Employment policy for research assistants (RAs) has been added to Graduate Assistantship Policies and Procedures (GAPP). Published in May 2019 with initial focus on teaching assistantships (TA) and project assistantships (PA), GAPP outlines policies for appointment letters, orientation and training, leave benefits, grievance procedure, and more.
The addition of RA policy is the outcome of a collaborative process, involving graduate students and various members of the campus community. No central RA policy resource had existed previously, and following publication of GAPP in the spring, additional time was taken to vet and integrate RA policy into GAPP.
Most policies in GAPP are the same across TA, PA, and RA categories. The few differences center on minimum appointment percentages – 33 percent for TAs and PAs and 50 percent for RAs – as well as the nature of expected duties or activities. RA appointments, where employment responsibilities and educational activities often blend, differ from TA and PA roles with clear delineation between work duties and academic study.
Transparent, robust employment policy will continue to strengthen the graduate student experience at UW–Madison. GAPP, combined with competitive stipends, tuition remission, benefits, and opportunities for personal and professional development, make it clear that the university values and invests in graduate assistants.
The GAPP document is available on the Human Resources website. Graduate students and program staff should contact their local HR office with questions.