Facilities Learning Research

Semester 2: What’s on and what to expect for PGR’s

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We’ve pulled together a helpful list of new and existing resources for researchers working in semester 2, from essential information about accessing campus and COVID testing, to what’s on over the next few weeks and where to access support when you need it. 

Guidance for being on campus 

Under current restrictions, you can only leave home for work where it is unreasonable for you to do your job from home. These legal restrictions apply to all University staff and PGRs whether involved in teaching, research or professional services. The only exceptions are:

  • Researchers (including PGRs) who require access to specialist facilities for their work. We have updated our guidance on research involving direct/in-person contact with human research participants.
  • Staff required to attend the campus to deliver in-person teaching and assessments on essential programmes – mainly in the medical school and health sciences.
  • Professional Services staff who are providing vital frontline services.

If you are required to be on campus it is critical that you continue to observe COVID safety rules that are in place. This includes holding meetings online and following instructions for moving around and using buildings. You must report if you test positive or are self-isolating. 

Testing on campus

On-campus COVID testing is available to all staff and PGRs who may be required to work on campus.

Testing slots are available 9am-1pm, Monday to Friday, at University Place and Owens Park. We encourage you to get two tests per week on campus. Every taught student, postgraduate researcher and staff member currently required on campus is eligible to book these tests – as long as you don’t have COVID-19 symptoms, or are a contact and have been advised to self-isolate. If you’re self-isolating, then you can book a test for after you complete your self-isolation.

Library access

The University of Manchester Library is now physically operating on an essential use only basis.

If you do need to use a Library study space, there are bookable spaces available in the AGLC, Main Library and Stopford Library.  Please be aware that when using any of these spaces you will be entering a COVID secure environment that will be regularly monitored to ensure strict compliance with COVID guidelines, including the mandatory use of face coverings and adherence to a two metre social distancing policy at all times.

You can still access workshops, online resources and informational sessions through My Research Essentials (MRE). These resources are designed to support development for researchers at all career stages, from helping you during the research process to dissemination of research and raising your research profile. 

Wellbeing resources for PGR’s

Staying healthy both physically and mentally during your research can help you achieve your full potential and enjoy the experience. PGR Life has resources that have been curated by PGRs specifically aimed at supporting your wellbeing during your postgraduate research programme, which may help you along your academic journey.

The University’s Student Support website offers lots of resources and tools to help with everything from financial support to helping you in a crisis. If you’d like to speak to someone, our support services page has details of the support you can access.

As the country goes back into lockdown, we’re also very much aware of the continuing challenges that lockdown and local restrictions present to PGR students. Take a look at our lockdown support page to find out more about the support services on offer to students throughout lockdown. 

Financial support 

If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis or other circumstances such as care leavers or estranged students,  then we would encourage you to seek assistance from the Living Cost Support Fund

The fund, which can award both small grants and loans, is open to all students regardless of level of study or nationality. Each application is assessed individually and is based upon your  personal circumstances, so if you’re experiencing financial hardship then it’s worth applying. Please note the Fund is NOT available to provide support with tuition fees.

If you require support with IT equipment issues then please contact the IT support centre at www.itservices.manchester.ac.uk in the first instance.

What’s on 

PGR Life: Want to know what’s coming up for PGRs? Take a look at the PGR Life blog for a collection of news and upcoming events you can access as a postgraduate researcher. 

Sporticipate: Sport will continue to be providing resources to support you in getting, or staying, active in semester 2. Keep an eye on the #ActiveAnywhere campaign and follow the @UoMSport social media channels to hear about the latest opportunities.

Student Volunteering Week: This year, Student Volunteering Week is taking place from Monday 8 – Sunday 14 February. We’re hosting loads of exciting events in our very first entirely digital programme

Online Shut up and write sessions: A focused writing session where researchers come together for a fixed amount of time to write. It’s a great way to help you carve out some dedicated time to write and make progress on your thesis chapters, journal articles, or grant applications.

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