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Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership


This web page has been set up to address concerns related to the AHRC DTP and to provide advice on where best to turn with any further queries.


The Cambridge AHRC DTP team are now working from home in line with University guidelines, but we remain committed to doing all that we can to ensure you remain safe and supported throughout the Covid-19 outbreak. We are therefore also keen to reduce to an absolute minimum any concerns which you might have about the impact of the outbreak on your doctoral studies.


We are in contact with the AHRC for further advice on regulating details on possible funding and/or submission date extensions.


We will keep communicating any update with you via email and on this webpage.


Should you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, please email us on Please also contact us if you wish to discuss ways of keeping touch with one another during the pandemic. We cannot emphasize enough the value of peer-to-peer support within, across and radiating out from DTP cohorts. The creation of a community  of mutual support has always been the bedrock of Cambridge AHRC DTP training. In times of great difficulty, such support becomes all the more crucial, and we will do all we can to facilitate it.


The below section will include information on the following topics:

Cambridge University Guidance Update

UKRI and AHRC Advice

Cambridge AHRC DTP Response

Maintenance Payments

Study Visits, Conference Trips, Internships and Placements




Cambridge University Guidance Update

All University buildings are now closed for the foreseeable future. General advice for research students are available on the University’s dedicated coronavirus webpages.

However, if you have questions in relation to AHRC funding policy and regulations, or general AHRC DTP related issues, please contact us in the first instance, using the shared address. If your question relates to the actual payment of maintenance, RTSG or SDF, then contact:


UKRI and AHRC Advice

UKRI has released a statement regarding its approach to Coronavirus. This statement is made on behalf of all of the Research Councils that form UKRI, so it also represents the AHRC’s advice on the subject to date.

The AHRC and other Research Councils are working to identify potential issues facing students, and they will offer more advice in due course.

As part of their support work, the AHRC have already started consulting all of their DTPs around the UK. The Cambridge AHRC DTP is actively engaged in that consultation process, and we will raise any funding and regulatory matters which we think might cause you concern.


Cambridge AHRC DTP Response

We can confirm that the Cambridge AHRC DTP will:

  • work with colleagues in the University to ensure maintenance payments continue as usual;

  • consider extensions to submission dates in cases where closure of University buildings, self-isolation or travel restrictions leave you unable to complete essential primary research tasks in time to finish your thesis by your original submission deadline (for example, where indispensable archive and library visits, fieldwork and laboratory work, or interviewing and data collection cannot be conducted in timely fashion);

  • consider extensions to maintenance funding for fully funded students in cases where such critical primary research tasks have to be postponed for a significant period of time, or where a significant period of self-isolation does not prevent you from conducting research, but does substantively undermine your ability to complete your doctorate within the funded period (where you are prevented from carrying out a considerable portion of the work that you and your supervisor expected to be manageable within the 36 funded months of your PhD, before the outbreak of Covid-19 reduced your opportunities to conduct primary research).

At present, our assumption is that we will consider requests for extensions to submission dates or maintenance funding on a case-by-case basis but we will clarify this point in due course.

We very much hope that these measures will reassure you in the face of developments over the coming weeks and months. If you are able safely to carry out substantive work on your thesis from home, or while self-isolated, we would recommend that you do so. In this case, your maintenance will still be paid as outlined above.

We will establish a procedure for requesting funding extensions in due course. If you determine that you are likely to need more funded time in which to complete postponed essential primary research tasks, then we would recommend you to make a request once that procedure has been introduced.

We would recommend that fees-only students of the Cambridge AHRC DTP contact their maintenance sponsor for advice on funding during the crisis. We would also advise you to consider the hardship support available in Departments and Colleges. Details are available via the following sites.

If you think that you will be unable to undertake any research at all for a significant period of time, please discuss your situation with your supervisor in the first instance. If your supervisor agrees that research will need to be paused for a significant period of time, please contact us using the address, before going through the formal intermission process on CamSIS.

If you contract Covid-19 or any other form of illness, current UKRI and AHRC terms and conditions apply. According to those terms and conditions, the Cambridge AHRC DTP is expected to continue payment of a studentship for absences covered by a medical certificate which last up to 13 weeks within any 12-month period. However, in cases where a medically certified illness lasts for more than 13 weeks, we are expected to suspend the studentship for the period beyond those 13 weeks. In line with the UKRI statement, we will accept any revised government guidance concerning medical certification.

To recap, we would recommend that you continue working in a safe space and delay intermission, unless:

i) you need to take a break from your PhD for health reasons;

ii) you absolutely need to take a break from your PhD to care for people close to you;

iii) or there is absolutely no substantive work that you can do on your thesis in the current situation.


Maintenance Payments

In general, Cambridge University and the Cambridge AHRC DTP expect your maintenance payments to be made without disruption. The University has put business continuity plans in place to ensure that this is the case.

In the event that you do not receive a payment when expected, please get in touch with the Student Funding Team at the Student Registry in the first instance, using this address: If that step does not lead to a response, please contact us via the shared DTP address:


Study Visits, Conference Trips, Internships and Placements

The DTP is keen to do everything in its power to ensure that students will not miss out on essential study visits, or have to carry the cost of visits which have already been paid for, but cannot go ahead due to the virus.

However, in line with University advice on returning and staying at home until further notice, as well as on following Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) indications, our current recommendation is not to undertake any unnecessary long-distance travel for the purposes of research. The obvious exception to this advice is travel which you need to undertake in order to get home.

If you are already away for fieldwork, a study visit, or a conference, we would recommend that you return to your home as soon as practically possible.

If you are coming to the end of a period of fieldwork, study visit, or conference trip, we would recommend that you return home rather than to Cambridge if at all possible. If you are able to follow this recommendation, then you should apply through CamSIS:

i) either to extend your Leave to Work Away, if you are able to continue working on your studies;

ii) or for intermission, if you are not.

If you have to return to Cambridge, then there is no need to apply for Leave to Work Away.

Whether you return home or to Cambridge, we would advise you to delay intermission if you are able to carry out any substantive work on your thesis.

If you are already engaged in fieldwork or a study visit and are not in a position to cut your travel short, inform the University Insurance Office of any extended period of working away.

We would further advise you not to book or pay for any travel to or accommodation in any countries to which access is already limited or blocked. Given the rapidly developing situation, this advice effectively amounts to recommending that you do not book or pay for any research or conference travel.

We do still think that it is worth continuing to research and plan for essential study visits later in the year. If the virus does subside during the late spring or summer, travel might become more feasible. However, if you are planning a trip for later in the year, our advice would still be to hold off from booking and paying until nearer the time, and to consult us directly at that stage.

If you have booked and paid for any travel or accommodation already, and if you stand to lose money should you cancel, then we would advise you to maintain your bookings until such time as the providers cancel, or travel is blocked by the appropriate governments or authorities. That way, you might still receive a refund, or qualify for an insurance payment.

We are in conversation with the AHRC to find out how much flexibility they will allow with regard to the timing of essential research visits in the latter stages of your studentship, where those visits have been delayed due to Coronavirus. If there is a change to current guidance on study visits in the final 3 months of your original funded period, or in your fourth/‘writing-up’ year, we will let you know.



In line with our advice on continuing to make travel plans for study visits later in the year, if you do have any such plans, we would advise you to submit an application for RTSG based on estimated costs by the 7 April deadline. That way, you will have a chance of securing support if the travel can go ahead.

We will endeavour to be as flexible as we can be with regards to justifiable changes to the dates and costings of study visits for which funding has already been approved. As noted already, we will be discussing with the AHRC whether it may be possible to relax the normal rules which preclude study visits in the last 3 months of your funded period or later. If the rules are changed we will of course let you know.

As such, please do not be concerned that your application will be invalidated simply because the dates and costs of a study visit are likely to change. Do apply in good time if you can.

However, please do refrain from booking and paying for any travel or accommodation in relation to your applications until you can be sure that you will be able to travel, and we can be sure that the AHRC will allow us to grant you RTSG support.

If you have already booked and paid for any travel or accommodation using an RTSG allocation, or on the basis of a confirmed RTSG allocation which has not yet been paid, we would ask you, if at all possible, to maintain your bookings until providers cancel, or travel is blocked by the appropriate authorities. We would also ask you to claim refunds or credit notes from providers, and to make travel insurance claims if refunds or credit notes are not forthcoming. Please contact us to discuss whether it would be better to return any refunds to the DTP, or rather to repurpose them for a delayed study visit later in the year.

If providers and insurers fail to cover the cancellation or blockage for reasons not of your making, then please rest assured that the Cambridge AHRC DTP will not ask you to return any funding lost to abandoned travel or accommodation provision.

In the unlikely event that you have already booked and paid for travel or accommodation in relation to a study visit for which you have been planning to seek RTSG support, but for which you have not yet made an application, please contact us directly using the address.

If you are thinking of applying for support to cover a placement, internship, training course or other high-cost skills development activity, we would similarly advise you to submit an application for SDF based on estimated costs and time commitments by the 7 April deadline, if you can. All of the other advice relating to RTSG applications set out above is applicable to SDF as well.

We are investigating whether the current deadline for RTSG and SDF applications can be extended.



We will investigate ways in which next term’s cohort-level and other doctoral training might still be delivered in some form. We will contact you with further details in due course.

AHRC Colloquia Fund

We have already been in touch with organizers of forthcoming conferences and colloquia which have received funding from the Cambridge AHRC DTP. Those convenors have been advised to postpone their events, and to investigate ways of rearranging them at a later date.

AHRC Student-led Research and Reading Groups

We would offer similar advice to convenors of student-led research and reading groups to postpone their events. However, we would also encourage group organizers to explore ways of continuing to meet virtually, since staying in contact during the crisis can help to maintain morale and mental health, and virtual group meetings will offer you a valuable opportunity for mutual support.

Cambridge AHRC DTP International Conference on Form and Forgetting

We are still hopeful that the situation might have improved by late September, and so arrangements for the International Conference on Form and Forgetting will continue until further notice. If no earlier opportunity presents itself, we very much hope that this event might offer everybody a chance to reunite in person later in the year.