Welcome to the Doctoral College’s Covid-related blog for postgraduate researchers and their supervisors.
Contents for Research Study in 2021-22
A Covid-aware approach
In line with government guidance, the university is following a Covid-aware approach. While national and university restrictions have been removed, there are some good habits that we can all continue to observe to help us remain safe when on campus. See the University’s FAQs for students for full details.
Face-to-face data collection: Face-to-face data collection for research is now permitted, subject to appropriate risk assessments being undertaken.
For further details, see the University of Brighton statement on guidance for face-to-face data collection for research (September 2021). Please also see the Research Services Ethics Framework page for guidance for doctoral student research.
Research-related travel: Travel overseas and within the UK is permitted, subject to the UK Government and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) guidance.
UK and international fieldwork and offsite activities are permitted, subject to risk assessment and approval by the Dean of School (DoS) or nominee. For the latest University policy (updated August 2021) see here.
Risk assessment guidance
If you’re planning to carry out a risk assessment for the first time, contact us in advance (DoctoralCollege@brighton.ac.uk) so we can get you set up on AssessNET.
- Discuss with your lead supervisor then approach your Dean of School (DoS) or nominee regarding the proposal for off-site work to take place
- Determine if travel is essential or the outcomes can be achieved another way
- If the off-site work must go ahead, carry out a risk assessment on AssessNET
- Write an emergency plan that explains what measures you will take if you
develop Covid symptoms during the research, or if travel rules change and you cannot return
home as intended.
- DoS or nominee must authorise the risk assessment before the work takes place
The University guidance covering offsite activities and field trips remains the valid process to follow. However, it is also essential to consider any Covid risks and destination restrictions as part of your offsite feasibility, planning and risk assessment.
For further advice and support in completing your risk assessment contact your Doctoral Studies School Lead (DSL). You should not apply to undertake this travel without the approval of your lead supervisor.
Any medical emergency during your trip will be covered by the normal University Insurance policy and will be supported through local medical services.
Online or in-person?
Many of us have found that the online practices adopted during Covid offer a range of advantages. With the removal of Covid restrictions, we now have a greater choice about whether to conduct activities online or in-person. We will be reviewing Doctoral College practice as we move towards the next academic year. For now, please see below for a summary of current advice and practice.
Supervisory meetings: You and your supervisory team should agree whether to meet online or in-person.
Vivas: Vivas can be held online or in-person. The format will be agreed on the basis of what is most suitable for the candidate and examiners. After the thesis has been submitted, please advise the Examination Officer, Ursula O’Toole, if you have a preference for an online or in-person viva.
See also our guidance on online vivas.
APRs: APRs can be held online or in-person. See also our guidance on online APRs.
- PRDP: The Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme (PRDP), our programme of skills training for doctoral students, is primarily delivered online with occasional on-campus sessions. On-campus sessions are not ‘hybrid’ sessions. They cannot be attended virtually and will not be recorded. Our aim is to ensure on-campus sessions will also be offered online on another date. Where available, recordings of online PRDP workshops can be found on our PRDP recordings page.
- UEA: The UEA Online Training Series for PGRs offers a series of webinars, many in the evenings. Visit our page for details of the UEA programme and booking instructions. This provision was online pre-Covid and will continue to be so.
New student inductions: Our main induction programme for doctoral students is held in October and our mid-year induction is usually held in February. During Covid, these events were held online. Key sessions were recorded for students joining at other times during the year or for those unable to attend. View recordings of the key induction presentations.
Doctoral College on-campus presence: Doctoral College administrative staff are working both remotely and on-campus. Please note, our offices do not have a drop-in facility or reception. If you’d like to speak to a Doctoral College staff member in-person, please email them to arrange an appointment. Similarly, if you wish to speak to an academic member of the Doctoral College you should email to make an appointment. Contact details for all Doctoral College staff are on our SharePoint Contact page.
PGR Study Rooms: The PGR communal study rooms on City Campus – Grand Parade 155 and Edward Street 102 – are open for use and desk space no longer needs to be booked. For information about School-owned rooms for PGRs, please contact your Doctoral Studies Lead.
See also campus maps and directions.