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 Students who are funded by a Training Grant from any of the UK’s Research Councils are required to make their theses available within 12 months unless there are exceptional circumstances.   

The UKRI Training Grant rules (TGC 11.5) state “We expect that a full text version of the thesis should be available no longer than 12 months following award of the doctorate. We recognise that commercial, collaborative or publication arrangements may necessitate a slight delay ... however we expect the thesis to be deposited as soon as possible.”  

Given the variety of circumstances around a thesis, including the inclusion of third party copyright, intent to patent, commercially restricted information and many others, the University has a system in place to ensure that the access level of the thesis is appropriate and lawful. The University offers a four tiered system for access to their thesis: Open Access, Embargoed (to later become Open Access), Controlled and Restricted. Embargoed and Controlled theses can be requested and are supplied to the requestor with appropriate copyright management. Restricted theses are very rare and only under specific circumstances.   

In relation to the Training Grant requirement, our approach is that we let students decide what is the best access level for their thesis. UKRI agree that because the metadata about the thesis is online and available to the public in the repository, and because the theses are either openly available or requestable through the Library as they always have been, that this complies with their requirement.