COVID-19 Statement on Disruption to Research

Postgraduate Research Degrees, University of Birmingham COVID-19 statement on disruption to research

All University of Birmingham (UoB) PGR students have been asked to do their best to engage with their studies during the period affected by COVID-19.

If the PGR and their supervisory team feel that the PGRs studies have been seriously delayed by COVID-19, PGRs were able to apply for an extension. 

Under some circumstances the disruption to a PGR’s planned research caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may need to be taken into account in thesis assessments. Some PGRs may not been able to conduct all of the work they intended. Information on the process for declaration of disruption at thesis examination is given below. 

Consideration of disruption to thesis examination

Some PGRs are nearing the end of their normally registered period of study but have not been able to conduct all of the work they intended due to COVID-19 disruption. It is crucial in all cases that the assessment of PGRs assures that research has met the standards required of a research degree as set out in the Regulations of the University of Birmingham. Thus, in line with the Regulations of the University of Birmingham, the academic standards for thesis examination should remain in place. However, there can be some flexibility in consideration of the quantity and scope of work produced.

Process for declaring COVID-19 disruption to planned research at submission of thesis

At submission of thesis, PGRs may wish to include a statement summarising the research that had originally been planned and how disruption to their research, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, has altered those plans. PGRs may seek guidance and support in writing this statement from their supervisory team, or their local PGR lead. This statement should set the context of the submitted research within the assessment requirements for the research degree. The statement may include a timeline of planned research that has no longer been possible together with a timeline of work successfully undertaken. It must include a statement outlining the work that has been undertaken in an attempt to mitigate the disruption to the PGRs planned research. PGRs should use the Declaration of COVID-19 disruption to planned research form (Word - 16KB) if they wish to submit a statement of disruption to planned research at thesis submission.  

Guidance for examiners has been provided to assist examiners access which allowances may be made when considering the work contained within the thesis. Such allowances must not compromise the integrity of the award and as stated above, academic standards must be maintained in all cases and  the work produced by PGRs must meet the requirements for the award of the degree for which the thesis was submitted, as set out in Regulations of the University of Birmingham. (Section 7.4.1 c for masters by research; 7.4.1 c and d for MPhils and 7.4.1 c, d and e for doctoral research degrees)



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