COVID-19 Advice for Postgraduate Research (PGRs and supervisors)

We understand the challenges that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on all postgraduate researchers (PGRs) at the University. The University continues to work to make sure that PGR students are properly supported.

We have provided some useful information below.  If you have further questions or concerns you can speak to your supervisor, contact PGR Leads within your School and College, or get in touch with the University Graduate School for advice.  You can contact the University Graduate School by telephone in working hours (0121 414 2898) or by email:

This webpage was updated on 14 July 2022.

COVID-19 has significantly delayed the progress of my research. How can I apply for a Leave of Absence or extension to my studies?

As a University of Birmingham PGR student, you have been asked to do your best to engage with your studies during the period affected by COVID-19.

If you have been unable to complete essential research tasks as a result of COVID-19, you have been advised to log the extent of the problem clearly on the online GRS2 form each month (pro-rata for part-time PGRs) in discussion with your supervisor.

If you and your supervisory team feel that COVID-19 has significantly delayed your research progress it is possible to apply for either a Leave of Absence (LOA) or extension to your studies. Please see the COVID extensions policy for further information.

The University of Birmingham has also published a process to allow students to declare disruption to research caused by COVID-19. Please see the COVID-19 statement on disruption to research webpage for further information.

What guidance and advice has been provided by external funders?

The following links provide access to guidance and advice provided by external funding organisations:

·         UKRI

·         Alzheimer’s Research UK

·         Alzheimer’s Society

·         British Academy

·         British Heart Foundation

·         Cancer Research UK

·         EPSRC – Students

·         European Commission

·         EU MSCA

·         European Research Council (ERC)

·         Leverhulme Trust

·         National Institutes of Health (NIH)

·         National Institute of Health Research (NIHR)

·         Nuffield Foundation

·         Rosetrees Foundation

·         Royal College of Physicians

·         Royal Society

·         Wellcome Trust


Support for PGR mental health and wellbeing

The Wellbeing Thesis provides an online resource for postgraduate research students to support wellbeing, learning and research.

Information regarding support provided by the university can be viewed through the university Wellbeing webpages.



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