Thesis Submission Guidance: COVID-19 Impact Statement

In response to the impact of the global pandemic, we’re giving you the option to include a statement at the start of your thesis which outlines the effects that COVID-19 may have had on the research that you have undertaken towards your doctoral degree.

The inclusion of a statement is to facilitate the reader’s awareness, both now and in the future, that the pandemic may have had an effect on the scope, direction and presentation of the research.

The academic standards and quality threshold for the award remains unchanged. Where statements are included, you should be reassured that this is not evidencing a lack of original research or intellectual rigour.

If you decide to include one such statement, it should appear on the first page of the thesis, after the cover page, and be titled ‘Impact of COVID-19’. The statement should not exceed 1000 words and will not count towards the total thesis word count.

Examples of potential areas for consideration and comment when developing your impact statement are below. However, you should discuss the content of the statement with your supervisor before submission:

  1. Details on how disruption caused by COVID-19 has impacted the research (for example, an inability to conduct face to face research, an inability to collect/analyse data as a result of travel constraints, or restricted access to labs or other working spaces).
  2. A description of how the planned work would have fitted within the thesis narrative (e.g., through method development, expansion of analytical skills or advancement of hypotheses).
  3. A summary of any decisions / actions taken to mitigate for any work or data collection/analyses that were prevented by COVID-19.
  4. Highlighting new research questions and developments, emphasising the work that has been undertaken in pivoting or adjusting the project.

You are reminded of the public nature of the published thesis and the longevity of any such included statements about the impact of the pandemic. You are advised to take a cautious approach as to the insertion of any personal information in these statements.