Vacation Policy All Microbiology Graduate Assistants, no matter what the source of funding for the assistantship, do not accrue any official vacation time, other than the 12 official university holiday days. Approval for planned absences must be obtained in advance from the Graduate assistant's major professor. In the event of an illness or injury that results in absence from work, it is the graduate assistant's responsibility to contact their major professor as soon as possible. Comments on policy: There is often some confusion about breaks upon the transition to grad school. You are supported with a yearly stipend as graduate assistants, which carries an obligation/schedule more like the work schedule of other UGA employees and less like the schedule of typical students. There are "Instructional holidays" like spring break and fall break, which you may notice are NOT on the list of 12 holiday days. Although there are no classes those days, the university is open and working. The same goes for the time between finals and the start of classes in the spring – the five days between Christmas and New Years are the only days the University is closed. As a practical matter, many people take extra days off from time to time, especially during instructional holidays. Many graduate students work nights, weekends, and the official holidays like the fourth of July. Taking off other days may be fair and reasonable compensation. However, that is a discussion to have with your PI. You are not officially "off" just because classes are not in session. Finally, while UGA stays open through many religious holidays, UGA does ask faculty and others to be accommodating of these days. If you wish to observe a religious holiday on a workday, you should talk to your PI and any instructors who would be affected. If you encounter any difficulty in this regard, please discuss the issue with the graduate coordinator.