» Support for Graduate Research and Creative Activities

A key component of Chapman University's mission to provide personalized education is the many opportunities for students to undertake research and other creative projects, working closely with their professors. The availability of grants and assistantships as well as the research consulting and tutorial services of the Earl Babbie Center promote excellence in graduate student research at Chapman University.

+ - Upcoming Professional Development Events

The Office of Graduate Studies works with other campus units to provide information on upcoming professional development events of interest to graduate students. Registration may be required; please see each listing below for more information.

Rinker Health Science Research Day
Date & Time: April 6, 4-8pm
Location: 9401 Jeronimo Rd, Room 128, Irvine, CA 92618

Chapman University family and community are welcome to attend!

Program Highlights
- Showcase of student research and student-faculty collaborations
- Awards for outstanding research
- Prospective students interact with current students and faculty
- Research and clinical students highlighted
- Inter-professional interaction and socialization between programs

Programs Involved
- School of Pharmacy
- Doctor of Physical Therapy
- Masters of Science in Athletic Training
- Masters of Science in Communication
- Sciences and Disorders
- Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy

+ - Graduate Student Grants

In line with Chapman University's commitment to the scholarly and creative activities of its graduate students, Scholarly/Creative Activity Grants and Conference Travel Grants are offered to all current graduate students. Graduate Student Scholarly/Creative Activity Grants are intended to provide support for a variety of clearly defined scholarly or creative projects while Graduate Student Conference Travel Grants are intended to provide support for graduate students’ travel to give accepted presentations at conferences.

The Graduate Student Grants process is now managed by the Colleges for the students in their graduate programs. To apply for a Scholarly/Creative Activity Grant or Conference Travel Grant, or for more information about the Graduate Student Grant program, the expenditure of grant funds, and the submission of reimbursement requests please contact the following grants coordinators:

Argyros School of Business and Economics (ASBE)
Ms. Debra Gonda
(714) 997-6745
gonda@chapman.edu 

Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences (CCHBS)
Dr. Michelle Cleary
(714) 628-2797
cleary@chapman.edu

Dodge College of Film and Media Arts (DCFMA)
Ms. Marissa Maynor
(714) 714-5611
mmaynor@chapman.edu

College of Educational Studies (CES)
Ms. Lanesha Kemp
(714) 744-2150

Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences (WCAHSS)
Ms. Allison DeVries
(714) 997-6752
devries@chapman.edu

Schmid College of Science and Technology (SCST)
Computational and Data Science
Ms. Robin Pendergraft 
(714) 997-6993
pendergr@chapman.edu 

Food Science and Nutrition
Ms. Robyne Kelly
(714) 289-2040
rokelly@chapman.edu

School of Pharmacy (CUSP)
Mrs. Sandra Robbie
(714) 516-5413
robbie@chapman.edu 

+ - Graduate Assistantships

Graduate Assistantships are student employment positions, where graduate students provide assistance to faculty and staff in research and teaching. To the extent possible, graduate assistantships are also designed to further the graduate student’s own graduate career and development as a researcher, scholar, teacher, and professional.

Graduate Assistantship positions are not graduate hourly employment, and they may not be combined with hourly student assignments.

The administration of the Graduate Assistantship program is a joint partnership between the Offices of Graduate Education and Human Resources. The Office of Graduate Education under the Provost serves as the primary contact for the initial inquiries and final confirmation of hires. The Talent Management team within the Office of Human Resources serves as the facilitator to confirm student enrollment status, conduct background check when applicable, coordinate with appropriate offices on specific information and conduct Graduate Assistantship orientations. An approval workflow document that details the main steps of the process can be found on the summary links section in the upper right corner of the page.

It is important to note that supervisors interested in hiring a graduate student for the program need to ensure that appropriate funding is in place prior to submitting a request for hire. Graduate students are not to begin teaching or conduct research work until a confirmation is provided by the Office of Graduate Education.

Primary contacts:

Lonnise Magallanez, Graduate Education, magallan@chapman.edu

Abbie Kane, Human Resources, akane@chapman.edu

Details from the Graduate Assistantship Handbook

Definitions

Generally, there are two types of Graduate Assistantships awarded at Chapman University:

Research Assistantship

Research assistantships are typically contingent upon availability of external funding. External funding is usually in the form of research grants/contracts or training grants awarded to a particular faculty member, based upon his/her research interests. Students are encouraged to contact individual faculty members to inquire about possible research assistantships. Students are selected for graduate research assistantships based on merit, relevant experience and skills, compatibility with the research goals of the Principal Investigator of the contract or grant, and specific limitations defined by the granting agency. Students should give consideration to their own academic and professional goals as graduate students when considering assistantship opportunities. Continuation of any research assistantship is based on continuation of the contract or grant funding and the satisfactory performance of the student assistant. Therefore, students must discuss with the faculty member not only the current availability of funds and the compatibility of the research with their own interests, but also the duration of the award.

Teaching Assistantship

Teaching Assistantships are dependent upon the existence of sufficient department or school funds to support the position. The service performed for the Teaching Assistantship must be relevant to the student’s academic program.

Eligibility Criteria

At a minimum, graduate students must satisfy all of the requirements listed below. Individual departments/schools may have additional requirements.

  • The student must be matriculated in a graduate degree program with regular graduate standing.
  • Students must be enrolled in either:
    • a minimum of 4.5 units of graduate coursework for credit, not audit; or
    • enrolled in Thesis or Dissertation
Graduate Assistants must use caution when enrolling for less than 4.5 units, as strict policies apply. In addition, students should note that enrollment in a minimum of 6 units per semester is required for some federal loan programs, and that for international students, immigration law requires full time enrollment to maintain student status.
  • Students must maintain a cumulative graduate grade point average of at least 3.25. A hold will be placed on any qualified tuition reduction awards related to the Graduate Assistantship for those who fall below this standard.
  • Students are to make satisfactory academic progress toward completing the degree objective, as defined by the department/school and the time limits for the degree. For Ph.D. students, this includes timely guidance committee composition, passing of the qualifying examination, appointment of dissertation committee and completion of the dissertation.
  • Students are to maintain appropriate standards of academic conduct.

In the performance of their responsibilities they must abide by the academic and instructional criteria and policies established by the department, school or program in which their assistantship is held. They are governed by the same standards of conduct in the performance of their academic responsibilities as are members of the faculty.

Levels of Assistantship:  Teaching

Teaching Assistantships are directly related to a course(s) and are supported by funds available in a department/school for such purposes. Teaching Assistantships must include teaching and some other similar level responsibilities such as research support. GTA’s primarily teach undergraduate courses in a classroom or laboratory setting. Student-faculty research courses, reading conference courses, student internship courses and independent study courses are not graduate assistantship assignments. There are two levels of GTAs:

  • Graduate Teaching Assistant

This teaching appointment is primarily for graduate students who may have prior teaching experience, but not necessarily at the college or university level. Duties will include some of the following:

Prepares for class sections where new material may be presented.

Teaches in a classroom or laboratory setting

Consults with students on course writing assignments

Marks and/or grades exams or papers

Holds office hours to consult with students regarding course requirements. This does not supplant a faculty member’s regular office hours for advising students.

May perform teaching independently with the support of a faculty mentor or the faculty member has primary oversight and responsibility for the course.

The graduate assistant may be identified as the instructor of record.

  • Graduate Teaching Associate

This teaching appointment is limited to graduate students who have had substantial teaching experience, including community college or university teaching or at least one year of teaching experience, such as that of a Teaching Assistant within the university. The Graduate Teaching Associate will typically be identified as the instructor of record in Chapman University publications, and will have primary charge and responsibility for the course with the mentorship of a faculty member.

Duties will include most of the Graduate Teaching Assistant duties but will work at more independently. In some cases, the Graduate Teaching Associate has full responsibility for a course where the content is defined by a faculty coordinator. In other cases, they will develop course materials independently with the guidance of a faculty mentor for a course that has been approved by the department/program in which it is offered.

Levels of Assistantship:  Research

The Research Assistantship is typically related to a funded research project. The following research appointments are listed in ascending order of qualifications, responsibility, and compensation. Faculty will determine the level of experience, expertise, and contribution necessary for placement in the appropriate GRA level. Similar to the Teaching Assistantship, there are two levels:

  • Graduate Research Assistant

A beginning graduate student who works on a research project under the direct supervision of a faculty member(s) who is the principal investigator of an externally funded project. Tasks may include data collection, preparation of data for reporting, general office responsibilities, and logistical support to the principal investigator(s).

  • Graduate Research Associate

An advanced graduate student conducts research in support of the principal investigator (s) of an externally funded project:

Performs research organizational tasks beyond the scope of a Graduate Assistant I. Such tasks may include data collection and analysis, report preparation, coordination of field sites for data collection, and other project-specific organizational responsibilities.

At this levels, the Graduate Associate may make an original contribution (e.g., article for publication, presentation at a state or national conference) to a research effort that serves the common professional objectives of the student and supervisor.

Expected Workload

A student with a graduate assistantship is expected to be able to fulfill his/her responsibilities in no more than 49% of the student’s total effort during the academic year. The remainder of academic effort is devoted to his/her own studies and research. The time devoted to the assistantship may vary from day to day and week to week as long as it does not exceed the average given above. In addition, a graduate assistant is not expected to work more than 8 hours in a given day or 40 hours in a given week. On occasion the duties of the graduate assistant may unavoidably exceed the norm stated here (e.g. field trips, professional meetings and conferences). However, these deviations should be rare and in no case should the total work load over the course of the year exceed the limits described above. The immediate supervisor of a student with a graduate assistantship is responsible for monitoring the student’s progress and workload. It is advisable for both the students’ wellbeing and the department’s/school’s interests that assistantships be strenuously pursued and funded. Compensation and tuition reduction, if awarded, are calculated based on the student’s total workload and duration. Work performed beyond the agreed workload and more than 8 hours in work day or 40 hours in a workweek must be documented on the Exception Time Reporting form and be submitted to the department’s/school’s business officer for appropriate handling within one week of occurrence. It is the first responsibility of a graduate student to achieve satisfactory academic accomplishment in his/her own research and studies, along with timely progress toward her/his degree. Therefore, assistantship regulations prohibit the appointment of students for 50% or more of the student’s total effort during the academic year in order to support the accommodation of these primary pursuits. It is also incumbent upon the students to make every effort to coordinate their Research Assistantship activities with their own research and professional goals. This coordination is best accomplished through discussions with prospective research advisors about the directions and goals of their research and the level and duration of external funding. Multiple positions may not be combined to exceed that limit. The department of appointment should inquire from the GTA or GRA whether they have any other appointments that could affect the total workload.

Compensation

Assistantships pay a salary to the student as compensation for services provided either in a teaching or research role. GTAs and GRAs receive a paycheck on the 26th of each month (or the last working day if on a weekend or holiday) and are subject to withholding of federal and state income taxes. The monthly compensation amounts are shown below and are based on about 49% or less effort. Compensation will be prorated based on a percentage of effort less than 49%.

Equivalent

 

Levels

Workload

Hrs/Week

Credit

 

Assistant*

Associate*

8.13%

3.25

1

 

$1,320

$1,485

16.25%

6.5

2

 

$2,640

$2,970

24.38%

9.75

3

 

$3,960

$4,445

32.50%

13

4

 

$5,280

$5,940

40.63%

16.25

5

 

$6,600

$7,425

48.75%

19.5

6

 

$7,920

$8,910

The amount of compensation assigned to each position level is updated periodically as necessary to maintain market relevance.  (Effective 1/1/2017)

*Total payments for four months of work.  For monthly salary, take total payment and divide by four.

Multiple Graduate Assistantships

Multiple Assistantships are allowed, including both GRAs and GTAs, but these combined appointments must not exceed 49% of the student’s total effort during the academic year and must be less than 1,000 hours per calendar year.

Resources for Additional Information

The Graduate Assistantship Handbook provides additional information about the program. Please refer to it for information on recruitment, selection, cancellation, conflict resolution and other policies.

Approval Workflow

Document to show the approval needd for hiring/rehiring a GTA/GRA

Hire/Rehire Worksheet

Document of hiring or rehiring a GTA/GRA

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