In the interest of fully supporting the intellectual efforts of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, we present a petition to encourage the establishment of family leave policies by Astronomy Departments and Fellowship Committees. These policies will provide these astronomers with the freedom necessary to excel in academic pursuits while raising a family. Widespread adoption of a given policy will ensure equal treatment.
Please indicate your support for the widespread adoption of this family leave policy by signing this petition. We will then share this document with all Fellowship program officers and department chairs.
For postdoctoral fellowship programs:
For the birth, adoption or fostering of a child, up to twelve weeks of the Fellow's stipend may be used for paid maternity or paternity leave. Additionally, the Fellow has the option to 1) take a no-cost extension for up to a year to complete the goals of the Fellowship, or 2) convert up to one year of the Fellowship into a maximum of two years, working half-time and receiving half the normal monthly stipend. Funding for health insurance will be provided throughout the total duration of the fellowship.
For all departments:
If a similar policy is not already established, we encourage departments to adopt the family leave policy enacted by the University of Wisconsin - Madison Astronomy Department which guarantees twelve weeks paid maternity or paternity leave for graduate students and ensures continued health insurance coverage. We strongly encourage extending this policy to postdoctoral researchers in the department as well.
For our wiki of current departmental and postdoctoral fellowship family leave policies, please visit:
Thanks for your support.
Emily Freeland, Aaron Geller, Nick Murphy, Laura Trouille
and the AAS Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy (CSWA)
For questions or suggestions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.