Students of any gender enrolled in GSAS PhD programs are eligible for the Parental Accommodation and Financial Support (PAFS) program following a childbirth or adoption event.
Eligible GSAS PhD students receive a one-time supplemental stipend payment. This funding is intended to help with the additional expenses associated with a childbirth or adoption event. For the 2020-2021 academic year, the award amount is $6,810.
- Please note, as with all other stipends, the PAFS stipend is considered taxable income. For more information, please consult the Special Note Concerning US Income Taxes section of the GSAS website.
While participating in PAFS, students may request up to 12 weeks of time off from their duties. Students are eligible to remain in full-time, enrolled student status during this period, which ensures that loan repayment schedules, eligibility for University housing, and international student visa status remain unchanged. Alternatively, students may also opt to take a leave of absence, as detailed in the GSAS Leave of Absence policies.
- During the accommodation period, students receive relief from academic requirements, such as postponement of exams and course requirements.
- Students are eligible for a departmental G-Year adjustment of one year.
- Students funded by government grants or other external sources are subject to the program policies established by their funding agencies. Students with external awards should contact their funding agencies for further information about possible parental accommodations.
- Students who are teaching should discuss how time off will affect their teaching appointment and related income with the office or individual who made their appointment.
At least four months in advance of the anticipated birth or adoption event, students must meet with PAFS coordinator Lisa Simpson, GSAS assistant director of financial aid and senior admissions officer, to review guidelines, benefits, and student-specific coordination of the program. To set up an appointment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
After meeting with the PAFS coordinator, students must notify advisors and directors of graduate studies so that appropriate arrangements can be made to cover any teaching or research responsibilities.
- Students interested in receiving advice on how to approach these conversations should reach out to Danielle Farrell, director of student services.
PAFS is not a retroactive program. Students must express interest in participating at least four months in advance of the anticipated birth or adoption event.
The GSAS website is a helpful source of additional information about family resources, such as newborn enrollment in the Harvard University Student Health Plan and child care. You can also read a list of frequently asked questions.