DEPARTMENT OF NUTRITION TA/RA Appointment and Reappointment Procedures

This document summarizes the policies and procedures for appointment and reappointment of Teaching and Research Assistants in the Department of Nutrition.

Application for Positions

Teaching positions: At the end of the previous semester (spring for fall positions; fall for spring positions) students will be sent an Assistantship Interest Form or notified by email that the Form is available. This Form will ask if students are planning to be on campus the next semester, if they expect to need funding, how much funding they would prefer (maximum number of hours), known or applied-for additional sources for funding, which classes students have taken, and a preference for which class they would most like to TA if possible. A deadline is specified for returning the Form to the GPD. Return of the Form by the deadline with an indication that funding is desired for the following semester (unless some applied-for fellowship or grant is received) constitutes an application on the part of the student for funding that may be available through recommendation by the department.

Research positions: PIs have the responsibility for announcing, soliciting applications for, and making appointments for RA positions. The timing of these appointments cannot always be made to fit the timing of TA decisions. Applicants are encouraged to meet with contact persons to find out more details and express special interest in a position.

Incoming students are considered for assistantships and/or fellowships by checking the appropriate boxes on their application form. If no suitable applicants are identified for a specific position from among students in the department, the position will be posted for applicants from other outside departments.

Eligibility and Decisions on Funding

The Departmental Graduate Committee or the GPD will consult with the Department Head to award funding based on the total funds available for RA and TA positions and the courses in need of TA assistance. First, applications are screened for eligibility based on job requirements, including student’s background and experience with certain courses or research projects. Only those applications that pass the screening for a specific position will be considered. Among the qualified applicants, RAs continuing on a specific research project, first year students promised a RA/TA position, and students with experience in teaching the specific course will be assigned higher priority.

Masters students are eligible for funding for up to 2 years; PhD students are eligible for up to 4 years. Students applying for funding outside of these time frames are considered only after other eligible applicants have been assigned. Full-time students will be assigned higher priority than part-time students.

Non-native English speaking students serving as Teaching Assistants must take and pass the English Proficiency Test.

All graduate students holding assistantships are required to:

1) fulfill their assistantship duties satisfactorily;

2) maintain good academic standing in the program; and

3) make satisfactory progress toward the completion of degree requirements.


Email notification will be given to all TAs/RAs following the committee/PI’s decisions to be followed by signing of the appointment contract. Whenever possible, students will be notified no less than two weeks before the start of their assignments or as soon as funding to the department and to specific research projects has been confirmed.

Newly accepted students are notified by a letter from the Graduate Program Director that might accompany the notification of their acceptance into the program.