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Arrangement for XJTLU Doctoral Student Research Study visits to UoL

XJTLU and UoL have reached an agreement to create joint opportunities and support to allow full-time XJTLU doctoral students registered on the UoL Off-Site PhD Programme to make a research-study visit to UoL. The purpose of this paper is to outline implementation guidelines for arrangements of such visits.

1. Aims and Purposes for the Visit

a. to enhance the doctoral students’ experience of the research environment;
b. to promote academic exchanges and research collaborations between researchers of the two institutions;
c. for the students to get maximum benefits from the UoL supervisors’ expertise and research resources at UoL;
d. for the student to personally experience the UoL research and learning environment as well as the British culture.

2. Frequency and Duration of the Visit

a. Two deadlines a year for application:

  • April 30th - to go on a “research visit” starting from September 15th period
  • October 31st - to go on a “research visit” starting from March 1st period

b. One visit (per full-time student) over the course of the whole programme that will most likely take place in the student’s second year or third year of study, before transferring to submission pending status.
c. Normally, the visit will last for between a minimum of three months up to a maximum of six months.
d. For any visit less than three months or over six months, a strong academic justification will be required; and the research-study plan and the arrangements for the visit including research facilities, accommodation, maintenance expenses, etc, must be agreed by the UoL supervisor and UoL host department, and subject to approval by the XJTLU Vice President Academic Affairs and UoL Research Degree Administrative Team.

3. Eligibility

a. Applicants should have settled any outstanding debt to the university before application.
b. Applicants should remain in good academic standing. They should have completed at least one Annual Progress Review (APR) and demonstrated satisfactory academic progress at the time of application.

4. Expenses

a. Travel costs: University of Liverpool will pay for the travel costs of the return trip between XJTLU and UoL in accordance with the relevant University policy and regulations. Student will make the reimbursement at XJTLU and XJTLU Graduate School will coordinate with UoL for recharge. The specific guideline and reimbursement procedure is indicated in Appendix 1.
b. Accommodation costs: UoL will provide the student with accommodations during the period of visit.
c. Daily Living Costs: The student will be given £100 a week subsidy by UoL.
d. For students in receipt of an XJTLU PGR Scholarship, the monthly stipend payment will continue for duration of the research-study visit.

5. Research Student Study Plans

a. The student should propose a research-study plan for discussion and agreement with the XJTLU Supervisor. This plan which should cover:

  • Aims/Objectives and research plan timeline
  • Resources Required
  • Time and Duration

b. The XJTLU supervisor will forward the proposed research-study Plan to the UoL Supervisor(s) and the UoL host School/Department for comments and approval in terms of relevance, feasibilities, and facility requirements. This must include an assessment of relevant training requirements to be conducted at UoL during the proposed visit;
c. The student is to include the final research-study Plan on the application form and submit it to the XJTLU Graduate School once approved by the UoL Supervisor, the UoL host School/Department and XJTLU School PGR Director;
d. The XJTLU Graduate School is:

  • to get approval from the Graduate School and XJTLU Vice President Academic Affairs, and then,
  • to liaise with the UoL Research Degree Administrative Team regarding practical arrangements, for example accommodation arrangements.

6. During the visit in UoL

a. Once the dates for the visit have been chosen and approved, the visit should neither be shortened nor lengthened. If it must be changed, please discuss this with UoL department/school and XJTLU Graduate School in advance immediately. Late changes will not be accepted if there is less than one month time before departure.
b. The student is bound by UoL regulations whilst they are there, especially that the student needs to continue with monthly supervisor meetings.
c. It is advised that if the student would like to go to travel in Europe or indeed leave the University for longer than a few days while studying in Liverpool, the students need to inform the UoL School/Department PGR Administrators, according to UKVI terms.
d. The student should inform the UoL School/Department PGR Administrators about the leaving time towards the end of the visit. The student record in UoL system will then be updated by Research Degree Administrative Team accordingly. If failed to do so, the student may be responsible for additional incurred fees.

7. Evaluation

a. Upon returning to XJTLU, the student should write a report summarising the tasks completed, achievement made, benefits from the visit, and recommendations, etc.
b. The report should be presented to the XJTLU supervisor, School PGR Director, and to the UoL supervisor and the Head of the UoL host department.
c. Alternatively, the student can choose to give a seminar/presentation on his/her UoL research visit to supervisors and peer students at XJTLU.
d. A summary of the contents of this evaluation report/presentation should be included within Annual Progress Reports (LiverpoolLife – UoL student portal).

8. Support

a. UoL Research Degree Administrative Team: to coordinate with the relevant departments or services at UoL to provide support over issues such as: Visa, accommodation, travel and other issues to support the students during their research study at the UoL;
b. XJTLU Graduate School: to coordinate with the relevant schools or offices at XJTLU and the UoL Research Degree Administrative Team in relation to application process, visa document preparation and reimbursement process.

(Last Review: April 2023)

 

APPENDIX 1

GUIDELINE AND PROCEDURES ON DOCTORAL STUDENT TRAVEL ARRANGEMENT AND REIMBURSEMENT

 

This document is to provide guidance and consensus of standards for doctoral students regarding the travel arrangement and reimbursement for:

• UoL Research Study Visit
• Research Conference Participation, supported by XJTLU Postgraduate Research Students’ Conference Fund

Students must seek prior approval for the visit or conference from the University before making travel arrangement. Application and approval of UoL Research Study Visit and Postgraduate Research Students’ Conference Fund are subject to Arrangement for XJTLU Doctoral Student Research Study Visits to University of Liverpool and Postgraduate Research Students’ Conference Fund Policy, respectively.

ATAS

For UoL research visit, you will need a “Short-Term Study up to 6 months” type of Visa to enter the UK. According to the UK visa policy, BEFORE applying for this type of the UK visa, students in certain sensitive subject areas are required to obtain an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate (Details Here)

This will prolong the whole visa process and student should start the preparation earlier. Student can obtain a CAH3 code from UoL which can be used to check if ATAS clearance is needed or not through the application link: https://www.academic-technology-approval.service.gov.uk.

If the official webpage shows that ATAS is not required, student may go ahead with visa application. Otherwise, UoL will provide an ATAS letter for this student for the purpose of applying for the ATAS certificate as the first priority.

Visa

1. It is students’ responsibility to review the visa requirement information of the country of destination and determine which required and supporting documents are needed to prepare and bring to the visa interview.

The XJTLU Graduate School can provide the following document to assist your visa application:

• Student Enrolment Status and Financial Support Letter

Please email to pgsupport@xjtlu.edu.cn in advance to get the document.

2. It is also students’ responsibility to choose the right visa type. For Research-Study visit to UoL, the visa type should be Study-Short Term student up to 6 months.

3. The University is not responsible for students’ visa rejection due to insufficient documents presented or incorrect visa type applied, not will the University reimburse for any expense incurred.

4. Students are required to make visa interview appointment in the nearest visa application centre, i.e. Shanghai. If other centre is chosen, the University will only reimburse the amount equal to the normal travel expense from Suzhou to Shanghai.
Address of UK Visa Application Centre: 2/F, Jiushi Commercial Building, 213, Middle Sichuan Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai,

5. If a student applies more than one visa applications for a same visit or conference, only the visa fee and associated travel cost for one application can be claimed.

Flight

6. The only class allowed for flights is ECONOMY.

7. The student should inform XJTLU Graduate School of the flight information (flight number and exact time) once the flight tickets have been booked for UoL research-study visit. This information will be passed on to corresponding UoL department to make accommodation arrangement.

8. The student will be required to departure from Shanghai for international travel, if there is no force majeure factors indicate that can only travel from other cities. Otherwise, the student should be able to justify the reason if would like to change the departure city.

Train

9. If travelling by rail, students can only use second class or hard seat tickets. If the duration of the rail ride is longer than 5 hours, hard sleeper ticket is allowed.

Local Transportation

10. Students should use the most economic means possible for local transportation. Public transportation, i.e. bus, underground, or city metro, should be used whenever the destination could be reached by the above means.

Lodging
11. UoL will arrange accommodation for students going on a Research Study Visit to UoL.

12. Students attending research conferences should make accommodation arrangement by their own, according to the standards below:

Destination

Maximum per night

Domestic

Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou

RMB 575

Other domestic cities

RMB 500

International

Europe, North America, Japan

USD 150

Other areas

USD 100

Travel Subsidy

13. Students going on a Research Study Visit to UoL will receive a subsidy of £100 per week from UoL and will not receive any additional travel subsidy from XJTLU.

14. Travel subsidy, including dining and telephone expenses, will be paid to students going for research conference, according the reimbursement procedures with valid invoices required. The standards are as below:

Destination

Maximum per day

Domestic

All cities

RMB 200

International

Europe, North America, Japan

RMB 400

Other areas

RMB 300

Reimbursement

Only reasonable expenses can be reimbursed. Over-budged and over-spent expenses cannot be claimed. The University assumes no obligation to reimburse students for expenses that are not in compliance with this guideline.
To claim for the expenses occurred from Postgraduate Research Students’ Conference Fund and UoL research-study visit, the student must:

1. Complete a PhD Finance Request form with the details of the trip and the actual itemized expense. All the original receipts/invoices must be provided and attached. The total amount of the receipts/invoices submitted and the amount to be claimed on the PhD Finance Request form must be identical.

a. Only boarding pass plus itinerary or boarding pass plus formal invoice will be accepted. The Itinerary/Receipt of E-ticket for Air Transport is not acceptable.
b. The total amount to be claimed cannot exceed the estimated cost stated on the original application form.

2. Submit the following documents to XJTLU Graduate School for further scrutiny.

a. Completed PhD Finance Request form
b. Invoices* must be glued to a piece of A4 paper with like items (e.g. taxi) together

3. XJTLU Graduate School will claim the expenses on Finance System on behalf of student and to notify the student once the request is approved. The payment will normally be made by Finance Office within one week after approval.

* Please note that according to the latest policy released by State Taxation Administration (effective from July 1st 2017), for any Chinese VAT invoice issued to XJTLU, the correct name and VAT ID of XJTLU should be included on the invoice. Please make sure to provide the following details to the related offices before issuing the formal invoices.

• 单位名称 (name):西交利物浦大学
• 统一社会信用代码 (VAT ID) :52320000509200566U
• 地址 (address):苏州工业园区仁爱路 111 号
• 开户银行 (bank):农业银行苏州斜塘支行
• 账号 (account):1055 0701 0400 06923

 

 

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