Postgraduate Education: Finance:Written question - 69545

Asked by Chi Onwurah
(Newcastle upon Tyne Central)
Asked on: 06 July 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Postgraduate Education: Finance
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what financial support there is to cover the costed extensions to stipends of charity-funded PhD students.
Answered by: Amanda Solloway
Answered on: 14 July 2020

The Government recognises that there are significant pressures on PhD students and on charities as a result of the impact of COVID-19.

This impact includes a loss of income for charities, which is why the Government has pledged £750 million to ensure Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises, including medical research charities, can continue their vital work in supporting the country during the coronavirus outbreak.

Furthermore, on 27 June the Government also announced 2 support packages to protect research jobs and ground-breaking research projects impacted by coronavirus. Firstly, around £280 million of government funding has been made available to universities impacted by coronavirus that will fund extensions to grants and support researchers’ salaries. Secondly, from this autumn UK universities will be able to access a series of government grants and long-term low-interest loans covering up to 80% of their income losses caused by an expected decline in international students, to ensure that crucial research can continue. As part of these packages, we will be asking universities to consider how they can support charity-funded research, including the PhD students involved, through this funding.

Charities and higher education providers can also access cross-cutting government support schemes, including the Business Interruption Loan Schemes and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

While charities and higher education providers are independent organisations and are responsible for their own decisions on funding, the Government is continuing to work with the sector, including with the Association of Medical Research Charities, to understand the impacts of COVID-19.

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