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Additional Policies

Family-Friendly Policy Link to section

Arts, Sciences & Engineering at the University of Rochester provides accommodation for its graduate students for the birth or adoption of children, as outlined in this policy.

Parental Leave Link to section

Graduate students are provided up to eight weeks of leave for the primary caregiver following the birth or the adoption of a child*. During this period, students may postpone course assignments, examinations, and other academic requirements but remain active full-time student, with access to University facilities (including student health insurance, library privileges, and housing) and to University faculty and staff.

While students will continue to be fully funded by any existing funding sources (e.g., fellowship, assistantship) during the leave period, students will be excused from regular teaching or research duties†. However, it is the student’s professional responsibility to work with their advisor or faculty member to prepare for the absence in advance of the leave, including:

  • Arranging alternative timelines for the completion of coursework missed during the student’s absence
  • Reviewing the status and continuation of research projects
  • Adequately preparing those who will assume teaching responsibilities during the student’s absence
  • Arranging for a smooth transition in any other responsibilities.

Eligible graduate students are required to notify their advisor and school of graduate studies of the date of their intended time away at least 60 days prior (when possible) to the expected date of childbirth or adoption, using the Parental Leave Request Form. While applications for parental leave are required, the benefit is automatic.

If extended time is needed beyond the eight weeks leave, written approval for an unpaid leave of absence must be requested, and approval obtained, from the student’s advisor, program director, and the AS&E dean of graduate education and postdoctoral affairs.

Note that individual fellowships, such as the NSF graduate fellowships, may require sponsor approval for extended leaves of absence. Specific guidelines should be consulted.

*These guidelines are consistent with the NIH Grants Policy Statement—parental leave (10/10). For those on NIH training grants, the use of parental leave must be approved by the training grant PD/PI.

†NIH provides support for administrative supplements to hire temporary technical help for the grant to cover the absence of someone working on the grant due to family leave. See the following websites for more details:

For resources relating to child care, lactation rooms, and counseling and health insurance, please see the resources section of this handbook.

Non-Academic Grievance Policy Link to section

The purpose of the Student Non-Academic Grievance Procedure is to provide a process for students to seek resolution of disputes and grievances with faculty or staff that may not fall within the scope of one of the other grievance processes.

Students may at times feel improperly treated, and concerns about unfairness may also at times arise. This policy is designed to address individual decisions or individual actions that affect the grievant personally in his or her capacity as a student. This policy applies only to students enrolled in a graduate program in Arts, Sciences & Engineering at the University of Rochester. In those instances where a graduate student has a complaint against researchers or staff in a campus research institute, a national laboratory, or in a setting governed by a federal grant whether on or off campus, the student’s home academic department (the unit awarding the degree) is responsible for helping to achieve a remedy.

Examples of what would fall under this policy include:

  • Concerns about mentoring from primary advisors such as meetings, availability, and responsiveness
  • Faculty requests to complete personal tasks that fall outside of normal academic/research requirements
  • Requiring add-on research
  • Academic work that is not compensated

Grievances not covered under this policy include:

  • Students who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of race, religion, color, creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran, as this would fall under HR Policy 106 or Title IX.
  • Student disciplinary proceedings for academic misconduct, including plagiarism and cheating, fall under the provisions of the Standards of Student Conduct and Academic Honesty.
  • If the matter involves another student, this falls under the Student Conduct Policy.
  • If the matter involves an academic decision, this falls under the AS&E Graduate Student Academic Grievance Policy.
  • Similarly, and as a general proposition, dissatisfaction with a departmental, school, or University policy or practice of broad or general application is not grounds for a grievance under this procedure.