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Family and medical leave

NSERC’s policies include a number of provisions for grant, scholarship and fellowship holders who take family-related leave 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 Discovery Grants or other grants who plan to take family-related leave or medical leave may be able to extend their funding. Depending on the grantee’s circumstances, the options include:

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

Pilot for Discovery Grant and Discovery Development Grant program only

  • a grantee who becomes a primary caregiver immediately following a 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.

More details can be found in the Maternity, Parental, Medical or Family Medical Leave for Grantees section of the Tri-agency Financial Administration Guide. Grantees applying for extended funding will also need to refer to the Grant Amendment Form.

Students and fellows

Students and fellows who are paid out of an NSERC grant, and those receiving awards directly from NSERC, are eligible to receive up to twelve* 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. See the Paid Maternity and Parental Leave for Students and Postdoctoral Fellows section of the Tri-agency Financial Administration Guide or the Interruption of award section of the Award Holder’s Guide for students and fellows.

*Increased from six months for those on parental leave on April 1, 2019 or later, including those who began their leave prior to this date. Note: those who were on unpaid parental leave of six months or less as of April 1, 2019, immediately following a paid parental leave (with no interruption in between), are also eligible to convert up to 6 months of the unpaid leave to paid leave.

The following forms may need to be completed:

For more information

For more information on NSERC’s provisions for family or medical leave, contact (professors) or (students).