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Funded Sick Leave


 

You can apply for up to 13 weeks of funded sick leave in a 12 month period for medical reasons, if you are currently in receipt of either UKRI or College funding, and receive a termly stipend payment.

Paid sick leave is available to both full time and part time PGR students.

During this time, you will continue to receive stipend payments, retain access to College facilities, and your deadlines will be extended by the length of your sick leave.

Please note that:

  • you will receive paid sick leave only if the request is fully supported by a Fit Note/medical certificate.
  • you do not need to follow the standard interruption process if the interruption is for up to 13 weeks on evidenced medical grounds.  However, if your illness extends past 13 weeks, you will need to complete the standard interruption request process. 
  • If you are funded by an external agency, but the funding is administered through Royal Holloway (i.e. the College receives money from an agency and the College pays out your maintenance), your supervisor will need to check directly with the funder whether the terms and conditions set allow Sick Leave or Interruption of studies at any point. If they do not, then you cannot be considered for Sick Leave. This excludes any UKRI funded DTP/CDT.

If you are planning on seeking medical funded sick leave, you must inform us as soon as possible.

The process for College funded PGR students mirrors that for UKRI funded students, and you can find further details on the UKRI website.

What should I do first?

  • You should only complete this form once you have discussed your intentions with your supervisor.
  • You may wish to seek guidance from Student Advisory and Wellbeing by emailing them or going to their webpages.
  • You can also seek guidance from the Students' Union Advice Centre by emailing them or going to their webpages.

I am not funded - Can I apply for funded Sick Leave?

No, non-funded students are not eligible for funded sick leave. If you need to take a period of leave for sickness, and are not in receipt of any funding, or you wish to take a period of leave after your funding has ended, you can request an interruption for medical reasons here.

I am UKRI or College funded - Can I apply for funded Sick Leave?

  • Yes - you can apply for a maximum of 13 weeks of funded sick leave per 12 month period of studies on the grounds of medical reasons. This is the same for both full time and part time PGR students.
  • You will continue to receive your stipend payments for up to 13 weeks, and your funding end date will be extended by the period of sick leave taken, as well as any outstanding deadlines.
  • You will retain access to all College facilities.
  • Your application MUST be accompanied by a medical Fit Note covering the period of sick leave being requested.
  • Any period of sick leave above the maximum 13 weeks permitted must be requested as a standard Interruption to studies.

I am co-funded (partly by College partly by external funder) - Can I apply for funded Sick Leave?

Your supervisor will need to check directly with the funder whether the terms and conditions set allow Sick Leave or Interruption of studies at any point. If they do not, then no, you cannot be considered for funded Sick Leave for any portion of your funding, i.e. if you are 50%  co-funded by College, you are not entitled to apply for 50% of the sick leave you require, but you should instead apply via the standard interruption process.

I was previously UKRI/College funded but my funding has now ceased - Can I apply for funded Sick Leave?

No, if you are no longer funded, you are not eligible for funded sick leave. If you need to take a period of leave for sickness, and your funding has ended, you can request an interruption of studies for medical reasons here.

What kind of evidence do I need to provide?

  • Your request for funded sick leave MUST be accompanied by a Fit Note which cover the dates of your leave request, up to a maximum of 13 weeks.
  • If your Fit Note is in a languge other than English, this must be translated and clearly show the start and end dates of the note.
  • No other medical evidence can be considered for funded sick leave.
  • You can find examples of a Fit Note here.

What is my student status during funded Sick Leave?

Students who have interrupted their studies on the grounds of funded sick leave remain registered students of the College and subject to College Regulations, and retain the use of College facilities. As such you must complete enrolment accordingly.

Should you have any queries, please contact us.

Will I still retain access to College facilities?

Yes, if your interruption is due to funded sick leave, you will retain access to facilities throughout the whole period of leave. We will inform the relevant colleagues of this, but if you find any problems when accessing facilities, just let us know!

I'm a Student Route / Tier 4 student. Can I apply for funded Sick Leave?

If you have a Student Route / Tier 4 visa, you should discuss the implications of any period of interruption, including funded sick leave with our International Student Support Office (ISSO) prior to making an application. For further advice, please contact internationaladvice@royalholloway.ac.uk.

 

I am in my writing up year - Can I apply for funded Sick Leave?

If your funding covers your writing up year and you are in receipt of maintenance/stipend payments during that time, then you can apply for funded sick leave.

If your funding does not cover your writing up year, then in extenuating circumstances you can apply for an interruption via a suspension of regulations request.

You will need to complete the standard interruption request process.

What if I need longer than 13 weeks?

If you require a period of leave that exceeds 13 weeks, this period of time should be applied for as a period of interruption and this will need to go through a formal approval process. Please read about the interruption process for more information.

If you are applying for funded sick leave followed immediately by an interruption, you should apply for both at the same time by completing the online interruption request form, and uploading your completed Sick Leave request form and Fit Note to this request.

Can I apply for funded Sick Leave retrospectively?

You should not apply for funded sick leave retrospectively. However we are aware that there are sometimes delays in obtaining medical evidence, so if you are intending to apply for funded sick leave, you should inform the Doctoral School and your supervisor of your intentions immediately.

If you are unable to update your supervisor of your intention to request funded sick leave until after the event, due to extreme illness or hospitalisation, you must provide an explanation of this on your request for funded sick leave form.

How does funded Sick Leave impact my deadlines?

  • Your deadlines are extended by the period of funded sick leave taken.
  • Your new deadlines will be emailed to you once your funded sick leave has been processed.

How does funded Sick Leave impact my Funding End Date?

  • Your funding end date will be extended by the period of funded sick leave taken.
  • Your new funding end date will be emailed to you once your funded sick leave has been processed.

What happens if I am unable to return from my funded Sick Leave?

If you are unable to return to your studies after being granted funded sick leave, or decide to withdraw from your course at the end of your funded sick leave, you will be required to repay any stipend payments made to you.

 

I've read the information above and have decided to apply for funded Sick Leave. What do I need to do?

How do I request funded Sick Leave?

If you wish to request an interruption of studies of up to 13 weeks on the grounds of funded sick leave:

  • You must contact your supervisor to discuss the details of your funded sick leave
  • You MUST read all sections above before completing the request form

I've submitted the funded Sick Leave request form. What happens next?

Your form will be sent to the School Director of PGR Education for academic approval.

After the form has been processed and your student record has been updated, you will receive a confirmation email from the Doctoral School to confirm how the funded sick leave affects your:

  • upgrade deadlines (if not already upgraded)
  • thesis/dissertation submission deadline
  • funding end date

 

 Funded Sick Leave form for postgraduate researchers

 

 

Contact us

By email:

doctoralschool@rhul.ac.uk

Find out how our Helpdesk team can help you online 

Quick links


A to Z for PGR students

Funded Sick Leave Request Form

Interruption of Studies - guidance and form

Interruption guidance for those in receipt of a studentship

UKRI website.

Research degree regulations and Code of Practice for research students and supervisors