Dependent Care Grant
The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs provides a Dependent Care Professional Development Grant to help postdoctoral trainees with dependents participate as fully as possible in conferences, workshops, research-related travel, and other professional development opportunities. The grant helps offset qualified short-term care expenses trainees incur while attending these events. Grant funds may be used for either child or adult dependent care to cover expenses for:
- Extra dependent care at home while the recipient is traveling or attending an event;
- On-site dependent care while at a conference or meeting;
- Transportation of dependent and/or caregiver to conference or meeting location.
- Applicants must hold a Northwestern University-designated title of Postdoctoral Scholar or Postdoctoral Fellow (see below) at the time of application to be considered. Research associates and research faculty are not eligible for this grant program.
- Postdoctoral Fellow, Direct Fellowship
- Postdoctoral Fellow, NRSA
- Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow
- Applicants must apply and be approved for the grant before their proposed date of travel. Postdoctoral trainees can only receive one grant per academic year.
Examples of allowable uses of grant funds
Below are a few examples of situations in which grant funding would be allowable to cover dependent care costs. These examples are meant to be illustrative, not exhaustive. If you have questions about whether a particular situation is covered under the terms of the policy, please contact the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs for clarification.
Example 1: The postdoctoral trainee must travel to another city and stay overnight to present their research at a conference. No home care for their children is available, so the children must travel with them in order to participate. The grant could be used to cover the airfare for their children, the airfare of a caregiver who will watch the children while the trainee attends the conference or the cost of on-site childcare.
Example 2: The trainee will conduct research at an archive or center in another city for a few weeks and needs to take a young child with them. The grant could be used to cover the child’s airfare, the airfare of a caregiver who will accompany the trainee to help care for the child, or the cost of childcare at the research site.
Example 3: A postdoctoral trainee needs to hire a babysitter to provide additional care at home while they attend a conference. The trainee could apply to the grant to cover the cost of the babysitter.
Example 4: A trainee who ordinarily provides care for a parent in their home has been invited to present their research at a workshop. They will not be able to attend the workshop if they cannot find additional care for the parent while they are away. The trainee could apply to the grant to hire a caregiver to stay with the parent during their planned absence.
The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs will consider applications on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are submitting an application outside of the open application period, or if the grant funds have been exhausted, your application may not be approved.
To apply, please complete the online application form. Grant applications are currently open to fund travel during the 2019–20 academic year. Funds are limited, so please apply early.
The Dependent Care Professional Development Grant is administered as a reimbursement and requires the submission of receipts to receive the funds awarded. Receipts must be submitted to the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, within 14 days of travel in order to be reimbursed.
Grants are paid through the regular payroll system and considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service. The award amount will be grossed up to assist with the potential tax liability.
Contact the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs if you have any questions.