Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

A planned outage affecting this website and several other NSERC and SSHRC (including TIPS) websites and granting portals will take place from Friday, June 28, 2024, at 4 p.m., until Tuesday, July 2, 2024, at 8 a.m. (ET). For more details, visit NSERC or SSHRC/TIPS dedicated webpages.

Family and medical leave

NSERC’s policies include several provisions for grant, scholarship and fellowship holders who take family-related or medical leave. These provisions apply only to leave taken in accordance with the policies in place at the award holder’s institution.

Grant holders

Holders of NSERC grants who plan to take family-related or medical leave may be able to extend their funding. Depending on the grantee’s circumstances, the options include:

  • extending the period for using the current grant funds by up to two years
  • adding up to two years of funding at the same level as the current grant
  • deferring the submission of a renewal application

For Discovery Grants, Individual Subatomic Physics Discovery Grants and Discovery Development Grants only:

  • A grantee who becomes a primary caregiver immediately following the birth or adoption of a child, who is eligible for an extended maternity, parental or adoptive leave through the institution but declines taking the leave may be eligible to receive a one-year grant extension with funds at a level up to, but not exceeding the current grant amount.

Further information can be found in Part 5 of the Tri-agency guide on financial administration (TAGFA), under Leave for maternity, parental, medical or family related responsibilities (grant recipient).

Grant recipients are responsible for informing their administering institution of the extension request, and the administering institution is responsible for completing the
grant amendment form and submitting the extension request to the relevant agency.

Students and fellows

Students and fellows who are paid out of an NSERC grant, and those receiving awards directly from NSERC, may be eligible to receive up to 12 months of paid parental leave. They may also be eligible to defer their award or take an unpaid leave of absence related to maternity, child rearing, illness or health-related family responsibilities, provided their university permits such leaves.

Further information can be found in Part 5 of the TAGFA, under Paid maternity/parental leave for students and postdoctoral fellows

The administering institution is responsible for completing the grant amendment form and submitting a request for paid maternity/parental leave supplements for students and postdoctoral fellows to the relevant agency for approval.

Questions related to the extension of funds and the submission of the grant amendment form can be sent via email to

For students and postdoctoral fellows who are Tri-agency scholarship or fellowship holders, refer to the Paid interruption – Parental leave section of the Tri-agency research training award holder’s guide for more information.