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Work-Life Grants

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, adoption, medical emergencies and other major events associated with the student's immediate family. 

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.


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. Among the most important life issues graduate students face are pregnancy and childbirth, adopting a child, medical emergencies and other major events, such as death, in their immediate family. 

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 or adopt a child, or attend to a medical emergency, 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.


Departments can request financial assistance equivalent to a graduate assistantship for 8 weeks. The Graduate School will provide one half of the 8-week stipend and the College Dean will provide the other half of the 8-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 the student is on leave.

Departments should submit Work-Life Grant funding requests to the Graduate School electronically. 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.

Students considering a work-life grant may also be interested in learning more about the supports and services the Graduate School and the university offer for families.