On-Campus Employment Information for Graduate Students

Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs)

Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs)

Some graduate students obtain work as Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) on research projects carried out by the faculty. These research assistantships are usually awarded by the professor to qualified students and are dependent on funding. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering does not have an abundance of RAships but they are an excellent opportunity for those who receive them.

If a student is offered a GRA, the faculty member offering the GRA will need to contact the ECE Graduate Funding Coordinator to start the process. All students who receive a GRA will need to sign a contract along with their academic supervisor(s) and employing faculty member. Students cannot be paid until all parties have signed the contract and it has been returned to the Graduate Funding Coordinator.

The tasks and responsibilities of a RAship are to be agreed upon by the employing faculty member and the student. Depending on the nature of the work and what lab will be used in the RAship, students may be required to take additional safety training before being permitted to begin their duties. The employing faculty member should advise the student what safety training is required for the position. If there is any uncertainty, please contact the Facilities Coordinator.

Full-time students who receive a Graduate Research Assistantship may not hold other positions within or outside the university, such as a Teaching Assistantship, a Sessional appointment, or other employment exceeding a total of 160 hours per term.

GRA salaries are taxed and subject to other deductions. For International Students, research assistantships cannot be taken up nor payment made until the student has obtained a Social Insurance Number.


GRAs and GTAs are paid on the last Friday of each month of the assigned term. All GRAs and GTAs are required to be registered with Human Resources to ensure they are paid properly, with no delays. In order to be registered with payroll, students must complete the following on Workday;

  • Set up Direct Deposit – This ensures that your pay will be deposited directly into your bank account. If you are already receiving payments from the University directly into your bank account (GRS, GRA, GTA, etc.) you do not need to do this. To add banking information or to check that your banking information on file is correct you can login to the Workday website using your Quest credentials and view all your payroll information.
  • Submit your TD1 Tax Credit forms online – These forms need to be filled out by all employees. If you have already submitted your TD1 forms you do not need to again. If you are unsure if you have submitted them or not, you can login to the Workday website using your Quest credentials and check. If you need assistance completing these forms please refer to the Tips for Completing TD1 forms on the Human Resources website.

If, for any reason, you require confirmation of your employment history at the University of Waterloo (GRA or TA), please complete a Request for Employment Letter and submit it to Human Resources in East Campus 1 (EC1). The department cannot issue employment confirmation letters under any circumstances.

Social Insurance Numbers (SIN)

All GRAs and GTAs are required to provide Human Resources with a valid SIN number before their first pay period of each term. If not already on file, a copy of your valid SIN number should be taken to the Human Resources office in East Campus 1 (EC1) so they they can enter it into your record. The department will also need a copy of this information.

If you are an international student and do not have a valid SIN for the term of employment you will need to go to a Service Canada centre to apply for one. You will need to bring your passport and study permit with you to apply. The nearest Service Canada Centre to campus is located at 25 Frederick Street, Suite 200 in Kitchener.

For more information on social insurance numbers and how to apply you can visit the International Student Experience website or the Government of Canada Social Insurance Number website.

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