TA & Research Assistant

Application Process

The School sends e-mail to all registered graduate and undergraduate students in Computer Science soliciting applications on a pre-established date determined by the T.A. Union (see "Posting dates" below. Students must consult T.A. postings, available in electronic format on the School's website, and must apply online by the official deadline date indicated on the individual postings.

The School employs Teaching Assistants (T.A.s) who help with undergraduate and occasionally graduate courses in Computer Science and provide programming assistance. The total remuneration is approximately $2000 per unit.

Eligibility Criteria

Teaching Assistants at McGill University are unionized. The Association of Graduate Students Employed at McGill (AGSEM) contract regulations stipulate that graduate students currently registered at McGill may be employed as T.A.s. Although priority must be given to graduate students, these positions have also been assigned to qualified and more senior undergraduate students.

To be eligible, undergraduate students must have a GPA of at least 3.2 and must have successfully completed several high-level computer science courses.

Stipend (Union Dues, etc.)

The stipend for a T.A. in the School, as negotiated by the union will be $28.05/hr as of January 01, 2016, $28.61 as of January 1, 2017, and $29.33 as of January 1, 2018.

As T.A. positions are unionized and are covered by the Association of Graduate Students employed at McGill (AGSEM), the university is required to withhold union dues currently established by the Union at 2.5% of a T.A. stipend. Furthermore, a 4% vacation entitlement is already included in the T.A. stipend.

Qualifications & Duties

A T.A. must possess the following qualifications:

  1. Good language and communication skills
  2. A good command of the course material
  3. Must be able to demonstrate this command to the satisfaction of the course instructor. At the very least, should be capable of doing the homework assigned to the students in the course.
  4. Other qualifications may also be required
  5. All qualifications will be clearly indicated on the T.A. postings.

A T.A. will be required to:

  1. Grade assignments and exams under the supervision of the course instructor
  2. Prepare solution sets for assignments, etc.
  3. Maintain and observe office and/or lab hours
  4. Photocopy course notes, handouts, etc.
  5. Be available throughout the examination period
  6. Other duties may also be required
  7. These will be clearly identified by the course instructor at the beginning of the T.A. assignment and will be captured on the T.A. workload form.

All new applicants must undergo a T.A. interview where language and communication skills will be evaluated. Only successful applicants will be assigned a T.A. position.

Priority will be given to graduate student applicants as per union contract stipulations.

Workload Form

The standard workload of a Teaching Assistant in the School is 90 hours per term or approximately 5 hours per week. Each term is normally four months, i.e. September through December (Fall term) and January through April (Winter term). The School also offers a summer term that runs for a period of two months, usually May through June.

Everyone employed as a T. A. in the School must complete a T.A. Workload Form. This form clearly defines a T.A.'s time committments and must be completed with the course instructor at the very beginning of an assignment. A copy of this form remains part of a T.A.'s employment record. Any changes to this form must be approved by both the instructor and the T.A. and should also be reflected in the T.A.'s employment record. Successful applicants will be given a workload form upon returning their official letter of offer (signed) and union form (signed).

Evaluation Process

The instructor of the course evaluates the performance of the T.A. assigned to the course. These evaluations must be signed by the course instructor and the T.A. and remain on file for future reference.

Funding Forms

If you do not have a Social Insurance Number, you should apply for one by bringing a letter confirming your employment to the Human Resource Centre’s area closest to your postal code. The School prepares the letter.

All forms and documents must be returned to Tricia Bernier. If you have any questions, please send an email to accounting.clerk@cs.mcgill.ca.

Payroll requests will be processed only after all forms have been returned (including the letter of acceptance where applicable) and that there could be a delay of up to 6 weeks before the first pay cheque is issued. Pay cheques are issued bi-weekly except for Course Lecturers, which are semi-monthly.

Personal Data Form

Must be completed, dated and signed. If you should move later in the year, or at any other time, make sure that you make a change of address by revising your Personal Data form (always available in our office). This is important, as the address that will be recorded in your file will be used for mailing the T-4 slips you will need to prepare your income tax returns.

Tax Form

Must also be completed entirely, dated and signed whether you are requesting that deductions be made or not. Please remember that even if you ask to be exempted from paying taxes, deductions such as the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) and the Employment Insurance are mandatory, as well as the Union dues for Graduate Student Teaching Assistants.

In the event that you have asked for an exemption and that your financial situation changes in the course of the year, you may re-submit tax forms if you wish to have deductions made. Again, Tax forms are available in our office.

Direct Deposit Form

Must be completed and attach a blank cheque marked “VOID”. However, the first three cheques may not be deposited directly into your bank account but will be sent to the School. When the direct deposit takes effect, you will still be receiving a confirmation that will be left in your mailbox in the case of graduate students, and at the reception desk for undergraduate students.

Foreign Students

Foreign students must submit a copy of a Student Authorization or Landed Immigrant document when the status changes.

Award Certification Form

Students who will receive a fellowship must complete the same forms indicated above and sign an Award Certification form.

Research Assistant

Research assistantships are usually given by individual professors in the department. We recommend that you talk to your supervisor or future supervisor to explore the possibilities of funding.