Postdocs - How to Find Help | The Pregnant Scholar
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How to find help

Postdocs can benefit from the resources available to the wider campus community, as well as resources designed specifically for postdocs or other researchers.

If you are discriminated against because of your pregnancy, or are denied your leave or accommodations, there are resources for help.

Title IX Office: Your institution’s Title IX office provides assistance and information to all members of the university community.  The Title IX coordinator is typically the primary point of contact for filing a complaint.

Office of Postdoc Affairs: Many universities have an office or staff members that deal exclusively with the needs of postdocs.  These specialized offices understand the various funding mechanisms, employment statuses, and policies that impact your appointment.  If you are uncertain whether there is an office or staff member for postdocs, ask your department or your university’s research office.

Your Union: Postdoc employees may be represented by a union.  Your union representative can help you understand the terms of your employment contract and can serve as an advocate with your department and university, if needed.

Human Resources Office: For those postdocs who are employees, your human resources office can provide guidance on university policies around employment and your eligibility for employment benefits such as leave and disability pay.

Research Funders: Postdocs working on grants can seek assistance from their grant funder.  All federal entities (such as the NIH, NSF, NASA, DOE, etc.) are required by law to ensure that the educational programs they fund are in compliance with Title IX, and some provide paid parental leave.

Lab Safety: Contact any of the above offices or your university’s occupational health center for more information on safety accommodations for your pregnancy in the lab.  For additional resources on assessing risks to your pregnancy and seeking assistance see, the “Pregnancy and Research Safety General Resources” from the National Postdoctoral Association.

More Help:

For more information on filing a complaint, see our guide to reporting.

For more information on funding parental leave, see our funding page.

For more information and resources on navigating postdoc life see the National Postdoctoral Association’s publications, “A Postdoc’s Guide to Pregnancy and Maternity Leave” and “Family-Friendly Resources for Postdocs.