Scholarship extensions: The University has released the Pūtea Tautoko hardship fund, available to all Otago University students. You can apply for this as a self-funding postgraduate, international postgraduate, part-time postgraduate, etc. This can be accessed through your evision and is available in the funding section of your evision hub.
Some advice: This application needs to be as thorough as possible, this is what the panel will be assessing to decide if, and what amount of money it can give to you. Remember to include how all aspects of your study will be affected (from personal problems, to data problems, to supervisor problems, if its relevant to COVID-19 and has affected your work, put it in).
If you require funds more urgently, the OUSA has a hardship fund (https://www.ousa.org.nz/support/ousa-hardship-fund) that can provide a one-off payment up to $250 in situations of hardship. This fund is flexible in what it will pay for.
If you are an international student you will still get your scholarship payment if it is being paid into a New Zealand bank account.
If you have been offered a scholarship as an overseas postgraduate student, this will still stand and be on offer when the boarders re-open.
A Postgraduate publishing bursary may be something to look into. Head to the following website for more info: https://www.otago.ac.nz/graduate-research/scholarships/bursaries/index.html
No doubt everyone is going to be affected by COVID-19. It may be wise to review and potentially rescope your project. Not everyone will need to make major changes, but by taking a step back and looking at the projected timeline of your research, you may be able to detect gaps where work can be done now, and you may be able to shift things around to adapt to this unprecedented situation.
Special Consideration: Special consideration has been granted to all Otago University students working during semester 1. You may have seen this as a 5.0 average grade increase for undergraduates. For us, this means that dissertations, masters coursework, theses, and all postgrad related study conducted during COVID-19, will be marked with this consideration in mind unless you have been granted a significant extension.
The GRS and OPA are holding shut up and write sessions with Dr Kim Brown every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00am to 10:00am via zoom. This is open to everyone so please come along and get some writing done – it’s surprisingly effective! https://otago.zoom.us/j/2773777205
Postgraduate students can access High Capacity Storage (HCS) from home: They should use the student virtual desktop where possible, and follow the steps outlined in https://otago.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3160/
Ethics: If you need to amend any ethical approvals head to https://www.otago.ac.nz/coronavirus/information-for-students/graduate-research-candidates/#research-ethics
Possible deferral: If you are in a financially stable position and believe a deferral may be beneficial you can act on this option. This involves a cessation of scholarship payments, and loss of resources (i.e. Library) – however you will still have access to student health. The minimum length of time for deferral is 1 month. This may have implications for international students regarding visas (email firstname.lastname@example.org to check).
You could also take a retrospective deferral – however this must apply in the same calendar year.
You cannot be fired from any job (part-time or full-time) because of COVID-19
All business accessing the wage subsidy scheme must pay at least $350 per week to part-time workers, even if the business is not functioning because of the lockdown
The amount of hours you can work if you are an international student will vary depending on your visa. Look through your documents and find out how many hours you can claim for if you were working a job alongside your research.
Your Postgraduate Representative is working hard to advocate for problems facing Postgraduate students during these times. Get in touch at email@example.com
The Otago Postgraduate Association (OPA) is an association for postgrads, by postgrads that also does a whole heap of advocating for Postgrads. https://www.facebook.com/OtagoPostgraduateAssociation
The Graduate Research School is there to help and listen to you. They have a Graduate Wellbeing Coach Nikki Fahey who supports graduate students to help maintain their well-being while achieving their goal of successfully completing their Postgraduate studies. Email Nikki at firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the Welfare and Wellbeing info page for more support resources.