Research Services


Studentship interruptions

Although it is normally expected that a research studentship will be completed without interruption funders recognise that these can occur, but that does not mean that all funders will pay for the interruptions.   

You should check with the funder terms and conditions (grant) or the contractual terms.  If it is not covered within these documents then you will need to have the funder declare in writing that they will meet the cost. Otherwise it falls upon the department/faculty to fund from their own sources.

UCL policy and funders terms and conditions requires that departments / centre make every effort to recover the value of maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption funding from students who decide not to return to study after maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave and return it to the funders UCL financial account code.  Otherwise it falls upon the department/centre to make the refund from their own sources.


  • Externally funded students are entitled to 52 weeks of maternity/adoptive or shared parental leave.  The first 26 weeks is paid at their full stipend rate.  The following 13 weeks should be paid according to statutory maternity pay (currently £148.68 per week, (pro-rata for part-time students), with the final 13 weeks unpaid.Students are allowed 10 days paid paternity leave
  • Award payments can continue during absences covered by medical certificates for up to13 weeks, within any 12-month period. RCs do not need to be sent medical certificates, but ROs may wish to retain copies for audit purposes. Beyond 13 weeks, studentships should be put into abeyance. Medical absences beyond the 13 weeks are not funded by the RCs.
  • Internships - these are only paid from the award when agreed with the funder.

Who to Contact

Administrators Best Practice

  • Complete the Interruptions spreadsheet (xlsx) and send as an email attachment to the Research Studentships Unit staff in Research Services for review and agreement.
  • Communicate with the appropriate staff within the department/ faculty to ensure that you have timely and quality information, including supervisors (staff responsible for JeS Input; staff responsible to the Form S; staff responsible for financial information and reconciliation).
  • If the interruption involves a sector partner then you should review the terms of the contract / grant and discuss with the relevant UCL Contract Manager or member of the Post-award team for your department as this may require negotiation/agreement.
  • A Project Financial Review should be carried out quarterly.