Covid-19 FAQs

Advice for Research Students

I need a new ID card/I need to register, what shall I do?

 UPDATED 7 February 2022

Due to the impact of Omicron, the PhD Academy will be operating opening hours at reduced capacity and by appointment. We are open Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10:30am to 12:30pm. This will be in place until 25 February 2022. From 28 February 2022, our opening hours will also include Tuesday and our opening hours will be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 10.30-12.30. This will be in place until the end of March 2022. Opening hours for April 2022 onwards will be updated here closer to the time.

If you need to complete registration/ re-registration, collect an ID card or require our office to complete a railcard application form (or similar) then please submit a query using this link so that we can book an appointment for you in line with our opening hours.

Please bring along photo ID when collecting your student ID card.  Information on what documents you need to bring along with you for registration/ re-registration can be found here. Please ensure you have the correct documentation with you as otherwise we cannot complete registration/ re-registration.

Note: Access is via the Portugal Street entrance. Please do not go via the 4th floor of the Library as the inter-connecting door is closed. 

The safety of staff and students is a primary concern and in order to help stop the spread of Coronavirus we have put in place additional measures to protect the LSE community.  Please ensure that:

  • You attend only the session for which you have been allocated;
  • You wear a face mask whilst visiting the PhD Academy, unless you are exempt;
  • You follow signage and guidance around queuing, entry and exit;  
  • You do not come onto campus if you have symptoms or are self-isolating;
  • You have completed a Covid Test and reported a negative result prior to visiting the PhD Academy.

 

I need a confirmation of status letter, what shall I do?

You can generate your own student status letters by using this link. If you are in receipt of School funding and need details of the funding to be confirmed you will need to request a letter from the Financial Support Office.

If you have submitted your thesis and are in the examination process then you will need to request a bespoke letter from us. Please send an email to phdacademy@lse.ac.uk.

I’m having problems accessing secure data for my research, what shall I do?

In the first instance please contact the datalibrary@lse.ac.uk who can advise you on the most appropriate access route currently available and any additional steps you will need to take. Please note that in some cases the data routes recommended by data providers may not be possible in the current circumstances. Negotiations with data providers and the necessary approval checks may take some time, so please get in touch with us as early as possible so that we can assist you. 

My research plans are being disrupted by the pandemic/ I need to apply for a COVID 19 extension, what shall I do?

 Updated 02 Feb 2022

In 2020 the School put in a place a scheme to offer financial support to students who were registered on their MRes/MPhil/PhD programme in the 2019/20 academic year and whose research plans had been significantly disrupted by the pandemic. The scheme is now broadened to include students who started their registration in August/September 2020 (on either an MPhil or an MRes or on an ESRC funded MSc) and to students who have already received a COVID extension under the original scheme.

The way the scheme will work depends on a number of different factors, which are explained in detail here.  Please read this document carefully to determine which version of the scheme you are eligible to apply for.

If eligible, you will need to submit an application, which will be considered by the COVID Extensions Panel. The Panel normally meets once a month and date of upcoming panel meetings are: 15 February 2022, 30 March 2022, 12 May 2022 and 29 June 2022.

NB: if your funding end-date or your submission deadline falls between June and December 2022, you must send your application in time for the 29 June panel meeting. Only in exceptional circumstances, your application will be considered on ad hoc basis during the summer months (July and August).

Please send your completed forms to phdacademy@lse.ac.uk at least one week before the relevant panel meeting.

What are the implications of the pandemic on my research activities?

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, international travel on School business is currently suspended, unless there are exceptional circumstances.  Further information on what can be considered and permitted can be found here.

If you wish to start your fieldwork, please check with Health and Safety in the first instance to see if this is permitted. If it is, then please complete the fieldwork form. Fieldwork forms should be completed and submitted to the PhD Academy at least one month prior to the proposed start of the fieldwork period.

Can I undertake a period of study elsewhere?

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, international travel on School business is currently suspended, unless there are exceptional circumstances.  Further information on what can be considered and permitted can be found here.


If you wish to start your study elsewhere, please check with Health and Safety in the first instance to see if this is permitted. If it is, then please complete the study elsewhere form. Study elsewhere forms should be completed and submitted to the PhD Academy at least one month prior to the proposed start of the study elsewhere period.

 

Can I get permission to reside outside the UK? (MPhil/PhD students only)

 

UPDATED March 2022- Update supersedes any information published here prior to the update note. Please note that the guidance on residing outside the UK is subject to change, in line with Government guidance.  

Student visa holding students

As you will be aware, for the academic year 2021/2, a concession was applied by the Home Office which allowed students who are being sponsored for a student visa to reside outside the UK until 31 March 2022 without losing the sponsorship of their visa.  The Home Office has extended that date to 30 June 2022.  This means that research students can continue to reside outside the UK until then but will be expected to return to on campus study by 30 June 2022.

If you are currently outside the UK and wish to remain outside the UK until 30 June 2022, then you will need to complete the ROUK process outlined below for details on how to apply.

Please note that this scheme does not apply to new MPhil/PhD students starting in academic year 2021/2 who are expected to undertake on-campus studies.

Applying to the PhD Academy for a ROUK period (student visa holders)

• Please discuss your intention to reside outside the UK with your supervisor/s prior to applying.   

• Make a request by emailing phdacademy@lse.ac.uk with the following information: 

1.Full name:  

2.Student number:   

3.Are you funded by the School? If yes, what funding do you receive? (Examples, ESRC, LSE studentship):   

4.Reason for residing outside the UK:   

A: Please highlight all that apply from the list below: a. Health b. Family c. Unable to travel due to COVID 19 restrictions 

B. Please briefly expand on you reason(s) for requiring a residing outside the UK status and your arrangements for supervision:

5. Your current year of study 

6. Start date of residing outside the UK period:

7. End date of residing outside the UK period:  

8.Where will you be based during that time?     

Please copy in your PhD Manager and Doctoral Programme Director as we need departmental approval. 

Should you wish to discuss a different arrangement, then please email phdacademy@lse.ac.uk with a short description of your situation.  

Non- Student visa holding students

The School strongly encourages students who are not sponsored for a student visa to return to on campus study from the start of the Summer term (3 May 2022), however, if you are currently outside the UK, but are unable to return by the relevant deadline, then you will need to discuss your situation with your department.  

If your department is content for you to remain outside of the UK for the remainder of this academic year, then you will simply need to send an email to the PhD Academy and the PhD Manager in your department with start and end dates, and location. 

Please note that, you will be expected to return to on-campus study by the start of the next academic year, 26 September 2022.


Please note that this scheme does not apply to new MPhil/PhD students starting in academic year 2021/2 who are expected to undertake on-campus studies


IMPORTANT NOTES

  • If you are funded by LSE (this includes LSE, Departmental, Grantham and Leverhulme studentships) or ESRC/AHRC your stipend will remain in place during the ROUK.
  • If you hold a current student visa, the sponsorship of your visa will continue while you reside outside the UK. However, if you are a final year student your visa will only be sponsored if you are returning to the UK to complete your studies at least 2 months prior to your thesis submission deadline to complete your programme. LSE continues to monitor UK government advice and will update our guidance as appropriate if there are any developments.
  • If you plan to apply for the Graduate Route it is your responsibility to consult the International Student Visa Advice Team's webpages for the latest information on this. You can contact ISVAT directly should you have any follow up queries on this.  Please note that the PhD Academy is not able to answer any visa related queries. In order for you to obtain the correct information please direct Graduate Route visa queries to ISVAT only.
  • If you were travelling under the School's travel insurance prior to applying for permission to reside outside the UK you will need to contact health.and.safety@lse.ac.uk as you may no longer be eligible for cover. 
  • If you wish to carry out fieldwork and/or a period of study elsewhere, you must seek permission using the relevant application processes.  Information can be found on the PhD Academy A-Z of guidance under the headings of Fieldwork and Study Elsewhere respectively.

 

What’s the guidance for Tier 4/Student Route visa holders?

 You can find the most up to date guidance regarding Tier 4/Student Route visa here

Will I still need to submit a hard copy of my thesis? (PhD students only)

For the foreseeable future students only need to submit their thesis electronically. Please send your electronic thesis to phdacademy@lse.ac.uk

NB: Should an examiner need a hard copy of your thesis then you will be required to provide a hard copy. A member of staff will be in touch to make the request and will provide you with all the necessary information if that is the case.

The School is allowing a two-week grace period to all students’ submission deadlines.  Please email  phdacademy@lse.ac.uk to request this.

How can I contact the PhD Academy Team? 

The PhD Academy office has moved from face-to-face meetings to full online support. In order to ensure the quickest possible response, please use the service desk.

If you would like to speak to a member of the team, please state this in your enquiry and provide your contact details (e.g. Skype address, phone number, etc.) so that we can call you back.