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Guidelines for Undergraduate Research Assistantships

We encourage the schools and college to develop undergraduate research assistantships to provide students with further opportunity to engage in original projects with faculty.

These are some basic guidelines for creating these positions:

  1. If the position is paid, the rate should be at least $11.50 an hour.
  2. Inform students that this income is taxable.
  3. The department can make research assistantships into Federal Work Study positions. However, these assistantships should also be made available to students without FWS.
  4. The work should be directly related to the scholarly project (data collection, photocopying, and indexing are examples of directly related activities).
  5. Students should be learning and developing new skills over the course of the work.

Develop a written project timeline to share with the assistants that includes:

  1. Hours of work per week.
  2. Expected completion of those hours (what days and times assistants are expected to work).
  3. Deadlines for all associated tasks.
  4. Details on the flexibility of the project. Faculty supervisors need to clarify the parameters of the project whether the deadlines are firm or flexible. Students will be expected to share their course schedule and any other work requirements so that both parties can determine if the project is the right fit.
  5. Schedule of regular meetings, either in person, by phone, or online, that allow the adjustment of goals and time as necessary.
  6. Develop a plan for disseminating the work, including the student’s role in this process. Discuss publication, conference presentations, and any other related expectations.
  7. Clarify in advance and throughout the level of authorship by the student. Consult the APA guidelines as necessary. For example, is the student lead author, a co-author, or a non-author contributor?