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I've been offered an amzing PhD but the start date is my due date!

(6 Posts)
myusername Sun 10-Mar-13 10:10:27


I've just been offered a PhD and I am unbelievably delighted as it is in an area I would love to research.
However, I am preganant, pretty early about 11 weeks now and the start date is (by massive coincidence!) my due date.
How the heck do I approach the department about this? I understand the legislation regarding employees rights for maternity etc (as I was working during my first pregnancy) but I am just not sure about where I stand as I haven't even started yet and will have to take time (I was thinking 9 months) off at the start.

Does anyone have any insight?!

dotty2 Mon 11-Mar-13 10:23:27

Well, firstly double congratulations. Secondly, where is your funding from? The Research Councils have T&Cs for their funding on their websites. I am AHRC funded and I know there is maternity provision (though I haven't had to use it myself), but I don't know the detail about whether there is a qualifying period etc. I hope you can make it work. Chances are your department should be sympathetic - after all, they chose you and don't want to have to go back to a second choice candidate, or even readvertise. Good luck.

unclefluffy Mon 11-Mar-13 10:26:16

I'm ESRC and used mine (six months paid, six unpaid). Sounds like yours could well be department funding, though...? Unless you can google what you need, you may just have to ask.

myusername Tue 12-Mar-13 20:25:29

Thanks Dotty for the congrats, it's a pretty exciting time alright!
The funding is administered by the department but comes from DEL (I am in NI). I think I'll just have to approach the department (after my 12 week scan which is looking to be happening a bit late) and see what they say. Not sure if I'll be entitled to maternity pay as I won't actually have started yet and I imagine that's a condition (although the money would be a godsend). I am just a little worried about how they will react I suppose and even though I know it is not unreasonable to take mat leave sometimes it can rub people up the wrong way and I'd hate to start off on the wrong foot. Esp as this is an overwhelmingly majority male department making this a less common occurrence.

myusername Tue 12-Mar-13 20:54:19

Just checked - the funding seems to have the same conditions, six months paid, six months unpaid. There isn't a minimum attendance time before leave to validate this payment (as with some employer-related mat top ups) but I would think I'd be lucky to be eligible for it since the start date and due date are exactly the same.
Prob just going to have to have this discussion with the university....

KirstyAnne Tue 14-May-13 06:45:08

I was wondering if you had spoken to your department yet?
I'm in an extremely similar situation. I'm on a master of research course and I've just found out I'm pregnant (about 5 shock to the system!), 4 days before my phd interview. I was told by the supervisor to apply for the phd, was invited to interview the day after I sent my application and the closing date isn't for another month, so I'm pretty confident of getting the position. I really don't want to take a year out before starting a phd, especially since the one I am going for is a perfect area of research for me. I'm hoping they will allow me to take a few months off, unpaid if necessary, or start at a later date. The start date is October and I will be due around February. I'm not sure wether to let the department know beforehand or after I, hopefully, get an offer.

If anyone has any insight into this I would be grateful!
Thanks in advance!

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