Students in pandemic

UCL Phase 2 COVID extensions for UKRI students


You must be:

  • a UKRI-funded doctoral student who started their doctoral studies before 1 March 2020
  • have a funding end date from 1 April 2021 onwards
  • have not submitted their doctoral thesis
  • have not already received a UKRI-funded extension under the initial UKRI policy (this will include if you have had an extension agreed to be funded through grant underspend)

UPDATE: UKRI have now confirmed that students who started their doctoral study before 1 March 2020 but whose doctoral funded period started later ARE eligible to apply, provided that no other COVID-19 financial mitigation had been applied at the point at which they were awarded UKRI studentship funding.

UKRI have identified those with additional support needs such as disabled students, those with long term illness, who are neurodivergent, or who have caring responsibilities as groups who may find it especially difficult to adapt their projects to complete within their funded period. However, all eligible students will have equal access and consideration in the decision-making process.

N.B. Non-UKRI funded students will be addressed in a separate process.

How to apply

Information to prepare for your application:

  1. Student number (this is on your UCL ID card and Portico)
  2. Research council you are funded by
  3. Date your studentship began (can be approximate)
  4. Current funding end date (you may need to ask your administrator to look this up in Je-S for you)
  5. Information about any prior interruptions or extensions
  6. Information about your stipend (I don't know is an option)
  7. Brief explanation of what factors have impacted progression of your doctoral study
  8. Brief explanation of how you have attempted to mitigate impact to your progression (attempts to mitigate are required by UKRI)
  9. New estimated submission date
  10. Justification of why funded extension is needed

Your application must be made using this ONLINE FORM. The application form is available as a PDF preview so that you can prepare your answers in advance.

You should discuss your answers with a member of staff, usually your supervisory team, before inputting into the online form to ensure you are supplying the review panel with accurate and appropriate information to make the best decision based on your needs.

Please note, if you do not wish to discuss your application with your supervisory team, please consider the following staff instead, in this order: Thesis committee (if you have one), Departmental Graduate Tutor, Faculty Graduate Tutor, Doctoral School.

Deadline 3pm, Wednesday 10th February, 2021

We understand that some students and/or their supervisors may have personal circumstances which may make it difficult to meet this deadline. If you are concerned about completing the application process by the deadline owing to extenuating circumstances, please email for advice or support.

How and when your application will be reviewed

Applications will be reviewed by two panels:

  • A local discipline/Council-specific panel: this will usually be chaired by your Programme Director if you are part of a Programme
  • An institution-wide review panel: this panel will be chaired by the Pro-Vice-Provost of the Doctoral School and will have representation from all academic areas of UCL as well as the Equality and Wellbeing teams

The local panel will initially review your application and score it based on the criteria listed below. They will also make a suggestion as to how long an extension they think you would benefit from. Please note, most extensions will not be longer than 3 months.

Your reviewed application will then be sent to the institution-wide panel for further review and prioritisation. All applications, regardless of their initial assessment, will be reviewed by this panel. The local panel is simply to ensure those who are more closely connected to your subject area, broadly speaking, have been involved in the process.

After the review panels meet, they will then need to work with the managers of the various grants (including grants held by other universities which are funding UCL registered students) to finalise the outcome. Students cannot be notified until after this has taken place.

We expect the majority of students to be notified by 31 March. However, if your current funding end date falls in April, we will endeavour to fast track your application and give you some indication of outcome more quickly.


  1. Impact on project – these impacts will be considered equally, irrespective of discipline; and on an equal basis as personal impacts.
  2. Impact on person – these impacts will be considered on an equal basis as impact on project.
  3. Effort made to mitigate – UKRI have specified that all students must try to mitigate; extensions will not be made simply to cover time lost owing to COVID.
  4. Barriers to mitigation – we recognise that despite trying to mitigate, some circumstances and projects will be easier to amend than others.

Appeals process

As all applications will be reviewed by two separate panels, made up of a wide range of academic and support staff across the institution, it will not be possible to request an appeal if you disagree with the outcome of your application.

However, if you think that the published institutional process has not been followed, you may contact to raise your concern. Please clearly mark your email PHASE 2 APPEAL in the subject line. Your application will then be reviewed again by the central review panel in light of this new information; in cases where the outcome remains unsuccessful, we will escalate this to an independent appeals panel to make a final decision.

Further information

For further information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions PDF document, available from the UKRI COVID impact web page.