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Graduate Student Parent Support

April 17, 2018

Dear Graduate Students,

I write to ensure that graduate students are fully informed and able to take advantage of the support available to graduate student parents. A recent email sent to many Brown graduate students could mislead students about the support available. Brown’s parental relief and child care subsidy programs for graduate students are gender neutral (supporting parents regardless of gender) and adoption inclusive. We are committed to fostering a family-friendly climate for graduate student parents and to regular assessment of support available to our graduate student parents.  

Brown recognizes that graduate study often puts substantial pressure on students to balance their personal lives with their lives as scholars. These pressures affect student parents, in particular. Since 2016, support for graduate student parents has included all of the following:

  • Parental Relief: A fully funded semester or summer, with academic responsibilities paused and funding commitments deferred is available for graduate students who are supported by a stipend. Parental relief can be used for the care of a newly born infant or adopted child under 16 years of age. Established in July 2016.
  • Child Care Subsidy: Graduate students, medical students, and postdoctoral research fellows are eligible for a subsidy to help pay for child care expenses of up to $4,000 a year for those whose total household adjusted gross income is less than or equal to $100,000 per year. Established in 2015.
  • Graduate Community Fellows: The Community Fellows program supports two graduate students each year dedicated to building family-friendly graduate community. Their initiatives have included family-friendly programming and a Graduate and Postdoc Parent Facebook page. Established in 2016.

We know that there is more to do to strengthen support for graduate student parents and to create a positive and family-friendly climate for graduate students. The Graduate School is currently reviewing family resources available to graduate student parents, with valuable input from graduate students. Please stay tuned for an upcoming questionnaire that will help us learn more about graduate student parent numbers and priorities, which will inform our ongoing work.

I look forward to working with all of you to continue to build a positive climate and experience for all graduate students.

Sincerely,

Andrew G. Campbell
Dean of the Graduate School