Below are the Allen School's policies for the funding of Ph.D. students:

Funding Policies and Procedures

Policies and procedures related to graduate funding can be confusing. This document attempts to outline the specifics in detail in order to help students, faculty, and staff understand the implementation of the policies in the Academic Student Employee (ASE) contract as well as our own Allen School-specific norms and procedures. For those with questions about doctoral student funding in the Allen School, this document is a great starting point.

Allen School Ph.D. students are typically funded by a Teaching Assistantship (TA) or a Research Assistantship (RA). Such funding is guaranteed during the first three academic years (excluding summer) subject to satisfactory progress toward the degree and satisfactory performance of TA/RA duties. Students who meet satisfactory progress requirements are typically funded through degree completion. When Research Assistantships are not available, the default school funding is a Teaching Assistantship. 

RAs and TAs are also referred to as Academic Student Employees (ASEs) and their positions are governed under the Academic Student Employee (ASE) contract

Research Assistant Definition

When a student accepts a Research Assistantship (RA) offer, they are committing to performing a set of research duties and fulfilling a set of responsibilities specified by the supervisor. In most cases, RA funding is for work on a specific research project, and the funding typically comes from the supervisor’s grant.

A PhD student’s academic and research activities are distinct from the student’s responsibilities as an RA ; the former are not directly compensated. Ph.D. students are encouraged to discuss with their advisor(s) to what extent it may be possible to align the RA duties with the student’s personal research goals and the completion of academic work necessary to satisfy degree requirements.  It is important to bear in mind that making satisfactory progress towards completing a PhD typically requires effort well beyond the official number of hours that the student is employed as an RA or a TA (usually 20 hours a week / 220 hours per quarter). 

Teaching Assistant Definition

All PhD students must complete two quarters of TA/teaching before graduation.  Refer to the TA home page for detailed information on teaching assistant responsibilities, remuneration levels, and application procedures. Students who wish to TA must fill in the application quarterly. TA positions are not guaranteed to be available in the summer. 

Hours & Compensation Norms

ASEs are compensated with a monthly salary, tuition waiver, and health benefits. During the academic year (Autumn, Winter, Spring) ASEs are typically hired on a .5 (50%) FTE basis to work a total of 220 hours per academic quarter. That effort should be distributed to approximately 20 hours per week and does not include hours spent completing academic student requirements or the bulk of a student’s research efforts. ASEs must be currently enrolled graduate students in order to retain their appointment. 

Allen School Ph.D. Student Funding Policies

See also: Academic Student Employee (ASE) contract. If you have any questions or concerns specific to CSE, please contact one of your UAW 4121 Stewards in CSE. 

Below we outline additional policies and/or funding norms specific to Allen School Ph.D. students.

  1. Funding in the form of a Teaching Assistantship or a Research Assistantship is guaranteed to Allen School Ph.D. students in their first three academic years (excluding summer) subject to satisfactory progress toward the degree and satisfactory performance of TA/RA duties. Students who meet satisfactory progress requirements are typically funded through degree completion. When Research Assistantships are not available, the default school funding is a Teaching Assistantship. 

  2. Funding Levels. Refer to the UW Graduate School’s TA/RA Salary page for current rates.

    1. RA/TA = Master's students

    2. RA1/TA1 = Pre-generals Ph.D. students

    3. RA2/TA2 = Post-generals Ph.D. students

  3. Students holding fellowships will be supplemented to the RA level of their academic status if their fellowship stipend is below that level. The supplement should, when possible, come from the student’s advisor. If this is not possible, the advisor can request that the Allen School fill in the gap by emailing the Director of Graduate Student Services (Elise Dorough). (Schedule 2/3)

  4. Academic Year Funding Options (Autumn, Winter, Spring)

    1. When sufficient funding is available, RA appointments are to be offered for the entire academic year (9-months). When sufficient RA funding isn’t available for 9 months, a CSE student may receive an offer letter to them detailing that they will receive 9 months of support through a combination of RA and TA appointments. Details of each quarter’s position will be communicated to students at least 30 days in advance of the start of the work assignment.  

    2. RA and TA combinations. Occasionally it is possible for a student to hold a RA and a TA position in the same quarter as follows:

      1. RA/TA Split. Students work 10 hrs. per week as RA, 10 hrs. per week as TA. (Schedule 1) 

      2. RA/TA Option. Students work 15 hrs. per week as RA, 10 hrs. per week as TA. (Schedule 1) The student is paid 25% of the TA rate for 10 hrs. per week and 37.5% of the RA rate for 15 hrs. per week, for a total of 25 hrs. per week. 

      3. CSE does not allow RA and/or TA positions to total above 62.5% FTE (25 hrs. per week) during the academic year. 

  5. Fellowships and Concurrent TA or RA Appointments

    1. Students holding a fellowship may also have a TA appointment concurrently to fulfill their graduation requirement. These appointments will be occasional, so annual/all-year TA appointments concurrent with a fellowship will not be allowed. The TA salary will be paid on Sch. 2, since tuition and health insurance is usually covered by the fellowship.

    2. Students holding a fellowship may also have a 50% RA appointment during the summer quarter. The RA salary will be paid on Sch. 2, since tuition and health insurance is usually covered by the fellowship.

  6. Summer Funding (Not Guaranteed)

    1. Teaching Assistantship positions are 50% (20 hrs. per week) for two months (four pay periods, from June 16 to August 15), as budgeted by Summer Quarter. Summer TA positions also include a 20% supplemental salary, per union contract.

    2. Research Assistantship positions during the summer quarter are between 50% - 100% (20-40 hrs. per week) for 2.5 months (June 16-August 31).  Three months (June 16-September 15) may be possible, depending on funding availability, vacation time, and other constraints particular to the faculty member, funding source(s), and students. (Sch. 1). 

    3. Grad Hourly is also available as an option to pay students who do not need to enroll in tuition-based credits during summer quarter, though traditionally this has not been used. Utilizing grad hourly may save faculty money yet still provide students with a good income, because it avoids the payment of tuition. PIs should always check with their grants manager to get an accurate estimate of the cost difference from using RA positions to fund students. Note that grad hourly positions do not include health benefits (GAIP), IMA access, or summer UPASS. Though, students who were enrolled and on GAIP through the academic year will automatically have summer health insurance regardless of summer enrollment.

    4. Summer Pay Gap: Note that autumn quarter funding begins on September 16, so a pay gap between summer and autumn exists for all TA appointments and for some RA appointments. Students typically choose to take vacation time during this pay gap.

  7. Vacation & Sick Time. See Articles 17 and 32 of the ASE contract for more details.  UW HR’s Time Off Policies for ASEs page also provides helpful information and instructions.

    1. A salaried ASE whose appointment is 50% FTE for the academic year or longer is entitled to one (1) week of paid vacation time per quarter. That time is generally expected to be used during the academic breaks. However this time can be used at other times in the quarter with the written permission of the supervisor. 

    2. A salaried ASE whose appointment is 50% FTE for the academic year or longer will receive twenty-eight (28) hours of paid sick time off per year awarded annually at the start of each annual appointment period.

    3. For ASEs who do not have 50% FTE academic year appointments, sick and vacation time are pro-rated. See ASE contract for details.

    4. Beginning September 2022, ASEs must enter university holidays, personal holiday, and sick time in Workday. Supervisors must then approve time off requests in Workday. For more information on how to record and track time off use in Workday, refer to the Enter Absence (Time Off) webpage as well as the ASE Time Off Tracking Guide (PDF) and Salaried ASE time off FAQs webpage. At this time vacation requests are not entered into Workday. ASEs should communicate with their supervisor around vacation time off requests.

  8. Health Insurance & Leaves.

    1. ASEs who go on academic leave may elect to utilize the GAIP self-pay option to maintain GAIP coverage while not employed. 

    2. ASEs on a leave of absence for some family or health-based reasons are entitled to continued UW-paid GAIP (health insurance) coverage under Article 17 of the union contract. There are two ways to obtain UW-paid health care coverage during leave:

      1. If taking both an academic leave as well as a leave from employment for the entire quarter:

        1. Request leave from the UW Graduate School using the MyGrad Program.

        2. Pay the leave fee and submit a copy of the Graduate Leave Approval Confirmation to the UW benefits office (

        3. Review the "After Request is Approved" section of the GAIP: Leave of Absence page for further information.

      2. If not taking an academic leave and do not plan to take an entire quarter away from employment:

        1. Send grad-advising@cs the following information:

        2. Employee ID number (EID) from Workday

        3. The intended leave dates.

        4. Employment status (RA, TA, fellowship) for the leave period.

        5. The Graduate Advising team will send an email to the benefits office approving the leave of absence from employment outside of the quarterly schedule.

        6. Review the "After Request is Approved" section of the GAIP: Leave of Absence page for further information.

    3. Paid Medical Family Leave (PFML): ASEs may qualify for Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) through the state of Washington. Apply for this separately after utilizing one of the leave options above.

Out-of-State Work Requests

UW HR policies on out-of-state work apply to graduate student employees. To request approval for out-of-state work, students must do the following: 

  1. Consult with faculty advisor and if approved by them, complete two forms:

    1. Temporary request for out-of-state work OR permanent request for out-of-state work

    2. Telework agreement (working at any non-UW worksite is considered telework)

  2. Send the completed forms to the Director of Graduate Student Services, Elise Dorough (

Once approved, CSE HR will forward approval to the student, cc'ing Elise, the faculty advisor, and CSE payroll (

Outside Activity Approval Procedure

Academic Student Employees (ASEs) who wish to engage in "professional work" outside of their ASE appointment may need to complete a 'Form 1555' in order to document school approval of such work. The UW Office of Research has more information available on their Outside Activity Guidance resource page, including a definition of "professional work" and decision tree for evaluating student activities. Allen School students who determine that a 'Form 1555' may be necessary should take the following steps: 

  1. Review the flow chart at the bottom of the Outside Activity Guidance resource page with your faculty advisor. If your advisor approves of the activity, Complete 'Form 1555' (if needed) in consultation with the faculty advisor. If based on the flow chart you don’t need to complete 'Form 1555’ it is still best practice to document via email that your advisor approves your outside work. Questions or concerns about how to fill in any aspect of the form at this stage can be directed to Shwetak Patel (
  2. Send the form with Sections I & II completed and signed to Shwetak Patel ( for final review.
  3. If approved, Shwetak Patel will send the form to CSE HR (Megan Russell, to collect signatures in Sections III & IV. CSE HR will send a final copy of the completed form to all relevant parties.