Babies of graduate students in biology

Deb Britt Deborah_Britt at
Wed Oct 16 11:47:55 EST 1996

In article
<Pine.A32.3.95.961013092638.116704B-100000 at>,
Sarah Boomer <sarai at> wrote:

>         Everything, from my perspective, seems to be boss-dependent.  I
> have done some research myself into what "rights" grad. students have to
> maternity leave and come up empty handed.  We have none, really.  If you
> work for a nasty person, it seems that there will be problems.  I find
> this kind of thing highly questionable and unfortunate, frankly! 

Unfortunately, I too think this is a major factor.  Having a baby changes
your life more than you can imagine, and having a supportive boss can make
a huge difference.  It would also be nice if grad schools considered this
issue, and had in place defined guidelines regarding maternity leaves,
insurance, etc.  I have known two women who had babies during grad school,
one left with a Master's instead of a PhD, and one dropped out
completely.   There wasn't a "boss" problem with either one, so there are
a lot of factors to consider.  I had my two children during my postdoc
years, and that worked well for me.  Everyone's situation is different,
but my two-cents to a grad student considering pregnancy would be: think
long and hard about the emotional, financial and time commitments involved
before you make a decision, but don't let your mentor or anyone else tell
you that you can't do it.

Deb Britt

Deborah Britt, Ph.D.
Department of Medical Oncology
Rhode Island Hospital

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