RA/TA Policies and Process
The School of IEM works very hard to provide all graduate students with an enriched academic environment and as many opportunities to interact with the faculty as possible. RA/TA assignments are a part of this experience.
We use the following process to help us establish both interest and qualifications for matching interested students with RA/TA opportunities. Every student who is seeking a TA appointment (or reappointment) with IEM is required to fill out a TA application. The form is circulated by email by the end of each regular semester, seeking applications for the next regular semester. Completed applications are collected and made available to the IEM faculty upon request. RA appointments are initiated by faculty recommendations and are subject to the availability of research funding and the Head’s approval. Every semester, each faculty member is expected to provide the Head with the names of RA/TA candidates who are most qualified to assist them. With the assistance of the Graduate Program Director, the Head then matches qualifications and interests with faculty requirements, and makes appointments subject to the availability of funds and other constraints. It is the student’s responsibility to submit a completed TA application in a timely manner. Appointments are considered at the beginning of each term. In order to be considered for appointment (or reappointment), several factors are taken into account:
- Technical qualifications – each appointment requires knowledge and technical skills specific to the tasks at hand. International students who wish to be considered for a TA appointment are required to demonstrate proficiency in spoken English by scoring 26 or higher on the speaking section of the iBT or by becoming ITA certified1.
- Job performance – each appointment carries responsibilities for timely and satisfactory technical performance and professional behavior. Past RA/TA performance will be a critical factor for reappointments.
- Academic performance – each student appointed must be in good standing and remain in good standing during his or her period of appointment. Scholarship, as evinced by performance in IEM graduate courses and satisfactory progress towards his or her degree (including thesis/dissertation progress), is an important factor.
- Good conduct – each appointment, whether TA or RA, requires the student to demonstrate exemplary work ethic and professional conduct. Evidence of academic dishonesty or unprofessional conduct will preclude the student from consideration for RA/TA appointments for a semester or more.
- Length of stay – unless special circumstances apply, a master’s student should not expect support beyond their 4th semester in the program; a doctoral student in the 60-credit program should not expect support beyond their 4th year in the program; a doctoral student in the 90credit program should not expect support beyond their 6th year in the program.
- Funds available – research and teaching assistantship funds vary with research project budgets and state educational budgets, respectively.