Frequently Asked Questions on Doing Your Research Frequently Asked Questions on Doing Your Research

What do I do if I want to work from home, but my supervisor wants me to be working on campus? 

  • If you need to self-isolate you must do so. See the NHS's website for more information.
  • If you fall into the UK Government’s high risk categories (70+ years old, have a long-term health condition, are pregnant, or have a weakened immune system), you must work from home in line with UK Government guidance, regardless of your own or your supervisor’s views. 
  • If you will need to look after dependents (e.g. because nurseries and schools are closed) then again we support your decision to do so. If you are able to do this and work from home then there is no need to interrupt studies.  
  • If you do not fall into a high-risk category, government advice is still that you should work at home if at all possible to reduce risks of virus transmission, but there will be a small number of people for whom some working on campus is essential (equipment that cannot be turned off; maintenance of cell cultures etc.). We would encourage you to engage with your supervisory team and/or PGR Director to make plans to enable working from home where possible, or as safe an environment as possible if you must continue some work on campus.

Can I get books from the Library?

UEA’s Library is introducing a contactless click and collect service, based in the Library Foyer, to help you access physical books for essential work and research - all you need is your campus card at the ready. Read more ...

What can I do if I don't have access to a computer?

The University has some hardship funds available, including support for those who do not have access to a computer. Find out more on the UEA welfare page.

Can I undertake planned fieldwork?  

Given the current risks of infection, travel disruption and pressures on emergency services, from March to June 2020 the University had urged all researchers to postpone all fieldwork in any location. Thank you for complying with this.   

The University currently allows some fieldwork to take place, as follows. 

The UEA Safety Services team has worked with the Academic Director of UEA Doctoral College to develop a risk assessment processes to enable fieldwork to take place in line with current Government guidelines and University insurance policies.   

As national guidelines and policies continue to change and develop, we will monitor them closely and adapt our approval processes accordingly to enable more field-based research to be undertaken safely. Please note that no fieldwork should be undertaken in quarantine countries that are not on the UK Government’s exemption list.  

From Monday 6 July, researchers may undertake fieldwork within England with approval at School level, provided there is a risk assessment in line with current UK Government guidelines. This must include a specific section addressing COVID-19 risks.   

Fieldwork undertaken outside of England will need Safety Services to approve risk assessments on an individual basis. Take care to ensure that there is appropriate insurance cover. 
A new Risk Assessment Template and a Guidance Document for Fieldwork are available to assist supervisors of postgraduate researchers in assessing COVID-19 risks and implementing controls when conducting fieldwork. Links to them can be found in the ‘Fieldwork’ section of the Manager’s Toolkit portal page. 

What do I do if I cannot continue with my research because of the COVID-19 situation?

We will give extensions to Periods of Study or Registration to accommodate disruption caused by the COVID-19 situation, without charging any additional fee. See our FAQ page on extensions for more details.

If your submission deadline is some time in the future, we will consider extension requests once we can see how your work has been impacted. In general we recommend that postgraduate researchers make extension requests between three and six months before their submission deadline, where possible. Some PGRs who cannot continue working on their research may need to interrupt their studies, rather than requesting an extension. Please contact your Graduate School team to discuss this, but please note that you may need to consider funding and visa implications of doing so. We will support you as best we can in understanding your options.

I can't find the answers I want in these FAQs! I can't find the answers I want in these FAQs!

These FAQs are being updated on a regular basis - please continue to check this page for the latest information.

If there is an issue that you feel should be covered in these FAQS, please contact the PGR Service on  We may not add all FAQ suggestions, particularly if they relate to individuals or small groups of students. 

Please don't forget you can continue to contact your usual PGR Service team by email – we recommend using Graduate School or programme email boxes rather than contacting individual members of staff.