The grant must be taken in the first term of a parenting leave and cannot be deferred. Birth mothers may be eligible for an additional instalment in the second term of a parenting leave for up to $4000 for parenting leaves of two terms (8 months) or more in duration. The instalment must be taken in the second term of a parenting leave and cannot be deferred. The total amount of the grant will be calculated based on McMaster Graduate Scholarship funds the student is currently receiving for the academic year, divided by twelve and multiplied by four.
Financial Support from the School of Graduate Studies for parenting leave
Eligibility. Students who do not receive McMaster Graduate Scholarship Funds will not be eligible for the grant. They will remain eligible for a parenting leave, in accordance with the policy outlined in the Graduate Calendar.
Students are eligible to receive a Parenting Grant if they meet the following criteria:
- Completed one term of graduate studies at McMaster
- In receipt of McMaster Graduate Scholarship Funds
- Registered full-time in a doctoral program at McMaster and have been approved for a parenting leave of at least one academic session (or 4 months). Birth mothers requesting a second instalment must be approved for at least 8 months of parenting leave
- Received their regular base graduate scholarship funding package prior to the parenting leave;
- Provided a medical note for the pregnancy from a licenced Canadian healthcare provider (i.e., the physician, midwife or nurse practitioner that is providing pregnancy care) or an adoption certificate issued from the Canadian government. Applying for the second instalment of the grant by a birth mother requires submission of a second medical note after the birth.
- Is the primary caregiver for the duration of the Parenting leave; and
- Receiving less than $4,000 in pregnancy/parenting leave benefits from external sources for the same child (including multiple births) within the 12 month period after birth or adoption
Please complete the Parenting Leave form (including the section regarding the Parenting Grant) to be considered for the Grant.
- Students receiving Tri-Agency scholarships or research grant stipends are eligible for Tri-Agency Paid Parenting Leave supplements and will receive benefits that normally exceed the value of the Grant; such students are ineligible;
- Benefits from employment income through the University may be received in addition to the SGS Parenting Grant, and would not impact the student’s eligibility to receive the full Grant value;
- Grant recipients who return to their program prior to the approved leave of absence end date, may be required to return a portion of the Grant for the incomplete session;
- Students who do not return to their studies after their leave must repay the Grant in full;
- Multiple births on the same occasion (e.g., twins) do not increase the duration or the value of the Grant;
- Students may apply for a Parenting Grant for a birth and/or adoption only twice while at McMaster University (and affiliated institutions).
“McMaster Graduate Scholarship Funds”: The sum total of departmental and graduate scholarships as well as research account support committed to the student. It does not include funding from external sources; funding from employment such as Teaching Assistantships or Research Assistantships in lieu, or most scholarships held in trust.
Combination with other forms of financial support: To maximize flexibility, the financial support available under the Policy can be combined with stipends from sources, excluding those from the Tri-Agencies (noted below) and can be spread over a period of between 4 and 8 months at the discretion of the student. However, in no case will funding for Parenting Leave from the School of Graduate Studies exceed a total of $4,000.
If the parent of the child for whom the Parenting Leave is being taken is eligible to receive parenting support from CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC or another agency that provides parenting support for the leave at any time during the Parenting leave, the parent is not eligible for financial support under McMaster’s Parenting Leave Policy.
Financial support during Parenting Leave for students who are also employees of the university, provided as part of their terms and conditions of employment, are distinct and separate from the financial support available under this policy. Other financial benefits, except as specifically excluded herein, can be taken concurrently with the financial support provided under this policy provided that the individual meets the eligibility requirements for those plans for the duration for which they are accessing financial support under those plans.
The financial support provided under this policy is not considered an approved Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Plan for the purposes of receiving Employment Insurance. Therefore, students wishing to access financial support under this policy in addition to Employment Insurance (“EI”) benefits should be aware that Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (“HRSDC”) may consider financial support under this policy to be earnings and could therefore require repayment of some of all EI benefits received. It is incumbent upon the student accessing financial support under this policy to contact HRSDC if they have questions in this regard.
For questions on the administration of the policy, contact the School of Graduate Studies.
Grad students and postdoctoral fellows with family responsibilities are invited to join the GradParents Network. Connect with others who are navigating academia and parenthood for information, community support, and family-friendly gatherings.
We will be developing this page as the network grows. Check back for resources and other supports for McMaster graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and their families.
GradParents Facebook group: Join this closed group for community connection.
Grad Parent Survey: Complete this survey to help us learn more about the community of grad parents.
- Delays on program progress encountered due to COVID-19
- Challenges of family separation
- Food and languages – new habits, Canadian style food, kids and parents learning English
- Challenge of feeling like you aren’t ‘succeeding’ at EVERYTHING. Feeling of a need to compromise (either parenting/or school), how to be patient with self and child
- Less flexibility with kids compared to without kids
- Studying with kids is hard (but also motivating)
- Do not compare yourself or your situation with other students.
- Learn to let go of perfectionist ideals.
- Explaining your situation to supervisor/professors, has been helpful and supportive (eg., have to pick up kid from school).
- Have to study at night and childcare during daytime.
- Ease expectations on yourself – time limits, grades must be balanced with mental health.
- Need to set very realistic goals for your self – list of tasks may be smaller, but try to hone in, to be as focussed as possible.
- Two children made it much busier in COVID times – you don’t have the same amount of flexibility that you had before children.
- Need to be organized and efficient with your time.
- Village approach – who is your village? Chat groups, friends for support.
- If appropriate, multitask, such as:
- attempt to organize calls close together, during times you can take a walk,
- folding laundry during online seminars.
- Be open to accepting what others have to offer, getting things second-hand, accept things people are willing to pass along (and pass along to others, too, when you are done).
McMaster SGS Parenting Leave
- Hamilton Public Libraries (free craft programs, filter programs by age of kids, branch location)
- City of Hamilton Recreation Programs (swimming, crafts, sports and recreation)
- EarlyON Child & Family Centres (parenting classes with child-minding, snacks, programming)
- YMCA of Hamilton (camps, childcare programs, heath & fitness)
- Ron Joyce Children’s Health Resource Centre (via referral from your family doctor)
Sources of affordable children’s items