Information on Coronavirus

for postgraduate researchers 

Updated 11 March 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 governement's announcement of 22 February change the advice for PGRs about coming to campus?

In short, no.  For the time being, the advice remains the same as the advice since the beginning of this term i.e. 

Work from home 

To comply with the Government’s ‘stay at home’ instruction, we strongly recommend that you work from home, wherever possible, during the period of this new lockdown.  If you would normally be planning to come on to campus during this period, please discuss with your supervisor if it is possible for you to re-sequence or re-shape your research to allow you to continue with your research off campus for the time being. 

Exceptional reasons for coming to campus

The Government recognises that there are some students who have a compelling reason to come to campus to access facilities.  These include for example:

  • Research students requiring access to labs due to time-sensitive research:  Ideally, you should try to re-schedule your lab work, in discussion with your supervisor, to take place after the lockdown. However, if this is not possible, and you are happy to travel to campus, laboratories on campus will remain open for your work, with the agreement of your supervisor.  Please ensure that you continue to adhere to the Covid-19 Health and Safety and other Health and Safety guidelines you followed in the lab last term. 
  • Research students without access to appropriate study spaces or facilities at home: The library will remain open to provide study space for students who have a compelling reason to be on campus.  You can find out more about opening times and how to use the libraries resources here.  The study hubs will also remain open. 

Although you will not need to apply to come on to campus, unlike the first lockdown, please think carefully about how necessary it is for you to do this.

FAQs for all students following the 22 February announcement can be found here.

Lateral flow tests for those coming on to campus

If you are coming on to campus, you are expected to take part in the lateral flow device testing (LFD) programme if you can.  The tests are continuing into March.  Find out more and book your test. 

Lateral flow tests are also currently available in central London until 23 February. 

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?

  • The deadline for applications for phase 2 of the funding extension scheme has now passed.  Applicants should be informed of the outcome by early April.
  • Phase 2 of the non-funded deadline extension scheme is now open

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

Will there be a delay in the issuing of my degree certificate?

The Diploma Production Office in central London, which issues University of London certificates, re-opened in early July.  Certificates are normally issued by them within 3 - 6 months of your award date but they inevitably have a backlog to work through so please be patient.  You will be sent an award letter by the Doctoral School once your award has been processed but if you require any further proof of award in the meantime, please contact us.

When will the Graduation ceremonies take place?

The difficult decision has had to be taken to postpone the summer graduation ceremonies this year to 2022. 

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