Information for University of Sheffield Scholarships holders
This information is for all recipients of University of Sheffield-funded scholarships.
This information should be read in conjunction with the most recent Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes, which contains a wide range of information common to all students, such as on registration and fees, time limits, the Doctoral Development Programme, supervision, and thesis preparation and submission.
By accepting a scholarship award you agree to comply by these terms and conditions and the code of practice.
The amount you have been awarded will be detailed in your award letter.
University scholarships do not cover continuation, extension or resubmission fees.
Where a scholarship includes tuition fees, these will be transferred internally within the University.
Maintenance is paid by the University, quarterly in advance, into your bank account.
Payment dates for the current year and information on how to provide or change your bank details can be found on the main scholarships information page.
Undertaking paid work
The University encourages research students to undertake a certain amount of paid teaching or demonstrating work during the period of a scholarship, if the opportunity arises.
Undertaking this paid work will not affect your scholarship, provided that your supervisor agrees, and the guidelines in the code of practice, and any departmental regulations, are followed.
You are not permitted to hold two awards concurrently for the same purpose.
If you gain an award which is intended to cover all living expenses over a period of several months, your University scholarship must be suspended. For example, if you gained a scholarship to study abroad for one year, your University scholarship would normally be suspended for that period. However, if you gain additional bursaries, grants or scholarships which are intended to supplement your existing award, this will not affect your scholarship.
You must inform the PGR Scholarships Team on firstname.lastname@example.org about any additional awards so we can advise you on how your University scholarship may be affected.
Research Training Support Grant
If your scholarship includes a Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) this will be stated in your award letter.
This allowance is intended to be used to pay for expenses which are in direct support of your research (for example, consumables, training, conference attendance), as agreed by your supervisor/department.
If you do not spend this allowance in full during the academic year, you may be able to carry over any unspent funds into the next academic year, as long as this is within the period of your scholarship award. However, this is dependent on the source of the funding and is not always possible.
In exceptional circumstances, the University may consider requests from award holders to purchase a laptop or other computer equipment from this allowance. Any such request must be clearly and adequately justified based on the nature of the research being undertaken and as being essential for the successful completion of the PhD. In these instances, any equipment purchased in excess of £200 should remain the property of the University following completion of (or withdrawal from) your PhD.
Your department will have an account code which you can use to charge orders or claim expenses from your RTSG.
Leave of absence
Scholarships are intended to be held on a continuous basis, without a break. Sometimes, however, a student may need to take a break from their programme of study. This may arise for a number of reasons, e.g. to cover a period of illness or maternity leave, or due to personal or family reasons. A leave of absence (LOA) may be requested during which the student takes an approved break from their studies. During the leave of absence, the student is not entitled to receive a maintenance grant or tuition fees, unless their LOA is on medical or parental grounds (see below).
You must inform us as soon as possible if you need to take a leave of absence for any reason.
Payment of a scholarship can continue for absences for up to 13 weeks within any 12-month rolling period, upon approval of a medical leave of absence supported by appropriate medical evidence, i.e. a medical certificate.
If the illness lasts, or is expected to last, for more than 13 weeks, the scholarship will be suspended, payments will stop and the expected submission date will be extended correspondingly. In such circumstances, you may wish to seek advice from SSID about other possible sources of financial support.
To apply for a leave of absence, please refer to the Code of Practice.
The minimum period of leave of absence that will normally be granted is four weeks (i.e. 28 days or over in length). Exceptions to the minimum limit will be considered under certain circumstances, such as where there is a statutory requirement (e.g. paternity leave, jury service). Where a student needs to take a short-term absence from their degree of under four weeks (up to a maximum of 27 days), they may request an authorised absence, or use some of their holiday entitlement, depending on the reasons for the absence. Neither option will extend the student’s expected end date for their degree; therefore, students will be expected to manage their time accordingly and make up for any time lost due to short-term absences over the remainder of their degree.
For medical absences that are under 7 days, students may normally self-certify (unless their department requires otherwise).
Maternity, paternity and adoption leave
If you become pregnant with an expected date of childbirth that occurs during the period of the award, or adopt a child during the period of the award, you are entitled to 26 weeks of maternity/adoption leave during which the University will continue to pay maintenance at the normal rate, followed by an additional 13 weeks' payment at a level commensurate with statutory maternity pay. The scholarship will be extended accordingly. You may also request a further 13 weeks of unpaid maternity/adoption leave after this period. If an unpaid period of maternity/adoption leave is taken, your submission date will be extended accordingly, but the actual overall duration of a scholarship award will not be extended.
The paid period of absence and the unpaid suspension should be taken consecutively.
Students are entitled to a total of 10 days paternity leave, to be taken at any time during their partner's pregnancy or within three months following the birth. The University will continue to pay maintenance grant and tuition fees during this period.
You may also choose to take an unpaid leave of absence during which maintenance will not be paid.
In certain circumstances, fathers/ partners may be entitled to additional paternity leave once the mother has returned to work. The University has a Shared Parental Leave Policy, details of which are available in the Code of Practice.
To apply for maternity, paternity or adoption leave, you should refer to the Code of Practice.
Further guidance for students who are pregnant can be found on the SSiD webpages.
Students who do not return to the University to complete their studies following their maternity/adoption leave will be required to pay back any maternity stipend received.
At the end of an approved period of suspension, you should contact the PGR Scholarships Team on email@example.com to confirm that you have re-registered. We will arrange for normal payment of your scholarship to resume.
Compassionate or emergency leave
Any periods of unauthorised absence must be reported to Research, Partnerships and Innovation by the supervisor. The scholarship will be suspended for this period and may be withdrawn.
Transferring between full-time and part-time study
You may, in exceptional circumstances, apply to transfer from full-time to part-time status or vice-versa.
Part-time scholarships are normally paid at 50% of the full-time rate. The length of a scholarship will be recalculated to take account of the date of change in status, and of the funding already received. You may be asked to repay any overpayment of maintenance already received.
To request a change of status, you should email the PGR Scholarships Team on firstname.lastname@example.org to check how this will affect your scholarship. You should then follow the University's procedures for requesting a Change of Candidature. If approved, we will liaise with the Payments Office to alter your payment amounts.
Downgrading from PhD to MPhil
Please be aware that if you downgrade from a doctoral-level qualification, e.g. PhD/EngD, to an MPhil, either voluntarily or as a result of a failed Confirmation Review, your scholarship award will be reduced in length in line with the normal registration period for MPhil, i.e. to two years, or to the point of thesis submission, whichever is soonest. If this happens beyond the end of the normal period of registration, you may be asked to repay any overpayment that has already been made.
All University scholarships are subject to satisfactory progress, engagement with your supervisor and department, meeting any requirements of your research project (such as attendance at required research group meetings) and compliance with the code of practice.
If you do not meet the University's requirements for satisfactory progress, your scholarship may be suspended or terminated.
The University expects doctoral projects to be designed and supervised in such a way that students are able to submit their thesis within the tuition fee-paying period, as defined at the outset of the project. If this is not possible, students must submit by their time limit at the very latest.
The University will consider termination only as a last resort, since the objective is to enable students to bring their studies to a successful completion.
However, you should be aware that the University reserves the right to terminate a scholarship where a student breaks any of the terms and conditions, if their progress is unsatisfactory, or if they are absent from their studies without authorisation.
Early submission of a doctoral thesis
If you complete your studies and submit a doctoral thesis before the end of the scholarship, the award will be deemed to have finished and you will not be eligible for any further maintenance payments.
If you are considering withdrawing from your studies, you should discuss this matter first with your supervisory team or departmental Postgraduate Lead.
Following careful consideration and discussion, if you still wish to withdraw, you should inform the PGR Scholarships Team on email@example.com and follow the University's procedures for withdrawal ensuring that the date of withdrawal and brief reasons for the decision are included.
Entitlement to payments ends on the effective date of withdrawal, and you will be expected to repay any maintenance overpaid to you.
Any questions in relation to the above should be directed to the PGR Scholarships Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.