Ways to take action

1. Sign our letter

2. Share the letter and this project on social media

3. Urge private fellowships to adopt parental leave policies

Do you currently or were you funded by a private postdoc fellowship? Did you know that currently most private fellowships do not have explicit parental leave policies but usually default to the policy of the host institution – many of which offer NO paid parental leave?

Even though these fellowships only fund a tiny fraction of postdocs, they can send a powerful message by adopting more progressive policies. Send an email or letter to your fellowship directors urging them to adopt a parental leave policy to protect and support postdoc parents.

Sample letter:

Dear ________,

I am writing to urge you to adopt a parental leave policy for all __ fellows. The current policy of defaulting to the policy of the home institution leaves many fellows without any formalized parental leave, which is discriminatory towards parents, in particular women. At a minimum, all birth parents should be able to take 12 weeks of paid leave and all new parents (non-birth parents, adoptive parents) should be granted 8 weeks of paid leave. To further strengthen this policy and bring it in line with most international fellowships, such as Human Frontier Science Project (HFSP) policy, fellows who take parental leave should have the duration of their fellowship extended by the amount of leave taken, to allow for an equal fellowship work-period to their non-parent peers. We understand that this would require additional resources, but given the number of studies that show the overwhelming benefits of paid parental on retention and productivity, this investment is fully aligned with the stated mission of this fellowship program.

Sincerely,

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