To assist grantees in deciding whether to pay a student research assistant a scholarship or salary we have prepared the following table of frequently asked questions. It is important that anyone making these appointments first consider the following questions. To assist in deciding how to compensate a student Mitacs research assistant, we have updated the following table of frequency asked questions. It is important that anyone making these appointments first consider the following questions in addition to the suplemental Mitacs information.
The "RA Salary" and RA Scholarship" forms are available from the payroll website under "Payroll Time Sheets, Time Cards".
What is the primary motivation of the professor in appointing the research assistant?
To assist his/her student financially and/or to bring the student up to a guaranteed level of funding; to facilitate the student’s research related to his/her thesis.
To hire a student to assist in completing the tasks necessary for the professor’s own research and for the professor’s own academic and professional goals.
What is the primary motivation for the student in accepting this assistantship?
To assist in his/her training to become an independent researcher; to assist in completing his/her degree; to provide financial assistance that will enable the student to focus on his/her graduate studies.
To secure employment income.
What will be the nature of the activities performed by the student?
Research will relate primarily to the student’s own academic pursuits, but complementary to the professor’s overall research program; tasks will help student become an independent researcher.
Tasks will be unrelated to the students’ own thesis’ tasks. Tasks may be more basic in nature and may not necessarily develop the student’s research capacity (e.g. reference checking, data entry, photocopying papers, etc. for professor’s research).
What will be the nature of the interactions between the professor and the student?
Collaborative; professor as an academic mentor.
Student takes direction and instructions from the professor; employer/employee relationship.
What degree of independence will the student have?
Variable – Depends on current level of training of the student and mentorship style of professor. Preparing a student to be an independent research is a goal of a graduate scholarship.
Low – will take instruction from professor and possibly others in the lab/team.
What are the expectations of the payment?
Continue to make satisfactory progress through degree.
Meet performance expectations associated with employment.
No. A student’s activities are for his or her own graduate studies and therefore there should be no expectation of a set number of hours imposed on the student.
Yes. Review the information about employment of graduate students regarding maximum number of hours per term.
What is the status accompanying this appointment?
What tax treatment will the funds receive?
What code should be used in the research grant account number?
8257.1 Canadian students
8256.1 International students
8257 Canadian students
8256 International students
How will the students receive payment?
Student should receive payment on a per term basis. The student will receive the payment as a lump sum. Bank information must be provided to Payroll so funds can be deposited directly into the student’s account.
All student earnings are paid out on a biweekly schedule for the duration of the contract.
What deductions will be taken from the payments?
No statutory deductions will be made (income tax, CPP, EI, EHT, WSIB).
Statutory deductions will be made. CCP, EI, EHT,WSIB, & 4% vacation pay amount to approximately 14%. If paid through student RA salary form, holiday pay and the 4% vacation pay are included in salary amount
What insurance coverage will the student have?
Medical coverage is provided through the Graduate Student Society (full-time students only), and general liability coverage from the University. Part-time graduate students without medical coverage can obtain it through the Graduate Student Society.
WSIB income replacement if injured in the course of the job. Medical coverage is provided through the Graduate Student Society (full-time students only). Part-time graduate students without medical coverage can obtain it through the Graduate Student Society
Jointly prepared by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Internal Audit, Department of Legal Services, Office of Research & Innovation Services, and Finance. Adapted from the University of Waterloo’s Guideline on Graduate Research Studentship vs. Graduate Research Assistantship (http://www.research.uwaterloo.ca/finance/documents/GRSvsGRA_000.pdf)