Saint Louis University

Graduate Assistants

Responsibilities and Privileges of Graduate Assistants
There are both
contractual requirements and school expectations for doctoral research/teaching assistants.


Contractual Requirements

  • Work 20 hours per week for assigned faculty during weeks that SLU is in session for the period of time defined in the student's contract
  • Take course work or actively engage in other academic work (e.g., dissertation) consistent with full-time student status
  • Refrain from other regular outside work for pay unless this has been approved in advance by student's advisor, program director, and graduate dean
School Expectations
  • The doctoral assistant will be actively involved in acquiring research competencies and teaching competencies, if the latter are consistent with the doctoral assistant's role aspirations. To foster this development and to encourage the doctoral assistant's participation in a developing community of scholars, the doctoral assistant will be expected to attend and participate actively in regularly scheduled SON monthly research events and, if a teaching assistant, special instructional events consistent with developing teaching expertise. Three hours per month of the doctoral assistant's contracted time may be allocated to participation in these events.
  • The doctoral assistant is expected to develop role competencies appropriate to a future academic or clinical research position. Participation in governance through the committee structure of the School is an important part of this role development, and the active participation of doctoral students on a variety of SON committees is welcomed and valued. Two hours per month of the doctoral assistant's contracted time may be allocated to participation in SON committee work.
  • The two provisions above allow for a maximum of 5 hours per month of the doctoral assistant's contracted assistantship time (approximately 6.2% of that time to be used for role development activities). In addition, doctoral assistants are strongly encouraged to participate in regional and national presentations of their work. A maximum of 3 work days per academic year (i.e., the equivalent of 3*4=12 hours of assistantship time) may be devoted to regional and national presentations of the assistant's work (either work related to the assistantship or other scholarly work done by the student). First year doctoral students may use a maximum of 2 work days per academic year (i.e., the equivalent of 2*4=8 hours of assistantship time) to attend a regional or national research or scholarly meeting. Funding from the Research Office is available to help defray the expenses of presenters (maximum of $400 for one presentation per academic year; maximum of $300 for attendance at one conference per year). Funding must be requested and approved prior to travel.
  • Doctoral assistants working for the SON will be allowed to use SON materials and supplies for their personal academic work at a reimbursement rate that compensates the SON at cost. A schedule of the reimbursement rate for various supplies (e.g., transparencies) and services (e.g., use of the color printer to print copies on 28# stock) will be made available in early fall of each academic year by the Assistant Dean. Assistants will be on the honor system to keep records of their use and to reimburse the Admin. Assistant of the Office of Nursing Research by cash or check at least once each semester. Occasional small uses need not be recorded or reimbursed. Materials and services used for grant proposal preparation or for classroom handouts need not be recorded or reimbursed. Materials and services used for scholarly presentation outside the SON should be recorded and reimbursed, but as noted above, some funding is available to help defray those costs. If a large scale use of supplies or services is planned, the doctoral student should clear this in advance with the Admin. Assistant of the Office of Nursing Research to be sure that supplies are not suddenly depleted or instructional work is not disrupted.
  • Doctoral assistants will be given SLU business cards for their use and will be asked to post time cards on their office doors, indicating their probable hours of use of their shared offices. This will allow greater sharing of not-in-use computers by doctoral assistants and NRSA fellowship holders.
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