Friday 31 July 2020

All PGR students email

A Covid-19 Secure campus in September 2020

Dear research students

Given the upheaval of the past few months, we want to provide you with more detail on how we’re planning to deliver a Covid-19 Secure campus from September 2020, and reassure you that when you return to campus you will have:

  • a safe environment to live and learn

  • a challenging, stimulating and rewarding learning experience

  • a caring and supportive community

A safe environment to live and learn

Your health and safety are our top priority and so all departmental spaces, student venues, event spaces and sporting facilities will be Covid-19 Secure. We will be partners in city-wide health and safety measures to implement track and trace. The University will provide widespread hand sanitiser stations and washable face coverings for staff and students. In line with government guidance, physical distancing measures will be applied across campus with appropriate signposting and these will be updated as guidance changes.

Our campus accommodation will be safe and welcoming and Covid-19 secure. For students who are travelling from abroad who have booked University accommodation and are told to self-isolate, we will offer free accommodation for the two weeks before term starts and assist with food and shopping.

Our on-campus supermarkets and restaurants will be operating with strict cleaning schedules in place and options for takeaway, delivery or pre-ordering for collection.

Important: If you are unable to return to campus for 1st October please discuss the various options available to you with your supervisor. You should have received an email about this but if not the details of the options available to you are available on the PGR Covid19 pages.

A challenging, stimulating and rewarding learning experience

As a research student you will continue to meet with your academic supervisor and Thesis Advisory Panel (TAP), either in-person or online. They will advise you on your academic progress and support your personal development. They will also ensure that the formal processes that support your research degree are in place and keep you up to date with any information changes and that. However, we also expect for you to take responsibility for keeping us to date with the latest Covid19 information signposted from the York Graduate Research School home page. We recognise that as researchers you need access to the library so our library team are organising group and single study spaces and introducing a click and collect service for books. We are also looking at how to make more study spaces available across campus.

We’ve learnt a lot (and are still learning) about how best to facilitate research supervision, online viva’s, and to enable you to conduct your research without compromise to the overall vision. We will continue to review our processes to best support your original contribution to knowledge and society.

A rich and varied programme of professional development and careers training is available through the York Graduate Research School. Where it makes sense this will be delivered online, enabling you to develop your skills and enhance your employability profile alongside your research and caring commitments. If you haven’t already, we encourage you to take a look at York Graduate Research School webpages, to connect to the YGRS Community Blog and sign up for the YGRS newsletter so you’re up to date with the latest activities. To refresh your memory on the range of support available you might also wish to visit the web pages for new research students.

A caring and supportive community - on and off campus

We want you to have an unrivalled experience as a researcher at York - we encourage you to get involved where you can and to become part of our vibrant research community. Perhaps consider becoming a Buddy for a new research student, engage with our peer to peer ‘Thrive and Survive’ series and actively contribute to activities and conferences taking place in your field.

Wentworth Graduate College and the Graduate Student Association (GSA), are planning a variety of stimulating activities designed to appeal to a wide range of interests. These will take place throughout the first term. To support that we are working to increase the number of outdoor seating areas, street food kiosks and licenced events across campus to create safe zones for fun and socialising.

These are challenging times but remember there is plenty of support available should you need it. The advisers in our Student Hub can help with practical matters such as finance issues, money worries, private accommodation issues, health concerns, immigration advice and academic progress issues. There is also independent advice available through the GSA.

Open Door, our team of Mental Health Practitioners, continue to provide counselling and support to registered students experiencing psychological or mental health difficulties. In addition to that, all University of York students now have access to the Big White Wall - a 24/7 safe anonymous online platform to connect with others experiencing similar feelings.The college teams are also there to support those on and off campus, providing welfare support and guidance. They can help with issues relating to college life and wellbeing.

We look forward to welcoming you back.

With very best wishes

Professor Tom Stoneham, Dean of the York Graduate Research School