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Graduate Student Researcher Leave of Absence Policy

UC Merced graduate students and faculty in research lab
A Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) may request leave as provided below. A leave request should be submitted as soon as the need for leave becomes known, whenever possible at least thirty (30) days in advance of the start date, but not less than one (1) working day in advance of the commencement of the leave unless the leave is for an unanticipated personal or family illness. All requests for leave shall be submitted to the GSRs supervising faculty member for review and signature prior to being forwarded to the appropriate school Dean for approval and submission to the Academic Personnel Office. Upon request the GSR will be required to provide appropriate documentation to support the request, including certification from a medical provider.

For the purpose of this policy “family member” is defined as one’s mother, father, sister, brother, parent-in-law, spouse, domestic partner, parent of domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, child, step or foster child (including children of domestic partner).

No period of leave will extend beyond the GSR’s appointment period.

In the event the funding agency or fund source does not provide for leave, or provide sufficient funding for the period approved, it shall be the responsibility of the school or department the student’s appointment is under to provide the funding required. When a student is in a joint/split appointment, leave funding will be proportionate to the percentage of appointment or funding allocation.

Leave for Pregnancy Disability, Childbirth and Related Medical Conditions
GSRs receiving financial support from the University may take up to six weeks of paid leave for pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions for the period prior to, during, and after childbirth.

Students shall continue to receive their current level of support during the six weeks of paid parental leave regardless of the fund source. In the event the fund source does not provide six full weeks of paid leave, it shall be the responsibility of the school(s) the student’s program is under to provide the additional funding required.

Medical/Family Leave
GSRs may take up to four weeks of other paid leave in relation to their own serious health condition, to care for a family member who has a serious health condition, or to care and bond with a newborn child or an adopted/foster child, provided that the leave is taken within twelve months of the birth or placement of the child with the GSR. Students receiving financial support from the University, regardless of the funding source, shall continue to receive their current level of support during this period.

Unpaid Leave
To augment either period of paid leave above, GSRs may take up to two additional weeks of unpaid leave upon approval.

This policy is effective January 1, 2015, and supersedes policies of funding agencies, schools and programs.