The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
University of Kent
Scholarship Terms and Conditions for Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs)
Students engaged as Graduate Teaching Assistants hold a unique position in the University; they are both registered students in receipt of a scholarship award and employees of the University. As such they hold two mutually dependent agreements with the University of Kent and are required to abide by the terms and conditions of both agreements, as well as having the opportunity to enjoy the privileges afforded them in each scheme.
1 Higher Degree and General Regulations
1.1 A University Graduate Teaching Assistant will be admitted to a doctoral programme and will be registered at the University of Kent as a postgraduate student for a higher degree by research and thesis under the relevant University degree regulations and the General Regulations of the University.
2.1 All students in receipt of GTAs will be required to sign and return a copy of the Terms and Conditions and the Letter of Appointment for Graduate Teaching Assistantships. Full signed copies of these documents must be returned to the Scholarships Unit at the University of Kent. Students are advised to keep copies for their records.
2.2 The GTA Letter of Offer will specify the start date of the Graduate Teaching Assistantship, the value of the award, and the method and frequency of payment.
3 Length of Assistantship
3.1 A GTA will normally be tenable for one year in the first instance, renewable annually for a maximum of three years (36 months) for full-time students, subject to satisfactory progress and continued registration as a postgraduate student on a doctoral programme at the University of Kent.
3.2 A student who has completed part of the period of registration for a degree will only be offered a GTA for the remaining period required for the completion of their registration.
3.3 A student who secures alternative or additional sources of funding should inform the University (by contacting the Scholarship Unit). Depending on the circumstances, the GTA may be withdrawn or reduced pro-rata.
4 Mode of Study
4.1 The mode of study will be agreed in advance of registration and award of the GTA. This is accepted and agreed with these Terms and Conditions. The transfer of mode of study may affect the student’s funding; a part-time student will not receive full-time funding.
5.1 Intermission from registration will only be granted in cases of grave and exceptional misfortune. During the period of intermission, payments of the GTA scholarship element will be suspended.
5.2 Periods of intermission will not normally be granted for periods longer than 6 months. Applications for intermission should be made in advance and require the support of the Supervisory Chair (or primary supervisor and Supervisory Chair if these are different people) and approval from the School Director of Graduate Studies on behalf of the Head of School.
6 Sickness Absence
6.1 Periods of illness for a continuous period of 2 weeks or more require medical certification and should be reported to the Supervisory Chair, the School Director of Graduate Studies and Head of School. During periods of certified illness, students may be paid at the full rate of their maintenance stipend for the first 8 weeks within any 12 month period. After 8 weeks the scholarship element of the GTA will be suspended until the student resumes study.
6.2 Should a period of illness exceed 4 weeks, students are advised to request a period of intermission.
7 Maternity Leave
7.1 Students who become pregnant during the period of registration will be entitled to three months maternity leave during which the payments of the scholarship element of the GTA will continue. The total period of the scholarship element may thus be extended to a maximum of 39 months
7.2 Students may also apply for a further period of up to nine months of unfunded intermission as a result of the pregnancy, providing a maximum period of twelve months (funded and unfunded) maternity leave.
8.1 Students will be expected to provide teaching in accordance with the Letter of Appointment and the Conditions of Service for the GTA.
9 Annual Leave and Absence from the University
9.1 Absence from the University should be agreed in advance with the Supervisory Chair and, in cases where the student has teaching or demonstrating responsibilities, with the approval of the School Director of Graduate Studies and Head of School.
10.1 Continuation of a GTA is subject to satisfactory progress in research training and in the preparation of the thesis.
10.2 Students and Supervisors are required to complete regular written reports on progress and will undergo formal progress reviews as outlined in Annex K (Progression and Examination) of the Code of Practice for the Quality Assurance for Research Programmes of Study. At the end of each year, the Supervisory Chair must recommend whether or not the student should be permitted to continue on the GTA scheme. This recommendation will be considered by the School’s Director of Graduate Studies and Head of School. Should the progress report be satisfactory then the GTA will be renewed for a further 12 months, or until the end of the period of registration, whichever date is sooner. If the report is unsatisfactory, the Supervisory Chair, in conjunction with the Director of Graduate Studies and the Head of School should recognise either:
10.2.1 that the GTA be renewed for a further limited period (e.g. three months) after which the student’s progress will be reviewed again to determine whether or not the GTA may be renewed for the remainder of the academic year, or
10.2.2 that the student’s GTA be terminated.
10.3 Some students on a doctoral programme may be required to apply to transfer from the MPhil registration to the PhD during the period of their registration. Full time students who are not permitted to transfer from MPhil to PhD, but are allowed to submit a thesis for the award of MPhil, will have their GTA limited to a maximum of 24 months; part time students who are not permitted to transfer but are allowed to submit for the award of MPhil, will have their GTA limited to a maximum of 36 months.
11 Submission of Thesis
11.1 All students are expected to submit their thesis no later than 12 months after the completion of the period of registration. Extensions to this period will only be given in grave and exceptional circumstances and in accordance with Faculty guidelines.
12 Termination of GTA
12.1 The University will terminate a GTA when a student’s academic progress or performance is deemed to be unsatisfactory. Students should therefore inform their Supervisory Chair and the School Director of Graduate Studies and Head of School of any problems or difficulties at the earliest opportunity. Similarly, Supervisory Chairs should assist in identifying problems so that a student’s academic progress is not impeded.
12.1.1 Should the scholarship element of the GTA be terminated for whatever reason, the employment contract will also terminate on the same day.
12.1.2 Should the employment contract with the University be terminated for whatever reason, the scholarship payments will cease on the same date.
12.2 The GTA is contingent upon the recipient remaining as a registered student for a Higher Degree for Research at the University of Kent. If for any reason the student’s registration is terminated, then the GTA will terminate on the same day.
12.3 If a student submits a thesis before the end of the GTA, the GTA will be terminated on the date of submission.
12.4 If a student takes up full-time employment whilst in receipt of a GTA, the GTA will be terminated as of the first day of employment.
12.5 If a GTA is terminated prematurely for any reason, a student must repay to the University any monies including maintenance, travel, subsistence, fees overpaid from the date of the termination of the GTA.