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Cambridge Biosciences BBSRC DTP


We keep updating this information, so we advise you to check it before contacting the DTP team. However, if you have any questions in relation to BBSRC DTP related issues, please contact us in the first instance via:


Last updated: 9 April 2020


Q. Will my stipend be stopped during this period?

You should receive your maintenance payments as usual.

Q. I’m a fees-only student, what happens if I need to intermit?

Fees-only DTP students approved for non-medical intermission due to disruption from Covid-19 should contact their maintenance sponsor or consider the hardship support available in Departments and Colleges. Details are available via the following sites.

Q. Should I apply for Leave to Work Away (LTWA)?

If you are able to undertake any work on your research away from Cambridge, we ask that you apply for LTWA. We are asking you to do this so we are aware of your location as you will continue to be a registered student. You do not need to apply before you leave Cambridge.

Q. Will I be automatically granted an extension of my submission deadline?

No, the submission deadlines will be not automatically extended. You can be assured that submission date extensions will be possible in due course if required. However, in many cases extensions may not be required; examiners will be flexible and pragmatic when assessing dissertations and examining students who have been affected by these events. In the first instance, you should apply for Leave to Work Away. The University guidance advises that you can apply for an extension to your submission date about six months before your submission deadline, with a clear indication of the amount of additional time needed. However, we recommend our students (particularly the 4-year students) to apply 3 months before the submission date. Extension requests will be considered on case-by-case basis.

Q. Will my maintenance funding be extended?

At present, our assumption is that we will consider requests for maintenance funding on a case-by-case basis but we will clarify this point in due course. 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. 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 and ask your supervisor to contact our office before going through the formal intermission process on CamSIS.

Q. What happens if I’m self-isolating?

Students who contract COVID‐19 should apply for medical intermission if they are unable to work for more than 2 weeks. They will not need to submit medical evidence if COVID-19 is the reason for their medical intermission. Where a student is ill and unable to carry out work due to COVID-19, current UKRI and BBSRC terms and conditions apply. According to those terms and conditions, the Cambridge BBSRC 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. For short medical intermissions linked to COVID-19, we will not request a medical certificate. Where students are not ill, but self-isolating, their studentship will be not suspended.

  1. In many cases students will be able to work from home even if the activities undertaken change. For short periods of self-isolation, even if they cannot work, many students will have sufficient time left that they can make this up over the remainder of their doctorate. In these cases, extensions to funded periods should not be applied.
  2. Where self-isolating undermines a student’s ability to finish their doctorate within the funded period, an extension should be considered. Examples (not exhaustive) of when an extension may need to be applied include:
    • A significant period of self-isolation (we do not define significant as this is likely to be proportional to the time left in the funded period).
    • Postponement of critical activities where alternatives are not available. Examples could include: experiments due to take place at a national/international facility which will delay the research for a significant amount of time; access to critical archives being unavailable for a significant period.
    • Having childcare responsibilities due to the closure of schools and nurseries.

If you are thinking to take a no-medical intermission, please contact the DTP office.

Q. What about my PIPS?

If a student is in the first 3 years of study, PIPS should be rearranged once the COVID 19 situation is over.

If a student is in their final year of study, we would much rather the student focuses on completing their research studies on time. However, we expect that only few students are in this position as PIPS should have been already completed before entering the 4th year. If you belong to this group (final year no PIPS completed) please contact the DTP office (

Please make sure you do not book any travel/accommodations until you are entirely sure that your PIPS can be carried out. Cancellations during this period will be not reimbursed.

Q. I am on fieldwork - what should I do?

In line with the University’s guidance, where DTP students are able safely to leave a fieldwork site, they should do so. You should also continue to follow Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice and make/change your arrangements accordingly. If you need to extend your period of fieldwork or if you are unable to continue with your fieldwork you should inform your supervisors immediately. You should also contact the Insurance Office to ensure that your travel insurance remains valid. If you are coming to the end of your fieldwork, we advise that you consider returning home rather than coming back to Cambridge, save if Cambridge is your home.

Q. How will training and events be affected?

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. However, we would also encourage group/cohort rep organisers 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. We cannot emphasize enough the value of peer-to-peer support within DTP cohorts, particularly in this circumstance.

In the meantime, the online courses available can be found using the link below.

Please note that any expenses for online training need to be agreed in advance. Please contact the DTP office.

Q. How do I submit my thesis?

Most Degree Committees have now set up systems for you to submit your thesis electronically. For example, if you fall under the remit of the Degree Committee for the Faculty of Biology, you will be enrolled on a Moodle site for thesis submission when you email your Intention to Submit form.

Q. I have submitted my softbound thesis, will my viva voce examination take place?

Your Degree Committee may arrange for your viva voce examination to be held via video conference. You will be contacted by your Degree Committee and will have the possibility to refuse such an arrangement and postpone your viva until the end of the University closure, should you wish to.

Q. Can I submit my hardbound thesis and my e-thesis?

The Student Services Centre will not be open to receive hardbound theses. Please find information on how to submit your hardbound thesis here:

Q. When will I receive confirmation that I have been approved for the degree?

Degree Committees and the Board of Graduate Studies will meet remotely over the coming months to consider the approval of degrees and other individual student matters.

Q. Who can I contact if I have any concerns or further queries?

Please contact the DTP office:

Q. Where I can find more info?

Please visit the following links: