Service Stipends - FAQ

What is an Assistantship?

Graduate School assistantships are awards provided to students in exchange for service. For assistantships, the service provided by the student primarily benefits others (faculty, other students, etc.). Although the service may be related to the student’s own academic endeavors, the service supports projects driven by others. If one particular student were not available to provide the service, the project would most likely continue with or without the service of another student.

What are the service stipend rates?

The Ph.D. minimum required stipend rate is $14,500/semester ($29,000 / academic year). The Master’s stipend rate ranges from $5,000 to $29,000 and is determined by the program. Please make sure the award respects minimum wage law.

What are the categories or roles for students receiving service stipends?

Students can be classified as Research Assistants (RA), Teaching Assistants (TA) or Teaching Associates (TS). A Research Assistant is defined as a graduate student who is typically engaged in laboratory, library, or fieldwork that supports his or her faculty member’s academic research. A Teaching Assistant is defined as a graduate student who assists a faculty member who is the instructor of record for a course. The duties of such an appointment may include work in the classroom, in recitation sections, in laboratories, or in other learning settings. The TA may or may not be responsible for grading student assignments and for maintaining office hours. A Teaching Associate is defined as a graduate student who has primary teaching responsibility for a class under the supervision of the department. The graduate student is the instructor of record for the course. For more help with service stipend definition and classification please see the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences’ Funding Policy.

What are the requirements for Ph.D. students receiving a service stipend?

Ph.D. students receiving assistantships must be given full scholarship for the duration of the appointment. The primary responsibility of funding the scholarship lies with the department appointing the Ph.D. student to the assistantship. In the case of external awards (e.g. ACLS, NSF), the student’s academic program is required to provide scholarship funding where required by the awarding organization. For example, if NSF requires “the institution” to cover the recipient’s coursework or thesis work, the academic program becomes responsible for providing the funding. The scholarship allocation may be used where appropriate, in accordance with Graduate School policies. Additionally, Ph.D. students must be enrolled full-time for the duration of their award and will receive stipends at the standard rate.

How do I award a PhD student a secondary service stipend?

Please check the candidate’s award letter prior to extending an offer from your department. If you are unsure regarding eligibility to assume an additional student appointment, please e-mail with attention to Ms. Simmer Grewal. Please be aware that students matriculating on or after Fall 2016 are ineligible to assume secondary service stipend appointments.

In order for our office to guarantee accurate and timely payment for this additional service stipend award, please pay close attention to the biweekly payroll calendar found on the GMS website below since all students are paid in the GMS system on a biweekly basis. Click for the current Pay Schedule.

Additionally, please supply the following two items for each Ph.D. student you wish to hire in this capacity:

1) Please complete the General Financial Aid Budget Template and use the start and end dates indicated in the biweekly payroll calendar above when indicating the start and end dates of the additional service stipend award appointment on the spreadsheet. If you do not indicate the start and end dates as instructed, our office will not be able to process your payment request.

    • Also, please include the “total award amount” to be disbursed for this semester in the “award amount” column on the spreadsheet.
    • Please provide the GMS work-tags to charge on the spreadsheet.
    • If a) the award amount is clearly indicated with the start and end dates of the appointment as it relates to the start and end dates on the biweekly payment calendar b) requested information is entered onto the spreadsheet with the GMS work-tags specified, then our office will take the total service stipend award amount and divide that total amount by the number of total pay periods based on these "start" and "end" dates on the budget. **Please note: If your office uses dates that fall in between a pay period, then the system will automatically pro-rate the stipend which is not what may need to occur.**

2) Please complete the attached Contracted Work Agreement Template and specify the total service stipend award amount to be disbursed over the course of the semester. Please do not indicate an hourly rate as this is a graduate student academic appointment which will be processed as a student salaried job in the GMS system.

What are the requirements for Master’s students receiving a service stipend?

Master’s students are paid at an hourly rate and are not required to receive scholarship during the period of the stipend award. Master’s students must be enrolled at the level specified by their program.

How are service stipend requests submitted?

You may request all awards through the Financial Aid Budget Template. This is provided to each program by the Graduate School. The financial aid budget is a spreadsheet academic programs use to communicate all award information for all graduate students. This spreadsheet also indicates that the program grants the Graduate School permission to act on its behalf by posting merit awards in Banner, processing service stipend payments in GMS and processing non-service stipend paperwork, charging the cost centers listed in the spreadsheet. Programs are required to use the spreadsheet for any and all awards to graduate students. This includes scholarship-only awards, stipend-only awards, combination scholarship + stipend awards, award updates, and awards to non-traditional students participating in the program (e.g. exchange students). The financial aid budget is the official record of all requests from the program to the Graduate School and is utilized for audit purposes. Please refer to the Awarding Scholarships and Stipends section of the Financial Support section of the GradAdmin website for more information.

External Departments that wish to offer graduate students merit-based aid may submit the general General Financial Aid Budget Template.

Is there a maximum number of hours students are permitted to work?

Students may not work more than a combined total of 20 hours per week for the duration of their assistantship. Ph.D. assistantship awards are 15 hours per week, so a student may have an additional job on campus at a maximum of 5 hours per week. Master’s assistantships vary in the number of hours for the assistantship; total hours worked on campus may not exceed 20 hours per week for the duration of their assistantship appointment.

May students on service stipends earn more than the $29,000 cap?

If a particular program creates a different experience that is beyond the traditional service responsibilities of an RA, TA or TS, then extra compensation can be warranted. If the responsibilities exceed the norm for assistantships in your program, extra compensation should be awarded. However, the Graduate School allocation may not be used for any compensation/support beyond the standard stipend level. Any amount exceeding the standard rate must be covered by a non-allocation, non-GSAS source. The source may be used to cover that entire stipend, or only the difference between the standard rate and the program’s offer.

How are service stipends processed?

Service stipends are processed through the Georgetown Management System by the Graduate School. The hiring request is sent to the Graduate School for review. The Student Reviewer will check the request for accuracy against the budget. If the request has been submitted correctly and matches the budget, it will then be approved. If changes need to be made, the Student Reviewer will return the request with notes to the HR Contact. Please see the FAQ’s Georgetown Management System section for troubleshooting tips.

What compensation plan should be assigned for a stipend student?

There should be an “allowance” plan called “graduate stipend.”

How are secondary job payments processed?

Secondary job payments for PhD students who matriculated prior to Fall 2016 and who are not serving as a graduate teaching assistant or graduate research assistant are processed through Payroll. The payment request is made with a General Payroll Form for Ph.D. students. All requests must be accompanied by a timesheet and a signed work agreement. Please keep in mind Ph.D. students cannot work over 5 hours a week in their secondary appointment.

Master’s student secondary appointment hours may be submitted directly through GMS by the student or manager once the student has submitted a time-sheet and it's been approved. Please refer to your department's internal policy regarding time entry.

How are I-9s processed?

For main campus, graduate students must bring the forms to one of the Georgetown University's Human Resources I-9 specialists. Click here for locations of the I-9 specialists. All students who have not already done so must meet with Human Resources on or before their first day of work to complete the I-9. Students must bring documentation showing proof of identity and work eligibility with them.

When do I need a new I-9 for students who have previously been employed?

Students who have worked in the previous 12 months as a graduate teaching or research assistant do not have to complete a new I-9 form except in the case where documents which were provided to evidence the person’s temporary work permission have expired.

How do I verify service stipend payments for my students?

The most immediate way to confirm a payment is by using the Worker Pay Distribution and Worker Pay Distribution with Costing Allocation reports in GMS. To verify payments are charging to the correct cost center, please use the Payroll Journal Transactions report for service stipend recipients and the Non-Payroll Journal Transactions report for non-service stipend recipients.



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