Parental-adoption and maternity leave

The UBC Faculty of Science strives to support our faculty members and trainees in their teaching and research endeavours, while balancing commitments in their personal lives.

UBC Science Principles for Maternal and Parental Leave

Download the Principles

Faculty: Parental, Maternity, Adoption Leave Policies

  • Teaching reductions will be provided to instructors and professors, in proportion to the amount of leave taken. The amount of teaching reduction should be independent of the start date of the leave period. (For example, the amount of teaching reduction a faculty member gets should not depend on whether the leave starts in April or October.)
  • Reductions in service duties will be provided to instructors and professors, in proportion to the amount of leave taken.
  • Additional support will be provided to help professors maintain research momentum. Funds could be used to cover the costs of research needs that arise as a result of the leave, or by freeing up time through additional reductions in teaching or service, or by both of these means. Examples of research needs (which will vary across departments) might include partial support of a post-doctoral fellow or a graduate student to help manage lab activities or supervise personnel, funds to bring collaborators to UBC during a period when a new parent has limited flexibility in travelling, funds to cover the extra costs of travelling with an infant, or stipends for graduate students.
  • Faculty members who are eligible for Employment Insurance and UBC’s Supplementary Employment Benefits should apply for those benefits. The cost of maternity or parental leave salary top-ups are managed by the Science office of the dean so that these expenses are not incurred by departments. Costs of teaching reductions beyond the period of the leave and costs of research support will be borne by departments except in the following cases where costs will be borne by the dean’s office: faculty members who give birth to, or adopt, a baby within six months before or after arriving at UBC, Canada Research Chairs and endowment professors.
  • Written departmental policies should clearly explain how the amount of research support, and teaching and administrative reductions is determined and what procedures should be followed to request it. Policies and procedures should be posted and accessible to all faculty members at any time and should be communicated to candidates and new faculty members.

Graduate Students and Post-doctoral Fellows: Parental / Maternity / Adoption Leaves

UBC Graduate Studies Policies and Procedures: Leaves

Parental / Maternity / Adoption Leave for Post-doctoral fellows - UBC Employees

Parental / Maternity / Adoption Leave for Students and Post-doctoral Fellows - NSERC/CIHR-funded

The agency will provide parental leave supplements paid out of grants within six months following the child's birth or adoption to eligible students and postdoctoral fellows who are paid out of agency grants and who are primary caregivers for a child. The supplement will be paid to students and fellows as per agency salary/stipend limits for up to four months (NSERC) or six months (CIHR). If both parents are supported by grant funds, each parent may take a portion of the leave for a combined maximum of four months (NSERC) or six months (CIHR).


Note from the NSERC site: "Students or fellows who are eligible for employment insurance or other parental leave supplements from other sources do not qualify for parental leave supplements." This means that you are NOT eligible for NSERC or CIHR parental leave if you can claim EI (Employment Insurance).


  1. For PDFs paid through UBC from an NSERC or CIHR grant or other operating grant (Postdocs considered employees) - you are NOT eligible for NSERC/CIHR paid leave. You are however eligible for EI and UBC Supplemental Employment Benefits (SEB). See UBC policy AP 10 [PDF] and Faculty Benefits. The SEB top up will be paid by the University through the Extraordinary Expenses fund.
  2. PDFs not paid through UBC (Postdocs considered trainees) will need to check with your fellowship provider as to the type of Maternity or Parental support. If you are paid entirely off an external fellowship you are NOT eligible for EI. However UBC has recently implemented a revised policy for PDFs who are award recipients. Maternity/parental/adoption leave to 95% of the total award will be paid out. Please see the HR page for more details and the eligibility guidelines.
  3. For graduate students who do not TA and are paid from an NSERC or CIHR grant, you ARE eligible.
  4. For graduate students who TA but worked less than 600 hours per calendar year (i.e. are not eligible for EI) and are paid from an NSERC or CIHR grant, you ARE eligible. A full TA is 384 hours over two terms, averaging at 12 hours per week and this amount of a TAship is not enough to let you get EI. TAs are members of CUPE 2278, and may have access to some limited funds if this creates financial hardship. See the CUPE 2278 Collective Agreement, Article 17.05 (b).
  5. For graduate students who TA more than 600 hours and are EI eligible, you will only receive EI. In addition, since TAs are CUPE 2278 members, there is a Supplemental Employment Benefits top-up (SEB) plan. See the CUPE 2278 Collective Agreement, LOU#6, and the UBC benefits webpage for details. 
  6. For graduate students on scholarship (external) you will need to check with the scholarship provider. For instance, for NSERC scholarship holders: NSERC Paid Parental Leave Policies - NSERC will provide paid parental leave supplement at your current stipend level for up to four months, provided your university permits parental leaves.
  7. For graduate students on UBC four-year fellowships, the guidelines state that award holders are not eligible to receive their award while officially on-leave from their program. As of July 2011, the Faculty of Graduate Studies is investigating the cost of extending maternity leave supplements to four year fellowship holders.

Staff: Parental / Maternity / Adoption Leave


UBC Parental Leave Policies Report (2004)

Report of the UBC Science ad-hoc Committee on Parental Leave for Faculty.
» Download the Parental Leave Report 2004 | PDF, 100 kb