Stanford Biosciences students talking


Program Documents and Templates

Stanford Leave of Absence Policies and Forms


Trainees pursuing full-time internships will need to take a leave of absence from their academic program. A leave of absence is typically no longer than 10-12 weeks, or one quarter. During summer, petitioning for leave is not always required although trainees should still review plans with their adviser/PI and make sure their funding is not affected. This may also vary by program.

Stanford's Leave of Absence policy clearly defines the parameters for leaving your training at Stanford for a set period of time, and outlines other administrative considerations (e.g., housing, library or gym access, etc.) that you may need to fulfill prior to the internship.

The leave of absence form can be downloaded from the Student Affairs Office.


If the internship takes place during summer, students can take a leave of absence and still be eligible to remain in housing. If the internship takes place during the autumn, winter or spring, students may request a "vacation quarter" if they have enrolled the previous 3 terms, including summer, and plan to enroll the following term.

More information regarding eligibility is available from Student Housing.

During summer quarter, students will need to apply for summer housing, not a vacation quarter. More information can be found at the Stanford Housing website.

Alternatively, students are able to lease their housing; please contact

Health Insurance

Students: Cardinal Care is an annual plan - students who enter Stanford in autumn and who do not opt out of Cardinal Care by September 15 are charged for the entire year and covered for the entire academic year (9/1 through 8/31). Students who enter Stanford in other quarters and who do not opt out of Cardinal Care by the applicable deadline are charged for the remainder of the academic year and covered for the remainder of the academic year (8/31). A student who ends his/her relationship with the University (such as by conferral of terminal degree) at the end of autumn or winter quarter may drop the plan at the end of the corresponding Cardinal Care coverage period. Graduating students who request to opt out following autumn or winter graduation will not be billed (or covered) for future quarters. Opt out requests should be sent to or submitting a HELPSU ticket. Students who graduate at the end of spring do not have the option to leave the plan and remain covered through August 31.

A student who takes a leave of absence prior to attending class in the autumn base term will not be eligible to enroll in Cardinal Care for autumn, or any continuous quarters in which s/he is on leave. Upon return from leave, the student will be automatically enrolled in Cardinal Care for the remainder of the academic year unless enrollment is waived by the applicable deadline.

A student who is enrolled in Cardinal Care and takes a leave of absence after the first day of class in any given quarter will remain enrolled in Cardinal Care through the remainder of the academic year (8/31). Please contact Vaden's Insurance and Referral Office for more information at (650) 723-2135 or submit a HELPSU ticket.

As a potential alternative, internships typically offer a stipend that covers general living expenses, including health insurance. However, the stipend amount varies greatly by sector and internship employer. Furthermore, trainees cannot opt-out of Cardinal Care if they have already enrolled in the program for the year.

Postdocs: Though customary, faculty mentors are not required to pay for the Stanford medical insurance coverage for their postdocs while the postdocs are on an approved unpaid leave of absence. A postdoc in this instance may elect to either:

  • Waive the Stanford medical plan after showing proof of other coverage to the Postdoc Benefits Coordinator in accordance with University Policy, and where applicable, visa regulations, or
  • Continue on the Stanford medical plan and arrange with the department that s/he will pay for it during the leave period. If neither of the above options is pursued, faculty mentors/PIs are required to pay for the full cost of the University contribution to the postdoc's medical coverage, typically from unrestricted sources. Notwithstanding the above, Faculty mentors/PIs are required to pay for life/accidental death and disability coverage for their postdocs while on an unpaid leave of absence.
  • More information can be found at the Stanford Benefits website.

Termination of Occupancy Notice - Online Form (TOC)

If you go on leave any time after your housing contract begins, you must complete a Termination of Occupancy form (TOC) to give notice that you are leaving housing. There are fees associated with terminating your occupancy.

See the Termination of Occupancy form for more details. (Appendix X). Further details are available here.

Financial Aid

Taking a Leave of Absence may affect trainees' funding during the time they are working outside Stanford University. Anyone with a financial aid agreement or commitment (e.g. fellowship) is typically legally obligated to inform the funding party/agency of their intent and status during this time.

For questions or concerns regarding how an internship will impact any financial support that you receive, please make the effort to personally contact either the University Financial Aid Office or the School of Medicine to understand the implications of taking time out of your training at Stanford to participate in an internship program with an external organization. Additionally, if you receive any outside funding, you should personally contact the office responsible for that funding to clarify the terms of your agreement and to let them know of your plans.

Internship Stipends

A stipend is usually offered by the sponsoring company to cover the equivalent cost of quarterly tuition and general living expenses. It is recommended that trainees accept no less than their current graduate stipend in order to maintain their current standard of living.

The average graduate internship payment is about $25/hour, and may range from $18 - $32 but this varies greatly by industry, position and company/organization. Unpaid internships are not part of the CEO Internship program and are not supported by the program or Stanford University, with the exception of nonprofits and some government organizations. If students secure unpaid internships at nonprofits or government organizations, we do not have the necessary funding to support them at this time.

Stanford conflict of interest and industry interactions policies and forms

Conflict of Commitment and Interest Policy

When conflicts of interest do arise they must be addressed appropriately as described within the University-wide policy on Conflict of Interest as well as the policies contained within the School of Medicine.

Trainees should be aware of, thoroughly review and understand Stanford's confidentiality and conflict of agreement policies before they embark on an internship opportunity. Trainees will most likely be asked to agree to and sign a confidentiality form from their sponsor/employer before the start of the internship.

Please refer to the staff policy on Conflict of Commitment and Interest, Administrative Guide

Industry Interactions Policy

This policy governs interactions, largely in the clinical and educational arenas, with the pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, and hospital and research equipment and supplies industries.

Please review the policy here.

Give us feedback