Work-Study Research Assistant Program – For Faculty

Ireti Adegbesan '19 (CLAS) and Corona Zhang '20 (CLAS), participants in the Work-Study Research Assistant Program under the direction of Dr. Sandy Chafouleas (EPSY), present at Frontiers.

The Office of Undergraduate Research piloted the Work-Study Research Assistant Program in 2015-16 with 14 student and 8 faculty participants. Eight years later, our numbers have grown to close to 95 students and 60 faculty participants. We hope to continue the expansion of this program in an effort to connect more students with undergraduate research opportunities supervised by faculty from all of UConn's schools and colleges. Through participation in this program, you could hire one or more undergraduate research assistants for the year at no cost to you or your department. Review the Program Overview for additional information.


Please contact the Office of Undergraduate Research at or 486-7939 with any questions about this program.

For Prospective Faculty Participants

Key Program Details

  1. The goal of this program is to help students develop research skills and interests. Research experiences develop transferable skills and can change the course of a student’s academic and/or professional career. Our expectation is that the research assistant will be substantively engaged in your research - these are not to be exclusively clerical or lab upkeep positions.
  2. The typical work-study research assistant would work approximately 90-100 hours (an average of 6-7 hours per week) in both the fall semester AND the spring semester. These numbers are based on the typical work-study award amount and the pay rate for the research positions we envision. We can provide exact numbers once you have selected a student to hire.
  3. The distribution of the hours of work is flexible within each semester, with the ability to roll hours forward from fall to spring, but not beyond the final day for 2023-24 work-study (early May 2024, date TBD). However, it is expected that the workload will take the student’s academic schedule into consideration and be predictable from week to week. An even distribution of hours would be approximately 6 hours per week during regular classes. If you are interested in participating in the program, it is important to ensure that you will have 6 hours/week of appropriate tasks for your research assistant.
  4. Work-study and the university will pay 100% of the student’s wages up to the dollar limit of their awards (e.g., $3,000 for the academic year). If you wish to continue to pay the student for additional work (and their schedule permits), you would be responsible for 100% of the wages, and would need to make the relevant payroll arrangements with your department, in consultation with us.
  5. You have control over the hiring process. You edit the job advertisement, you review the candidates, you interview the candidates, and you choose to hire the research assistant. The only constraint is that the student must have a 2023-24 work-study award. Once you submit a detailed advertisement for your job via the online form, OUR will post the job, collect the applications, and forward all of the eligible applicants to you for review.

Next Steps

  1. Review the Guidelines for Faculty Posting a Research Assistant Position.
  2. Review the job descriptions below to determine the one most appropriate to your field -
  3. Complete the online submission form to include the specific duties you expect the assistant to execute, the qualifications s/he must have, and the application materials you wish to receive. Note that students awarded Federal Work-Study are actively seeking jobs over the summer and we prefer to post the positions as early as possible. Jodi Eskin will submit your job description to Student Employment for approval and be in touch once the position is open on the JobX employment site. No opportunities will be accepted for posting after August 7, 2023.
  4. Review the applications sent to you by OUR, conduct interviews of finalists (phone or virtual platforms are fine), and inform OUR of your choice of research assistant.
  5. Complete the EHS/OUR Safety Confirmation form for each student you hire. If appropriate, add your research assistant to your group in the new HuskySMS training platform and note the required job activities in order to generate the student's list of required safety training courses. Follow up, as needed, to confirm that the student has completed any required COVID/safety training courses.
  6. Discuss your expectations with the research assistant and supervise his/her work.
  7. Provide feedback to your student on an ongoing basis. Take time to conduct a formal evaluation of the student's work as evaluations play a critical role in a student's learning.
  8. Regularly review a time-tracking spreadsheet to ensure your assistant's work hours are reported accurately. Note that all payroll and timekeeping processes will be managed by OUR staff - these will not be the responsibility of your departmental staff.
  9. Submit a brief report on your assistant’s work by December 20, 2023 and May 15, 2024. Feedback from faculty on how the program is working is essential to the development and modification of this program for future years.