Graduate students in the UK have sent a letter to funding groups to ask for their grants to be extended, the Guardian reports.
The letter, which has been signed by more than 1,000 people, calls on research councils in the UK to guarantee funding extensions to master's and doctoral students for the length of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. It adds that university closures and other restrictions have made it difficult for graduate students to conduct their research.
"Without serious guarantees from UK Research and Innovation and research councils on funding to cover non-medical breaks from study and extensions, students are worried that necessary pauses to their research will leave them without funding to live on, and are unable to make informed decisions about how to continue their research," Alessandro Ceccarelli, the president of the Cambridge University Graduate Union and co-author of the letter, tells the Guardian.
UKRI tells the Guardian that it will be responding to the letter and that it "recognize[s] the serious challenges facing universities and students as well as the businesses, charities, and research organizations we work with."