Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Policies-11

00-2 Position Definitions and Terms of Appointment For Titles Held by Graduate Students and Postgraduate Trainees

1.0  Purposes

1.1         The purpose of this University Policy is to provide standard position definitions, forms of support, and terms of appointment for titles normally or frequently held by graduate students and postgraduate trainees.

1.2         A further purpose of this University Policy is to identify the nature of the responsibilities, obligations, and/or duties associated with each title, especially with respect to their relative emphases on scholarship, training and/or service.

2.0  Definitions

2.1         For purposes of this University Policy, graduate students are defined as persons who have been admitted to the Graduate School at Wayne State University and who are actively pursuing graduate or professional degrees. Post-baccalaureate students are not graduate students, and are not included under the terms of this University Policy. Only graduate students and postgraduate trainees may hold titles defined in this University Policy.

2.2         Graduate students may be full-time or part-time. Full-time graduate students are those who are enrolled for eight or more graduate credit hours during the academic year semesters and two or more graduate credits during the spring/summer semester; part-time graduate students are enrolled for fewer than eight credit hours during academic year semesters and fewer than two credit hours during the spring/summer semester.

2.3         Graduate student titles defined in this University Policy include the following:

      • Graduate Teaching Assistant

      • Graduate Student Assistant

      • Graduate Research Assistant

      • Graduate Fellow

      • Graduate Scholarship Awardee

2.4         Postgraduate trainee titles defined in this University Policy include the following:

      • Postdoctoral Fellow

      • Postdoctoral Researcher

      • Fellow

2.5         Graduate students may be eligible to hold University employment positions that are not included in this University Policy, the terms of their employment in such positions is not governed by this policy when University employees, they may be eligible for the employee tuition assistance program.

2.6         Tuition scholarships may be awarded to facilitate students' academic progress; scholarships are not payment for services rendered. A tuition scholarship does not pay for undergraduate credits, audited courses, or courses that are not in the plan of work of a graduate student in good standing. Graduate students who are non-Michigan residents may be eligible for assessment of tuition at resident rate tuition.

3.0  Position Descriptions and Terms and Conditions of Appointment for Graduate Student Titles

3.1         Terms and Conditions Common to Graduate Student Appointments

3.1.1  Graduate student appointees must be Masters or Doctoral students in good standing. Graduate student appointees must have a minimum 3.0 honor point average or its equivalent, except as approved by the Dean of the Graduate School or his/her designee.

3.1.2  Graduate student appointees must enroll for and maintain a minimum of six graduate credits that contribute to the satisfaction of their degree requirements, and are restricted to a maximum enrollment of 12 graduate credits per semester of appointment, except as approved by the Dean of the Graduate School or his/her designee.

3.1.3  Except as may be provided by collective bargaining agreement, graduate student appointees may not accept additional employment within or outside the University without the approval of their advisor and department chairperson. The approval of the Dean of the Graduate School or his/her designee is also required.

3.1.4  In addition to compensation, graduate student appointees may be eligible for tuition scholarships as provided in Section 2.6.

3.1.5  In order to be eligible for reappointment, graduate student appointees must maintain a minimum 3.0 honor point average, must continue to make satisfactory progress toward the degree, and when applicable to the position, must satisfactorily perform assigned duties.

3.1.6  Graduate student appointees may not receive more than a maximum of 12 semesters of support through graduate student appointments or assignments authorized under this University Policy.

3.1.7  Appointments to the positions of Graduate Teaching Assistant may be made for one or two semesters of the academic (i.e., nine month) year. Appointments to the position of Graduate Research Assistant and Graduate Student Assistant may be made for one, two, or three semesters.

3.2         Graduate Teaching Assistant

3.2.1  Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) must be Masters or Doctoral students in good standing. GTAs provide approximately 20 hours of instructional service per week over the course of a semester. GTAs may be assigned teaching duties, including grading, in undergraduate level courses or related laboratories or discussion sections, and may serve as instructors of record for undergraduate courses.  Students who are primarily assigned to perform such duties for undergraduate level courses or related laboratories or discussion sections should be classified as GTAs.

3.3         Graduate Student Assistant

3.3.1  Graduate Student Assistants (GSAs) must be Masters or Doctoral students in good standing. Graduate Student Assistants provide approximately 20 hours of service per week over the course of a semester. Graduate Student Assistants may be assigned research, administrative and scholarly duties for the primary benefit of the University or a granting agency under the supervision of a University faculty member or administrator. Students who are engaged in work whose product is reasonably expected to be used among other purposes for the student's dissertation, thesis, essay, or independent or directed study, or who are engaged in other work for the primary benefit of the student's research, scholarly or educational program, should not be classified as Graduate Student Assistants, but as Graduate Research Assistants. All Graduate Student Assistant appointments must include a Graduate Student Assistant Certificate of Relevancy.

3.3.2  Juris Doctor and Doctor of Medicine students may be appointed to a Graduate Student Assistant position if the appointment is approved by the Dean of the Graduate School or his/her designee, and the appointment contributes to the educational objectives of the student.

3.4         Graduate Research Assistants

3.4.1  Graduate Research Assistants are typically doctoral students in good standing who hold their appointments in academic or research units. In some instances, the Graduate School may approve appointment of Masters students as Graduate Research Assistants, provided their Masters program carries a significant research component directly relevant to their own academic programs of study. Graduate Research Assistants provide approximately 20 hours of service per week over the course of a semester in research or academic activities relevant to their own academic programs of study. These activities should relate directly to the student's degree requirements and should be reasonably expected among other purposes to contribute to a student's as dissertation, thesis, essay, independent or directed study, or other otherwise be undertaken for the primary benefit of the student's research, scholarship or academic program. All Graduate Research Assistant appointments must include a Graduate Research Assistant Certificate of Relevancy

3.4.2  Juris Doctor and Doctor of Medicine students may be appointed to a Graduate Research Assistant position if the student is concurrently pursuing a research-intensive master's or doctoral degree program; and the appointment is approved by the Dean of the Graduate School

3.5         Graduate Fellow and Graduate Scholarship Awardee

3.5.1  A Graduate Fellow is a full-time student pursuing a doctoral degree (or Master's degree in disciplines where that degree is terminal) who is awarded a stipend. The fellowship may also include payment of tuition and fees, and other benefits.   A Graduate Fellow is engaged in academic and scholarly activities in pursuit of an advanced degree. The Graduate School may approve teaching activities for Graduate Fellows when teaching is part of the advanced degree training.

3.5.2  A Graduate Scholarship Awardee is a full-time or part-time student pursuing a master's or doctoral degree who receives financial assistance toward his/her tuition and fee costs. Scholarships may also provide a stipend for living expenses or other purposes.

3.5.3  Graduate Fellows and Graduate Scholarship Awardees are not required to perform any service and are not employees of the University.

3.5.4  Fellowships and Scholarships may be awarded on the basis of competitive applications and may be determined by merit and/or financial need, according to the provisions of the particular scholarship. Eligibility restrictions may apply, including prohibitions on accepting other forms of financial assistance or employment.

3.5.5  Graduate Fellowships and Scholarships are awarded for a specified length of time, and may be renewed with the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School or his/her designee.

3.5.6  When a student is awarded scholarship funds from both a general fund and non-general fund source, the non-general fund monies shall be applied toward tuition and fees first, and the general fund monies shall cover any tuition or fee costs remaining after non-general funds are exhausted. The aggregate total of general fund and non-general fund awards may not exceed the actual total of expenses incurred as a result of University enrollment.

4.0  Postgraduate Trainees

4.1         Postdoctoral Fellow and Postdoctoral Researcher

4.1.1  A Postdoctoral Fellow or Postdoctoral Researcher is a holder of a doctoral degree who is pursuing research in a particular academic area related to his/her research interest, and working under the supervision of a faculty mentor. A Postdoctoral Fellow may engage in a limited amount of teaching in conjunction with his/her training experience.

4.1.2  A Postdoctoral Fellow or Researcher must hold a doctoral degree from a college or university that is accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency in the United States, or, in the case of degrees earned outside the United States, Postdoctoral Fellows must hold the equivalent of the United States' doctoral degree. For purposes of this University Policy, a "recognized national or regional accrediting agency" shall be defined as an agency recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation.

4.1.3  Postdoctoral Fellowships are usually financed under a Postdoctoral Fellow Program of a granting agency outside the University (e.g., National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation). Typically, Postdoctoral Fellows receive a stipend and may receive other benefits as well.   The stipend and benefits of the Postdoctoral Fellow are determined by the granting agency. The Postdoctoral Fellow is granted library privileges (regardless of the funding source), and may be eligible for medical insurance coverage. Postdoctoral Fellows are not University employees.

4.1.4  A Postdoctoral Researcher is normally paid from a non-general fund, principal investigator-initiated grant or contract awarded to a faculty member. The Postdoctoral Researcher is paid through the personnel payroll system. In addition to compensation, Postdoctoral Researchers are eligible to participate in the University's medical insurance program; receive reduced tuition benefits for spouse and children (except for tuition in the Law School and School of Medicine); and are entitled to access to University Libraries, parking, and similar University services.

4.1.5  Postdoctoral Researcher appointments are usually for one or two years, and may be renewed.

4.1.6  The Postdoctoral Researcher position is a temporary position with a maximum term of three years. Appointments are normally made for a period of one year. Extensions beyond three years require prior written approval of the Dean of the Graduate School or his/her designee.

4.2         Fellows

4.2.1  In clinical programs in the School of Medicine, resident physicians may apply for and be awarded two-year externally funded fellowships to pursue research training. These residents are known simply as Fellows. There is no requirement of service to the University, and Fellows are not employees of the University.

5.0  Exceptions

The Dean of the Graduate School or his/her designee may grant exceptions to policy set forth in this Policy. Exceptions to policy also may require the approval of the funding agency for externally funded scholarship or fellowship awards.

6.0  Duration

This University Policy is revocable by the President at any time and without notice.

7.0  Effective Date

7.1         This University Policy is effective upon issuance.

7.2         Executive Order 90-1 is hereby revoked.

 

 

Signed by President Irvin D. Reid May 12, 2000.