Updated COVID FAQ (May 2022)

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My project and / or thesis submission has been impacted / delayed

During the pandemic, you were advised to discuss with your supervisors whether it was possible to revise your plan of work where necessary, to enable you to continue with your studies. Where this was not possible, you may have interrupted your studies. If you are worried about your progress and the work you have left to complete your project / thesis, you should discuss your concerns with your supervisors in the first instance, and / or the Graduate School. Requests for extensions to study and project registration will be considered sympathetically on a case-by-case basis.


On-campus research activity 

The University continues to maintain a Health and Safety stance in relation to students and staff returning to carry out research. The University is still required to comply with all legislation put forward by the Welsh Government as well as adhere to all advice offered by Public Health Wales. It should be acknowledged that ‘research’ can imply different scenarios with different requirements, for example, returning to a USW campus-based laboratory, or attending a non-USW site to conduct face to face qualitative data collection. The requirements of these two examples are obviously different, and researchers are advised to ensure they remain in compliance with Welsh Government guidance and consider the health and safety of themselves and those around them at all times.  

The process for considering if researchers can carry out their research has been devolved to each faculty. Researchers are required to check with their faculty in relation to whether there are faculty arrangements being used to approve research activity still.    

Please note  

  • Face masks are required in all health and clinical settings, this may affect researchers who are entering those environments to conduct research.  


In person, close quarter, face to face data collection

​​​​​​​The University is keen to support the resuming of research activity where possible but continues to maintain its position that close quarter, face to face data collection, broadly speaking, should only be pursued where alternative methods are not suitable or viable. 

The University contends that face to face data collection should only be undertaken where: 

  • no other data collection method can be deployed to the same or similar effect,  
  • if required, that permission has been obtained from the relevant faculty to collect data which is utilising a face to face, close quarter research data method, where required, 
  • research is still in compliance with Welsh Government and USW Covid-19 guidance. 


Overseas travel as part of research

Researchers who are required to travel overseas as part of their research will need to seek permission from their faculty in advance and complete the Overseas Travel process (OT1). Researchers planning to collect data from overseas are required to complete a preliminary research approval process in addition to this. Advice can be obtained from the Research Governance Team Research Governance | University of South Wales.

Regardless of these caveats, researchers should clarify if their faculty requires any additional approvals before proceeding to undertake in person, close quarter data collection. 


Seeking Permission

To check if permission is required before undertaking research, please contact your faculty.  If you are in doubt, please contact your Faculty Chief Operating Officer or Head of Research.

FLSE 

Chief Operating Officer: Mal Scofield; Head of Research: Gina Dolan

FCI 

Chief Operating Officer: Laura Simpson; ​​​

FCES 

Chief Operating Officer: Bruce Hurrell; Head of Research: Duncan Pirrie

The University reserves the right to monitor and review the restrictions it has put in place around research based on the prevailing principles of protect participants, researchers, and the University in accordance with the laws and guidance set out by the Welsh Government.  


Ethical approval

Please note that the considerations described above are separate to any ethical approval you may require. If your project requires ethical approval, please discuss with your supervisors in the first instance and they will be able to advise on the process for securing this Alternatively you can contact the Research Governance Team for advice Research Governance | University of South Wales.


KESS-funded students 

I have a query about ethics/ human participants/ face-to-face data collection?
All research activity must follow current USW and Faculty guidelines, as above.

My current study or proposed study does not require in person interaction with human participants, but does require me to meet with human collaborators, is this OK?
As above, please follow the current USW guidance for in person, close quarter, face to face data collection.

My KESS partner has voiced concerns re. ability to pay their next invoice, or to engage (remotely) with the project.
Please advise [email protected] ASAP. These invoices form crucial match funding for all KESS projects. If the Partner suggests remote research engagement will cease, this is also to be flagged immediately.

I have to self-isolate / have contracted COVID-19.  What should I do?
UK and Welsh government guidance changes regularly. In the first instance, please contact [email protected] and your relevant Grad School Faculty contact point, so that we can log this information, and provide up-to-date guidance on sickness absence, leave of absence, time sheeting, etc.

What about the direct costs associated with the KESS research project? Can I continue to spend this?
It is crucial that any orders still comply with all USW purchasing procedures and meet the normal ESF eligibility criteria. Please speak first with your Faculty Finance/ Admin team. Also check your USW email account regularly, since the KESS team will advise you of changes via email.

Please ensure all travel and accommodation bookings made on your behalf by Faculty are flexible and refundable, in the event that you are unwell and unable to travel, or in the event of cancellation of the conference / training / event you are attending. To be clear: KESS cannot claim ESF funding for travel and accommodation costs for research activity that does not take place due to illness or cancellation, and such costs will be borne by your Faculty. 


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