- Page One
- • University expands family-friendly policies for graduate students
- • Students gain more exposure to wealth of academic options
- • Harold Powers, versatile scholar of music, dies at 78
- • U-League offers summer camp
- • Niehaus family to endow Center for Globalization and Governance
- • Seniors earn ReachOut 56 grants for public service
- • The ‘continuum’ of support for graduate students
- • Employees honored for dedication and service
- • Spotlight, Staff retirements, Staff obituaries
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- Editor: Ruth Stevens Calendar editor: Shani Hilton Staff writers: Jennifer Greenstein Altmann, Eric Quiñones Contributing writers: Cass Cliatt, Karin Dienst Photographers: Denise Applewhite, John Jameson Design: Maggie Westergaard Web edition: Mahlon Lovett
The ‘continuum’ of support for graduate students
Princeton NJ — These initiatives, which mirror some programs also offered to Princeton faculty, are intended to provide a continuum of support for graduate students during their time at Princeton:
Childbirth Accommodation and Adoption Policy
This policy has two parts, as it seeks to acknowledge the demands on and accommodate the needs of graduate students who give birth. It also provides relief to graduate students faced with the additional time demands of being the primary caregiver for an infant during that critical first year of life. For graduate students who give birth, 12 weeks of maternity leave are provided during which the birth mother continues to receive financial support, and teaching and other academic obligations are suspended. While applications are required, the benefit is automatic. Also, birth mothers or primary caregivers who are pursuing doctorates will be eligible for an extension of academic deadlines that provides for one additional term of financial support to complete their studies for each child they give birth to or adopt. Parents who give birth to twins, for example, are eligible to apply to receive an additional year to complete their doctoral studies.
Student Child Care Assistance Program
Based on income, this program allows eligible undergraduate and graduate students to receive up to $5,000 per child to pay for child care, with up to $10,000 for two or more pre-kindergarten children. The scholarship grants are portable and can be used by single, full-time students — or full-time students with an employed or full-time student spouse — for a wide range of care options that include in-home care and licensed day care.
Work Options Backup Care
When a disruption in normal caregiving arrangements interferes with their work or study obligations, graduate students responsible for the care of a child, adult or elder can pay $4 per hour for in-home care or $2 per hour for center-based care for up to three dependents in any state.
Dependent Care Travel Fund for Graduate Students
Initiated with a $10,000 grant from the Elsevier Foundation to help graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the sciences and engineering, the Graduate School will fund this program also for the humanities and social sciences. Graduate students pursuing research at Princeton can apply for funds to pay for dependent care on site or at home while they attend academic conferences or similar events. This pilot program meets the needs of students and postdocs to present research that is crucial for the development of their careers.
Through a partnership with Countrywide Home Loans, graduate students can buy homes in any state for reduced costs. Students are able to choose from many different programs at competitive interest rates based on their income, credit and funds available for down payment.
Work-life counselors offer assistance addressing personal issues related to stress, depression, drugs, alcohol, abuse, personal finances, relationships, marriage and parenting. They also help graduate students find child care arrangements that meet their needs.
Princeton’s Office of Human Resources is helping to administer the Carebridge, backup care and mortgage programs, said Alison Nelson, director of benefits.
“If these support systems are in place, the graduate students who are interested in a career in academia might recognize that they can achieve a balance between work and family and, therefore, more graduate students might pursue a career in academia,” Nelson said.
See related article in this issue