Studentships are intended to be held on a continuous basis. Sometimes you may need to interrupt studies, for example as a result of persistent health problems for yourself or a dependant; or to take up a temporary, short term job opportunity which can be justified if it is highly relevant to your thesis or research training.
Interruption requests on the grounds of financial hardship will not be considered.
Suspensions can be approved provided that:
(i) the period of suspension does not exceed one calendar year in any one instance. Total periods of suspension must not exceed one calendar year during the lifetime of the award;
(ii) your supervisor has given their permission for you to suspend your studies. For CASE awards the collaborative partner must also indicate their approval of any requested suspension period;
(iii) your supervisor certifies that the suspension of studies will not delay the submission of the final thesis by more than the length of the suspension;
(iv) the request is made in advance: retrospective requests cannot be accepted.
What happens if you interrupt retrospectively?
Periods of suspension are usually added to the standard calculation of the thesis submission date and thus taken into account when the ESRC thesis submission rates are calculated.
If an award is suspended for any reason, you must repay any monies overpaid to you, including maintenance grant, fieldwork contribution, etc., back to LSE. All debts that arise as a result of overpayments, for whatever reason, must be actively pursued by LSE.
Furthermore, you must refund any amount paid, which is more than the amount due for whatever reason, and to which they are no longer entitled by virtue of a change in status of your studentship. This includes any payment for a period after a suspension whether by your own decision or that of LSE.
Requests for a suspension to your ESRC award should be made in writing and should also include a supporting letter from your supervisor. These requests should be sent to the Financial Support Office and the PhD Academy.