News Article

PhD Students Launch Campaign for a Pandemic Work Recognition Payment

King's Doctoral Students Association are supporting a campaign calling for an ex-gratia one-off recognition payment for all PHD students to match the payment given to staff at King's.

King's Doctoral Students' Association have voted to support a group of PHD students leading a campaign calling on King's to grant all PhD students an ex-gratia one-off recognition payment of up to £1000 pro-rated as appropriate, to match the payment received by King’s staff.


The campaign believe that this will recognise the hard work by PhD students during the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic. PhD students have taken no lesser risk and have continued to contribute to the high-quality research, teaching and student supervision at KCL.


In this article, the campaign team tell us why they have started this campaign and how you can support it.

What motivated you to start this campaign?


A few weeks ago, it came to our attention that all staff at King’s received an additional, one-off payment of up to £1000 to “thank you in a tangible way for your exceptional service” during the recent unprecedented and difficult times. This however does not extend to PhD students who have undertaken significant risks, no lesser than any KCL staff have, to deliver high-quality research at King’s throughout the recent crisis. As PhD representatives, we feel this reflects a failure in recognising and acknowledging the hard work and contributions of the PhD community to King’s and its world-class research output.


As we’re sure that you are aware, PhD students are an integral part of the King’s community, its achievements and world-class research outputs. Furthermore, just like King's staff, King's PhD students have also shown remarkable resilience during these extraordinary and unprecedented circumstances with many additional hardships. In the announcement on pay and award email sent to staff, the achievement of students was noted and celebrated. Yet, this claim is not supported by the actions of King’s that limits this reward payment to staff only.


Having multiple ongoing discussions with senior leadership across our respective departments, we feel the need to raise it with you all through a KCLSU campaign. This lack of recognition in our work is disheartening and has created a strong divide in our research community with PhD students feeling massively undervalued and underappreciated. We do not believe this is aligned with the shared values outlined in King’s Strategic Vision 2029 of “…empowering everyone within the King’s community to contribute to … our Strategic Vision.”

How can students support the campaign?


For now, we are working with KDSA to negotiate with decision-makers at King's. You can strengthen our negotiations through showing your support by signing our petition. We will get in touch to share news frm our negotiations and let you know how else you can get involved.


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