Will I be charged additional fees if I need an extension due to impacts of COVID-19?
No. The University will not charge any additional tuition or continuation fees for extensions that are required due to impacts of COVID-19. We hope that this will be particularly helpful to those of you who pay your own fees. All extensions, whether relating to COVID-19 or for other reasons, will be assessed as part of the standard research student concessions process. We recommend that postgraduate researchers make extension requests between three and six months before their submission deadline, in order that the full impact of any delay or disruption can be assessed.
What support is available if I am struggling to support myself financially?
We recognise that it may be more difficult to find paid work at present and that some of you are experiencing significant financial challenges. Where you are struggling to pay living costs, please talk with Financial Advisers in Student Services to see if you can apply to UEA Hardship Funds. The Careers Service is offering online 1:1 support and can provide advice on finding employment and what new options are opening up at this time. The PGR Careers Advisers are available over email, Skype or Blackboard Collaborate, to help with applications and interview preparation, and provide guidance on career planning. Appointments can be booked by emailing the Careers Service.
What can I do if I am struggling to make fee payments to UEA?
If you are struggling to make payments, email the Accounts Receivable team at email@example.com. They will be able to discuss options available and note on your record if your situation has been affected by COVID-19. They can offer a break or reduction in the value of each instalment if that suits your circumstances better. If you have an approved extension they can extend your payment terms.
Will stipends be extended for UEA studentships, where an extension is required due to COVID-19?
Around 25% of postgraduate researchers are fully or partly funded by University studentships. If you are funded by a UEA studentship and need an extension to your period of study (i.e. the period during which you receive a stipend), then the University is making funds available to be able to give up to three months’ additional funding (for full-time students; or the pro-rata equivalent for part-time students) for those who need it owing to COVID-19. The length of required extensions will be assessed as part of the standard research student concessions process and is not a blanket extension of three months for all UEA-funded students. At present this additional funding is only committed for those postgraduate researchers whose period of study finishes between 1 March 2020 and 31 March 2021, in line with decisions made by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). We recognise that some of you on UEA studentships who are most affected are due to finish later; we will continue to review extension funding to make sure that you are given every reasonable opportunity to complete your research successfully. In the meantime we encourage you to review your project with your supervisory team and to revise plans with them to help you finish on time wherever possible.
Will stipends be extended for UKRI studentships, where an extension is required due to COVID-19?
A further 25% of postgraduate researchers are fully or partly funded by Research Council studentships, governed by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) terms and conditions. Many of these studentships are co-funded by the University or other partners. For the funding element currently provided by the University, we will work with Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) and Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) to provide at least an equivalent level of extension funding support to that offered to students in receipt of a UEA studentship. Where studentships are partly funded by an external funder, including CASE partners, we will work with your supervisory team and funder to confirm the level of support available. Since co-funding arrangements differ between UKRI studentships, the precise arrangements will vary, and will be confirmed to individuals as details are agreed.
How will I fund any extension if I am not funded by UEA or UKRI?
The remaining 50% of postgraduate researchers are funded by their own resources or by an external funder. For those of you in this situation, we will continue to work with you or your funder to provide advice and support. If you need to request an extension owing to COVID-19, please do so through the standard research student concessions process, and let us know if you are experiencing difficulties in securing the necessary financial support for your living costs.
What’s happening regarding finance and expense claims?
University Finance teams (and colleagues in NBI Finance teams) are prioritising salary and stipend payments, including studentship payments and payments to Associate Tutors. We will accept expense claims which would normally come to PGR Service electronically by email – please send to your usual Graduate School, programme or DTP/CDT team email address.
However, please do not incur any non-essential new expenses which would need to be claimed through the University. This includes the use of Research Training Support Grants (RTSG) for expenses related to your research. We cannot guarantee at present that we can reimburse you quickly.
If you cannot scan receipts for expenses, please submit a photograph of them.
Please contact your supervisors or PGR Service team if you have any queries regarding expense claims.
What should I do about unused travel tickets, accommodation bookings or other expenses for which I have previously been reimbursed?
If you claimed reimbursement via the Student Expenses system please can you seek a refund from your provider for any unused train and flight tickets, hotel costs, conference fees etc. Any expenses that we can recoup in this way will go towards funding training opportunities and support for postgraduate researchers. Your help with this is greatly appreciated.
If you subsequently receive a refund from the travel provider, your credit card company or insurers please pass these sums to University of East Anglia. This may be done by sending a payment direct to our bank account (sort code: 20-62-61, account number: 30918202). Please email firstname.lastname@example.org at the same time telling them that you have made a payment and what it relates to, copying in your usual Graduate School, programme or DTP/CDT team email address.
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.
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 Robin Braysher (email@example.com) of the PGR Service. 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.