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Biological Sciences Graduate Research and Teaching Appointments


Regardless of stipend source, stipends are for 12 months of support.

Even if during some of those semesters the student is a Graduate Associate or Graduate Research Associate, M,S, students can receive program-derived support only during the first six semesters (including summer semester) after they enter the program, not counting approved leaves of absence, unless special approval of the Graduate Committee is obtained.

Even if during some of those semesters the student is a Graduate Associate or Graduate Research Associate, Ph.D. students entering the program with a B.S. degree can receive program-derived support for a maximum of six years, and Ph.D. students entering the program with an M.S. degree can receive program-derived support for a maximum of five years after they enter the program, not counting approved leaves of absence.

Types of Appointments

Graduate Associate

Graduate Associates are students who are not receiving a stipend from non-program or program sources. Such students generally also do not receive a tuition waiver and need not teach except to meet the pedagogical requirements, during which time they will receive Graduate Teaching Associateships. Graduate Associates who desire stipend support or tuition waivers should submit a written request to the Graduate Committee stating the type of support desired. This request should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the beginning of classes for the semester in which the student desires a Graduate Teaching Associateship.

Graduate Research Associate

Graduate Research Associates are students whose academic year stipend is supported from non-program funds, generally faculty mentor external funding or non-program scholarship funds. These students are not required to provide teaching assistance except to fulfill the pedagogical requirements of their degree, during which the students will be Graduate Teaching Associates. A student that teaches for at least one semester will be eligible for summer salary through the department. All students receiving Graduate Research Associateships also receive tuition waivers. All students receiving a Graduate Research Associateship must sign the relevant contract.

Graduate Teaching Associate

General Information

Graduate Teaching Associates are students whose stipend is supported from Program or MCB funds. Graduate Teaching Associates are graduate students pursuing an advanced degree. Therefore, the services for which they receive remuneration are to be limited in scope, secondary in importance to their studies. It is important that each Graduate Associate build the teaching schedule around the academic schedule. Graduate Teaching Associates can be required to teach the equivalent of two semesters per academic year (which may include Summer semester) for so long as they receive stipend from Graduate Program or MCB funds. Additional teaching may be required by specific curricular tracks as a result of successful petition under section IVJ, and additional non-instructional service may be required without petitioning the Graduate Committee so long as the total service per week does not exceed the department guidelines. All students who are Graduate Teaching Associates prior to or immediately following Summer session are eligible for Summer session stipend support and tuition waivers, subject to the time limitations in the graduate bylaws. All Graduate Teaching Associates must sign the relevant contract. Bylaws details specific Graduate Teaching Associate Policies.

Teaching Assignment

The Graduate Program intends that student teaching further the student’s future career. With respect to teaching, the Graduate Committee desires students to learn both classroom delivery and student mentoring skills. The Graduate Committee will attempt to assign Teaching Assistants to a variety of courses, and, particularly in the later years, to courses relevant to the student’s research interests. It is also the intention of the Graduate Program that student teaching load be equitably allocated on an academic year basis. The Graduate Committee, or representative in each department assigning teaching, will therefore take into consideration the varying teaching loads associated with different courses, and the student’s prior teaching in high teaching load courses, in assigning future teaching assignments. It is the intention of the Graduate Program that, in the semesters in the fifth and sixth years in which they are not teaching, Ph.D. students serve as Senior Mentors to more junior graduate students. Senior Mentors are to assist and advise more junior students on program requirements and on teaching delivery in the courses in which the Senior Mentors have experience, as assigned by the Graduate Committee. It is expected that Senior Mentors will work closely with course faculty in helping provide support to Teaching Assistants, and in particular will take a lead role in assisting students whose teaching is inadequate. However, the Graduate Committee must also fulfill the teaching needs of the departments of Biological Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, and the Molecular and Cellular Biology program, and Senior Mentorships can only be assigned if all Teaching Assistant needs are satisfied. To fulfill these competing needs, teaching assignments are made as described in the bylaws.

Teaching Evaluation

All faculty supervising Graduate Teaching Associates, regardless of student funding source or the department delivering the course, must submit to the Graduate Committee the evaluation form of the student’s teaching within two weeks after grades are due in the semester in which the student taught. This form will be sent to all faculty supervisors by the graduate office, and the evaluation will include a summary evaluation of “Excellent,” “Adequate,” or “Inadequate.” “Inadequate” evaluations must be reviewed with the Graduate Teaching Associate by the relevant faculty before submission to Graduate Committee. Copies will be sent to the student’s academic adviser as well. Evaluations of “Inadequate” must be accompanied by an explanation of the ranking sufficient for the Graduate Committee to evaluate the basis of student’s inadequate performance. These evaluations will become a permanent part of the student’s file.

For students who receive an “Inadequate” evaluation, the Graduate Committee will review the student’s progress, and suggest mechanisms to improve student performance. These mechanisms can include requiring the student to take workshops or other programs offered by teaching improvement entities at Ohio University or serving as an assistant to more experienced teaching assistants or to course instructors.

Receipt of two “Inadequate” evaluations will mandate a review of the student's suitability for continuation in the graduate program. Receipt of a third “Inadequate” evaluation will result in dismissal from the program.