Research Assistants (RA) & Pre-Professional Graduate Assistants (PGA)
Definition of Research Assistants (RA)
The duties of a Graduate Research Assistant primarily involve applying and mastering research concepts, practices, or methods of scholarship. Examples of typical responsibilities include conducting experiments, organizing or analyzing data, presenting findings in a publication or dissertation, collaborating with faculty in preparing publications, overseeing work of other RAs, other research activities.
Definition of Pre-Professional Graduate Assistants (PGA)
Pre-Professional Graduate Assistants are appointed to non-TA/non-RA assistantship positions, in which they primarily gain experience, practice, or guidance that is significantly connected to their fields of study and career preparation.
Additional information related to definitions can be found at the Guide to Employee Groups.
Specific labor and employee relations questions associated with Research Assistants and Pre-Professional Graduate Assistants should be directed to:
|Angela Reggans||Assistant Directorfirstname.lastname@example.org||(217) 333-3105|
Supervisors should contact Illinois Human Resources with questions related to performance management. IHR can provide template communications that help supervisors relay workplace expectations on subjects related to:
- Rewards and Recognition
- Attendance Management
- Productivity Management
- University Code of Conduct
- Special Situations and Workplace Violence
- Discrimination and Harassment
The minimum wages that Research Assistants and Pre-Professional Graduate Assistants must be paid can be found at:
Pre-Professional Graduate Assistant Request Form
Pre-Professional Graduate Assistants (PGAs) are appointed to positions in which they primarily gain experience, practice, or guidance that is significantly connected to their fields of study and career preparation. In general, in order to be appointed as a PGA, the student's enrolling unit and employing unit combination must be reflected on the Pre-Professional Graduate Assistants table posted at Assistantship Definitions.
When these combinations are present, employing units may process the appointment without further approval.
PGA appointments in which the enrolling unit and employing unit combination does not exist on the PGA grid must be requested via the form found at:
A template offer letter can be found at:
- Recommended Template for RA Offer Letters
- Recommended Template for PGA Offer Letters
- Recommended Template for TAR Offer Letters
New Employee Orientation
Illinois Human Resources provides orientations for new assistants every fall. A copy of the most recent orientations presentation can be found at:
A summary of benefits available to employees can be found at:
Paying Student Awards
Student awards are not handled through IHR, HR Front End, or NBAJOBS. Instructions for paying student awards can be found at: