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Summer Graduate Lecturer/Researcher (formerly PR17)



To establish Summer Graduate Assistant appointments for graduate students who will be teaching or undertaking research. Graduate students teaching or undertaking research who are eligible to have tuition for summer courses paid by the Summer Tuition Assistance Program (STAP) may also be appointed as a Summer Graduate Assistant. The title for these positions is “Summer Graduate Lecturer/Researcher.”

Policy Statement

  1. Graduate students continuing in their degree programs in the Summer Session and teaching or conducting research should be appointed as a Summer Graduate Lecturer/Researcher (Summer Graduate Assistant in Workday) if they are expected to perform a teaching function or a research function equivalent to the teaching or research function of a Graduate Assistant during fall and spring Semesters.
  2. Graduate students conducting activities in the summer not related to their degree programs should more appropriately be appointed to a part-time, wage payroll position.
  3. Graduate students appointed under this policy will have the title of “Summer Graduate Lecturer/Researcher.”
  4. Summer Graduate Lecturers/Researchers can be appointed only during Summer Sessions.
    1. A graduate student appointed to a Summer Graduate Lecturer/Researcher appointment must be formally admitted as a degree-seeking student in a graduate program under the Graduate School.
    2. Graduate students appointed to Summer Graduate Lecturer/Researcher appointments must have been appointed to a Graduate Assistantship or Graduate Fellowship for the preceding fall and spring semesters.
      1. It is recommended that graduate students appointed as Summer Graduate Lecturers should have some prior teaching experience or be provided with appropriate preparation.
    3. Graduate students in their first semester, who will also begin a summer appointment in June, must be appointed to a traditional Graduate Assistantship and do not qualify for a Summer Graduate Lecturer/Researcher appointment.
    4. International graduate students appointed to Summer Graduate Lecturer/Researcher appointments have additional requirements and their appointing unit must check with the Directorate of International Student and Scholar Advising (DISSA) in Global Programs.
    1. Summer Graduate Lecturers/Researchers are not required to enroll for any credits over the summer unless they are required to be enrolled by their graduate program. However, students not enrolled would be subject to FICA tax withholding.
    2. Summer Graduate Lecturers/Researchers may be eligible to receive Summer Tuition Assistance Program (STAP) funding for course work required for their degree program under the Graduate School provided they meet the requirements outlined on the STAP application. Standard STAP limits and deadlines apply.
    3. Requests for summer tuition assistance for Summer Graduate Lecturers/Researchers must be submitted through the graduate student’s college using the online STAP application.
    4. STAP is approved to cover only resident instruction and World Campus course work. Continuing Education and Conference and Institute courses are not STAP eligible.
    1. The stipend tables for graduate assistants must be used to assign a grade for summer stipend levels paid to all Summer Graduate Lecturers/Researchers in Workday.
    2. In cases where Units are supporting students for the fall, spring and summer semesters, the sum of all three semesters should meet or exceed the annualized grade 12 half-time minimum.
      1. Units should appoint students to a uniform grade each semester whenever possible to accommodate students’ ability to budget appropriately.
      2. For students who are appointed to graduate assistantships during the previous fall and/or spring semester and are engaged in similar teaching or research activities, it is recommended that summer stipend grade levels be commensurate with grade levels students received in the fall and/or spring.
      3. For students who have been appointed on graduate assistantships or graduate fellowships at stipends higher than grade 12 half-time or equivalent, lower summer grades or appointment types (e.g. quarter-time) may be appropriate so long as the sum of all three semesters meets the annualized grade 12 half-time minimum.
    3. Grades below 12 (i.e., 9, 10 and 11), Grade 27, and Quarter-Time and Three-Quarter Time appointments may be used only with prior approval of the Graduate School’s Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards Administration.
    4. In cases of partial summer support (e.g. student is not planning to be present for the entire summer), Units should prorate support (start/end dates, appointment type, and/or stipend grades) in a manner that maintains proportionate equity for the same/similar activities (i.e., over the fall, spring and summer appointments).
    5. Premiums paid by students during the spring semester for the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) extend coverage through approximately the second week of August, as outlined on the SHIP Medical Coverage webpage, even though the last premium is deducted in May. Therefore, premium contributions will not be withheld from the stipend payment for such students who are appointed as a Summer Graduate Assistant.

Further Information

Policy Steward: Vice Provost for Graduate Education
Subject Matter Expert: Director of the Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards Administration, 814-865-2514,

Revision History

Approved by the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School, April 2, 2020. Effective immediately.

Approved in consultation with: Ray Burke, Payroll Manager.

  • April 1, 2020 – Clarifications added: 1) FICA tax information added to Tuition Remission (currently 6a); 2) SHIP premium statement added to Compensation (currently 7a).
  • March 20, 2020 – Removal of MIT Living Wage Calculator; transition to a standard grade 12 half-time minimum requirement. General updates to language.
  • April 8, 2019 – Revised Policy Statement and Compensation sections for clarification of expected practices.
  • May 9, 2018 – Revisions of full document including some policy changes. Change from IBIS to WorkDay terminology. Change of policy stewardship from Payroll (PR17) to Graduate School (GS17) and contact information.
  • October 24, 2013 - Editorial changes. Addition of policy steward information, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.
  • August 4, 2010 - Revised the “TUITION REMISSION” section to clarify current policy for Graduate Lecturers/Researchers and Summer Tuition Assistance eligibility.
  • August 12, 2005 - Editorial changes in sections labeled “COMPENSATION” to add the correct links for the document referenced in the policy.
  • September 17, 1996 - Expanded references to a “Graduate Lecturer” to include “Graduate Researcher.”
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