Covid impact statement
An optional impact statement to explain to your examiners how your project/thesis has changed as a consequence of Covid-19 restrictions.
Many PGRs will have had to adapt their research project, sometimes significantly, in response to Covid-19 restrictions and this may be a cause of concern. Be reassured that adapting research projects in the light of unforeseen circumstances is a normal part of research and you will not be disadvantaged for doing so, as long as you are still able to meet the criteria for the relevant award (section 2 of the Policy on Research Degrees).
If you believe the pandemic is having or has had a significant negative impact on your personal circumstances (for example, led to ill-health or a challenging domestic situation) you should request a leave of absence or extension on those grounds. As always, you can seek independent advice from the Graduate Student's Association advice team.
Challenges and context
If you started on or before 31 March 2021 and will submit from December 2020 onwards, you will have the option of submitting a short impact statement to give contextual information about the effect of the Covid-19 restrictions on your research project/thesis. Submitted statements will be shared by PGR Administration with your examiners, who may explore the statement in an oral examination.
The statement enables you to explain challenges, for example:
- difficulty or delay in collecting or analysing data due to the closure of/restrictions on laboratories/other specialist facilities/expertise, curtailed/cancelled fieldwork due to travel restrictions or social distancing measures
- reduced data in one or more theis chapters, and/or thesis chapters that are shorter and/or not as closely linked as might be expected
You can also explain how the planned (i.e. pre-Covid-19 restrictions) research would have fitted into the thesis’ narrative and the steps you took to address the challenges arising from the Covid-19 restrictions, in terms of adjusting the scope, design or phasing of their research project/thesis, for example:
- one or more changes of research topic
- a change in emphasis from empirical to theoretical research
- a change of research location (fieldwork, archive, etc)
- a change a method (e.g. running experiments remotely rather than in person, using simulation, moving from in-person data collection to online data collection, analysing existing data sets)
- altering the timing of, or substituting, one or more experiments.
Submit an impact statement
You should complete the impact statement just before you submit your thesis for examination. Please upload the completed impact statement (as a PDF file) with your thesis.