EPSRC iCASE training grants provide funding for doctoral studentships where businesses and related organisations take the lead in arranging projects with an academic partner of their choice.  The aim of these awards is to provide doctoral students with a research training experience, within the context of a mutually beneficial research collaboration between academic and partner organisations for example industry and policy making bodies.  Funding to support iCASE studentships is allocated via industry partner.

EPSRC iCASE

International Doctoral Scholar

EPSRC iCASE 2021 training grant - International Doctoral Scholars

UKRI has limited the proportion of international doctoral scholars (IDS) appointed each year through individual doctoral training programmes to 30 percent of the total.  For studentships supported by the EPSRC iCASE 2021 training grant, the following process has been put in place to manage this IDS allocation:

  • IDS studentships will be issued on first-come-first-serviced basis
  • To request an IDS studentship, the following information will be required (sent via email to epsrc.studentships@imperial.ac.uk)
  • From the iCASE academic supervisor, the IDS student’s name (Note that the IDS place will be reserved for this particular student.  If the student declines the studentship offer, the IDS spot must be returned and will be re-allocated to the next requester)
  • From the iCASE academic supervisor, written confirmation that they intend to make an offer (including interview notes, where possible)
  • From the Departmental Director of Postgraduate Studies or equivalent, information on the mechanism for covering the fee difference (e.g. department, student, partner paying the difference, fee waiver etc.)

Once received, the IDS spot will be issued for that particular student. Once all IDS places are allocated, the remaining studentships will need to be taken by Home students. There is no funding associated with an IDS spot; the difference between home and international fee rates will have to be met by institution (i.e. department), co-funding partners or from the students directly (as per the UKRI Implementation Guidance) or waived by the department.  Any queries can be directed to epsrc.studentships@imperial.ac.uk

Studentship extensions

If your studentship is funded by one of the following EPSRC iCASE training grants, you may be eligible for a studentship extension

  • EP/N509206/1 (2015 iCASE)
  • EP/P51052X/1 (2016 iCASE)
  • EP/R511961/1 (2017 iCASE)
  • EP/S513635/1 (2018 iCASE)
  • EP/T517690/1 (2019 iCASE)
  • EP/V519534/1 (2020 iCASE)
  • EP/W522004/1 (2021 iCASE)

 

A studentship extension may be available to students whose research has been impacted by COVID-19 and who are unable to mitigate the impact or adjust their projects to complete on time.  While the majority of students earlier in their studies will be able to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, in some cases this might not be possible, for example due to caring responsibilities following school closures.

 

The priority remains for students to adapt and adjust research projects to mitigate the delays caused by COVID-19, where possible, to complete their research to a doctoral standard within their original funding period.  This could mean adapting the research question, approach, or methodology, providing that this still enables the student to conduct a doctoral level research project. For some students this could result in their research project being different from that originally proposed. New students should develop their projects from the outset with any future restrictions and limitations in mind.  The focus of supporting extensions is to provide the additional time a student requires to complete their revised doctoral research project.  Extensions are not intended to cover ‘time lost’ due to COVID-19, but rather to address circumstances where, even with adjustments and mitigation, the student will be unable to complete their doctoral research within the funding period.

 

Eligibility

You may be eligible to apply for a <3 month extension through this process if you (1) are within the last 6 months of your PhD studentship end date, (2) are funded by an EPSRC DTP, NPIF or iCASE institutional award and (3) met the following criteria for either a ‘First extension request’ or ‘Second extension request’:

 

First extension request

If you have not previously received an extension to your PhD studentship through the Phase 1 or Phase 2 UKRI extension process, you may be eligible for an extension if you have experienced one or more of the following criteria:

  • Significant disruption to progress due to:
    • Lack of access to research resources and facilities
    • Interruption of data collections and/or off-campus field work (in the UK or abroad)
    • Increased caring responsibilities
    • Health and wellbeing concerns
  • Deficiency of local environment such that remote working is not possible or of very poor quality e.g. difficulty accessing technology, a quiet space to work, or time to dedicate to study
  • Additional support needs that made mitigating the delays of COVID-19 or sufficiently adjusting the project to complete within the existing funding period more difficult. This might include, but is not limited to, students affected by disability, neurodiversity, long-term illness

 

Second extension request

If you have already received an extension through the Phase 1 or Phase 2 UKRI extension process or had an earlier request turned down, you may be eligible to apply for an extension in exceptional circumstances.  Exceptional circumstances include: 

  • Increased caring responsibilities
  • Where the studentship relies on undertaking work at an external/overseas facility/location and there is no alternative way to get data
  • Where the student has additional support requirements/caring responsibilities, as well as e.g. lack of access to facilities, that necessitate longer extension than standard to achieve completion of doctoral project
  • Where the studentship involves animal research and COVID-19 interruptions have set back breeding etc. as well as ability to gather data
  • Where the studentship requires recruitment of clinical trial participants that was impossible to achieve during COVID-19
  • Where COVID-related delays to equipment repairs/delivery have prevented required data collection, exacerbating other COVID-related disruption

 

How to apply

To apply, students must complete a Qualtrics form.  Students are encouraged to contact their supervisor and department as early as possible to discuss their intention to apply for an extension, as extension requests will require their support (see next point).  Applications must include a letter of support from the studentship supervisor and host department using this Extension letter of support template.  The application process will remain open until further notice.  Applications can be submitted at any time; there is no closing date.  Applicants should take care when preparing their Qualtrics submission, as once a form is submitted, it cannot be amended or recalled and will be taken forwards as the final version for review.

 

Applications will be reviewed on a weekly basis and outcomes will be announced directly to the student, copying the supervisor.  The intention is to provide outcomes no later than 3 months before studentship end date (this is contingent on when the extension request is received).  Departmental representatives will be informed of outcomes separately and will be asked to update JeS as needed.

 

Further information