Operational Guidelines for Assistantships

  • Student Financial Support

Please see MSMSE Student Financial Support for information on sources of financial support for students of the Manufacturing Systems Engineering Program.

  • Period of Appointment

The appointment period for Research Assistants is determined by the principal investigator or by the Director of the center as the case may be. With the exception of official University holidays, all graduate assistants are expected to provide service throughout the periods of their appointments. Absences during these periods require notification of and prior approval by the faculty advisor. During periods when classes do not meet and during the summer (May 16-August 15), all assistants are expected to devote full-time to research.

  • Service Load
  1. During the 9-month academic year, appointments are typically for one-half time service (twenty hours per week).
  2. Full-time appointments (forty hours per week) are typically made during the three summer months.
  3. During the 9-month academic year, Assistants must be registered as full-time students. However, if the Assistant has completed all the course requirements for the degree, enrollment as a part-time student may be permitted with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.
  • Renewal and Termination of Appointments


  1. All assistants shall maintain satisfactory academic records and progress toward degrees; their assistantships will not be renewed if their academic progress is unsatisfactory.
  2. Appointments are not renewed beyond the end of the academic term during which all degree requirements have been satisfied.
  3. Appointments are not renewed if the university requirements are not satisfied.
  4. Appointments are not renewed if funding is unavailable.
  • Tuition Scholarships

Nonresident graduate students holding research assistantships or fellowships may be eligible to receive tuition scholarships administered by the Graduate School and awarded each semester to cover the out-of-state portion of the tuition. The Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) is responsible for certifying to the Graduate School those eligible to receive tuition scholarships. Graduate students on traineeships or other externally funded programs where funds are available to pay tuition are not eligible for tuition scholarships.

Nonresident graduate students, not holding assistantships are also eligible for scholarships covering the out-of-state portion of the tuition. These “Kentucky Graduate Scholarships” are based on prior academic performance.

For more information, see The Graduate School homepage.

  • Health Care

Graduate students with full assistantships or fellowships receive the student health insurance plan offered by the University of Kentucky. Other students are eligible to purchase this insurance.

For more information, see The Graduate School homepage.

  • Income Tax Exemptions

Assistantship stipends are subject to federal and state income taxes (note: unless covered by tax treaty) but exempt from Fayette County tax.

  • Parking Privileges

Graduate students are automatically eligible for ‘C’ parking permits. Application for ‘E’ permits by Teaching Assistants and Research Assistants shall be accepted only upon additional clarification of the DGS that the individual is employed in a service capacity and is required to meet a firm teaching or research schedule during normal class hours.

  • Social Security Taxes

Graduate and Research Assistants holding either F-l or J-l visas are exempt from the payment of social security taxes. Others are similarly exempted only during those academic terms in which they are enrolled as full-time students.

  • Holidays, Vacations and Sick Leave

Graduate and research assistants are not required to work during official University holidays. However, since they are classified as temporary employees of the University, they are not eligible to receive vacations and sick leave with pay. During the period between semesters students are expected to devote full time to their research projects.