Full time graduate students should be in a position to devote their full time and energy to a coherent program of graduate study and research, and should make full time progress toward completion of the requirements of that program. University-related employment (such as an assistantship for teaching, research or administrative tasks) may provide a significant portion of the financial support that enables a graduate student to pursue graduate study, and may provide experience that supplements the formal academic program in developing skills relevant to a future faculty position or other career. Nonetheless, too much time spent on employment activities diverts time and energy from the program of study and research, and delays completion. Consequently, it is important to strike a realistic balance between full-time studies and employment.
Laurier strives to offer teaching assistantship opportunities to all full-time graduate students in research-based masterís programs. Additionally, other employment opportunities may be available from the studentís academic unit or research supervisor. As much as possible, students are encouraged to limit their on-campus employment to no more than 520 hours per year.
The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies also maintains a webpage which identifies unfilled opportunities for full-time eligible graduate students. Interested and qualified students are invited to review these opportunities and apply (as instructed on the posting) if interested.
A Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) assists academic units in the teaching mission. A GTA provides assistance to faculty with the teaching responsibilities, and a graduate student employed as a GTA receives valuable teaching experience. Responsibilities may include any of the following:
- to provide informal and formal advice to students
- to assist in the grading of tests, papers, lab reports and final exams
- to assist faculty in course development and/or course renewal
- to conduct tutorial or lab sessions.
- to present one or more lectures in a class
- to supervise field trips
This list is not exhaustive, but in all cases, assistantship functions shall not include clerical, technical or administrative work not related to teaching.
Graduate Teaching Assistantship contracts are issued from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and are funded from university operating funds. A Graduate Teaching Assistant is expected to work an average of 10 hours per week or a maximum of 130 hours per term. Students who hold a Graduate Teaching Assistantship contract are required to have completed the Teaching Assistantship - Job Responsibilities document and submitted to the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies by the end of the second week of the term in which the Assistantship is held.
Graduate students may not simultaneously (i.e., in the same term) hold a Contract Academic Staff (CAS) appointment with a Teaching Assistantship.
All Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs) are conditional on
registering as a full-time student and on maintaining a full-time
courseload, as defined by the department, during the term in which the
assistantship is held. To ensure that a graduate student is able to
actively pursue his/her graduate program on a full-time basis, no other
teaching-related activity may be assigned for the term in which the
teaching assistantship is held (e.g., CAS appointment).
Assistantship contracts may be cancelled due to unsatisfactory performance, withdrawal from full-time registration, or holding a CAS letter of appointment. Wilfrid Laurier University reserves the right to reduce the employment responsibility of a student who holds a major external award for the year in which the award is held.
Teaching responsibilities will be assigned by the Department, and may not exceed 130 hours per term. Responsibilities to undertake work in support of an ongoing research project may be assigned only with the approval of the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
Teaching assistants are paid on the Food/Students payroll dates (or monthly, in certain circumstances). Payment is made by direct deposit. Questions regarding payroll, deductions, etc. should be directed to the Payroll Office.
Students with Graduate Teaching Assistantship contracts are eligible to receive both employment earnings for services performed, and a Fellowship to recognize the advancement of their education and the further development of their skills through the Graduate Teaching Assistantship experience.
The employment earnings will be based on an hourly rate and subject to all statutory deductions, and will include 4% vacation pay. The Fellowship available to students undertaking TA contracts and performing TA duties as specified by the department is tax-exempt, and will be reflected on a T4A at year end. Students not undertaking TA duties are ineligible for the Fellowship.
Assistants are required to serve the university in teaching for no more than the hours specified for the contract period. Please note that full-time graduate students may not be gainfully employed more than 10 hours per week on average within the university (520 hours per academic year).
A Graduate student may be employed as a Research Assistant by a faculty member. This position is typically funded by a faculty memberís research grant, and the tasks are formally prescribed, assigned and completed on a fixed schedule.
The primary purpose of the Research Assistant is to perform required tasks for the faculty member's own research project. The work is determined by the researcher and may be unrelated, or loosely related, to the student's own academic pursuits.
The Student Support from Faculty Research Grant/Contract form required to initiate payment (for one or more full terms) to the student from a faculty research grant/contract may be found under "Forms" on the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.
Depending on the qualifications and selection processes as outlined in the WLUFA Collective Agreement, some graduate students may receive a Contract Academic Staff (CAS) appointment to teach a course. Consult your academic unit for more information.
Graduate students may not simultaneously (i.e., in the same term) hold
a Contract Academic Staff (CAS) appointment with a Teaching