Northwestern provides a broad range of resources to help postdoctoral trainees integrate their personal and professional priorities as they pursue research excellence, including a dedicated Dependent Care Specialist on the Human Resources WELL (Well-being, Engagement, Learning & Leadership) team for individual work/life consultations. Key resources are highlighted below.
The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs also regularly organizes family-friendly events for postdoctoral trainees, including a family BBQ to celebrate National Postdoc Appreciation Week, winter holiday parties, and an annual town hall for postdoctoral trainees with children. Details about these events are shared in the OPA Wire and on the Announcements page of this site.
Work/Life and Family Resources
HR Work/Life and Family Resources provides a range of services to support the work/life and family needs of postdoctoral trainees, including workshops and resources on parenting and childcare. Schedule an individual consultation with Lesley Lundeen, the dedicated Dependent Care Specialist, to learn more about the resources available to help you navigate your professional and family responsibilities.
Family and Parental Leave Policies
The leave policies available postdoctoral trainees at Northwestern vary according to appointment type:
- Postdoctoral scholars are eligible to receive the same leave benefits as University staff. More information on those policies can be found on the Human Resources website.
- Postdoctoral fellows are eligible to receive the leave benefits outlined by their specific grants and funding agencies. More information can be found in the Postdoc Benefit Plan page on the Human Resources website.
- Questions about any these policies can be directed to email@example.com or the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.
Child and Dependent Care ResourcesNorthwestern University provides the following resources for postdoctoral trainees seeking information on child and dependent care. Additional information can be found on the Human Resources website:
- Sitters and Tutors Network: Student-provided sitting and tutoring services for the Northwestern community.
- Finding Childcare: Learn about area childcare centers, community resources, backup childcare options, and free childcare referral services.
- Paying for Childcare: Postdoctoral scholars at Northwestern can take advantage of a number of resources to help offset the cost of child and dependent care.
- Senior and Adult Care: Whether you are concerned about a senior or adult relative’s immediate needs, are interested in learning about resources, or are simply planning for the future, the Work/Life & Family Resources team within Human Resources is available to provide assistance, advice, connections, and resources to help you.
- Care@Work Backup Care for Dependents: To better support postdoctoral trainees with dependents during the COVID-19 pandemic, the University is offering a subsidized backup care option for childcare and eldercare during the 2020–21 academic year. This program is administered through Care.com and enables individuals to find vetted in-home or center-based providers when regular care falls through. This program can used for non-emergency backup care, as well as emergency backup care.
Please visit the HR Work/Life and Family Resources webpage to learn about the program details. You may register for your Care@Work account before the need arises by calling 855.781.1303 or logging in to the Care@Work portal through MyHR Benefits.
National Institute of Health Childcare Support for NRSA Fellows: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognizes that the high cost of childcare impacts graduate students and postdoctoral trainees funded through National Service Research Award (NRSA) fellowships and their ability to successfully complete their training and fully participate in the extramural research workforce. Therefore, as part of ongoing efforts to support family-friendly work environments for the NIH-supported workforce, NIH will begin providing childcare support to recipients of NRSA fellowships, on or after Thursday, April 8. In Phase 2 of this initiative, a similar cost will be provided for NRSA-supported trainees (anticipated early Fiscal Year 2022). For Phase 2 of this initiative, additional information and implementation guidance will be issued. Read the full announcement here.
Lactation Support at Northwestern
To support postdoctoral trainees who are nursing, Northwestern University provides a number of resources and lactation rooms on the Evanston and Chicago campuses. More information, including a map of lactation rooms, can be found on the Human Resources website.