GRA, GTA, and GA Appointments: General Guidelines and Eligibility
To describe the principles and eligibility requirements that govern GRA, GTA, and GA appointments at KU.
Graduate Research Assistants, Graduate Teaching Assistants, Graduate Assistants, Appointing Officers
The following premises and eligibility requirements govern all Graduate Research Assistant (GRA), Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA), and Graduate Assistant (GA) appointments at the University of Kansas, Lawrence:
- Individuals who enroll in graduate educational programs at the University of Kansas do so in order to attain specific educational goals. It is the University’s responsibility to help ensure that graduate students attain their academic goals in a reasonable amount of time and move on to the next stage in their careers, whether to another advanced degree program or to professional employment.
- When departments and schools offer GRA, GTA, or GA appointments, the assistantships must contribute to the training experience of the graduate student.
- GRA, GTA, and GA responsibilities should be in balance with the student’s responsibilities to the graduate program. For salaried appointments of 50% (0.5 FTE), the expectation is that the assigned duties will average no more than 20 hours per week during the semester. For hourly appointments of 50% (0.5 FTE), assigned duties should require 20 hours per week during the semester. For appointments at other percentages, the number of hours per week must be proportional to the appointment percentage.
During the fall and spring semesters, GTA appointments shall not normally exceed 50% (0.50 FTE). GTA appointments in excess of 0.50 FTE must be approved by the Dean's Office of the appointing school or college in advance of an appointment offer and will be approved only in extraordinary circumstances. See the Memorandum of Agreement between The University of Kansas and the American Federation of Teachers - Kansas (Representing Graduate Teaching Assistants at the University of Kansas, Lawrence).
During the fall and spring semesters, GRA appointments may be made up to 72.5% (0.725 FTE).
During the fall and spring semesters, GA appointments shall not normally exceed 50% (0.50 FTE). GA appointments in excess of 50% (0.50 FTE) must be approved by Graduate Studies in advance of an appointment offer and will be approved only in special circumstances.
Although GRA, GTA, and GA appointments in excess of 50% (0.50 FTE) have the undesirable potential to extend time toward degree, GRA appointments contribute directly to students' research agendas. Therefore, during the fall and spring semesters, GRA appointments and combined GRA/GTA or GRA/GA appointments of up to 72.5% (0.725 FTE) may be approved so long as the GTA or GA component of the appointment does not exceed 50% (0.50 FTE). (Please see the Exceptions/Special Circumstances section below for more information.) Departments are expected to monitor appointments in excess of 50% (0.50 FTE) to ensure that the graduate students’ assistantship assignments enhance their academic preparation and do not interfere with progress toward degree.
During the summer term(s), GTAs, GRAs, and GAs may be appointed up to 100% (1.0 FTE), at the hiring unit's discretion. Hiring units should be advised of the potential legal and fiscal implications posed by appointments that exceed 72.5% (0.725 FTE), including changes to insurance eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. For more information about these implications, hiring units should consult with Human Resources Management. Departments, research centers, schools, and the College may adopt more stringent limitations as appropriate to their needs.
During the fall and spring semesters, GTA, GRA, GA, or combined appointments above 72.5% (0.725 FTE) must additionally be authorized by the appropriate dean(s) or vice provost(s) in accordance with the policy on Student Employee Eligibility Requirements and Appointment Limits. Exceptions for GTA appointment limits must comply with the provisions of the GTA Memorandum of Agreement.
International students may be subject to additional limitations on employment. International students should contact International Student Services (ISS) for more information.
07/18/2023: Fixed links, approval by changed to Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor.
06/10/2022: Updated broken link.
10/22/2020: Replaced Graduate Studies approval authority with the appointing school or college.
11/27/2017: Updated Policy Statement.
11/29/2016: Policy Revision approved 10/25/2016 by Stuart Day - ARG.
06/17/2016: Technical edits for process clarification; compliance with the gender neutralization initiative. - ARG.
10/15/2017: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).
07/2014: Minor edits were made to reflect appointment limits in the Student Employee Eligibility Requirements and Appointment Limits policy.
01/13/2014: Made technical edits to related document links.
08/11/2011: These guidelines were updated by Graduate Studies and the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor.
05/23/2007: These guidelines were updated by the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
06/17/2005: These guidelines were updated by the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor.
06/01/1998: These general guidelines were first promulgated in the “University of Kansas, Lawrence Policies and Guidelines for GTA and GRA Appointments”.