Is this normal?:
At my institution, NIH grants cannot be used to pay the salary of someone (whether PI, postdoc or grad student) on paid family leave (such as maternity leave) for more than two weeks of that leave. As far as I can tell, you are allowed to be off on maternity leave for up to three months of the project on which you are a PI without notifying NIH and giving back your money or otherwise changing around your budget, but the institution becomes responsible for covering that leave pay on general funds. This is happening for my grant, which normally covers a major portion of my salary and is cost-shared by my department. But while I'm away for maternity leave, the department has to foot 100% of my salary bill.
I can't tell if this is an NIH policy or what--Real support (particularly for young science moms) means dollars. It looks like despite the talking of big talk, they still leave the pressure of supporting research staff and PIs who have children on the PIs (in the cases of grad students and postdocs on leave) and institutions (in the case of PIs on leave).
But then there's this policy... and this one at NIAID, which provides supplements to PIs whose postdocs go on family leave so they can hire a technician for up to two years--which would address the transitioning of the project work (that I think it was drdrA who discussed before)... I am confused.