Work-life grants at Graduate School
Dean Karen DePauw holds a future Hokie at a gathering of graduate students who used the Work-life grant program for parental leave.

Financial assistance for GAs, GRAs, GTAs, expecting or adopting children

Since 2003, the Graduate School, in collaboration with the College Deans and the Provost, has established a Work-Life Grant Program to provide temporary financial assistance to departments to enable them to continue support for graduate students during pregnancy and childbirth. Since its inception, the program has been broadened to include male students as well, so they can take parenting leave. The program also is available to students who are adopting children.

This grant program is a result of conversations with concerned graduate students and recommendations from the Advance Pipeline Element working group chaired by Nancy Love (CEE).

The program is funded by base E&G resources within the Graduate School and university academic departments. Academic departments have, since the beginning of the program, always provided their share of the support.

Purpose

During their time in graduate school, students routinely face issues of balance among the demands of work (GA, GTA, GRA), graduate study and personal life. Potentially, one of the most important life issues faced by graduate students is pregnancy.

In demonstrating its commitment to be work-life friendly, Virginia Tech aims to provide a supportive environment for graduate students in their choice to give birth while simultaneously acknowledging the department's need for continuation of the work being provided by the graduate student as a GTA, GRA, or GA.

The Work-Life Grants program provides the means through which departments can request temporary financial assistance.

Procedures

Departments can request financial assistance equivalent to a graduate assistantship stipend for 6 weeks. The Graduate School will provide one half of the 6-week stipend and the College Dean will provide the other half of the 6-week stipend. These funds may be used in a variety of ways to ensure that the research/teaching effort is not adversely impacted and the graduate student continues to be supported while she is on leave.

Departments should submit requests for work-life grants in writing to the Dean of the Graduate School with a copy to the College Dean. Requests are acted upon immediately.

Students interested in receiving a work-life grant should contact their advisor or the graduate program director for their department.