Paid Parental Leave for GSBS Students Who Hold Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA)
The MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) is committed to the academic success of our students. Our commitment extends beyond providing a quality education, and includes having support systems in place to help our students succeed. All eligible GSBS students who hold a Graduate Research Assistantship at MD Anderson or UTHealth Houston may receive paid parental leave following the birth, adoption, or foster care of a child. If both parents are GSBS GRAs, both are eligible for paid parental leave. The benefit does not have to be split between the parents. During paid parental leave, the student must continue to be enrolled full-time at the GSBS. Because the student remains enrolled, this is not a formal leave of absence from the Graduate School. It is instead a modification of academic deadlines and expectations to accommodate the student’s new parental responsibilities.
Students Appointed in a Benefits Eligible Position at MD Anderson:
• May receive up to 4 weeks of paid parental leave under the child care leave benefit after completion of 6 months of MD Anderson service. More information can be found here: Health-Related Leave | MD Anderson Cancer Center page.
• In addition to 4 weeks of child care leave, students can extend their paid leave by using sick leave for up to 2 weeks for a regular delivery and 4 weeks for a c-section.
• Students may also use their educational vacation leave to extend their paid leave.
• GSBS students receive an annual allotment of 80 hours of vacation and 50 hours of sick leave.
• If the GSBS student is the birth parent, they are eligible for Reduced Salary Paid leave (RPL) effective the date of appointment if they are ineligible to receive the child care leave benefit.
• Please contact the HR Leave Center at 713-745-3652 (5-FMLA).
Students Appointed in a Benefits Eligible Position at UTHealth Houston:
• May receive up to 8 weeks of paid parental leave within a one (1) year period (i.e., if 8 weeks of parental leave is taken starting on December 1st, the student will not be eligible to use paid parental leave again until after December 1st of the following year).
• The 8 weeks can be taken continuously or on an intermittent basis.
• Students must have completed at least one (1) full-time semester of their degree program to become eligible.
• Requests for paid parental leave and required supporting documentation must be submitted. Please email GSBSfirstname.lastname@example.org to initiate the process.
Student Funding During the Parental Leave Period:
• It is the student’s responsibility to inform the Graduate School and their faculty advisor of their intent to take parental leave as soon as possible, and at least one month in advance whenever possible so appropriate arrangements can be made. Please email GSBSemail@example.com.
• Faculty members who supervise graduate research assistants will continue to pay for the student’s stipend, benefits, and tuition and fees, subject to the terms of the student’s funding source, during the period of paid parental leave. GSBS-funded students will continue to receive a stipend, health insurance benefits, and associated tuition support.
• If the student’s funding source does not allow paid parental leave, the GSBS will provide funds during this period. Please contact GSBSfirstname.lastname@example.org.
• Students in the United States on a visa must get written approval from the Office of International Affairs and MD Anderson VISA office (if applicable, i.e., appointed at MD Anderson) to ensure compliance with United States Immigration requirements.