Research Assistantships

Graduate Student Researcher (GSR)

An academically qualified and registered graduate student, enrolled full-time, who performs research related to his or her degree program in an academic  department or research unit under the direction of a faculty member or authorized Principal Investigator. The Graduate Student Researcher may or may not collaborate in the publication of said research.

Please visit Important Information for GSRs:

On Oct. 15, 2017, Governor Brown signed into law an amendment to the Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA) expanding the definition of “employee” to include student employees whose work is an integral part of their educational objectives. Prior to this amendment, Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs) at UC were determined to be fundamentally students, not “employees.” With this change to the law, GSRs will be eligible to become exclusively represented by a union under HEERA. This amendment goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

The United Auto Workers (UAW) or another union may approach you and other Graduate Student Researchers to sign materials about union representation.

Before you sign anything, it is very important that you understand what it means to sign a union card or petition. Unionization may result from union cards signed by employees or by a secret ballot election.

UC supports your right to decide for yourself whether unionization is beneficial for you. That choice is yours. UC believes this choice should be well informed.

Get the facts before you sign a union card or petition:

  • Your signature on a card or petition may constitute your “vote.” Read carefully before you sign anything.
  • Union cards or petitions are not just an expression of interest. Signing them may mean unionization.

For important information about your rights, the unionization process and what being unionized means to help you make an informed choice, please see below links:

You may contact Marianne Beckett at Academic Personnel & Academic Labor Relations at (949) 824-7175 if you have additional questions

See Documents:

 GSR rights & FAQs.

Graduate Student Assistant Researcher (GSAR)

An academically qualified and registered graduate student, enrolled full-time, who performs research under the supervision of a Principal Investigator on a research project which is not related to the student’s degree program.

Academic Requirements

  • A minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Satisfactory academic progress towards degree objective
  • A letter grade of C, S, or above in all courses completed in the last three quarters
  • No more than two (2) Incomplete grades (except where stricter school policies apply) in the last three quarters

*Please note, cumulative last 3 quarter GPA

GSR & GSAR Appointment Benefits

Payment of Fees/Tuition (Remission)

Campus policy regarding GSR/GSAR fee and tuition remission applies to all students employed in the GSR/GSAR series with an appointment of at least 25% time for the entire quarter. Each eligible student’s total assessed fees/tuition (and nonresident supplemental tuition, if applicable), must be paid as a condition of their GSR/GSAR appointment. Charges are to be debited directly to applicable extramural awards or other funding source(s) paying the student’s salary when the student registers each quarter.

Please refer to Registrar’s site for the Schedule of Fees/Tuition.

Childbirth Accommodation and Childcare Reimbursement