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Teaching and Research Assistantships

Student service appointments are intended to help qualified graduate students meet the cost of their studies at the University. Student appointments may involve part-time duties in teaching, research, or other academic activities. Normally, only those students registered full-time in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies are eligible. Appointments offered to students prior to their admission to the Faculty are contingent upon admission.

Teaching Assistantships (TAs)

Most graduate programs have a limited number of TAs available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union, a local of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. TA appointments are co-ordinated and administered at the departmental level.

Since 1996/97, ten Teaching Prizes that include a Certificate and $1,000.00 are offered to UBC teaching assistants.

Research Assistantships (RAs)

Many professors are able to provide RAs from their research grants to support full-time graduate students under their supervision. The duties constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. Research assistantships are coordinated and administered at the program level. Stipends vary widely and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded.

The entire stipend of a research assistantship is considered a scholarship, the conditions of which may be specified by the granting agency. For tax purposes, the stipend is considered an award rather than payment for work. Appointments may be for any specified period satisfactory to the grantee, and conditions of appointment may be specified by the granting agency. A research assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is therefore not covered by a collective agreement.

Note: Research assistantships are less common in the humanities and social sciences.

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