Terms & Conditions

Norwich Research Park Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) PhD Studentships
(2017/2018)

BBSRC funded studentship awards are governed by Research Council UK (‘RCUK’) Terms and Conditions for training grants, available at: http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/funding/grantstcs.

For further clarification of the RCUK Terms and Conditions see  BBSRC’s  ‘Frequently Asked Questions’  at http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/documents/training-grant-faqs-pdf/.   

For students in receipt of a Norwich Research Park Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership (‘NRPDTP’) or Doctoral Training Partnership iCASE (‘NRPDTP iCASE’) studentship award, the following additional Terms and Conditions (‘Terms’) shall also apply.

In the event of a conflict between the RCUK Terms and Conditions and these Terms, the RCUK Terms and Conditions shall prevail. 

General conditions

NRPDTP and iCASE Studentships will normally be held on a full-time, fees and maintenance basis, but may, under certain circumstances, be held on a part-time pro-rata basis. Some of these conditions will not apply to part-time awards. Where a condition does not apply to awards on one of these bases, this is indicated. The studentship awards are available to candidates admitted to study for a postgraduate research degree at the University of East Anglia (‘University’) who meet the RCUK eligibility criteria as described in the Terms and Conditions of Training Grants at http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/funding/grantstcs/

Duration

Studentships will normally be funded for a total period of up to 48 months on a full-time basis, subject to satisfactory progress monitored by the relevant institute or in the case of the University, the school of study, through the annual review of research student progress. Satisfactory progress and continuation of funding will be reviewed by the NRPDTP Management Board. The period of award may not exceed the period of study of the student.

The period of award will normally cease at the end of the calendar month of the date of first submission of a thesis for examination if this is before the end of the award holder’s period of study. The submission of the thesis is taken to mark the end of PhD studies.

In some cases, students may submit their thesis prior to the end of their award. Where the student continues to undertake work that is directly linked to their thesis, consideration may be given for the doctoral award to continue until the end of the quarter in which the thesis was submitted. If the student submits on or after the original end date then the funding must cease on the end date. Students wishing to extend their award in this way must apply to the DTP Director in writing to make a case for any continuation of the award under these circumstances.

Awards may be held part-time but will not be less than 50% of full time. A change in the mode of study may be permissible but normally only one change of study during a studentship will be approved and this change should not be in the final 6 months of a studentship.

Place of Tenure

The student must live within a reasonable travel-time of their place of study or collaborative organisation to ensure that they are able to maintain regular contact with their supervisor, the University and their institute (where a student is based at one of the research institutes). This is to ensure students are able to access the full support, training and facilities available to them.  The only exceptions to this will apply during periods of absence that are an agreed and essential part of study, e.g. conference attendance, study visits or professional internships or placements. 


Termination, Suspension or Continuation of award

The NRPDTP expects students to complete their training in a single continuous period and does not encourage the suspension of awards.  The award will normally be suspended during a period of intercalation formally approved by the University. The process for the approval of intercalations is set out in the University’s ‘Code of Practice for Research Degrees’.

Where suspensions are agreed, the total cumulative periods of suspension for any reason must not normally exceed 12 months over the period of the award.

The NRPDTP Management Board (‘Management Board’) may also terminate or suspend this award with one month’s notice if the student’s behaviour, attendance, engagement or progress is deemed to be unsatisfactory (including where they fail to meet  NRPDTP training or any other mandatory requirements of BBSRC and the Management Board) and/or they are in breach of the regulations of the University. Awards may also be terminated where the student is in breach of their institute’s or the University’s regulations or policies relating to professional conduct and the conduct of research.Continuation of the award is dependent on the award holder successfully completing their probationary period.

Continuation of the award is dependent on the holder’s project being within the BBSRC research remit and on approval by the Management Board. Students must apply to the Management Board in order to make any major change to their NRP funded research project.
 
The award holder is able to terminate this award with one month’s written notice to their supervisor and the Management Board, detailing the reasons for termination.
 
Payments will be stopped during any unauthorised absence and those already made during a period of unauthorised absence will be recovered from the student. 


Maternity leave

The award holder is entitled to 52 weeks of maternity or shared parental leave. If the award holder becomes pregnant with an expected week of childbirth (“EWC”) during the period of award, they will be entitled to 26 weeks’ maternity leave on full stipend, with the following 13 weeks paid at a level commensurate with employee entitlements to Statutory Maternity Pay, and the final 13 weeks are unpaid. Requests for paid maternity leave as detailed above will be approved, subject to the approval of a corresponding period of intercalation from study which must commence before the end of the award holder’s period of study. A mother must take a minimum of 2 weeks’ maternity leave following the birth. There is no qualifying period for maternity leave.
 
The award holder should apply to their Institute for the period of intercalation with paid maternity leave at least three months before the EWC and supply a MATB1 form to qualify for maternity leave. Maternity leave may commence at any time between the 11th week before the EWC and the birth of the child.
 
In addition to paid maternity leave, requests for unpaid maternity leave up to a further 13 weeks will be approved, subject to the approval of the corresponding period of intercalation from study. The process is set out in the University’s “Code of Practice for Research Degrees”.
 
Where an award holder is paid a maintenance stipend during their maternity leave and then decides not to return to study or returns for a period of less than 12 weeks, they will normally be expected to pay back the stipend payments received during the period of maternity leave in full.  


Paternity and Shared Parental leave

Paternity leave may be taken by award holders as long as they are the biological father of the child, or the mother’s husband or partner (including same-sex relationships) and they must provide a written statement from the mother to confirm this.
 
During the tenure of the award, students who qualify for Paternity Leave as described above are entitled to up to 10 days paid Ordinary Paternity Leave on full stipend by arrangement with the award holder’s supervisor, during their partner’s pregnancy or within three months of childbirth. Paid Ordinary Paternity Leave will not result in additional payment to, or an extension to the award holder’s period of study.
 
Award holders may be entitled to up to 50 weeks of Shared Parental Leave (which may include paid and unpaid leave) if their partner has returned to work (or to fulltime study in the case that both partners are in receipt of PhD studentship funding) without exercising the full entitlement to maternity or adoption leave or stipend. The award-holder should apply to their School or Institute for a corresponding period of intercalation from study with Shared Parental Leave, at least 8 weeks before they wish the Shared Parental Leave to commence.
 
While recognising that research students are not employees, the duration of Shared Leave will be calculated on the same basis as for an employee with an employment contract (excluding the qualifying period). Further information can be found on the government website:      https://www.gov.uk/shared-parental-leave-and-pay-employer-guide/overview. The award holder should apply to their Institute for a corresponding period of intercalation from study with Shared Parental Leave, at least eight weeks before they wish the Shared Parental Leave period to commence. The award holder should supply a copy of their child’s birth certificate and the employment details of their partner.
 
Where an award holder is paid a maintenance stipend during their Paternity or Shared Parental Leave and then decides not to return to study, they will normally be required to pay back the stipend payments received during the period of Paternity or Shared Parental leave. 


Adoption Leave

Adoption leave will be granted on the same basis as maternity leave (please see above). Award holders must supply a “matching certificate” from an adoption agency to qualify for adoption leave.


Payment of maintenance grant during certificated illness

Periods of illness of 8 calendar days or more require medical certification and should be reported to the supervisor and the Postgraduate Research Service of the University. Payment of the studentship may continue for absences covered by a medical certificate for up to thirteen weeks within any 12 month period. Such periods will be treated as part of the tenure of the award, and the award will not be extended correspondingly. Award holders may apply for a corresponding extension to their final submission deadline at the time of the illness to offset a period of genuine absence e.g. extended absence covered by a medical certificate.
 
If the award holder’s illness lasts for more than thirteen weeks, they should apply for a suspension to their studentship award. Maintenance payments will not be available from the award during a period of intercalation. 


Professional Internship (PIPS) and Other Training Requirements

In accordance with the requirements of the BBSRC and the Management Board, all DTP students must participate in a three-month professional internship normally during the 2nd or 3rd years of their study and submit within one month of completion a report to BBSRC in a required format as specified at the time. This internship will provide relevant training to enhance the student’s professional and career development and should not be directly related to the student’s research project. Students must pass their probationary review in year one before undertaking their internship.
 
For DTP iCASE students, the professional internship is replaced by an equivalent or longer industrial placement.The placement must be at least 3 months and no longer than 18 months in duration. Placements may be undertaken in blocks or spread out as appropriate with regard to the needs of the project. iCASE students are also required by BBSRC to provide a written report to BBSRC after completion of their placement.
 
Students must also complete a programme of mandatory and elective training as specified by the Management Board and revised from time to time.
 
Satisfactory progress is dependent on timely completion of all required training (including PIPS and industrial placements) to the prescribed standard.  


Undertaking of paid work during the award (not applicable for part-time award holders)

Students in full-time employment are not eligible for a stipend of any kind from the NRPDTP or the Research Councils. 

The Management Board will permit award holders to undertake small amounts of academic work as part of their training, subject to the approval of the award holder’s supervisor.
 
The time spent carrying out teaching, demonstrating activities, research assistantship activities, or other paid work should not normally exceed six hours a week, and should not exceed 180 hours in total per year (including preparation and marking).
 
Award holders are not normally expected to undertake other paid work, and will be expected to advise their supervisory team if they do so. Supervisors will advise the Management Board and the School PGR Director or Chair of Graduate School Executive if they consider that paid employment is adversely affecting the studies of an award holder and the Management Board may withdraw the award.


Annual leave entitlements

A maximum of eight weeks’ annual leave (including public holidays and University closures) during any 12 month period may be taken subject to prior agreement with your supervisory team.


Payment and overpayment of stipends

Stipends will normally be paid on a monthly basis, in advance. If a stipend is received for a period during which the award holder is not formally in study (for example, if an award holder intercalates for a reason other than paid maternity leave or takes full-time employment), or if other overpayment occurs, the Management Board will require the award holder to return the overpayment. The Management Board will take steps to recover any outstanding amounts that remain unpaid.
 
Where a studentship is terminated by the Management Board or by the award holder (for example where an award holder withdraws from a programme), the Management Board, institute or University will not seek repayment of any of the stipend received to that point, except in cases where there has been overpayment. For example, an award holder withdrawing from the University with a formal leave date of 1 November would be required to repay the proportion of any stipend already received in advance for the period of study following that date, but would not be expected to repay stipend for the period preceding that date.
 
Where an award holder is paid a stipend during a period of leave and then decides not to return to study, they will normally be required to pay back the stipend payments received during the period of leave. 


University Degree Regulations

The University’s Regulations for the Degree of Master of Research, Master of Philosophy or Doctor of Philosophy (as appropriate) will continue to apply to award holders.


Data Protection and Use of Data

Research Fish

All RCUK funded students and researchers are required to report to RCUK certain information and data relevant to their research and training as specified by RCUK. Data collection may be via an online site and required within specified time limits. Timely completion of reporting requirements to RCUK will be considered during progress review meetings. Students should discuss with their supervisors to determine whether any of the information required may be commercially sensitive or restricted under confidentiality agreements.


Use of student data

The terms and conditions of BBSRC training grants place a responsibility on universities to provide information about students and their projects. The BBSRC and the NRPDTP will use information provided about students in receipt of an award from the NRPDTP and their supervisors for monitoring purposes and policy studies in relation to the BBSRC’s involvement in postgraduate training, including statistical analyses in relation to the evaluation of research and the study of trends.

Information may also be used to contact BBSRC-funded students.

To meet BBSRC’s and RCUK’s obligations for public accountability and the dissemination of information, details of training and research grants may also be made available on their Gateway to Research, their web sites and other publicly available databases, and in reports, documents and mailing lists. Gateway to Research is a web-based portal http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk/ that publishes information about funded research that can assist businesses and other interested parties to identify potential partners in research organisations to develop and commercialise knowledge, and thereby increase the impact of publicly funded research. It provides better access for the research community, business and the public to information on research funded by the seven Research Councils and Innovate UK.

The NRPDTP will provide on request to BBSRC and RCUK a description of a student’s area of study (updated abstract) and this may be included in any of the Research Council’s publications, such as Annual Reports or on their websites.

The following information about training grants and funded students will routinely be made publicly available:

  • Student name (for students starting from 2015 onwards)
  • Aggregated information regarding student numbers, stipend levels, qualifications, age at start, migration levels (from first degree university to another) etc.
  • Name(s) of project partner organisations and supervisors
  • Project titles and topics
  • Project summaries
  • Numbers of students in particular regions, universities or departments in context of the Training Grant funding announced.
  • Registration and expected submission dates

Information will be retained, after completion of the Masters or PhD, for policy studies involving analyses of trends in postgraduate training and reporting on these to government bodies such as DBIS. The Management Board and the University will pass personal details on to BBSRC or RCUK for the above purposes and as detailed above. 


Use of training proposal or training grant data

The Research Councils will use information provided on the training grant proposal, or equivalent, for processing the proposal or in relation to the administration of the training grant, for the award of any subsequent grant, and for the payment, maintenance and review of the grant. This includes data submitted through the Je-S ‘Student Details Portal’ (SDP).

Use of submitted data may include:

  • Registration and processing of proposals
  • Operation of grants processing and management information systems
  • Preparation of material for use by reviewers and peer review panels
  • Administration, investigation and review of grant proposals
  • Sharing proposal information on a strictly confidential basis with other funding organisations
  • To seek contributions to the funding of proposals
  • Statistical analysis in relation to the evaluation of postgraduate training trends
  • Policy and strategy studies
  • Meeting the Research Councils’ obligations for public accountability and the dissemination of information.
  • Making it available on the Research Council’s web site and other publicly available databases, and in reports, documents and mailing lists. 


Public Engagement

It is the responsibility of the student and supervisors to actively communicate their research to the public at both local and national level, and to raise awareness of the role of science and research in any related issues of public interest.


 Changes to these terms and conditions

Subject to any conflict with the RCUK Terms and Conditions, these NRPDTP Terms may be amended from time to time at the discretion of the Management Board. These or revised Terms will be available on the NRPDTP webpages at: http://www.biodtp.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk