ARTICLE IX. GRADUATE ASSISTANTSHIPS
The graduate assistantship is a nine-month appointment of a student enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program in the Graduate School at Howard University. The appointment may carry remission of tuition and stipend, just remission of tuition, or just a stipend. The appointment requires performance by the student of specified duties no more than 20 hours each week, including preparation time. Graduate assistants may hold the title of teaching assistant or research assistant.
Section 1. Appointment Termination
The graduate assistantship appointment may be terminated on or before the expiration of the specified time under the following conditions:
A. Incompetence or neglect of duty as determined by the faculty supervisor.
B. Misconduct that is job-related as determined by the faculty supervisor.
C. Delinquency or misconduct in academic work as determined by the department and the Graduate School.
F. Ineligibility; and,
G. Other employment during the tenure of the graduate assistantship.
Section 2. Expectations for Graduate Students Who Receive Tuition Awards and/or Stipends
A graduate assistant (GA) is a graduate student who is given financial support, either with a tuition award and/or a stipend, for work in a teaching unit, academic unit, and research unit/lab. There are two types of GAs—teaching assistants and research assistants.
A teaching assistant (TA) is a graduate assistant whose work predominantly involves an instructional assignment. TA responsibilities vary greatly and may include but are not limited to the following:
- Teaching a course as the instructor or record.
- Teaching a small section of a course with a full-time faculty member as the instructor of record.
- Tutoring individual or small groups of students.
- Holding office hours and meeting with students for a course or series of courses.
- Assisting the instructor of record with the grading of course assignments, e.g., homework, exams, or written assignments.
- Administering tests, exams, or other course assignments for the instructor of record.
- Assisting the instructor of record with a large lecture class by teaching students in recitation, laboratory, Blackboard (or other course management software), or discussion sessions; and
- Helping software users in a computer laboratory.
A research assistant (RA) is a graduate student whose work predominantly involves assisting tenure-track faculty member(s) with academic research related to a prospective publication. RAs are not independent researchers and are not directly responsible for the outcome of the research. The can, however, be secondary authors on publications. They are responsible to, and report to a faculty research supervisor or faculty principal investigator (PI).
RA responsibilities vary greatly and may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Conducting literature reviews or library research.
- Collecting, coding, cleaning, or analyzing data.
- Preparing materials for submission to funding agencies and foundations.
- Preparing materials for IRB, IACUC, or IBC review.
- Coding computer programs to automate processes.
- Writing reports or designing conference presentations; Performing research under the guidance of faculty mentor; and
- Attending research meetings, seminars, webcasts, etc. as assigned.
All graduate assistantships should be beneficial to the graduate student and the academic/teaching unit or the faculty researcher. The unit or faculty member receives assistance from the supported graduate student, and the graduate student receives experience and mentorship in research or teaching, which is intended to facilitate professional development. In sum, as a general rule, graduate assistant duties should be limited to tasks that benefit both the academic unit and advance the professional development of the GA.
Tuition and Stipend Award for Academic Year
A graduate student who receives a tuition award and a stipend for the academic year is expected to work 15-20 hours weekly (August– December for the fall semester AND January – May for the spring semester.
A graduate student in candidacy who receives a tuition award and a stipend for the academic year is expected to work 15 hours weekly (August– December for the fall semester AND January – May for the spring semester).
Tuition and Stipend Award for One Semester
A graduate student who receives a tuition award and a stipend for one semester is expected to work 15-20 hours weekly). (August– December for the fall semester OR January – May for the spring semester).
A graduate student in candidacy who receives a tuition award and a stipend for one semester is expected to work 15-20 hours weekly (August– December for the fall semester OR January – May for the spring semester).
Partial Tuition or Stipend Award for One Semester
A graduate student who receives a tuition-only award is expected to work 10 hours weekly (August– December for the fall semester OR January – May for the spring semester).
A graduate student who receives a stipend-only award is expected to work 10 hours weekly (August– December for the fall semester OR January – May for the spring semester).
Graduate Students Funded by Grants
Graduate students funded by grants will follow the service requirements outlined by the grant’s PI but should not exceed 15 hours weekly for full stipends and 10 hours weekly for partial stipends.
Named Fellowship Awards for Graduate Students
The following named fellowship awards do not require service from students.
- Hawthorne Dissertation Research Fellowship
- Edward Alexander Bouchet Doctoral Scholars Fellowship Program
- Ernest E. Just-Percy L. Julian Graduate Research Fellowship
- Sasakawa Fellowship
Note: In all instances, an evaluation of the assistantship or fellowship period must be completed by the graduate student and the faculty member.