MIT Paid Leave for New Parent Postdocs

MIT Postdocs are appointed with the title Postdoc Fellow or Postdoc Associate, depending on the type and source of their funding. 

Postdoc Fellows

MIT strives to treat Postdoc Fellows and Postdoc Associates similarly, to the greatest extent possible. Regarding leave for new parents, fellowship terms must be taken into consideration. Postdoc Fellows who anticipate taking Maternity Leave and/or Parental Leave should consult with the key administrative contact (i.e., the HR Administrator or Administrative Officer) in their department, lab, or center. Your key administrative contact will then work with the Office of the Vice President for Research and the Office of Sponsored Programs to review the terms of your fellowship and determine what, if any, sponsor notification is necessary. Your key contact will also provide details on reporting Postdoc Fellow leave at MIT.

Postdoc Fellows should also review FAQs for New Parent Postdocs and review the Resources for New Parents.

Postdoc Associates

Postdoc Associates are salaried by MIT and therefore are considered MIT employees and may be benefits-eligible.

If you are a new parent and are a benefits-eligible Postdoc Associate, the information below applies to you.

New birth mothers

New birth mothers should review all information related to MIT Paid Maternity Leave for Postdoc Associates below and all information related to MIT Paid Parental Leave for Postdoc Associates below.

New parents who are not giving birth

New parents who are not giving birth should review all information related to MIT Paid Parental Leave for Postdoc Associates below.

All new parents

Bringing a baby into the world is exciting, awe-inspiring, surreal, joyous … and also downright exhausting! Birth mothers face unique physical and emotional stressors both during and after the delivery process. Thus, they are considered disabled during the initial post-partum recovery period, and are eligible for paid leave under MIT’s sick leave policy.

Officially, this form of leave is defined as Leave Associated with Pregnancy and Childbirth. Unofficially, this form of leave is often referred to as Maternity Leave. For simplicity’s sake, the term Maternity Leave is used below.

Who is eligible?

Those who meet all of the following:

  • Benefits-eligible MIT Postdoc Associate
  • New birth mother: a biological mother, who has newly undergone pregnancy and childbirth

What does coverage include?

Eligible individuals receive up to 8 weeks of MIT Paid Maternity Leave. MIT Paid Maternity Leave must be taken consecutively, beginning with the day of your baby’s birth. Consistent with MIT sick leave policies, pay during leave is 100% of your usual salary.

Am I also eligible for MIT Paid Parental Leave?

Yes! In addition to 8 weeks of MIT Paid Maternity Leave, new birth mothers are also eligible for 20 days of MIT Paid Parental Leave (see MIT Paid Parental Leave for Postdoc Associates for additional information regarding eligibility and other specifics).

What are the procedural requirements?

MIT Paid Maternity Leave Procedural Requirements

Below are two forms that must be completed for full Paid Maternity Leave coverage.

  • Employee Leave of Absence Request Form
    Complete the online Employee Leave of Absence Request Form 3–4 months before the birth of your baby. This form must be approved by your manager or supervisor.
  • Certification of Healthcare Provider Form
    Complete and deliver the Certification of Healthcare Provider Form to the MIT Disabilities Services and Medical Leaves Office 2 months before the birth of your baby. This form requires your doctor's signature.
Additional paperwork to complete:
  • Proof of Birth
    A copy of your baby’s birth certificate or hospital birth paperwork must be delivered to the MIT Disabilities Services and Medical Leaves Office within 31 days following the birth of your baby.
  • Health Plans Enrollment/Change Form
    Having a baby qualifies as a Life Event, and therefore allows you to make changes to your MIT health plan. If you wish to add your baby as a dependent to your MIT health plan, you must complete and deliver the Health Plans Enrollment/Change Form to MIT Benefits within 31 days following the birth of your baby.

    Note: This form requires that you provide proof of your baby’s birth (i.e., a copy of your baby’s birth certificate or hospital birth paperwork). Proof of birth must be provided to MIT Benefits even if you have already delivered it to the MIT Disabilities Services and Medical Leaves Office.

  • Record of Sick Leave
    MIT Paid Maternity Leave must be recorded as sick leave via your sick leave tracker.

Please also see the Important Action Steps for New Parents for a more detailed timeline.

MIT Paid Parental Leave for Postdoc Associates

Bonding with your newest family member is important! Countless research studies highlight the health and wellness benefits of extended time off for parental bonding—both for parents and their babies. MIT offers Paid Parental Leave that provides all new parents—including birth mothers and those who did not give birth—with time away from the workplace to focus on building this bond and adjusting to the changes that accompany parenthood.

Who is eligible?

Those who meet all of the following:

  • Benefits-eligible MIT Postdoc Associate
  • Must have completed an appointment with MIT, at least one year in length, as either a Postdoc Associate or Postdoc Fellow
  • New parent:
    • Birth mother
    • Spouse
    • Domestic partner
    • Parent through surrogacy
    • Adoptive parent (for children under the age of 18, or under the age of 23 if mentally or physically disabled)
    • Foster parent (for children under the age of 18, or under the age of 23 if mentally or physically disabled)

What does coverage include?

Eligible individuals receive up to 20 days of MIT Paid Parental Leave, which must be taken within 6 months following the birth, adoption, or placement of your child. Pay during leave is 100% of your usual salary, and may be taken consecutively or intermittently in daily or weekly increments.

What are the procedural requirements?

MIT Paid Parental Leave Procedural Requirements

The procedural requirements below must be completed in order for MIT to provide you with full Paid Parental Leave coverage:

  • Employee Leave of Absence Request Form
    Complete the online Employee Leave of Absence Request Form, preferably 3–4 months before the birth, adoption, or placement of your child. This form must be approved by your manager or supervisor.
  • Proof of Birth, Adoption, or Placement
    A copy of your child’s birth certificate, hospital birth paperwork, adoption paperwork, or placement paperwork must be delivered to the MIT Disabilities Services and Medical Leaves Office within 31 days following the birth, adoption, or placement of your child.

    Note: Proof of birth, adoption, or placement must be provided to the MIT Disabilities Services and Medical Leaves Office even if you have already delivered it to MIT Benefits for healthcare purposes.

Additional paperwork to complete:
  • Health Plans Enrollment/Change Form
    Having a baby, or adopting or fostering a child, qualifies as a Life Event, and therefore allows you to make changes to your MIT health plan. If you wish to add your child as a dependent to your MIT health plan, you must complete and deliver the Health Plans Enrollment/Change Form to MIT Benefits within 31 days following the birth, adoption, or placement of your child.

    Note: This form requires that you provide proof of birth, adoption, or placement (i.e., a copy of your child’s birth certificate, hospital birth paperwork, adoption paperwork, or placement paperwork). Proof of birth, adoption, or placement must be provided to MIT Benefits even if you have already delivered it to the MIT Disabilities Services and Medical Leaves Office.

Please also see the Important Action Steps for New Parents for a more detailed timeline.

Have Questions?

Please review the FAQs for New Parents or contact the MIT Disabilities Services and Medical Leaves Office.