UW Graduate School

How to Locate and Hire an Academic Student Employee (ASE)

Advertising for an ASE

You can hire a student without advertising if: 1) you are fulfilling a commitment of support made to a student at the time of admission, or 2) the student has an existing advising relationship with a faculty member(s).

Other job openings (“open hires”) must be advertised. Job openings can be announced only to students within the department or hiring unit, if desired. You do not need to advertise more broadly unless an opening advertised within the department is not filled within two weeks or if you wish to have a broader pool of applicants. When advertising open hires, the job should be posted to a central UW job list.

More information about posting of jobs can be found in Article 13 of the contract.

Job class codes

The job class or occupation code will determine the amount of pay that an employee receives, and is chosen based on the duties, level of responsibility, and experience of the student.

  • RA/SA/TA: usually someone who has not yet received a master’s degree
  • RA 1/SA 1/TA 1: usually a doctoral student who has not yet received candidacy
  • RA 2/SA 2/TA 2: usually a doctoral candidate

Departments must be consistent in how they determine the level at which students are paid.

The corresponding occupation codes to the above job titles can be found in Article 14 of the contract and on the salary schedules table. You can view a brief description of the classifications in the supplementary portion of the UW/UAW contract.

The job class code will also depend on the kind of appointment that is offered. Most ASE positions are at 50% FTE or more for a full quarter and are paid at Schedule 1. Appointments that are less than 50% FTE or that last fewer than five out of the six pay periods will be paid at Schedule 2. More information about the salary schedules and implications can be found on the salary schedules page.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible to be employed in these positions, students must be enrolled in a graduate degree program and meet enrollment requirements. Students in professional programs (e.g. J.D., M.D.) must receive permission to be hired as Academic Student Employees, as detailed in Executive Order 20, Section 4 (Procedures for Petition).

International Students

International students are eligible to serve as ASEs. If they are hired in a teaching role, they must meet language proficiency requirements outlined in Graduate School Memorandum 15.

Enrollment Requirements

In the academic year (autumn, winter, and spring quarters), ASEs must be enrolled full-time, which is ten credits. Occasionally students may have extenuating circumstances that preclude them from enrolling full-time (e.g. health issues). In such circumstances, they can file a Petition for Reduced Enrollment. If the petition is approved, the student is eligible to hold an ASE position while enrolled less than full-time.

Summer Requirements

To hold an ASE appointment in summer quarter, students must be enrolled in at least two credits. Please note that the two credit enrollment minimum is only for eligibility to work as an ASE; it is not considered full-time enrollment and may not be appropriate for students who are receiving financial aid, childcare assistance, or have other restrictions.

Exceptions to the full-time enrollment requirement are “Summer Non-registered Graduate Research Student Assistants” (GRSAs). These are hourly paid positions for non-registered graduate RAs to perform research work during the summer quarter. GRSA positions are intended for RAs who do not need to enroll in summer classes and who already have GAIP coverage in the summer through an appointment in the previous academic year. More information about these positions can be found in Article 24 of the contract.

Salary

There are two types of salary schedules: base rate and variable rate. The base rate is used by most departments; variable rates are requested by a department because a salary higher than the base rate is required in order to competitively recruit graduate students.

Salaries for RA/SA/TA positions are set steps; positions must be paid at the appropriate step. Predoctoral Lecturers and Instructors have a salary range with the base rate TA2 salary as the minimum.

When hired in a department outside of their academic department, RAs are paid at the hiring department rate and TAs and SAs are paid at their own academic department rate. An exception is if the hiring department chooses to pay at whichever departmental rate is highest.

Salary is determined by the position and generally, that position is determined by the student’s level of academic work.

  • RA/SA/TA: usually someone who has not yet received a master’s degree;
  • RA 1/SA 1/TA 1: usually a doctoral student who has not yet received candidacy;
  • RA 2/SA 2/TA 2: usually a doctoral candidate.

Article 14 and the Classifications Descriptions page of the UW/UAW contract provide more information on appropriate job classification.

Departments may have policies that differ from this general guideline (e.g., some departments start all employees at the RA 1 level); this is acceptable as long as policies are consistently applied to all ASEs.

There are three schedules for determining wages:

Schedule 1, for those employed at least 50% FTE for five out of the six pay periods (or two consecutive pay periods in summer) and paid through the UW payroll system

Schedule 2 is for those employed less than 50% FTE and/or for less than five out of the six pay periods (or two consecutive pay periods in summer) and paid through the UW payroll system

Schedule 3 is for those employed at least 50% FTE for five out of the six pay periods (or two consecutive pay periods in summer) and paid through the UW payroll system, when a grant budget does not allow direct payment of tuition.

Making an Offer

An offer letter must be given to the prospective ASE. This letter will cover a variety of topics, including dates of appointment, salary, benefits, etc. Complete information about making an offer can be found in Article 4 of the UW/UAW contract. A template for the offer letter is also available in the contract.

Three weeks before the appointment begins, a complete job description must be provided to the ASE. You can find job description templates in the contract.

The University of Washington is a signatory to the Council of Graduate Schools’ April 15 Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees, and Assistants. This resolution mandates that students have until April 15 to respond to offers of financial support for the following year.