The consequences of a maternity leave can be a source of an inequality of opportunities between male and female doctoral candidates and constrain the entry of the latter into the academic career. Rules applicable to contractual doctoral students precisely aim at limiting such effects by helping them conciliate private and professional life. In practice, however, such rules are neither always known nor respected. That is the reason why a broad presentation of the applicable regime, intended to the concerned people and administrations, appears necessary. Firstly, the granting of a maternity leave is supposed to exempt the concerned doctoral students of all their contractual duties. Secondly, if the maternity leave is longer than four months, the doctoral contract must be extended for a period equivalent to the duration of such leave. Thirdly, concerning a possible teaching mission, all the rules applicable to statutory academic teachers/researchers apply to contractual doctoral candidates. Thus, an automatic reduction of teaching hours should be granted to them.
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