Development Programme can be sent to Lisa Thompson, Doctoral Development Manager,

  • What will be the impact to other Doctoral College events planned for the coming months?

    The PhD Festival and 3MT events have been postponed.

    If you have registered for these, you will kept informed of new arrangements in due course.

    All campuses closed for teaching and social activities

International PhD researchers on Tier 4 Visa

PhD submission and examination



Other UU Services

Campus Queries

  • I have paid for a parking permit and can no longer use it. Can I get a refund?


    You can request a refund by filling in the student cancellation of permit form available from the policy document on the car parking website

    A refund will be based on an end date of April 1st 2020 and Finance will credit the refund as detailed on the form.  This can take up to a month to process depending on when the request is submitted.

  • Can I access the campus at all, and if so how?Can I access the campus at all, and if so how?

    In line with government guidance, the aim is to reduce the number of individuals on campus as much as possible and only essential access will be granted. However, it may be possible for you to apply for ‘ad hoc’ access to pick up items or information which are necessary to allow your research/work to be undertaken remotely (research on campus is not generally permitted).

    Please note that your supervisors MUST request this on your behalf using the campus access form:

    Please also note that it will take around 48 hours to arrange access and your supervisor will need full details such as date of visit, time, duration, campus purpose etc to complete the application.


  • I did some teaching (or demonstrating) before we went into lockdown, how can I ensure that I am paid promptly for these hours

    Please contact your subject level/Research Unit administrator for advice on how to ensure that payment is made without delay.

    Should you experience any difficulties, please contact your Head of Doctoral College, who will assist in resolving the problem.

  • As a PhD researcher, can I help in any way with marking for our undergraduate students?

    We appreciate the team effort that colleagues may wish to make to support academic progression.

    In the event of staff absence due to illness, PhD researchers who have been through confirmation, or who have a Masters in a cognate subject area, and who have taken or are registered for the First Steps to Teaching and Learning in HE module, will be permitted to mark work up to and including level 7. Moderation arrangements must avoid all moderation or double marking of any assessment item being conducted solely by PhD researchers.

  • As a full-time PhD researcher, can I undertake part-time work alongside my PhD to assist with the COVID-19 effort?

    Given the exceptional circumstances presented by COVID-19, your supervisors may agree that you can work up to 6 hours per week assisting the COVID-19 effort, such agreements should be recorded in PhD Manager.

    Taking up paid employment of more than 6 hours per week whilst in receipt of a Department for Economy (DfE) or Vice Chancellors Research Scholarship (VCRS) PhD studentship is not permitted under current Terms and Conditions.

    If a PhD researcher wishes to work more than 6 hours per week then a leave of absence (LOA) should be sought. Although pursuing an LOA to undertake paid employment would not normally be a valid reason for approval, given the current exceptional circumstances we will expedite such LOA requests.

    During the LOA, stipend payments would be paused and then, once the LOA is over, resumed for the remaining time - i.e. the stipend payments will still total 36 months.

  • Do PhD researchers have access to Microsoft Teams?

    In response to the demand for support for University meetings and collaboration, Microsoft Teams ( has been made available to all PhD researchers from Monday 8th June.

    Please visit for further information on MS Teams, including useful hints and tips.

  • Summer graduations has been deferred, what are the current plans for graduation?

    The University has postponed graduation ceremonies due to the current situation regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19) but it is working to agree a suitable alternative and will provide more information as soon as it is available.  Further details can be found on the graduation site.

    However, the Doctoral College is keen to celebrate the achievements and successes of the PhD Class of 2020 and will host an online Celebration Event on 30 July.  Graduands will have received emails from the Doctoral College with further details.

    The University Senate will still confer PhD awards and PhD Researchers will receive their parchments by post in mid-July.

Questions and Updates

If you have a question which is not answered here, please email (copying in your Postgraduate Tutor and Research Director) so we can both respond to your query and update these FAQs.

Please be assured that we are working on your behalf to consider the challenges caused by COVID-19 to PhD progress and we will update our FAQs to reflect any progress we make or any change in our advice to PhD researchers, Please check back on this site regularly for updates.

We encourage all PhD researchers to remain in touch with fellow PhD researchers using email, Yammer and other social media networks and, keep up to date with Twitter @UlsterUniPhD account.