Funding for Short-Term Incapacitation

From time to time, graduate assistants and predoctoral or postdoctoral scholars experience injuries or illnesses during their appointment periods. In these situations, there is sometimes a need to provide short-term funding for a reasonable period to allow recovery, continue salary support, and assure that critical graduate assistantship or postdoctoral duties are covered. Short-term funding is particularly important in the case of graduate assistants, predoctoral scholars, and postdoctoral scholars because of the typically short appointment periods, as well as the short-term, goal-oriented nature of the projects that typically fund their appointments.

Specific Terms

  1. The intent of the program is to provide short-term funding for up to six weeks to temporarily replace the normal mission-oriented funding for graduate assistants, predoctoral scholars, and postdoctoral scholars who are temporarily incapacitated by an illness or injury.
  2. Funding will be limited to a total of six weeks. If less time is required for recovery (but a sufficiently long period that a substitute is required to fulfill duties), a shorter time period will be covered.
  3. The maximum period of short-term funding will be for six weeks at the stipend rate of the ill or injured student or postdoctoral scholar.
  4. The graduate student or postdoctoral scholar who is temporarily incapacitated will submit the Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Scholar Bridge Funding for Temporary Incapacitation form and documentation from their health care provider of their temporary incapacitation.
  5. All graduate assistants and postdoctoral scholars or predoctoral scholars who can document their short-term incapacitation are eligible, regardless of their stipend funding source.
  6. Graduate assistants and postdoctoral scholars or predoctoral scholars shall be allowed to return to their original appointment, according to the terms of their original appointment, following the bridge funding period.

Funding Source

The Graduate College bridge funding will pay a portion of the assistantship salary but will not pay any portion of tuition. The bridge funding will be provided by an equal match from the Graduate College and the academic home college of the graduate assistant or by an equal match from the Graduate College and home academic department or equivalent employing unit of the postdoctoral scholar.

Guidelines to complete

Fill out a Request for Bridge Funding Due to Injury or Illness form.

  1. Graduate assistants, predoctoral scholars, and postdoctoral scholars need to complete and obtain signatures for Section I of the form, Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Scholar Bridge Funding for Temporary Incapacitation, and obtain documentation from their health care provider of their short-term incapacitation.
    • Submit to the hiring unit for the next step.
  2. The hiring department/unit needs to complete Section II and submit to the academic (home) college.
  3. The academic (home) college needs to
    • provide an account number and approval, and
    • forward to the Graduate College (Assoc. Dean Carolyn Cutrona, 1137 Pearson Hall).
  4. The Graduate College needs to
    • provide an account number and approval, and
    • forward to the department/unit contact to enter EPA.
  5. Postdoctoral scholars need to submit sick leave/vacation to use amounts that have accrued up to the starting date of their bridge funding. Vacation/sick leave will be used concurrently with the 6 weeks of bridge funding.

Graduate Assistants and Postdoctoral Scholars

  • If your bridge funding occurs during the academic year (fall and spring semesters), graduate assistants need to stay registered for at least two credits during that semester. If you are registered for academic classes, it is your responsibility to make arrangements with the professor to complete the course or to receive an incomplete. If you are a TA or an RA, it is your responsibility to keep your Major Professor/Supervisor informed of the dates of your leave.
  • 12-month assistantship appointments - You remain on assistantship and need to register for at least two credits during the summer.
  • 9 or 10-month assistantship appointments - Your assistantship will follow its stated starting and ending dates.
  • Maximum bridge funding is six (6) weeks or 30 working days.
  • Your health insurance and any other benefits from your assistantship/postdoctoral appointment will remain intact during your bridge funding.
  • Postdoctoral scholars need to use your accrued vacation/sick leave concurrently with the bridge funding until they exhaust any accrued time.
  • Hiring Departments/Units

  • Benefit costs will transfer with the salary.
  • Postdoctoral scholars need to use sick leave/vacation concurrently with the bridge funding until they exhaust any accrued time. Sick leave/vacation should not go in the negative. Sick leave/vacation continues to accrue during the bridge funding.
  • For some situations (possibly federal funding), part of the tuition scholarship may need to be covered by the college.
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Who can request bridge funding for Temporary Incapacitation?
      • Graduate assistants (RA, TA, AA), who have experienced a short-term illness or injury that prevents them from being able to complete their duties.
      • Postdoctoral and predoctoral scholars who have experienced a short-term illness or injury that prevents them from being able to complete their duties.
    2. How do I request Bridge Funding for Temporary Incapacitation?
    3. Are students who are not currently appointed as a Research Assistant, Teaching Assistant, or Administrative Assistant eligible for this program?
      • No. Only students with an LOI appointing them as a paid Graduate Assistant during the current semester are eligible.
    4. How long does the Bridge Funding for Temporary Incapacitation last?
      • Up to 6 weeks will be granted.
    5. Will anyone be denied Request for bridge funding?
      • GAs/Postdoctoral Scholars need to show documentation by their health care provider that they have a temporary condition due to illness or injury that makes them unable to complete their regular assistantship duties for up to 6 weeks.
      • Graduate students not on assistantship, will not be granted bridge funding.
    6. As a postdoctoral scholar, will I need to use my vacation/sick leave during the bridge funding?
      • Yes, you will need to use your accrued vacation/sick leave concurrently with the bridge funding.
    7. As a postdoctoral scholar, what if I don’t have enough vacation/sick leave for the whole 6 weeks of bridge funding?
      • You will be covered up to 6 weeks during bridge funding regardless of how much vacation/sick leave you have accrued.
    8. If I am on a 9-month GA appointment during the academic year, and the injury or illness occurs during the summer, can I apply for bridge funding starting in the fall?
      • The goal of bridge funding is to replace funding that you would have received, not to provide additional funding.
      • If the injury or illness occurs less than 6 weeks before the start of your appointment, you can request bridge funding for the difference between the date of onset of the incapacitation and 6 weeks. Example: If your injury occurs on August 1, and your graduate assistantship begins on August 15, you could request 4 weeks of bridge funding.
    9. Do I have to take the bridge funding all at one time?
      • Yes. Normally, it is expected that the bridge funding would immediately follow the onset of an illness or injury. Submit requests for unusual circumstances to the Graduate College.
    10. Do I have to take the full six weeks?
      • No. Six weeks is the maximum amount that will be covered.