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Parental Support and Relief

The MD/PhD program is committed to supporting students at all stages of training who have children or are planning to have children. The following policies and guidelines are relevant regardless of stage of training:

  1. All children (under the age of 18) of an MD/PhD student are eligible to receive Yale Health coverage at no additional cost to the student.
  2. MD/PhD students receive a family support subsidy of $7,500 (starting in FY23) per year for a child under the age of 18 and an additional subsidy of $2,500 per year for additional children under the age of 6. The source and disbursement of this family subsidy varies based on factors delineated below. Students must enroll each semester to receive this benefit.
  3. Students planning a birth or adoption should discuss their plans with Dr. Kazmierczak and Alex Mauzerall as early as possible and no later than four months prior to the birth or adoption. Birth and adoption events that occur during the MD portion of training necessitate careful planning and an individualized approach.

Parental Support and Relief Guidance for MD-PhD Students who have not received their PhD

All students who are actively enrolled in the MD-PhD program may wish to modify their academic responsibilities because of the birth or adoption of a child. Students may request parental support and relief during or following the term in which the birth or adoption occurs. A leave must begin in conjunction with the start of either the fall or spring semester.

During your term of parental relief, your academic clock stops; this term will not count toward your total time to degree. You remain a registered full-time student. You will receive a standard financial aid stipend and health award. If you receive external funding, we will check with your funding agency for more details on their policy. Your academic expectations are modified to suit your specific situation. The precise nature of the academic responsibilities undertaken or suspended during this period should be a matter of consultation between the adviser and the student, with the understanding that students are entitled to full relief from responsibilities for at least an eight-week period. Parental relief may not be combined with other funding. This benefit is limited to two birth or adoption events. If both parents are Ph.D. students at Yale, both may receive this benefit per birth or adoption event.

Four months in advance of the birth or adoption event, students should inform Dr. Kazmierczak of their intention to take a parental relief leave. They should then set up an appointment with Alex Mauzerall in the MD-PhD office to discuss next steps. Additionally, students must notify their advisor, director of graduate studies, and departmental registrar. Then, a request for parental relief should be sent to the associate dean for graduate student academic support, Dean di Bonaventura, at prior to the term of a birth or adoption.

Health insurance coverage for children

All children (under the age of 18) of Ph.D. students are eligible to receive Yale Health coverage at no additional cost to the student.

Family subsidy

If you are a Ph.D. student with a child or children, you are eligible for an additional financial subsidy to assist you with family expenses. The subsidy is disbursed differently depending on whether you have elected to receive spousal coverage through Yale Health.

  • An annual subsidy of $7,500 per year is available to Ph.D. students with a child under the age of 18.
    • If the student has elected to receive spousal coverage through Yale Health, the annual subsidy with be applied automatically to pay for spousal health coverage and any additional remaining subsidy will be paid to the student.
  • An annual subsidy of $2,500 per child is available for each additional child under the age of six.

If your child is born or adopted after the start of the term, you will receive a pro-rated subsidy for that semester. Submit the Midterm Birth/Adoption Event Form as soon as possible to qualify. This form is to be used only for new birth/adoption events that occur in during the term.

Adopted children under the age of 18 are eligible for the support. When a student first requests GSAS Family Support for an adopted child, a copy of paperwork demonstrating that a legal adoption has been finalized must be submitted. If the final documentation is not in English, an English translation must also be submitted.

After the birth of your child, you must enroll each term to qualify for the subsidy. The Ph.D. Student Family Support Enrollment form is available online. As detailed below, students will continue to receive funding equivalent to the family support subsidy after the completion of the PhD and prior to receiving the MD.

The enrollment periods for the Family Subsidy are the same as for Yale Health:

Fall Term: August 1– January 31 (enroll by September 30)

Subsidy paid on October 15

Spring Term: February 1 – July 31 (enroll by February 15)

Subsidy paid on February 28

See the MD-PhD Student Financials Guide on the student intranet for more information about the breakdown of the family subsidy support in conjunction with the Yale Health Family Coverage Plan.

Action Items for New Parents:

  1. Inform Dr. Kazmierczak of your plans to request leave
  2. Meet with Alex Mauzerall to discuss your timeline
  3. Inform your PI, DGS, and departmental registrar of your plans
  4. Submit a request to the GSAS Administrative Dean for approval of parental relief leave
  5. Upon the birth of your child, fill out the below:

Continuing Action Items after the birth or adoption of a child:

  1. Enroll for Family Subsidy Support provided by the graduate school each semester by the enrollment deadline
  2. If you are seeking Yale Health Coverage for your child (and/or family coverage) you will need to re-enroll annually in that preferred coverage annually. If you spouse and child are covered by a plan outside of the university, you do not need to re-enroll annually for single coverage.

Parental Support and Relief Guidance for MD-PhD Students who have received their PhD and re-entered into medical school

If you have received your PhD and have re-entered into the medical school, you are now a “MD-only” student and do not have access to GSAS Parental Relief funds or a semester long parental leave of absence. Please inform Dr. Kazmierczak and Alex Mauzerall of any new childcare responsibilities as soon as you can; the impact of a new birth or adoption on your academic timeline will be reviewed with you on a case-by-case basis with Drs. Kazmierczak and Cohn, your medical school advisor, and Dean Francis.

The Medical School’s Leave of Absence for Parental Responsibilities policy provides the following:

“A student who wishes or needs to interrupt study temporarily for reasons of pregnancy, maternity care, or paternity care may be granted a leave of absence for parental responsibilities. The general policies governing all leaves of absence are described here. A student who is in good standing is eligible for parental leave any time after matriculation.

“Any student planning to have or care for a child is encouraged to meet with the associate dean for student affairs to discuss leaves and other short-term arrangements. For many students, short-term arrangements rather than a leave of absence are possible. Students living in University housing units are encouraged to review their housing contract and the related polices of the Graduate Housing Office before applying for a parental leave of absence. Students granted a parental leave may continue to reside in University housing to the end of the academic term for which the leave was first granted, but no longer.”

Just as the MD-PhD program continues to provide students with health insurance coverage, we will provide the family subsidy support (described above, “Family Subsidy”) for MD-PhD students who have completed their PhD. Students should email Alex Mauzerall to request this support, including the name and birthdate of their child(ren) and citing their request to apply for the family subsidy. The time frames at the Medical School are the same as those at the Graduate School For the fall term: enroll by September 30 and you can expect the subsidy to be paid out on October 15. For the spring term, enroll by February 15 and you can expect the subsidy to be paid on February 28. If you would like to add your child to your Yale Health Coverage, and/or apply for Family Health Coverage, you will need to fill out the Student Enrollment/Change Application