Current Policy

UKRI’s latest policy on support for doctoral students (‘Phase 3’, see allows training grant holders to offer extensions to all UKRI funded students whose research has been impacted by COVD-19 and who are unable to mitigate the impact or adjust their projects to complete on time. UKRI expects training grants to now consider studentship extension requests as part of their business as usual.

Training grant holders will also have the flexibility to consider in exceptional circumstances (e.g. ongoing caring responsibilities) further requests from students who had an earlier request turned down or who have already received a UKRI-funded extension under Phase 1 or Phase 2 (for details of these earlier policies see ‘Previous policies’ below).

Students should approach their Training Grant contact to determine their process for considering stipend extensions, and whether they have funds available to accommodate requests. Following UKRI’s policy, training grants will normally consider requests 6 months prior to the end of the student’s current funded period, when the success of mitigations and level of additional need by the individual can be best assessed.

Your stipend must be at least 50% funded from a UKRI Research Council to be eligible for a UKRI funded extension. Your Training Grant Holder can only fund the UKRI portion of an extension . If you are an EPSRC Incorporated student whose funder cannot support an extension you can be considered for support from your home training grant. 

Extensions will follow the same principles as set out in previous UKRI policies:

  • 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
  • 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 an individual student requires to complete their revised doctoral research project.
  • The majority of extension requests are expected to be for up to 3 months of UKRI support, but longer extensions can be considered where exceptional circumstances apply, and funds are available.

If your training grant is unable to support all or some of your extension request due to lack of funds or how you're funded, you may be eligible for support from your Imperial Department.  

Previous Policies

See UKRI’s webpage on their evolving policy for COVID-19 doctoral extension funding for additional details.

Phase 2

The College was awarded funding to provide UKRI-funded student stipend extensions of up to 3 months. To be eligible, students’ stipends must have started before 01 March 2020 and due to end on or after the 01 April 2021. A central process was run in early 2021 and all decisions have now been communicated and awarded extensions processed

Phase 1 

Training Grant Holders ran a process during 2020 to consider requests for funded stipend extensions up to 6 months from final year students (funding end date 01 March 2020 – 31 March 2021). A second stage of this Phase allowed training grant holders to use existing grant underspend to award stipend extensions to any of their students. Phase 1 completed at the end of December 2020 and students with a funding end date on or after 01 April 2021 requiring a stipend extension needed to apply to the central College process as part of Phase 2.