Student Employment


The Department of Biostatistics and the University of Washington employs graduate students in a range of positions based on the student’s degree program, skills, experiences, and areas of interest. The most common forms of employment are Research Assistant (RA), Teaching Assistant (TA), Training Grant appointee, hourly grader, and tutor.

  • UW Biostatistics Graduate Program works with faculty RA supervisors, training grant directors, and TA instructors to make decisions on the appointments for current and incoming new students. 
  • Appointment decisions are based on a combination of factors: prior experience, computing knowledge, grades, GRE scores, English ability, hiring faculty preferences, and letters of recommendation.
  • It is UW policy that an individual faculty member may not directly offer a position to a student. All employment offers and decisions must go through the Biostatistics Graduate Program office.
  • Any faculty who has a RA or training grant position available, contacts the graduate program with a description of the open position and eligibility requirements.

General Information

  • Length of Appointments - Appointments are assigned for a designated period with a specific %FTE (full-time equivalent). The Department seeks to place support-eligible students on year-long RAs but, for various reasons, this may not be possible. In that case, the student receives a mix of support (e.g., more than one RA, a RA and a TA, etc.) totaling the %FTE needed.
  • Hours/week - RA and TA appointments are for 25% FTE (~10  hours/week) or 50% FTE (~20  hours/week).
  • Union - Students with a RA, TA and/or TG appointments are classified as Academic Student Employees (ASEs) and governed by a bargaining agreement between the UW and UAW Local 4121. See ASE rights and responsibilities.
  • Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action - The UW is proud to be an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Disability accommodation: Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450, 206-543-6452 (TTY) or

Rights & Responsibilities

  • Students are expected to maintain good work ethics and satisfactory job performance as in any other type of employment. It is important to have a professional attitude towards your work no matter what area or type of appointment. There is large variation among positions so each appointment should start with a discussion with about expectations of the student employee. Please refer to your "Job Duties" form for the exact expectations of your position and the criteria that will be used to evaluate your performance.
  • Hours - Students are expected to work the number of hours for which they are remunerated. A student supported on an RA or TA is obligated to provide 220 hours of service per quarter for a 50% FTE appointment (about 20 hours per week) or 110 hours per quarter for a 25% FTE appointment (about 10 hours per week), perform the job in a satisfactory manner and maintain good academic standing in the program.
  • Required registration - Students with 50% FTE positions must register for full-time study throughout their appointments. Full-time graduate study is ten credits for Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters, and two credits for Summer.
  • Vacation & Leave - ASEs are entitled to five days of vacation per quarter worked, normally to be taken during quarter breaks. An additional seven days of leave per year is available for sickness, disability, or family-related leave (birth, adoption, bereavement, or care of family member). See more information.

Pay Rates

  • Salary rates for RA and TAs positions are determined by negotiations between the UW and the UAW (represents graduate student employees).
  • Please refer to the payrate sheet that accompanies your appointment letter for your pay rate.
  • The amounts in Appointment Letters are gross (before taxes). It is the responsibility of students to know what they owe in taxes. For tax information please consult the IRS.

Additional/Summer Employment ay Rates

  • UW employment
    • Students may not accept any additional UW appointments or employment without receiving prior approval from the GPD.
  • Non-UW employment
    • It is not uncommon for Biostatistics students to take on a small amount of private consulting or tutoring work for a few hours a week. However, students need to be aware of how many hours they are allowed to work (varies by citizenship status, fellowship/scholarship requirements, etc.). The student is responsible for determining his/her eligibility (according to visa status, etc.) as well as ability to handle the extra workload. The Department cautions against taking on a workload that is detrimental to academic progress.
  • Internships
    • Internships can provide wonderful professional learning experiences and we can often accommodate them. Each case is individual and must be discussed with the Graduate Program Director, academic advisor and RA supervisor (if applicable).
    • International Students interested in internships, must discuss this in advance first with International Student Serivces and then with his/her Academic Advisor and the Graduate Program Director.
  • Summer Employment
    • For summer quarter only, students may hold up to 100% (40-hour/week) appointments, provided the funds are available.
    • A student interested in extra work during the summer must discuss this in advance with his/her Academic Advisor and the Graduate Program Director. Students on Training Grants must also discuss this with their Training Grant Director.
    • International Students interested in extra work during the summer must discuss this in advance first with International Student Serivces and then with his/her Academic Advisor and the Graduate Program Director.

Issues with the appointment:

  • Students are expected to serve for the entire term of their appointment. Only in exceptional cases will a student be released from an appointment prior to the end date specified in the letter of appointment.
  • However, we understand that sometimes things don't work out. If possible, always try to discuss the situation first with your RA supervisor/TA instructor/TG Director. You may contact the GPA and/or GPD for a confidential conversation to seek ways to resolve the situation. Students who wish to change their appointment must discuss on a case-by-case basis with, at minimum, the GPD who is the one to make the approaval decision. Normally the RA supervisor/TA instructor/TG Director and/or GPA is also included inthe discussion.