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Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantships

All students are promised financial support for the first 5 years of their program (provided satisfactory academic progress and position requirements are met), either through teaching assistantships from the State; research assistantships from faculty research grants, or through fellowships or traineeships from national, private or foreign agencies, the department, or the Graduate School.

Approximately the second week of each quarter you will receive an email requesting information on your support for the following quarter.   It is your responsibility to talk with your advisor to determine how you will be supported each quarter.

Research and teaching assistants are paid at a variable rate which is higher than the basic UW salary schedule.  Students who apply to and receive funding from training grants ot teaching assistantships with other departmentss with stipend support below this variable rate must be supplemented up to the departmental variable salary rate by their advisor. Please note:  If a student accepts an out-of-department TAship that pays less than the Biology rate when there are Biology TA positions available, the student's advisor is not required to supplement the student's pay.

Benefits: Health insurance for the student is paid for by the University/grant when they are in an RA

Union Regulations on Workload: Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant positions are all full time (50%).  Students with these appointments will not be required to work more than 220 hours per quarter.  They can only work an average of 20 hours per week not to exceed 30 hours in a given week except by the student’s consent.   

Rates, Paydays and Paychecks

Paydays are on the 10th and 25th of the month. There are two pay periods per month, ending on the 15th and the last day of the month. If the 10th or the 25th falls on a Saturday, payday is the preceding Friday; if the 10th or 25th falls on a Sunday, payday is the following Monday. Pay periods for the academic year:

  • Autumn Quarter: 9/16/ - 12/15. First paycheck will be 10/10, last check for the quarter will be 12/25 (following the payday rule above)
  • Winter Quarter: 12/16 - 3/15. First paycheck is 1/10, last check for the quarter will be 3/25
  • Spring Quarter: 3/16 - 6/15. First paycheck will be 4/10, last check for the quarter will be 6/25
  • Summer Quarter varies by appointment type and period. Summer teaching appointments may be for one month (A-term or B-term) or for the full-term. A-Term: 6/16 - 7/15. First paycheck on 7/10, the last check is 7/25. B-Term: 7/16 - 8/15. First paycheck is 8/10, the last check is 8/25. Research Assistantships will be appointed for the full three months of Summer, starting 6/16 and ending 9/15.The first paycheck is on 7/10, the last check is 9/25.

Direct Deposit: We urge everyone to sign up for direct deposit (through MyUW) as soon as you have established an account at a local bank.

Where do I find my first paycheck? Direct deposit may take one or two pay periods to go into effect. If your check wasn't directly deposited, you can find your check at the LSB 108 front desk on payday after 10:00am.

Student Health Insurance

Graduate Appointee Insurance Plan (GAIP) is available to students and their dependents holding departmental teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and fellowships. This insurance includes medical, dental and vision. For more information, see UW Human Resources  or contact

Washington State residency

You may apply for Washington State residency after having been employed at the UW for one year. This saves administrative time in applying for out-of-state tuition waivers when you are a RA, and could save money in the event that you needed to pay tuition. For more information.

Faculty codes for research credits

These codes are provided as an online source so that students may register for Biology 600, 700, or 800. Always check with the faculty member to determine their willingness to supervise your research for a term and to align expectations regarding research credit.

Alternative sources of funding

For students seeking alternative methods of funding their education, this document provides a list of resources available on campus to assist with your search. If you become aware of an additional resource through your personal research, please let the Graduate Program Manager know so it can be added to the document.

Date last changed Nov 14th, 2022 @ 12:11:26 PST