Direct services and resources to support MIT faculty and their families, including family or parental leaves and childcare
The MIT School of Science and the Institute offer a range of direct services and resources to promote the health and well-being of MIT faculty members and their families.
MIT Work-Life Center: Faculty Resources
The MIT Work-Life Center offers a range of direct services and resources to promote the health and well-being of MIT community members and their families, including guidance on adult and senior care, child care services and schools. The Work-Life Center provides access to MyLife Services, free round-the-clock access to a network of experts who are available to help with life concerns.
Faculty Parental Teaching Relief
Faculty members, regardless of gender, will be released from teaching administrative duties for one semester at full pay if they wish to spend the majority of their academic time caring for a newborn or newly placed child. Faculty members on leave will be released from teaching and administrative duties for one semester, but will continue to be expected to fulfill their thesis-advising responsibilities and sustain their research program. Institute rules on outside professional activities for full-time faculty will remain in force for those on such release. Also, it is expected that, normally, they will not increase their usual outside professional activities or travel away from Cambridge. Faculty members may take advantage of teaching relief for any term they choose within one year after the arrival of a child.
Maternity and Personal Leaves of Absence
Birth mothers are entitled to eight weeks of paid medical leave immediately following the birth of the child, and may also be eligible to take four weeks of paid parental leave to extend this leave to twelve weeks. When this occurs during an academic semester, the faculty member may receive the semester off from teaching. All other new parents can take additional leave for newborn or newly placed child care or care for family members with serious health conditions in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Tenure Clock Extension for Childbearing and Child Rearing
Any faculty member who bears a child during the tenure probationary period will automatically receive a tenure clock extension of one year. Requests for tenure clock extensions for any additional children or extensions for partners and adoptive parents may be submitted to the Provost for approval. Please cc: your department head and the dean when you write to the Provost.
Part-Time Appointments with Tenure for Family Care
Any tenured faculty member who needs time for family care may request a reduced-time and reduced-pay appointment for one or more semesters up to five years from the Dean of the School of Science.
If you have any questions about the family leave policies, please contact Annie Lee.
Technology Childcare Centers and Faculty Priority
MIT hosts five Technology Childcare Centers, four on the main campus and one at the Lincoln Laboratory, managed by Bright Horizons Family Solutions. Although spaces are in high demand, all tenured and tenure-track faculty members receive enrollment priority for infants ages eight weeks through 14 months.
Dependent Care for Faculty Travel
Institute policy provides for reimbursement associated with travel on MIT business above those normally incurred by the faculty member while at MIT. Faculty are eligible to be reimbursed up to $5,000 in direct expenses, plus an allocation to cover the tax due on the expenses, per year in reasonable childcare or dependent care expenses.
Expenses over $5,000
The Dean of Science may approve a reimbursement for expenses paid by a faculty member or a department that are larger than $5,000 and/or additional reimbursements beyond the $5,000 outlined in the policy. Such reimbursements will be additional compensation. The supplement will not be subject to employee benefits and no incremental benefits will be paid (that is, it is not counted in the pension calculation). It cannot be charged to federal research projects unless the PI has explicit permission from the donor/sponsor, to any external funds. The reimbursement/supplement is not subject to research F&A nor fund overhead.
In general, the Institute does not reimburse travel expenses for spouses of faculty members, unless that spouse is also traveling on MIT business. Your request should include a clear explanation of your spouse’s role in the formal MIT-related program. Occasional exceptions are made when the health or well-being of the faculty member, spouse, or child depends on traveling together and there is no reasonable alternative. In such instances, reimbursements must be approved by the dean’s office before travel arrangements are made.
How to request Reimbursements
Requests should be made using the supplemental faculty travel form that includes the date and purpose of the trip and an itemization of the costs incurred in the comment section of the form. Supporting documents should be attached to the form.
For junior (untenured) faculty, the Dean of Science will provide for the cost of up to $5,000 per year, to be charged to cost object 1526523, G/L 400809.
Senior faculty should use discretionary funds for dependent care expenses (plus an allocation towards the tax due on the expenses) associated with travel on MIT business.
Senior faculty without discretionary funds will be reimbursed by the department under the same conditions as the program for junior faculty.
Reimbursements for senior (tenured) faculty and for those in excess of $5,000 per year for junior (untenured) faculty need to be provided either through faculty discretionary funds or departmental funds. Requests should include an account number that can be charged.
Requests are normally processed by a department administrator and should be forwarded to Annie Lee, 6-131.
Questions about any of these policies or procedures should be directed to Annie Lee, 617-253-0049.
Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
Eligible MIT employees can set aside up to $5,000 pre-tax salary in a flex account to spend on day care, preschool, day camps, and after school care.
Backup Adult and Senior Care
Eligible MIT employees can sign up for Care.com BackupCare to arrange for day or night in-home care for children or another family member who needs assistance. Employees are responsible for the hourly cost of screened and trained caretakers.
Child Care Reimbursement
Faculty may request reimbursement up to $7,500 per child per year, with the firstborn child supported by the faculty’s department and subsequent children supported by the School of Science.
On-Campus Lactation Rooms
MIT has several dedicated lactation rooms around campus intended for the use of the MIT community, and the School of Science and its departments sponsor several more for their own communities. All rooms have at minimum locking doors, good lighting and ventilation, electrical outlets, a comfortable chair, waste baskets and cleaners, and a nearby refrigerator and sink.
Tuition Support for Children
Dependent children of eligible MIT employees who are admitted to and enroll at MIT will have their full tuition covered. MIT also offers low-interest loans to eligible MIT employees to help with the cost of an undergraduate or graduate college education for dependent children.