Teaching and Research Assistantship

Policies & Procedures for Graduate Students

On Responsibilities of Scholarship Students
The major responsibilities of graduate students on full scholarship include research and teaching assistantship training studies. In order to be able to perform these duties the graduate students are not allowed to take additional assignments and work within and outside the university without receiving official permission from the Graduate School.

Teaching and Research Assistantship at GSSE, Sept 15, 2014
General principles

TAs and RAs are integral parts of the teaching and research activities at the university and graduate students’ participation in these activities contributes to their training as teachers and researchers. Thus, TA and RA tasks are not in exchange for the scholarship.

Therefore, all MS (with thesis) and Ph.D. students are required to perform TA-RA tasks, regardless of their funding source (e.g., Tubitak, project grant) or lack of it (i.e. tuition waiver). Only students in the non-thesis MS programs are exempt from TA-RA tasks.

TA’s and RA’s can contribute to teaching and research in a variety of ways depending on the needs of particular courses and research projects. The following are some examples.

TA-RA tasks that go beyond the time and scope of the below are subject to extra payment.

Teaching Assistantship

TA tasks should be arranged in a way that would not exceed average of 10 hours per week (please note that there are actively 16 weeks in Fall and Spring semesters). It should be expected workload in some weeks may be higher than that in other weeks.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of TA tasks. Additional tasks that have the potential to contribute to graduate students’ learning and development can also be expected from them.

Course-related tasks

  • Preparing slides and course packages for courses.
  • Leading DS and PS sessions.
  • Holding office hours to answer students’ questions, if necessary.
  • Keeping course records as required.

Exam-related TA tasks

  • Monitoring or taking photocopies of exams, when necessary.
  • Proctoring exams. TAs are expected to be present for proctoring all exams (including make up and amnesty exams) of the courses they are assigned to. They may also be asked to proctor exams for courses, which they are not assigned to as TAs. These extra proctoring assignments would not exceed 4 per academic year. Proctoring assignment will be done centrally by the graduate office. Proctoring may be necessary on weekends, late evenings, or times outside of regular hours.
  • Grading short essays, multiple choice questions or brief definitions in students’ exams; grading project papers. Grading should be done under close supervision of the faculty member teaching the course.

Research Assistantship (*)

Graduate students are welcome to engage in research projects in their programs or in other programs at KU. The following is a non-exhaustive list of RA tasks designed to support research projects that are not part of the MS or Ph.D. thesis. Other tasks that have the potential to contribute to the university’s research output and to the graduate students’ learning and development can also be expected from them.

  • Data collection.
  • Technical translation.
  • Data entry and data analysis.
  • Field work (e.g., excavation) or lab experiments/studies.
  • Literature review.
  • Editing scientific publications and preparing slides for scientific conferences.

(*) Professors may consider giving RAs co-authorship or course credit, when there is highest level of intellectual involvement and contribution to the research project.

If any concerns are raised by students or faculty regarding the implementation of TA-RA tasks, GSSE office has the right and duty to investigate the situation.

Conflict of Interest Policy on Teaching by Graduate Assistants

Teaching other than that approved by the University can constitute a conflict of commitment. Of particular concern is remunerated teaching. Specifically graduate assistants can not provide private lessons to students for personal gain as this constitutes a conflict of interest.

Vacation Policy for Graduate Students

Except for official holidays when the University is closed graduate students are expected to be on campus fulfilling their degree requirements.

During summer months graduate students who are on scholarships can take paid vacation (max two weeks) upon the recommendation of their advisors and approval of the Director of the Graduate School. Otherwise they all have to be on campus.

On Intellectual Properties

Koc University’s policies on intellectual property rights apply to all graduate students. Students should consult the manual on the web under Research Grant Administration and be aware of these rights and policies.

Medium of Instruction

The medium of instruction at Koç University is English with the exception of certain designated courses and programs. Therefore lectures including those given in the labs and problem sessions and the student participation must be carried out in English. All graduate teaching assistants must adhere to this policy.