Covid-19 FAQs

Advice for doctoral candidates

To make progress with my research, I need access to campus before the start of Michaelmas Term, what shall I do?

If a PhD student feels that they have a compelling reason to return to campus over the Summer in order to enable their research work to continue, they should email Research.Access.Request.Covid@lse.ac.uk. They will be asked to complete a form outlining their requirements and their reasons, which will be shared with their supervisor or PhD Manager, and Department Manager. Each request will be assessed individually and where possible remote working solutions will be found. If campus access is deemed necessary, a risk assessment and health declaration will need to be submitted and approved by the School’s senior management.

My research plans are being disrupted by the pandemic, what shall I do?

The School has put in a place a scheme to offer financial support to those students whose research plans have been significantly disrupted by the pandemic.

The way the scheme will work depends on a number of different factors, which are explained in detail here.  

Can I resume/start fieldwork/data collection?


In line with the current social distancing restrictions due to COVID-19, fieldwork/research involving any face-to-face data collection (such as interviews, focus groups, etc.) will need to be paused or alternative methods arranged (e.g. conducting interviews using video conference platforms, using online surveys, etc.). 

The School will only allow travel for research purposes to countries/territories that are exempted from the Foreign and Commonwealth’s (FCO) “all but essential travel” list following the completion of a travel and COVID specific assessment. Approval to travel will be withdrawn if it the country/territory is removed from the list prior to departure. Travel to all other countries will not be permitted at this time

If you data collection in the country /territory where the research is due to take place can be safely resumed (either by yourself or by local research assistants/enumerators, etc.), you will need to make a case to the Research Ethics Team to undertake face-to-face data collection.

Note that any travel for fieldwork/data collection purposes currently requires approval by the School’s Senior Management Committee (SMC) and you will be required to undertake risk assessments. This includes students that are currently studying away from London due to COVID 19.

Risk assessments and ethics approvals should be undertaken at least 3 months prior the intended fieldwork/data collection start date.

If you wish to commence/resume fieldwork/ data collection in London, then providing you have the necessary ethics and health and safety approvals you do not need to submit any forms to the PhD Academy. Any fieldwork/data collection being carried out away from London will require you to submit a fieldwork/data collection form to the PhD Academy at least one month prior to the start of your intended fieldwork/data collection.

If you have any questions about research ethics or the resumption of face-to-face research, please email research.ethics@lse.ac.uk.

If you have any questions about risk assessments/travel, please email health.and.safety@lse.ac.uk.

Can I undertake a period of study elsewhere?

The School will only allow travel for research purposes to countries/territories that are exempted from the Foreign and Commonwealth’s (FCO) “all but essential travel” list following the completion of a travel and COVID specific assessment. Approval to travel will be withdrawn if it the country/territory is removed from the list prior to departure. Travel to all other countries will not be permitted at this time

You can make an application for a period of study elsewhere but please note that any travel for research purposes currently requires approval by the School’s Senior Management Committee (SMC) and you will be required to undertake risk assessments. This includes students that are currently studying/residing away from London due to COVID 19.

If your study elsewhere period involves face-to- face data collection then you be also required to make a case to the Research Ethics Team.

Risk assessments and ethics approvals should be undertaken at least 3 months prior to the start of the intended study elsewhere period.

All students intending to undertake a period of study elsewhere are required to read the Study Elsewhere form and submit a completed form to the PhD Academy at least one month prior to the start of the study elsewhere period.

If you are a Research Council funded student (ESRC, AHRC) and wish to undertake an Overseas Intuitional Visit or an internship/collaboration placement, please email p.harris@lse.ac.uk  copying in phdacademy@lse.ac.uk in the first instance.

If you have any questions about research ethics or the resumption of face-to-face research, please email research.ethics@lse.ac.uk.

If you have any questions about risk assessments/travel, please email health.and.safety@lse.ac.uk.

 

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

Updated 4 August 2020

If you have been granted a period of residing outside the UK already and cannot return to the UK and wish to extend this then you will be granted permission to reside outside the UK until the end of Michaelmas Term 2020. (Friday 11 December 2020)

If you now need to return home or relocate elsewhere you will be granted permission to reside outside the UK until the end of Michaelmas Term 2020 (Friday 11 December 2020)

 You are required to make a request by emailing phdacademy@lse.ac.uk. A member of the team will let you know what information you need to provide. 

IMPORTANT NOTE

 

  • If you are receiving funding from the School then that will be in place for Michaelmas term while you reside outside the UK.
  • If you hold a current Tier 4 student visa then the sponsorship of your visa will continue during Michaelmas term while you reside outside the UK. You are still advised to check the International Student Visa Advice Team's webpages  for the latest information on COVID 19 and your Tier 4 visa
  • If you are a EU/EEA/Swiss student you should seek advice from the International Student Visa Advice Team prior to requesting the residing outside the UK so that you are aware of any impact of this on any settled status scheme that you may be applying for.

Arrangements for Lent Term will be confirmed closer to the time.  If you wish to discuss a situation that falls outside the above arrangement, please email phdacademy@lse.ac.uk

 

I’m due for upgrade or annual review, what will happen?

 All upgrades and annual reviews scheduled over the next couple of months will be carried out remotely in line with LSE’s decision to deliver all UG and PTG examinations online. You will receive information about local arrangements from your Department.

If your ability to work towards specific deadlines has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, you should let your supervisors and DPD know so that an extension to your assessment can be arranged.   

What’s the guidance for Tier 4 visa holders?

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

Michaelmas Term 2020/21 Stipend Payments

Those eligible for a Michaelmas Term Stipend will be contacted  by the Financial Support Office before the start of term with details of how the payment will be made.

If you have any questions about this please contact the LSE's Financial Support Office on financial-support@lse.ac.uk. They are currently working remotely, please bear with them as responses may take slightly longer

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

For the remainder of this calendar year ( until 31 December 2020)  you only need to submit your 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 infromation if that is the case.

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

Will my viva examination still go ahead? (PhD students only)

If your viva is scheduled in the next couple of months, it will be carried out remotely, via Zoom (a video conferencing tool) or other similar platforms. This will be arranged by your department.

Departments have been asked to ensure that all parties have been consulted, have approved the online arrangement, and that they have adequate technical facilities. They have also been asked to ensure that support is available to you during the viva, in case you encounter any issues (e.g., your supervisor/s or DPD should be reachable during and after the viva). 

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.