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What is a Research Assistant (RA)?

A research assistant is a student who is actively engaged in an inquiry or investigation and who, through effective collaboration with a faculty mentor, has the potential to make an original, intellectual, or creative contribution to their discipline.  The desired outcome for the student should include transformative learning and dissemination (e.g., presentations, publications, exhibitions, performances, etc.) of their findings.

For both the RCSA and URA grants, students may also apply for a research assistantship. This stipend will pay for research related to the approved project for five hrs/wk at $9.75/hr (undergraduate) and $11.375/hr (graduate) for 16 weeks for one (fall) or both (fall and spring) semesters. Pending availability of funds, a tuition waiver might also be awarded each semester, amount to be determined at a later date. Assistants are only allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours per week in assistantship positions (RA or TA).

Awards may be granted for the full amount requested or for a lesser amount, depending upon availability of funds and the appropriateness of the amount requested. Awards may be used to support travel to a library, museum, or field site to collect data, to purchase laboratory or project expendables, equipment, or support travel to a local, regional, or national professional conference to present the findings of the funded project. Students must maintain good academic standing with UCO throughout the duration of the RA award.

Students are eligible to receive funding under the following conditions:

  • Have sophomore, junior, senior or graduate standing in any field and be enrolled (six credit hours, undergraduate; five credit hours, graduate) at UCO for the duration of the award, with the exception of those graduate students who are enrolled in their final semester before graduation (they must enroll in at least three credit hours);
  • Have a minimum of 2.5 GPA for undergraduate students and 3.0 GPA for graduate students;
  • If two students wish to collaborate on the same project, they would be required to split the award (payable at a maximum of $250/student);
  • Each student must have a faculty mentor who is a full-time, tenure-track, or tenured faculty member at UCO; and,
  • Each student is eligible for only a single award during a given academic year but is eligible to reapply for an award each academic year as long as they meet all other conditions.