Request for COVID-19 funded extensions

Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) Higher Education Investment and Recovery (HEIR) Fund

Doctoral students may be able to request a funded extension of up to 12 weeks to their candidature.

Funded extensions will be conditional upon meeting eligibility criteria. To be considered for a funded extension, doctoral students must have experienced significant disruption to their research studies, which cannot be mitigated by revised research plans, leading doctoral researchers to be at risk of not having the quality of research available to complete their thesis successfully. Funded extensions will be allocated on a needs-priority basis and aimed at those with on-going support needs. Ongoing support needs include disabled students, those with long-term illness, who are neurodivergent, or who have caring responsibilities. 

HEFCW funded extension guidance



Who is eligible? 

Students who started their doctoral studies before 31 March 2020. 

Students who are within their minimum candidature and are 100 % or part-funded at a 50% threshold by the University (including College-funded studentships) 

Students who had an end date in the period 1 March 2020 – 1 January 2021, who have not yet submitted their thesis. 

What would make me ineligible?

The following groups aren’t eligible for this funding, students who are in receipt of a fees only award, students who are 100%-funded by an external third party or students who are self-funded.

I was able to apply for UKRI or WEFO funding for an extension, can I apply? 

No, students who were eligible to apply for UKRI or WEFO funding who did not choose to do so at the original point of opportunity, or who have applied for, or been in receipt of a funded extension from UKRI or WEFO, are not eligible to apply.

How to apply

You can apply for an extension by completing the form AR1PR-1-EN , a Workplan, and providing an endorsement from your College Director of Research.

Please ensure you have read the HEFCW funded extension guidance and discussed with your supervisor before submitting your application.

You have until 12:00 (noon) on Monday 15th March to submit your request, by emailing the completed documents to In order for your application to be considered, it must be received by this time. Any submissions received after the deadline will not be considered.

How long will it take me to complete the documents and submit my application?

The submission deadline of 12:00pm (noon) on Monday 15th March will be strictly adhered to, so to ensure you are able to make an application you will need to allow enough time to consider:

  • The need to provide detailed information to support your application
  • Time to liaise with your supervisor both to agree adaptation of research and support for your application.
  • Time to seek endorsement from your College Director of Research for your application.

Any submissions received after the deadline of 12:00 (noon) on Monday 15th March will not be considered.

I don’t want to share my circumstances with my supervisor

In this case you can, as an alternative, discuss your circumstances and request with your College Director of Research.

How will my request be evaluated?

We are implementing a three-stage evaluation process.

  • Completion of all four criteria within the form.
  • Endorsement of application by College Director of Research.
  • Independent panel review, chaired by Professor Helen Griffiths, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation

When will I be notified of the outcome?

We expect, following ratification of the outcomes by the University’s Senior Leadership team, that research students will be notified of the outcome by the end of April 2021. Notification will be sent via Student Academic Services.

How will I receive the extra funding allocated to me?

If your extension request is approved, PGR Office, in conjunction with College/Faculty administrative teams, will undertake adjustments to bursaries so that funds can be released to research students as quickly as possible. 

What if I’m not happy with the panel outcome?

Should a research student wish to make an appeal following notification of the panel’s decision, they may do so only on the basis that the institutional procedures for submitting and evaluating their extension request have not been followed. Full details of the appeals process can be found in the HEFCW funded extension guidance documents.


If you have any queries about this process not answered in these FAQs please email