Graduate & Teaching Assistantships

Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA) and Graduate Academic Assistantships (GAA)

Many students are paid Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA) directly from their supervisor’s research grant. This represents a major way in which a student’s pay is brought from the amount given by teaching assistantships and awards to the total support required by the department.

GRAs are given in support of the student’s own research towards their degree, but work unrelated to the student’s research program should not be required. Satisfactory progress towards the student’s research is expected for payment of a GRA. It is the student’s responsibility to inform their supervisor and the OCF Graduate Program Offer of their current sources of funding and TAships. It is the responsibility of the student’s supervisor to confirm to the student the level of funding they will allocate them that year and to inform the OCF Graduate Program Officer of the sources of support funding to the student and amounts from each. It is the responsibility of the OCF Graduate Program Officer to verify that the proposed total amount meets the IOF funding requirements.

Graduate students may be hired as a Graduate Academic Assistant (GAA) for additional pay for work unrelated to their degree, and these wages may be counted towards their minimum level of support depending on circumstances. The graduate advisors will need to be consulted for approval in such instances. Just as for TAship, to insure that this work does not hinder thesis or dissertation progression, the total time commitment for an academic term cannot exceed 192 hours, the maximum hours per week is 24, and one day duties cannot exceed eight hours without the student’s consent.

All students are expected to contribute to the shared chores of a lab and to fulfil weekly requirements of the supervisor. The latter category can include lab meetings, one-on-one meetings, seminar attendance, etc. The total time for tasks required by the supervisor can be up to an average of five hours per week across the four academic terms in the year. Any additional work not directly related to a trainee’s own research must be paid either through an hourly wage at the GTA1 marking rate or through an additional GAA.

Teaching Assistantships (TA)

The IOF does not have an undergraduate program, and so it is unable to offer TA-ships.

The Graduate Program Officer will send out calls for TAships that are available in other departments when they become available. OCF graduate students who would like to TA should seek a teaching assistantship with other departments with an undergraduate program and courses compatible with the graduate student’s background and training.

Students interested in a TAship should contact the department in which they would like to apply for a TAship in either in early July or early November. Once a TA position is secured, students should contact the instructor directly regarding duties and scheduling issues, and contact the OCF Graduate Program Officer as soon as possible about any scheduling conflicts between assigned positions and courses.

TA-ships often require the supervisor’s approval, and students are expected to discuss potential TA positions with their supervisor prior to applying for a TAship position. There is a preference system for hiring TA’s, based on length in program and experience (see CUPE 2278 Collective Agreement article 13.03 for full details.

The maximum time allowed for TA work is determined through the CUPE 2278 collective agreement. The current rules are that the total time commitment for an academic term cannot exceed 192 hours. The average number of hours per week is 12 and the maximum hours per week is 24. One day duties cannot exceed eight hours without the TA’s consent.

To achieve the minimum level of support a student may be required to TA up to two terms per year. Graduate students are not permitted to TA more than two times in an academic year.