The Trust’s office is currently closed, but the Trust’s team continue to work remotely and are still there for you! Please be assured that, despite these unprecedented times, our staff are doing everything necessary to be able to continue to provide support to our scholars and partners. The Trust is working with a wide range of colleagues and partners to revise and publish accurate and updated information so that scholars can make informed decisions about their work, and take steps to stay safe and well.
We appreciate that the current situation may be disruptive to your research and study, and understand that many of you will have questions about your scholarship and the Trust’s policies in relation to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
We will continue to keep our students updated and would ask that you check your e-mail boxes regularly for advice and information from the Trust, and from the University, which is also regularly updating its advice for students.
We have developed the set of FAQs below to provide key information about your scholarship and the Trust’s policies. We will keep this page updated with information as and when it becomes available. Should you not find the information you are looking for, do be in contact via e-mail with the Trust’s team. Please do not e-mail specific members of staff as this could delay your receiving a response; the telephones and voicemail facilities are not being monitored at this time, so do please use e-mail to be in touch.
Will my funding be extended if I need more time for my studies?
We are conscious that many students who have suddenly had their research disrupted may be worried about potential extensions to their funding which may become necessary.
In the unusual circumstances presented by the pandemic of COVID-19, the Cambridge Trust will be considering applications for extensions of maintenance funding for students, on a case-by-case discretionary basis, during the term prior to the end of individual scholarships.
Please see the ‘Extension of Funding Guidance’, downloadable on the right of this webpage for Scholars, where you can also download the ‘Extension of Funding Application Form’. Please ensure that should you wish to make an application that you read the Extension of Funding Guidance before doing so.
I have submitted an application for funding; will the Trust be awarding scholarships for the next academic year?
The Trust has in the past few weeks made a number of new awards to applicants and will be continuing the award process over the coming months.
As the Trust has received an extremely large number of applications, your patience would be appreciated while waiting for a decision, bearing in mind that the majority of awards administered by the Trust are made between March and July, in order for successful applicants to take up their places in October. We are doing our very best to ensure that this process is not unduly affected by the current disruptions.
During the awards period, you will be able to view a current list of awardees, using the 'Scholarships Awarded' tab on the left of this page.
As long as you have applied by the funding deadline and have a conditional offer of admission for your course, you will be considered for any awards for which you are eligible.
Please note that due to the number of applications the Trust receives, it is not possible to notify unsuccessful applicants. Awardees will be notified as soon as is possible.
Will I have to repay my Easter Term funding if I am unable to study remotely?
The Trust is not asking students to return their Easter term cheque if they are intermitting their studies. The Trust may adjust future maintenance payments, but it is not necessary to return the cheque at the current time.
Will I receive funding for the long vacation?
If you would ordinarily be expecting a payment for the long vacation, you should expect to receive this. Payments will be made by 1 July 2020 via BACS payments. The Trust will be contacting all students who are expecting a payment for the long vacation in order to make arrangements for it be paid into their UK bank accounts.
If you have intermitted your studies, your scholarship will be suspended until are you able to resume studies; you will not, therefore, receive a long vacation maintenance payment.
Should I intermit or apply for leave to work away?
If you are no longer in Cambridge but are able to undertake work on your research from where you are, please follow the University’s guidance for postgraduate research students and apply to work away from Cambridge. If you have remained in Cambridge and are able to undertake work on your research, you do not need to take any action.
Only if you are unable to undertake any work on your research from where you are currently should you consider applying for non-medical intermission, which is managed by the Student Registry. This will ensure that you do not lose the time that you cannot presently spend on your project. If you intermit your studies, your scholarship will be suspended until you are able to resume your studies, to ensure that you have sufficient funding in order to complete your studies.
You should, however, discuss such an intermission with your Supervisor to determine whether this is the right course of action for you. Please also be aware that if you hold a Tier 4 visa, a period of intermission may have implications for your visa status and you should seek advice from the International Student Office before making an application.
Should you and your Supervisor decide you should apply for intermission, you should also contact the Trust as soon as possible so that we can advise you as to how intermission may affect your scholarship.
What will be happening with assessments?
The University recently announced its plans for alternative methods of assessment for Easter term and beyond. The Collegiate University is making every effort to adjust its complex and hugely varied schedule of assessment to ensure fairness while safeguarding students’ wellbeing. The proposals for alternative assessment have been approved by the relevant University bodies, and will form the basis of University policy in the months ahead.
Details about assessment are available here, and you should hear directly about how these will be implemented by individual Departments and Faculties, which determine the mode of your assessment and associated deadline.
How do I keep in touch with other Cambridge Trust scholars?
The Trust has set up a dedicated Facebook group for our scholars in residence. This is a private group; only members can see who is in the group, and what they post, and it is hoped this will provide a platform through which you can all communicate with each other should you wish to.
I am feeling isolated/anxious as a result of what is happening; is there help available?
Your College is there to offer you pastoral support, and the University of Cambridge has a wellbeing webpage with extensive information and links to both internal and external support available for students.
Students resident in Cambridge are now eligible to join Qwell – a new online counselling and wellbeing platform launched this month by MIND (Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire). Qwell provides confidential chat-based counselling from qualified counsellors, free of charge. Full details on how to join can be found on the above webpage.
When will I be able to return to Cambridge to continue my postgraduate research?
The early return of some postgraduate research students will follow a carefully-managed process led by Department and Institutional Heads, with the details of specific PhD students being confirmed to their Colleges by the relevant senior Departmental representative.
If you plan to return to College accommodation, you must first check that your Department and College have officially confirmed your permission to return via this process. Your return date must be confirmed in advance and the College will confirm final arrangements with you once this has been agreed. Your Tutor will also be able to offer or source advice and support if needed.
Guidance for postgraduate research students who have been given permission to return to Cambridge to continue with their research from June 2020 onwards, and who intend to take up College accommodation or to use College facilities, is available here.
I have a question not covered by the above FAQs, what should I do?
Please e-mail the Trust’s team with full details and we will respond as soon as is possible. Please do not e-mail specific members of staff as this could delay your receiving a response.