Graduate Student Employment – Guidelines to Mitigate COVID-19 Risk

Delivery of Virginia Tech’s instructional mission depends on the active participation of graduate assistants, as does the achievement of its research and outreach missions.  Considering these important roles performed by graduate students and their potential vulnerability to financial hardship caused by COVID-19, departments and colleges must make every effort to continue stipend support for graduate assistants at current levels of compensation, at least until the end of the academic year.  The following guidelines are designed to achieve this goal

1.     Employment of graduate assistants (GA, GTA, GRA) will continue to be subject to policies stipulated in Virginia Tech’s Faculty Handbook.

2.     Graduate assistants are expected to continue carrying out the teaching, research and other duties assigned by their advisors, departments, programs or administrative units.  In keeping with the need to reduce health risks to themselves and their coworkers, graduate assistants should discuss with their assistantship supervisors how to work remotely or use other strategies to reduce the need to be on site.

3.     For graduate assistants with stipend support from extramural grants and sponsors, departments will work with the sponsoring agencies to confirm their ongoing support.  In those instances where such support is not possible, the feasibility of bridge support using other departmental or college funding should be explored.  In the unlikely event that such bridge support is not possible, the Dean of the Graduate School will be notified.  The Dean will then work with the Vice Provost for Academic Resource Management to explore funding solutions.

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