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New hardship funding announced for Postgraduate Research students

The University has agreed that £250,000 of additional funding will be made available to Postgraduate Research (PGR) students through the Sussex Student Hardship Fund.

The University Executive Group (UEG) has agreed to make this further funding available in order to support PGR students in genuine hardship. The Sussex PGR Hardship Fund will be available until 31 March 2021, and will be kept under review.

The University understands that Doctoral Researchers – a vital part of our postgraduate community – are in a unique position, juggling their studies, often alongside teaching responsibilities, and the challenges that researching away from campus may have presented over the past few months. Where possible, many individual doctoral research projects will have been adjusted. Regardless of how a Doctoral Researcher is funding their studies, and whether they are lab-based, collecting data, or writing-up, this will be a time of significant challenge and worry.

Priority for this new funding will be given to PGR students most in need – for example, those nearing completion of their doctoral studies and who are experiencing time-limited interruptions to their work. The maximum award payable by the fund will usually be £3,500. As with the University’s other hardship schemes, where students have savings, they would not usually be able to access hardship funding until these savings are exhausted.

PGR students from UKRI and the Wellcome Trust are not eligible to apply as they are receiving funded extensions.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Stephen Shute, who announced the funding in the PGR Open Forum today (11 June), says: “UEG is very aware of the financial challenges that many PGRs are facing and the difficulties that Covid-19 has presented to their studies and work.

“We want to highlight that Doctoral Researchers are eligible to consider the support available through the Doctoral School, the Student Life Centre and the Sussex Student Hardship Fund, and we hope the additional PGR-specific funding announced will help to ease financial difficulties during this period."

Further information about the PGR Hardship Fund and applying will be available in the week commencing 15 June on the Student Hardship webpages. Students in urgent need should apply in the usual way now.

Posted on behalf of: University of Sussex
Last updated: Thursday, 11 June 2020

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