Where possible, you should continue your research by engaging in a process of online supervision with your supervisory team.
You should maintain regular contact with your supervisor(s) and develop a programme of work with them for your PhD/Research Masters thesis during this time. While direct lab/field work may not be possible, there will be other aspects of your research that you can work on, such as your professional development plan, thesis plan, formal and informal learning online, lab/field notes, paper preparation and writing etc.
Yes. Before doing so, please consult with your supervisor and adhere to the procedures relating to the submission of an electronic copy (PDF) of your thesis for examination during the Covid-19 pandemic. Those procedures can be found at this link: Submission of Thesis for Examination
Your supervisor must submit a PDF version of the thesis via email on your behalf (subject of the email should indicate submission of research thesis: PGR name, faculty, department/school). Your thesis should be sent by your supervisor to firstname.lastname@example.org, copying email@example.com
The supervisor(s) must confirm the names and email contact details of the examiners within the email.
Additionally, your supervisor should submit your PGR4 form ‘Submission of Thesis for Higher Degree by Research’ with your thesis.
Examiners who have requested soft-bound copies of a thesis are to be informed that they will instead receive an electronic copy of a thesis until UL reopens.
Yes, the appointment of Examiners will continue to be processed in the normal way. However, there may be a delay in the approval of Examiners process during the current pandemic.
If you have an examination scheduled to occur while the current restrictions are in place at UL during the Covid-19 pandemic it may be possible to facilitate your viva voce examination online, subject to certain conditions. Where a viva voce takes place remotely, the video conferencing software to be used for such an examination is MICROSOFT TEAMS.
When using conferencing (VC) software for a viva voce at UL, your supervisor must log a call requesting the VC service and technical support on https://itdservicedesk.ul.ie using the Viva Voce Examination Form in the Audio Visual Services section of the website, at least two weeks in advance of the examination.
Your department/school must obtain your written agreement that you are wiling to avail of video conferencing in undertaking the oral aspect of the examination process. You can give your written consent to the examination going ahead online by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and copying your supervisory team into the email. A typical email to email@example.com for this purpose would say the following: “I [NAME OF CANDIDATE] agree that the forthcoming PhD viva on [DATE] will take place online using MICROSOFT TEAMS.”
In such exceptional circumstances, you should contact your supervisor in writing to advise that you cannot undertake the viva. In this case, the viva will be deferred.
Your department/school must obtain written agreement from you and the examination panel that you are willing to avail of video conferencing in undertaking the oral aspect of the examination process.
You may decline to use video conferencing as a format for undertaking the oral examination and defer the examination until it can be conducted face-to-face.
Please refer to the Guidelines on the use of Video Conferencing (VC) to undertake Viva Voce Examinations for Research Students.
Can the PGR choose an alternative examiner or does the Viva have to be rescheduled?
If an examiner is unable to participate in the viva voce via video conferencing, the relevant examiner should contact in writing the relevant academic department(s) and chairperson of the viva voce Exam. In this case, the viva voce will be deferred. However, in exceptional circumstances different examiner(s) may have to be appointed.
Yes. Due to restrictions on personal movement imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is inevitable that the PhD candidate, Supervisor, Chair, External and Internal Examiners will be in different locations during the online viva voce.
Yes, the Internal and External Examiners Reports will be approved during the pandemic subject to the Examiners’ reports adhering to all examination regulations and procedures.
Yes. Two hardbound copies of thesis will have to be submitted to GPS between Tuesday 1 September and Monday 21 September 2020 (inclusive) via trackable courier or trackable post. It is important that you keep a record of the tracking number so that the parcel can be verified as delivered to following address: FAO, Marie Beaumont, Graduate and Professional Studies, c/o Goods Inwards Dept., Main Building, University of Limerick, Limerick, V94 T9PX, Ireland.
The next Graduate Exam Board in UL is due to sit on September 29 2020.
A Funders’ Joint Statement from the IRC, HRB and SFI on funding arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found at Funders’ Joint Statement on COVID-19
Please maintain regular contact with your supervisor to plan your research work during this time.
Funding from within UL for PGRs will not be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and will remain in place up to the end of the 2019-20 Academic Year.
Confirmation Panels are facilitated by your Department. These panels may take place during the Covid-19 pandemic, but only online by using SKYPE FOR BUSINESS or MICROSOFT TEAMS video conferencing software.
The deadline for completion of your Research Confirmation Panel was Monday 23 March, 2020. Your supervisory team should have returned your completed PGR3a form to UL’s Academic Registry Division (firstname.lastname@example.org) prior to that date.
If your department has been unable to convene your confirmation panel due to COVID-19, your supervisor will advise a date on which the panel can take place, in consultation with you.
Confirmation Panel meetings will remain the responsibility of individual academic departments.
The final date for submission by the Confirmation Panel of the outcome of the review will be in accordance with the grading deadline of the following Academic Council Grading Committee meeting. Outcomes of the Confirmation Panels will be reported to email@example.com.
GPS will continue to process applications from prospective research students during the current pandemic. You may apply for a postgraduate research programme at UL by completing and signing UL PGR Application Form (please find here) using an electronic signature. The completed and signed application form should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
You may need to open the PGR Application Form in the Internet Explorer browser in order to insert your electronic signature into the form.
Medical insurance for all non-EU students is a compulsory requirement when applying for an Irish student visa. Please check the extent to which this covers you for medical costs in the event of an accident.
As a registered student of UL you will also be covered by the university’s Student Life Personal Accident Policy which covers basic medical expenses resulting from accidental injury, certain permanent disabilities such as loss of a limb or loss of an eye, and accidental death.
In certain instances, it will be possible for staff and postgraduate researchers to gain access to the campus, but only where their presence on campus is deemed essential.
SKYPE FOR BUSINESS or MICROSOFT TEAMS don’t need to be installed on your device to successfully participate in a viva. A plugin is added to your browser and the call will run from there.
While no guarantees can be given that the viva will take place without a technical problem, ITD will conduct a test call in advance of the examination to determine the quality and reliability of the connection between all participants. If there are issues with any of the test calls, ITD will do a second test.
In such cases, the viva will not take place and will be deferred to another date. Please refer to this link Video Conferencing Guidelines before using Video Conferencing to undertake a Viva Voce Examination.
UL has institutional licences for SKYPE FOR BUSINESS and MICROSOFT TEAMS, which are both GDPR-compliant. This will safeguard your data and protect your privacy with regard to the examination process. Where SKYPE FOR BUSINESS or MICROSOFT TEAMS can’t be downloaded, VSCENE may be used as an alternative.
UL does not have a contract for Zoom and therefore this software is not supported by ITD. Use of Zoom means that security of data and privacy may be compromised during the viva voce examination. Additionally, the free Zoom account has a 40-minute limit on group meetings involving more than three different users which isn’t long enough for a viva voce examination.
You can make a presentation at the start of the examination, or at another stage of the viva voce, with the approval of your Examiners.
The new UL logo adopted in October 2019 is the preferred option to use in this instance, but the previous logo is also permissible to use as an alternative.
The campus will be effectively closed until Semester 1 of Academic Year 2020/21 begins on September 28th, 2020. The UL Critical Operations Team and Executive Committee (COTEC) is constantly reviewing the situation and will act in accordance with guidelines issued by the Department of Health.
Yes, SKYPE FOR BUSINESS and MICROSOFT TEAMS both have a Notes facility to assist with technical questions throughout the examination.