Research Student Information
Lincoln University recognises that research students are amongst our most important research colleagues, and many of you will be facing uncertain times responding to COVID-19
Following on from my email on Monday, 6 September, I can confirm that the guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations on operating under different Alert Levels have been updated.
The good news is that all research and related activities can resume as long as they comply with the tertiary institution health control measures and guidelines.
The highly infectious nature of the Delta variant has resulted in slightly different alert level measures and whilst the University is open under Alert Level 2 for all learning, teaching and research, the goal is to reduce the risk of virus transmission and play it safe.
The following alert level protocols must be strictly observed by all research students and researchers at all times:
Physical distancing. Keep a distance of one metre at all times in controlled spaces such as labs, work areas, offices and lecture rooms. Reduce close contact with strangers by staying two metres away from people you don’t know when out in social spaces.
Wear a mask. All research students and researchers are strongly encouraged to bring and wear their own masks in research and laboratory spaces. Masks are also encouraged as you move about campus, especially where physical distancing is not practicable. For example in confined spaces with colleagues or students such as in meetings, interviews, in lifts, stairwells, labs, teaching rooms, etc. Masks must be worn in campus facilities such as Mrs O’s, The Bookshop and the Health Centre. The University does have some masks available if required.
Controlled group sizes are subject to health and safety assessments.
Scan, scan, scan. All research students, staff and visitors are required to scan the QR codes when moving about campus. This includes buildings, teaching rooms, labs, meeting rooms and all on-campus facilities including social spaces and eating areas. Check that Bluetooth is enabled on the app.
Practise good hygiene such as coughing/sneezing into the elbow, regular hand washing and using the readily available hand sanitisers.
You must stay at home if you are feeling unwell or have any COVID-19 symptoms and contact Student Health at 03 325 3835. Always phone ahead first to book an appointment or talk to a nurse and let them know if you have any flu/cold-like symptoms such as cough, fever, sore throat, and/or muscle aches, even if this is not the reason for your appointment. You can also contact your GP or Healthline 0800 358 5453.
On-campus facilities such as Mrs O's, the Bookshop and Whare Hākinakina LU Gym are operating under public health control measures.
As the Library is operating under tertiary institution guidelines, access is restricted for students and staff only. From Monday, 13 September opening hours have been extended from 9.00 am to 9.00 pm, Monday to-Friday.
While the Grounded Café will be closed, the student social space will remain open until midnight.
Normal cleaning and rubbish collection remain in place, with additional cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces and items. Bathrooms in high-use areas will have an increased cleaning frequency.
Remember that financial, technical and wellbeing support is available. Details are available here.
Take care, stay safe and keep in contact with your supervisor.
Noho ora mai
Professor Bruce A. McKenzie
Today the Prime Minister announced that Auckland remains at Alert Level 4 while the rest of New Zealand will move to Alert Level 2 at 11.59 pm on Tuesday, 7 September.
At Alert Level 2 our campus will reopen on Thursday, 9 September with enhanced physical distancing restrictions in place.
We are looking forward to welcoming you back to campus, however, the top priority is the safety and wellbeing of all our students and staff. The University follows the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations on operating under different Alert Levels.
We have been advised by MoE that the guidelines for tertiary institutions are under review for Alert Level 2. For now, the existing requirements around masks, physical distancing etc will apply but are subject to change. We continue to actively monitor the rapidly evolving situation and remain fully committed to sharing information as soon as we can.
Returning to campus
All postgraduate research and related activities can continue according to Alert Level 2 guidelines.
Maintaining a safe environment under Level 2 is contingent on our ability to implement government-mandated public health protocols.
Under Alert Level 2 the following four health protocols must be strictly observed by research students, staff, students and visitors on campus at all times:
- Enhanced physical distancing (current but subject to change): Keep a distance of two metres from people you don’t know when out in social spaces. Keep a distance of one metre, where practicable, in controlled spaces like offices, lecture rooms and work areas.
- Scan, scan, scan: You are required to scan the QR codes as you move about campus, this includes rooms, buildings and all social and eating areas. Please check that Bluetooth has been enabled on the app.
- Masks are strongly encouraged to be worn on campus where close contact is inevitable, for example inside buildings and confined spaces with colleagues or students such as meetings, lifts, stairwells, labs, teaching rooms etc.
- Practising good hygiene: Stay home if you feel unwell or are sick. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly and use the readily available hand sanitisers.
Please contact your supervisor if you have any concerns about the impact COVID-19 restrictions are having on your research. The University will continue to apply a compassionate response and follow a case-by-case approach to determining how we can best support you.
You must stay at home if you are feeling unwell or have any COVID-19 symptoms and contact Student Health at 03 325 3835. Always phone ahead first to book an appointment or talk to a nurse and let them know if you have any flu/cold-like symptoms such as cough, fever, sore throat, muscle aches, even if this is not the reason for your appointment.
You can also contact your GP or Healthline 0800 358 5453.
While all facilities on campus are open under Alert Level 2, including the Library, Whare Hākinakina LU Gym, Mrs O’s and the Student Health Centre, we are waiting on further confirmation as to the Alert Level 2 physical distancing requirements on campus. Grounded will reopen on Monday, 13 September.
The university’s student accommodation remains open and operating with heightened hygiene precautions. Mealtimes for students are being staggered to accommodate physical distancing.
Students travel at Alert Level 3 or 4
Students and staff who are currently living in areas at Alert Level 4 or 3 are not allowed to travel to an Alert Level 2 area and are to remain where they are. The expectation is to remain where you are until the alert level changes and you are permitted to travel. Please let your supervisor know so as they can continue to support you.
For financial, technical and wellbeing support see our website. As more information becomes available we will keep you updated.
Take care, stay safe and keep in contact with your supervisor.
Noho ora mai
Professor Bruce A. McKenzie
The Government has just announced that all of New Zealand, south of the Auckland boundary, will move to Alert Level 3 at 11.59 pm on Tuesday, 31 August. Auckland and Northland remain in full lockdown.
Alert Level 3 carries forward many restrictions in place for Alert Level 4. These include staying at home in your bubbles, limiting any contact with others and wearing a mask when you are outside your home, and anywhere it is hard to keep your distance from other people.
Please contact your supervisor if you are concerned about what this means for your research. The University will continue to apply a compassionate response and follow a case-by-case approach to determining how we can best support you at this time.
Guidelines on how Tertiary Education Organisations (TEOs) should operate under different alert levels have been provided by the Ministry of Education (MoE). Further updates to these guidelines will be communicated as soon as they are available.
While the University is committed to operating all teaching and research activities consistent with these guidelines, we are also mindful of supporting students and staff who may require access to campus, particularly for our research students.
Access to campus is restricted at Alert Level 3 level, with limited access for essential staff and research students only. All other staff and students are expected to continue working online remotely, exactly as you have been doing under Alert Level 4.
Construction will also be able to resume under Alert Level 3 protocols. This means work on our Campus Development projects can resume.
The following key principles will continue to apply regarding access to campus:
- Operating within MoE and TEC guidelines
- Minimising the number of staff on campus whilst at Alert Level 3
- Minimising the impact of COVID-19 on research and teaching activities whilst still complying with the requirements at each alert level
- Improving the capability of staff to deliver teaching remotely
Research students and staff will not be permitted to enter the campus unless they belong to one of two categories:
Category One: Research and fieldwork
Based on Alert Level 3 criteria, exceptions will be considered for certain research-based activities but only under very strict procedures, and where the required physical distancing can be maintained.
Certain fieldwork can be also undertaken under Alert Level 3 as long as it meets MBIE guidelines. This can be either on the campus or within the wider Canterbury region. Fieldwork outside the Canterbury region will not be permitted. This is subject to any further MoE updates.
Research students (PhD, Master’s and Honours) and staff who require access to campus for research purposes will need to:
- Send an email request to your Dean or Director by Monday, 30 August.
The request must:
- Provide details on the research or fieldwork
- List the building and location of the floor and office, or the area you will need access to
- Provide your full contact details
Category Two: Other activities
Some staff may gain approval to access campus if they have a critical need. This may include picking up important files or carrying out work deemed essential.
If you believe you have a critical need to access campus, you must apply for permission from your Director or Dean in the first instance. Your Director or Dean will then email your request through to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
If you receive approval to access campus, your name will be added to the list of approved people, and you will be emailed an approved time to report to the entry point (Gate 2). You will not be permitted access to campus if you report to any other location or at any time other than the approved time
Access approval process
A collated list of the access requests must then be emailed through to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor by the Deans and Directors by no later than Monday, 30 August.
Final approval decisions will be made by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor by 31 August.
Tracey Nelson, Health, Safety and Compliance Manager will notify and confirm access conditions via email directly to you.
Process for accessing campus
- All research students and staff who have been approved access to campus must follow this process:
- Report to Gate 2 at the time that has been allocated to you
- Bring your own mask and wear it at all times while on campus
- Scan the QR code at Gate 2 security checkpoint (you must bring your staff/student ID)
- Use the hand sanitiser provided
- Carry your mobile phone with you
- Undertake the on-campus activities for which you have been approved, and only in the building or area you have been approved to
- Sign out and exit at the Gate 2 checkpoint
While on campus you must maintain a 2-metre physical distance from others, wear a mask, and maintain the required personal hygiene requirements. Please do not come on to campus if you are unwell, or have been unwell in the previous 48 hours.
The Library will reactivate a ‘Click & Collect’ service from next week. More information on this service, and the means of collection, will be communicated shortly.
Take care whānau and stay safe in your bubbles. Please be sure to stay in contact with your supervisor, postgraduate administrator, PG Chair or other postgraduate contacts within your faculty. They are all available to support you.
As more information becomes available we will keep you updated.
Noho ora mai
Professor Bruce A McKenzie
We know that many students continue to experience a range of challenges due to COVID-19, often making both the setting and achieving of research goals to be unusually difficult.
As a researcher, if you are concerned about what this means for your research, including your 6-monthly reporting, be assured that we will continue to apply a compassionate approach.
We have adopted a case-by-case approach to determine how the University can best serve you in these difficult times. This means that it is important for students and supervisors to discuss the implication of the restrictions around COVID-19 in terms of research plans, data collection, fieldwork and laboratory experimentation (to name a few scenarios).
So please continue to talk to your supervisor, postgraduate administrator, PG Chair or other postgraduate contacts within your faculty.
Lincoln University is providing regular updates to staff and students via the web, SAFELU, social media, LU email and through the faculties and research centres.
The information on the Lincoln University COVID-19 page is important to read and understand the University’s overall response to COVID-19. In addition, the advice below is relevant to students who are conducting research as part of their PhD, Master of Science or other research-intensive courses such as a Postgraduate Diploma or an Honours degree.
Research under the different Alert Levels
The University follows the Ministry of Education’s guidelines for Tertiary Education Organisations on operating under different Alert Levels. You can find out what to expect at different alert levels here.
The Library have online services available while off-campus. This includes the ability to search databases and also the use of relevant programmes for analysis and interpretation of data.
At Alert Level 3 the Library will have a Click and Collect service available.
Financial and technology assistance
Alert level changes can put unexpected, additional demands on student financial circumstances. It’s important to let us know if COVID-19 has impacted your financial situation and is preventing you from doing things like connecting with your loved ones, eating well, researching or studying to the best of your abilities.
There is a Financial Assistance Fund managed by the LU Students’ Association that supports eligible students with a range of needs to ensure you can maintain an acceptable standard of student researcher’s life. If you are unsure if you qualify for financial help, we encourage you to contact LUSA.
Contact Kate Lindsay, LUSA Advocacy and Voice if you would like to discuss your financial circumstances in confidence. Phone 03 423 0582 or email [email protected].
Research requires access to a computer with hardware and a reliable internet connection (a computer that can stream a video without interruption is a good test). If you do not have access to reliable technology and your learning is being affected, there are usually ways we can help.
The steps to take:
- Complete the Technology Health Check to troubleshoot issues
- If you need help, log a support request with IT here: www.lu.ac.nz/ithelp
- If you require urgent assistance, contact IT Help on phone: 03 423 0100.
If you’re unsure if you are eligible for support, please contact us anyway. We want to help you.
Student Health remains open and available to help students
Please phone Student Health on 03 325 3835 if you need medical care. They will first arrange for a nurse to call you back to discuss your needs, then arrange a consult either by phone or video call.
They can advise you on COVID testing and vaccinations as well. You can also contact the NZ COVID Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice.
If you would like to talk through your situation, your LU whānau is here to support you. It’s okay to need support.
Here are some other people who can help:
- LU wellbeing and sexual harm support: [email protected] or ph/txt: 021 589 475
- Kairuruku Māori: [email protected] or ph/txt: 021 141 2361
- Kairuruku Pasifika, [email protected] or ph/txt: 022 088 6715
- LU International Advisors: [email protected]. Dee Hannam, ph/txt: 021 246 5233 or Denise Pelvin, ph/txt: 027 669 9248
- LUSA Voice and Advocacy: [email protected] or ph: 03 423 0582
- Free call or text Need to Talk any time at 1737 (NZ only), to reach out to a trained counsellor
Students planning to start research at Lincoln University
Due to COVID-19 entry to New Zealand is strictly controlled. Information can be found here.
As a result, prospective PhD or Master of Science students will not be able to travel to New Zealand until the current restrictions are lifted. More information regarding how these restrictions are affecting students can be found on the Immigration New Zealand website.
If you have your visa and we are unable to physically accept incoming students, you should discuss a possible remote start with your supervisor. This is more feasible in some disciplines than others. International candidates can be based overseas for up to 12 months (including any time for fieldwork), without incurring international fees.
Students who had intended to start their research work are encouraged to contact their prospective supervisor and discuss potential arrangements for delaying the start of their degree programmes.
There may be an opportunity to start your studies remotely, without physically coming to Lincoln University. However, you will need to ask your supervisor to contact the postgraduate admission team to explore if this possibility is feasible in the current circumstances, and what processes need to be applied to facilitate this exception to remote working.
Research student FAQs around COVID-19
Lincoln University acknowledges that the outbreak of COVID‑19 may have an impact on the research of our postgraduate students. We would like to adopt a case by case approach to determine how the University can best serve you in these difficult times.
It is important for students and supervisors to discuss the implication of the restrictions around COVID-19 in terms of research plans, data collection, fieldwork and laboratory experimentation (to name a few scenarios).
Supervisors and students are encouraged to discuss:
- contingency plans
- focusing on data analysis and thesis/manuscript preparation
- off-campus computing and internet access requirements
- possible suspension of studies if disruptions to the student’s research are severe and sustained
Lincoln University has encouraged supervisors to keep regular contact with research students and to inform their Dean of Faculty or Director of Centre, regarding the possible impact of COVID-19 on their students’ research progression. Your supervisor has been requested by the Dean of Faculty or Director of Centre to forward completed documentation to them, which will capture information regarding distress and disruption caused by COVID-19 to research progression. This information will be collated by the Deans and Directors and passed to the University’s senior management group who are leading the initiative regarding response to COVID-19.
While the restrictions on research working can impact on progression, supervisors and students are encouraged to concentrate efforts on data analysis, research writing, and critical evaluation of literature. By being proactive about focusing efforts on data analysis and evaluation of results while drafting your thesis or manuscripts, you may be able to use this break in research activities to your advantage.
Lincoln University hopes that the current situation is temporary and reprioritisation of research plans may reduce any impact on your research progression.
However, if you and your supervisor feel that the disruptions are severe and have an irreversible impact on the completion of your studies, you have options including:
- With the agreement of your supervisor, continue your studies documenting the difficulties you encounter on a weekly basis so that these can be referred to in the future. If at a later date, you and your supervisor decide that the impact of COVID-19 was greater than you had expected, you can apply for a retrospective suspension and this would be assessed sympathetically.
- Request your supervisor to apply for a suspension to your studies, explaining the impact COVID-19 is having on your studies. A suspension is for a minimum of one month and in essence, stops the clock on your research activities. A suspension will have an implication on any studentship you may have, so please discuss this with your supervisor. Any suspension can be extended (normally up to three months in any one year) if needed by submitting an application to the postgraduate admission team.
Please note, that if you are an international candidate, your visa only allows suspensions up to three months in any 12-month period. Universities New Zealand are requesting Immigration New Zealand to review this rule in the current situation, if this regulation is relaxed the university will inform all supervisors and postgraduate students.
If you are a student on a scholarship, the payments from that scholarship will continue during lockdown, unless you are on suspension. If you have requested a suspension, scholarship payments are not made for the time for which you are suspended.
Lincoln University recognises that the current situation may have a severe impact on the research progression of many of our postgraduate students. We have requested all supervisors to provide a statement regarding the impact that COVID-19 may have on individual students. At the same time, the University is investigating possible ways to reduce any burden on research students. Please refer to the Lincoln University home page for updates regarding these aspects.
Because of the uncertainty regarding our ability to extend scholarships, we strongly recommend re-scoping your project where possible to complete within the normal timeframe of the scholarship.
If you are funded by a research grant, you need to discuss possible impacts with your supervisor and the appropriate Research Advisor. Do not contact the funder directly.
The Research Management Office is currently liaising with key funders to ascertain any impacts.
All international travel for University-related activities is prohibited. The University will not allow any travel, domestic or international, without prior authority from the Acting Vice-Chancellor.
We are aware that travel to conferences has had to be suspended. Lincoln University will work with students and their supervisors to determine whether funding will be available for future travel.
If you are currently overseas conducting research for your PhD or MSc, your Dean/Director should have already been in touch with you regarding your options. Please keep in touch with your supervisor and your Dean of Faculty or Director of Centre so that these records can be maintained.
In addition, please talk to your supervisor if you need to extend your time away from campus and New Zealand. Your supervisor should help you with any documentation (for example suspension form) you will need to complete.
Please remain up‑to‑date with the travel advice from the Government of the passport you are currently travelling on. The New Zealand government issued a travel advisory urging all New Zealanders currently travelling overseas to take steps to stay safely where they are. The most current up to date advice on returning home can be found here.
As a result of COVID-19, if you are an international candidate on documented research leave overseas, Lincoln University will permit you to be overseas for longer than 12 months and still maintain your domestic student fee status.
As international students can no longer travel back to New Zealand, Lincoln University will respond to requests regarding flexibility of remote supervision, writing up and examination.
It is essential that students and supervisors are in regular contact so that the University can provide assistance during the writing up and examination processes.
Submission of theses is acceptable electronically, and submission forms can be completed and forwarded to the Postgraduate Team Leader for processing to [email protected]. You will be asked to provide an electronic version of your thesis and completed declaration form where necessary.
PhD and MSc oral examinations are still proceeding. These examinations are to be conducted using Zoom, Skype or other video conferencing software. Please contact your supervisors and the convenor of the oral examination to confirm the time zones and dates of such examinations. If an oral examination using video conferencing software is not possible, please ask your supervisor and/or the convenor of your PhD examination to contact Postgraduate Admissions and Enrolments for further advice.
If you are a PhD or master’s thesis student and require further assistance contact the Postgraduate Chairs of your Faculty/Centre for more information:
- Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences: Associate Professor Eirian Jones - [email protected]
- Faculty of Environment, Society and Design: Associate Professor Patricia Anthony - [email protected]
- Faculty of Agribusiness and Commerce: Dr Hafsa Ahmed - [email protected]
- Bio-Protection Research Centre: Professor John Hampton - [email protected]
- Agribusiness and Economics Research Unit (AERU): Dr Hafsa Ahmed - [email protected]
- Faculty of Agribusiness and Commerce: Anne Welford, email: [email protected] or phone: 03 423 0211
- Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences: Robyn Wilson, email: [email protected] or phone: 03 423 0652
- Faculty of Environment Society and Design: Tracey Shields, email: [email protected] or phone: 03 423 0440
- School of Landscape Architecture, Douglas Broughton, email: [email protected] or phone: 03 423 0465
- Bioprotection Research Centre: Sandy Wilson, email: [email protected] or phone: 03 423 0940