Parental Accommodation and Financial Support

Students of any gender enrolled in PhD programs at GSAS are eligible for the Parental Accommodation and Financial Support (PAFS) program following the birth or adoption of a child. Policies and procedures related to PAFS can be found in the GSAS Policies section.

PAFS Program FAQ

Who is eligible for the Parental Accommodation and Financial Support program?
Students of any gender enrolled in PhD programs at GSAS who are expecting a child either by adoption or childbirth are eligible for the PAFS program.

Whom do I contact if I would like to apply for PAFS?
Four months in advance of the birth or adoption, students should notify their advisor and director of graduate studies, then make an appointment with Lisa Simpson, assistant director of financial aid and senior admissions officer, by emailing

Is there a form I need to complete?
All students wishing to participate in the PAFS program meet with Ms. Simpson to ensure that each student’s specific situation is addressed as fully as possible.

How much financial support will I receive?
For the 2018-19 academic year, eligible PhD students receive a one-time payment of $6,516.

May I take time off from my duties during this period?
You may request up to 12 weeks off from your duties. You do not need to take a leave of absence unless you wish (see the GSAS policy on Leaves of Absence for more information).

What will happen if I am receiving external funding such as an NSF grant?
You should check with your funding agency for more details on their policy.

How will my student status be affected during the PAFS period?
You will remain enrolled as a full-time student. By remaining on full-time status, loan repayment schedules, eligibility for University housing, Harvard health insurance, and student visa status, if applicable, will remain unchanged.

How will the PAFS period affect departmental deadlines (generals, prospectus, etc.)?
During the time off period you will receive academic accommodation, including relief from academic requirements, such as postponement of exams and course requirements. Students who take advantage of the time-off period will also be eligible for a departmental G-Year adjustment of one year.