A liberal “buy out” formula is intended to support the expansion of faculty research activities in CHHS. Through June 2011, a faculty member may “buy out” of a course for every 15% salary support he/she obtains on an extramural funded project.
Beginning July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2014, the formula for buying out of teaching by faculty members on research assignments will be as follows using a 2/2 teaching load as a baseline:
- 15% extramural salary support = ½ or 2/1 teaching assignment for the AY
- 30% extramural salary support = 1/1 teaching assignment for the AY
- 45% extramural salary support = 0/1 or 1/0 teaching assignment for the AY
- 75% extramural salary support = 0/0 teaching assignment for the AY
All full-time faculty members are expected to teach at least one course every other year or to demonstrate other significant contributions to the teaching mission of the College.
Pre-Award Assistance for Grant Submission Preparation
- Identify funding sources and coordinate communications with sources
- Meet individually with faculty member to review services needed for proposal
- Coordinate support services with OSP staff assigned to faculty member
Budget preparation, revisions, justifications
Interpretation of sponsor guidelines
Timeline for proposal completion
- Facilitate collaborative efforts across CHHS, Mason, universities and agencies
- Arrange external reviews of proposal narratives
- Work with OSP on required routing form approvals in CHHS
- Facilitate sub/contract/proposal preparation
- Coordinate the preparation and collection of letter(s) of support
Return to top
Post-Award Administration of Grants
- Facilitate an initial meeting with PI to review award and mutual responsibilities
- Prepare and submit payroll forms for project personnel and graduate assistants
- Coordinate public relations for research and award recognition
- Conduct periodic reviews of budget status with PI
- Support PI in completion of required reports to funding source
- Here's a quick reference guide of the Do's and Don'ts post-award spending at Mason.
Return to top
During the academic year, all full-time graduate assistants must be enrolled for at least 9 hours of graduate work during the semesters in which they are employed. Enrollments will be monitored throughout the duration of the add/drop period, and tuition waivers will not be issued unless you are enrolled for the required minimum number of credit hours.
Important Note! Students holding assistantships may not engage in other on- or off-campus employment, including additional assistantships, during the period they hold an assistantship without explicit written approval from the department chair, program director, or dean.
Graduate Council Policy Statement
As a matter of general principle, teaching by graduate students, whether they are graduate teaching assistants or adjunct faculty, should be at the undergraduate level. In unusual circumstances, graduate students who have completed all coursework and examinations toward the doctorate and who have been advanced to candidacy may teach a lower level graduate course in any academic program. Graduate students who are GTAs or who are hired as adjunct faculty should not teach graduate courses that enroll students in the same program or programs in which the GTA or adjunct will take courses (Graduate Council Motion #188.8, adopted March 28, 1990).
Faculty and Departmental Responsibilities
All graduate assistants (GAs) are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times.
Faculty supervisors are responsible for the following:
- Set up an initial meeting with the GA. The meeting should address: GA’s weekly schedule, faculty/program expectations, work duties/projects the GA can expect to undertake during the academic year, absence policy, and other areas that should be proactively discussed.
- Evaluation. An evaluation will be distributed in November and April to all supervisors. If a poor performance evaluation is rendered, a meeting will be held between the faculty supervisor, GA, and Departmental Chair. Evaluation forms can also be accessed on the Graduate Assistantship Policy Handbook.
- Document Problems/Issues/Concerns. It is important for all faculty supervisors to document problems/issues that arise with a GA. Verbal feedback to a GA is not an acceptable means of documenting a problem. Verbal feedback may be divided into giving feedback then documenting the performance problem(s).
Students must be admitted to graduate study at George Mason University. Eligibility may further be limited to students in degree programs.
A student hired as a GTA or graduate lecturer to teach a class must have at least 18 hours of graduate work in the field in which he or she is to teach. A transcript or transcripts documenting the required number of graduate hours must accompany the hiring documentation when the student is hired (even if this is the student's second appointment). Students who conduct labs, grade papers, or perform other teaching support services are not required to have 18 hours of graduate work in the pertinent field.
Students must be in good academic standing; that is, the student must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and may not have any recent unsatisfactory grades.
Appointment Periods and Dates of Service
Fall Semester - August 25 to January 9
Spring Semester - January 10 to May 24
Summer Session - Dates of service are for three months extending from May 25 to August 24
GA appointments generally begin one week before classes start and end one week after classes are over each semester. GAs are not required to work on a day that is listed on the academic calendar as a holiday. GAs do not need to make up these hours later. However, if the faculty member needs to have a GA work at other points in the holiday period, and the student is able to, the faculty member should give the student compensatory time off during the semester.
With certain exceptions noted below, all full-time (15 hrs/wk) GA's must be enrolled for at least 9 hours of graduate work during the fall and/or spring semesters during which they are employed. Each academic unit will monitor enrollment at the end of the schedule adjustment/registration period. However, the student is ultimately responsible for notifying the department when enrollment status has changed. A GA not enrolled for the minimum hours of coursework must relinquish his or her assistantship.
Exceptions to the 9-hour enrollment required are only considered for students who need fewer than 9 hours to complete their degree and graduate. If the student falls into this category, the student's graduate coordinator must forward a written request to carry a reduced load to the unit by the latest Schedule Adjustment Date. This request should include the student’s status in his or her program and the number of remaining hours and specific courses that remain. If all dissertation or thesis hours have been expended, the student must still register for one credit of dissertation or thesis work per semester.
Students who receive GA appointments for the summer do not have to enroll in classes and are permitted to work up to 40 hours per week. Students who have recently graduated or who have not begun their degree program are ineligible to work as GAs during the summer.
Restrictions on Appointments
Graduate students will normally be limited to the equivalent of one 15-hour per week assistantship or lectureship. Students may (under exceptional circumstances) be appointed for more than a total of 15 hours per week, but under no circumstances may students be appointed for more than 30 hours per week. Exceptional circumstances must be approved by the dean of the academic home of the student in question. This policy applies whether the student is appointed in a single unit or in multiple units across campus. F-1 or J-1 international students may not work more than 20 hours per week during the fall or spring semester.
If the student is hired by another unit, perhaps jointly, the home unit of the student must approve the appointment and the conditions attached.
Fellowship and assistantship/lectureship funds may be combined to create a financial aid package for an individual student. However, the maximum compensation for a given student should not exceed the levels normally prevailing in the unit(s) involved.
Assistantships and lectureships are intended to contribute to the graduate student’s educational experience. Therefore, they may not be assigned to perform secretarial or clerical duties.
Any student who holds an assistantship and engages in other employment during the semester without explicit approval of the departmental chair may be removed from the assistantship.
Supervisor Protocol Before Terminating a Graduate Assistant
The College is committed to assuring that GAs are successful in his/her educational endeavors. However, it is important for students to fulfill their work obligation. Before terminating a GA for unsatisfactory performance, the immediate faculty supervisor must give the GA written notice of the specific deficiencies in performance. The GA should be given two (2) written warnings accompanied by adequate opportunities to improve performance. The Departmental Chair should immediately be informed of any issues that arise and receive all correspondence related to the issue(s).
When Changes in Graduate Status Occurs
GAs and graduate lecturers who are terminated early, regardless of reason, should be compensated in direct proportion to the total time worked up to the point of termination. To avoid overpayments, faculty members need to contact the Office of Research and Program Evaluation immediately.
Return to top