COVID-19 Information Page

The South West Doctoral Training Partnership is very aware of the impact Covid-19, home-working, cancelled fieldwork and often caring responsibilities are having upon your studies, and on your well-being.


21st October 2021: Letter from SWDTP Director, Rich Harris regarding Covid-19 for the new term. Read the full email here.

15th July 2021: E-mail from SWDTP Director, Rich Harris regarding applying for a further funded extension. You can read the full email here.

24th March 2021: The UKRI has updated its rules around eligibility for funded PhD extensions. Their announcement can be viewed at: It permits, in exceptional circumstances, further requests from students who had an earlier request turned down or who have already received an extension under phase one or phase two. We are expecting further guidance about this soon. We ask for your patience whilst this is obtained but, if you do have an immediate question, we recommend you direct it to your University for the time being.

26th February 2021: The SWDTP held a town hall session to listen to students’ concerns and, wherever possible, provide answers about the SWDTP, Covid-19 extensions, and other wider ranging concerns. From this we have produced a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ Document which you can click here to read.

22nd February 2021: The UKRI has issued an open letter detailing its updated extensions policy. This can be read here.

7th January 2021: The SWDTP will now follow the UKRI’s extensions process. The most up to date information on this can be found at:

11th November 2020: UKRI have released the results of their ongoing review on the COVID-19 Pandemic and its impact upon postgraduate research. The details of this can be read here. The SWDTP’s extensions process will change in order to fall in line with UKRI policy from January 2021.

15th October 2020: Please click here to download our COVID-19 extension form. Please send completed extension forms to Please only apply for an extension when you are in the last 12 months of your funded period.

24th April 2020: The UKRI issued an Open letter to students. The SWDTP will provide further information soon on the process for this.

20th April 2020: New information has been released by the UKRI:

The announcement can be viewed at: with some important answers to frequently asked questions at

For now, we ask you to continue following the guidance in the letter dated 6th April, below, until we can provide further clarification on how this will affect you.

6th April 2020: We understand that that these are unprecedented times and are in regular correspondence with the ESRC and with our partner institutions, with the issue of extensions to research and how those will be funded a priority. Our Director, Professor Richard Harris, has provided some information in a letter to our Postgraduate Researchers regarding extensions and the SWDTP’s ongoing response to COVID-19.

SWDTP COVID-19 Letter from Professor Richard Harris

For now, we ask that you keep a log of the impact Covid-19 is having upon your studies and retain any supporting evidence. UKRI guidance can be found at

For those who have applied for an ESRC funded studentship or Postdoctoral Fellowship: we are endeavouring to remain on track in our reviewing and decision making timeline. If this changes you will be notified.


Please refer to these pages for further information:

UKRI’s Page on the Impact of Coronavirus on Funded Researchers

ESRC’s Postgraduate Funding Guide

ESRC’s Coronavirus Updates


Similarly, please follow your institution’s guidelines where appropriate:

The University of Bath: Advice for Doctoral Students

The University of Bristol: Advice for Postgraduate Research Students

The University of Exeter: Doctoral College Coronavirus Advice

The University of Plymouth: Doctoral College Coronavirus Advice

The University of the West of England: Coronavirus Guidance for Students