Information on Coronavirus

for postgraduate researchers 

Updated 20 May 2021

College wide information can be found on the 2020/21 Information Hub

Coronavirus information messages sent to the Royal Holloway email address of all current postgraduate researchers:

We will not be sending out any further specific coronavirus newsletters but will inform you of return to campus updates via the Researcher Fortnightly newsletter, our webpages and Twitter (@RHULDocSchool). 

Does the relaxation of the Covid guidelines on 17 May change the advice for PGRs about coming to campus?

In short, no.  For the time being, the advice remains the same a i.e. in line with the advice given to staff, please continue to work from home where possible. Those of you who do need to come on to campus will notice that more indoor social areas will start opening up. Quiet study space continue to be found in the Library and in additional study spaces across campus. If you are coming on to campus, please remember to take regular lateral flow tests.

A term 3 update can be found here.

Lateral flow tests for those coming on to campus

From 17 May it will be easier to record your home testing on the NHS site and, as long as you click on Royal Holloway under the options, the College will get this information and we’ll know that you’ve tested. Home test kits can be ordered from the NHS  and delivered to your home, they’re available at Englefield Pharmacy and can also be picked up at the PCR testing site in car park 12 on campus.  

Our lateral flow campus testing centre will also continue, offering a quick and easy service to keep you safe. Booking is preferred but you can walk-in as well – it is open Monday to Friday, 8am to 12pm. If you’re testing on campus, we’ve introduced a Thanks for testing rewards programme for you and your favourite club, society or student volunteering programme. 

Can I travel outside of the UK to study?

The College's Director of Health and Safety has created some advice about what travel / study is permitted outside of the UK at the moment.

Find out more

How will my supervision continue during this period?

Supervision should have moved online  e.g. via MS Teams, Skype, Facetime etc.

If your supervisor is not available for periods of time due to Coronavirus, remember that you have your second supervisor or advisor whom you can also contact for support

Where can I go for advice and support during this period?

Intranet /  email: Ensure you keep updated on official College advice and guidance by checking back on this page regularly and checking your College email account regularly.

Supervisory team: Discuss any concerns you may have with your supervisor(s). Your supervisory team is there to support you and they should help you come up with a contingency plan to ensure you are able to re-prioritise and continue to be productive in the event of various types of disruption.

Wellbeing: If you have specific coronavirus concerns, please contact  The Student Advisory and Wellbeing team is there to support you with other well-being concerns, for example coping with increased feelings of isolation.

International Student Support Office: If you are studying on a Tier 4 visa and have returned home due to Covid-19 and are concerned about how this may affect your visa, please contact

SU Advice Centre:  The Students’ Union Advice Centre offers free, independent support on any academic and housing issues you are facing. Read how the Advice Centre supports PGR students

Doctoral School: For support and advice on PGR regulations, policy and procedures, please contact

Visit the Wellbeing for PGRs webpage

Tips for working well remotely


I am concerned that Coronavirus has impacted my research. What should I do to extend my upgrade / submission / funding deadline?

  • Phase 2 of the non-funded deadline extension scheme continues to be open.
  • Phase 2 of the funding extensions is now closed.  
  • If you are UKRI funded: At the end of March, the UKRI announced that there would be a further round of funding extensions.  These will be run and managed by the CDTs and DTPs, who will be able to give you further information on how this scheme will be implemented.  The scheme will be run on the same principles as the Phase 2 process and should be open to funded students, even if an application under Phase 1 or 2 has previously been approved – or rejected

Find out more

Can I interrupt if my research is being impacted by coronavirus?

If you are self-funded, you may decide to interrupt instead of requesting an extension.  Details on how to interrupt can be found here. Please note that, if you are a Tier 4 student, you are not able to interrupt retrospectively.

It is recommended that if you are a funded student, you do not interrupt as your stipend payments may be paused during your period of interruption.

I'm on a Tier 4 / Student Route visa.  Where can I get advice about how an extension or interruption may affect my visa?

Please contact the International Student Support Office at

I am not able to come to campus.  Will my annual review go ahead as scheduled?

Your meeting can be held remotely, using for example MS Teams, Skype or Zoom.  All the necessary paperwork can be submitted remotely.

I am not able to come to campus.  Will my upgrade meeting go ahead as scheduled?

Your meeting can be held remotely, using for example MS Teams, Skype or Zoom.  All parties involved must agree to this course of action. All the necessary paperwork can be submitted remotely.

My thesis submission deadline is approaching.  How can I submit my thesis?

There is no longer the requirement to submit two hard copies of your thesis.  You therefore only need to submit your electronic copy to by your submission deadline, together with the declaration of number of words form.

The exception to this would be if either of your examiners specifically requested a hard copy, in which case the Doctoral School will let you know.

I am not able to come to campus. Will my viva go ahead as scheduled?

You have the option for your viva to go ahead remotely via video conference or to have it held face-to-face.  For further details, please read:

Conducting online vivas - guide for candidates

When will the Graduation ceremonies take place?

The difficult decision has had to be taken to postpone the summer graduation ceremonies.   

Find out more


Contact us

By email:

Find out how our Helpdesk team can help you online

 Quick links

2020/21 Information Hub

FAQs from the Office for Students on returning to university

Covid-19 extension requests

If you have specific queries regarding Coronavirus, contact

A to Z of the Doctoral School microsite