We are planning to run your individual and group projects as closely as we can to normal, but everyone’s safety will need to be the priority. We also need to accommodate anyone who is doing the first semester entirely on-line. This year, we have specified projects that can be done predominantly by remote means, but which have scope for practical and computational activity where this is possible.
We expect the majority of meetings with your supervisor to be held on-line, via Zoom or Teams. On-site meetings should only take place if there is a clear need for these to be done in-person.
Group meetings will also take place on-line in many cases, but we know that group discussions often work better in-person than on-line, so you will be able to book meeting spaces on-site for group discussions. Some of these may involve your academic supervisor as well.
You will be encouraged to make good use of the on-line systems that help with project management, such as Teams or OneDrive. This will be good experience for your future career as well.
If you need to use specific software for your project, you may be able to do this remotely and we have increased the number of ways in which you can access software off-site. You will also be able to book space in the on-site PC labs to use hardware or software that you cannot access from off-site.
We will do all we can to allow as much laboratory access for projects as well, and we are setting aside some of the timetabled slots for project activity in some of the shared labs. If your project would involve working in research labs, then you would need to plan this carefully with your supervisor. The capacity of labs will be lower than normal and we will need to undertake more detailed risk assessments for each activity. You will have a part to play in this as well, again giving you good experience. We will allow as much laboratory access as we can in both semesters, but this will be more restricted than previously.
One aspect for this year is that your careful planning will be much more important than previous years; you will need to plan ahead, to arrange on-site activity, book space and liaise with staff, ensure risk assessments are done and followed, and then stick to the plans. This will require you to be working as fully professional Engineers or Sports Scientists, which is excellent preparation for your careers, but do not be too worried as supervisors can help you with this along the way.