Student Funding

eGA Upgrade Planned

eGA, the electronic graduate assistantship system used to hire over 1,800 graduate students as RAs and TAs each semester, is getting an upgrade. The user experience in the new eGA has been greatly improved and will remind users of the eGPS and Academic Petition systems. The target go-live date is Feb. 7.  The current eGA system will be taken out of service Feb. 5 to migrate data to the new and improved eGA system. 

The Graduate School will schedule training sessions as the go-live date draws near.

Q&A sessions covering a wide range of Graduate School funding topics are held regularly on the first and third Monday of the month (excluding holidays).  The sessions provide an opportunity to ask about the changes and see a demonstration of the the new eGA system. The schedule and Zoom links can be found on the GPDNet Calendar

Help Students Get Funding: eGPS Refresher Training

Do you know and/or remember how to use eGPS to nominate students for funding from the Graduate School?  If you hesitated to think “yes!”, you are invited to one of two training/refresher sessions about how to use eGPS.  Please click a link below to attend, and also send this to others who use eGPS on your behalf.

Graduate School Offers Expert Assistance for NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Graduate School Director of Funding and Fellowships Julie Goodliffe is conducting an outreach to potentially eligible candidates to apply for an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Dr. Goodliffe, an experienced NSF reviewer at the national level, offers live information sessions and assistance in completing the Fellowship application.

For more information, contact Julie Goodliffe, jmgoodli@uncc.edu.

HEERF III Grants Go to 2,717 Graduate Students

The Graduate School worked with University officials to identify and provide grants to 2,717 eligible graduate students through The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III), to help defray expenses or losses incurred during the pandemic.

Authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and signed into law on March 11, 2021, HEERF III provides funds to institutions of higher education to serve students and help ensure learning continues during the COVID-10 pandemic. UNC Charlotte’s Office of Student Financial Aid confirmed that international students are eligible to receive HEERF III funding with no negative impact to their immigration or visa status.

Awards were dispersed on July 13 to students’ bank accounts (or by check, if necessary), and the recipients were informed via email; grants ranged from $500 to $1,500. Students who did not receive grants but believe they may be eligible may submit a 2021-2022 Student Higher Education Emergency Fund Relief Application to request consideration for HEERF III funding.

RED Announces Updated GA Compensation Policy

Research and Economic Development (RED) recently announced changes to the policy governing how tuition and other forms of compensation for graduate assistants (GAs) are charged to sponsored awards (Policy 50.5).  Following is the text of that announcement:

To be allowable costs, tuition and other forms of compensation for GAs must meet the following conditions:

  1. The individual is conducting activities necessary to the award
  2. Tuition remission and other support are provided in accordance with the established policy of the department/program and consistently provided in a like manner to students in return for similar activities conducted under sponsored awards as well as other activities
  3. During the academic period, the student is enrolled in an advanced degree program at the university and the activities of the student in relation to the award are related to the degree program
  4. The tuition or other payments are reasonable compensation for the work performed and are conditioned explicitly upon the performance of necessary work
  5. The program/department’s practice is to similarly compensate students under sponsored awards as well as other activities.

A recent review of campus practices indicated that compensation packages provided to graduate assistants, including teaching assistants (TAs) and research assistants (RAs) enrolled in the same graduate program often vary, making it unlikely that conditions #2 and #5 are being met.  Moreover, the current version of Policy 50.5 requires that sponsored awards cover costs such as fees that are not typically provided to similar GAs supported on institutional or State funds.  These forms of compensation are not allowable costs unless they are generally provided to comparable students (e.g., students enrolled in the same graduate program) supported on GAs, regardless of the source of the funds.

The revision of Policy 50.5 aims to establish consistent compensation packages for GAs within individual programs and aligns our university policy with the requirements for Federal awards outlined in the Uniform Guidance.

Although the policy will go into effect on July 15, 2021, we have worked with the college leadership to develop a phased approach (outlined below) that minimizes the impact on existing awards and provides time for programs to establish standard compensation packages for GAs.  The FAQs address some of the most common questions we received over the past 18 months as we worked to update the policy.

Implementation of Revision of Policy 50.5

Phase I: Onboarding of Early Adopters (2021-22 Academic Year)

The Associate Deans in the Colleges have identified 21 doctoral programs and 9 master’s programs that currently provide standard compensation packages to graduate assistants and are therefore already aligned with the updated policy.  During the 2021-22 academic year, PIs wishing to support students enrolled in these graduate programs may charge up to 100% of the compensation package to an award.  PIs wishing to support a student in a program that is not on the “early adopter list” may charge stipend or wages to the award during the 2021-22 academic year, but will not be permitted to charge other forms of compensation, such as tuition, fees, or health insurance.  During this period, stipend levels can still be set by the program and may vary by funding source.

Additional details include:

  • The compensation charged to the award cannot exceed what is described in the standard package.  Compensation less than the standard amount should be accompanied by a comparable decrease in effort.
  • Details of the compensation packages and the associated policies governing student eligibility should be communicated to Grants and Contracts Administration (GCA) prior to the submission of a Student Educational Award Form. Any changes to standard compensation packages must be reviewed and approved by Academic Affairs and reported to GCA for publication on the RED website.
  • When preparing proposals with start dates after July 15, 2021, PIs wishing to support students enrolled in programs with standard compensation packages must include all components of the package that are permitted by the sponsor, including stipend, tuition, and health insurance.
  • PIs with existing awards that include GA support should work with their grants administrators to re-budget costs that are no longer included in the standard compensation package or are no longer allowable.

Phase II: Full Implementation of Policy 50.5 (2022-2023 Academic Year)

Policy 50.5 will be fully implemented at the start of the 2022-2023 academic year. Only students enrolled in programs with approved standard compensation packages will be eligible to be supported on GAs from sponsored awards.  PIs may charge up to 100 percent of the standard compensation package to an award and all components of the package that are permitted by the sponsor must be included in any request.  Programs without standard compensation packages will no longer be allowed to charge any costs associated with GAs to an award.

Additional details include:

  • As outlined above, funds allocated for items, such as fees, that are not included in a standard compensation package may be re-budgeted to cover other allowable costs (with sponsor approval, if required).
  • Budgets for new projects with start dates after July 15, 2022 that include GA support should include costs associated with the current or anticipated standard compensation package.

For more information, please contact Rick Tankersley, rtankers@uncc.edu.

Webinar Planned for Funding/Assistantship Questions

The Graduate School Funding and Assistantships team will host a webinar July 19 to provide information and answer questions from faculty and staff.

Topic: Meeting with Funding/Assistantships Team
Time: July 19, 2021, 03:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Meeting ID: 971 4543 6961
Passcode: 477656

Zoom Link

Master’s Students Seeking Part-Time Positions

Many admitted students in the M.Ed. Educational Leadership program plan to work part-time on campus in roles that will give them hands-on experience in higher education administration and student success, advising and support work.

These positions, formerly classified as graduate assistantships are now classified as student temporary employees.

Multiple M.Ed. students are still searching for part-time employment opportunities on campus for the 2021-22 academic year. If your office is searching/hiring for such positions to start in Fall 2021, in addition to posting on Hire-a-Niner, send your position announcement to program director, Dr. Ryan Miller.

Graduate School Awards Fellowships

The Graduate School recently awarded donor-supported graduate fellowships to 17 UNC Charlotte students, representing a broad cross section of academic programs.

Established to support exceptionally talented and committed graduate students, the Graduate School offers a variety of fellowships for program specific research or scholarship. The fellowships are presented annually in the spring with award payments beginning in the upcoming academic year.

Read more at the Graduate School.

Webinar Planned for Funding/Assistantship Questions

The Graduate School Funding and Assistantships team will host a webinar Apr. 19 to provide information and answer questions from faculty and staff.

Topic: Meeting with Funding/Assistantships Team
Time: Apr. 19, 2021, 03:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Meeting ID: 971 4543 6961
Passcode: 477656

Zoom Link

Support #NinerNationGives April 7-9

Outstanding graduate students are the key to the success of any research university. In the words of Graduate School Dean Tom Reynolds, “They are necessary to attract top faculty which in turn drives our research and scholarship forward to the next level.”

The driving force behind graduate education is the desire to address business and community needs. Our Center for Graduate Life delivers professional development, career preparation and a sense of community that equips well-educated students with leadership, cultural and communication skills they need to succeed.  Our Graduate Fellowships help provide the resources students need to maintain focus on their studies and progress toward their degree.

Please consider how you can assist UNC Charlotte’s Graduate School in educating and training graduate students whose work in laboratories, private industry and national universities contributes to America’s global leadership. Today’s graduate student becomes tomorrow’s highly trained, skilled leader or employee.

Show your support by visiting #NinerNationGives.