I keep hearing different things from different people and it seems there is no clear policy laid out at my institution regarding the definition of graduate student vacation days; I'm curious how PIs and students handle this issue at other places.
At your institution, do University-wide holidays (such as "Spring Break" or "Winter Recess / Christmas holiday") count towards a graduate student's two weeks vacation? I always thought the expectation was just that you should be working most of the time, regardless of what day it is, and that seems reasonable to me as long as students have flexibility to take leave when they want/need to without somebody nagging them about the specifics of when/how much time off.
However, recently there's been the assertion by certain bean-counting PIs in my department that students should be working 6 days a week (including nights) and only taking 2 weeks of leave in total (including major holidays). Most people probably work about this much anyway, but being told that it's required leaves a bad taste in my mouth. If people want to get really specific about the "number" of days worked/not-worked, there should be a more standard definition of what comprises a work day (i.e. 9-5, not 9am-12pm). Am I way out of line here?
I would answer with a definite No, but check with your graduate student handbook or university's graduate student policy documentation to verify.