Research students FAQ
If you can't find the answer to your question on this page or in the Surgery and Cancer Research Student Handbook, please contact Jennifer Simeon (email@example.com).
How many assessors do I need for my assessments?
Two assessors should be identified in conjunction with your supervisor, one should be internal to your section and one external (external to your section but can still be from Imperial or an external institution). The assessors you identify for your RPC can also be used for your ESA and LSR.
Who are the Postgraduate Education Committee representatives?
A list of Postgraduate Education Committee reps can be found on the Postgraduate Education Committee page.
How do I apply for an interruption of studies (IOS)?
To apply for an Interruption of studies (IOS), you will need to complete the ICB form (pdf), making sure your supervisor signs the form and return it to Jennifer Simeon for processing. If it is for medical reasons you will need to submit a doctor’s note as well. Please note you can take a minimum of 1 month as IOS and maximum of 2 years. This includes maternity leave.
How do I enter writing up status?
You need to have completed all your experimental work and/or data collection and completed your minimum registration period. You also need to have completed your milestone assessments (RPC/ESA/LSR) before entering writing up status. There is a £200 fee for this, and you will remain in this status for up to 12 months or to your submission deadline (whichever is sooner). To enter this status, you need to complete the Writing Up Form and return back to Jennifer Simeon for processing.
A form says the Head of Department needs to sign – who should I give it to?
The form actually needs to be signed by the Director of Postgraduate Studies – just email/post/give the form to Jennifer Simeon and she will arrange the signature.
How do I pay my tuition fees?
If you are self-funded, please see the fees and funding page.
Do I need to buy my own computer?
The Department will provide the necessary computing facilities, but many students like to have their own laptops to take them off-site. If buying a laptop, you can take advantage of preferential rates by purchasing it through Imperial College.
Why haven’t I received my bursary this month?
Can I submit electronic copies of Departmental forms?
Yes – all forms can be submitted electronically (this is preferred). Originals are only required for degree certificates and funding letters.
Do I have to pay for conference attendance to present a paper?
Some fellowships include funds for travel to conferences and some host groups fund the cost of conference attendance. It is usual for students to be supported to attend at least one major national or international conference to present a paper; this should be discussed with your supervisor.
How much holiday do I get and how do I book it?
Full-time students may take up to 8 weeks of leave. You should book this through your supervisor although there may be local procedures in place - please check with local administration.
What should I do if I’m ill/absent for a significant period?
You should submit an ICB form to request an interruption of studies, but please note that this will also interrupt any bursary payments. If you’re unsure of what to do, please contact Jennifer Simeon.
What transferable skills courses do I need to attend?
Please see the Graduate School pages for your exact requirements. You must complete your minimum courses before your ESA, however, you can complete as many courses as you want throughout your degree. Please note, these courses book out extremely quickly so try to book as early as possible.
How should I raise concerns about my supervision?
You can submit a Confidential Report Form at the next reporting window (Dec/Jan or Jun/Jul) or, if you want the issue addressed sooner, please contact Jennifer Simeon.
Can I switch from MD(Res) to PhD registration?
Yes, this is best done at the first review stage (9 months). Please contact Jennifer Simeon to discuss this.
Why has my access card stopped working?
This is usually because you have reached the end date of your registration. For staff-students, please send your latest staff contract to Jennifer Simeon. For students, please contact Jennifer Simeon for assistance.
What happens when my funding expires?
Shortly before it expires, you will receive an email from Jennifer Simeon asking whether you wish to (a) extend your registration, (b) enter writing-up status, or (c) have your record completed. Extension of registration requires evidence of further funding, while writing-up status incurs a £200 administration fee, but allows continued access to College facilities (except laboratories). Completion of record terminates access to College facilities, but thesis submission is still permitted within the existing deadline.
Who pays the writing up fee?
The default expectation is that the student pays the writing-up fee, but it may also be paid from a grant held by the supervisor.
How should I format my thesis?
The College does not prescribe any particular format and does not provide detailed guidance but offers the following information on Thesis Submission and Vivas.
- follow academic standards
- use common sense
- consult your supervisor
- if still unsure use Google instructions from more prescriptive institutions for comparison
There may well be copies of previous students’ theses available in the section for you to consult – if your supervisor doesn’t have any of these, try asking one of the local PGEC reps.
Who do I contact about finances, health and safety, ID cards and access etc?
You can find all the contacts you will need to help you with your research degree on the useful contacts page. Including College level contacts to help with ID cards, International student support, ICT, records, examinations, bank letters, council tax and accommodation. You will also find divisional contacts in the Department of Surgery and Cancer to help with finance, building access as well as health and safety.