Faculty wishing to engage Student Research Partners (SRPs) in their research or creative projects can apply for funding to support students during summer or winter break. In order to receive this funding, faculty members must commit to carefully mentor students during this time, so students develop the capacity for independent research. The collaboration should enable the student to make an original contribution to the faculty member’s research or creative project. Such projects should also involve regular, substantive faculty-student contact.

During the term, Student Research Partners are not paid for their research with faculty. Instead, they can earn academic credit for this academic work by registering for an Independent Research course (numbers 292 or 392).

Faculty may also elect to hire Student Research Assistants (SRAs), depending on the project’s scope (see FAQs below for more information). When it happens during the term, this is considered to be work-study. 

If a student receives financial support from Carleton for a research project that is not supervised by a Carleton faculty member, then they are a Student Research Fellow (SRF).  Some student research fellows are supervised by a faculty member at another institution, while others are working independently.

What are the differences among SRAs, SRPs, and SRFs?

There are three types of undergraduate research positions at Carleton:  Student Research Assistants (SRAs), Student Research Partners (SRPs), and Student Research Fellows (SRFs). Their differences lie in the supervision they receive, the student’s contribution to the research, the duties associated with the research, and their funding.

  • Student Research Partners: SRPs, in close collaboration with Carleton faculty, define and investigate an original research question that is pertinent to a faculty member’s research program. SRPs can often expect to be a co-author on a future publication and/or to present their findings at a conference or other venue suitable to the discipline.
  • Student Research Assistants: SRAs assist Carleton faculty members with individual research tasks, which together do not constitute the investigation of a research question. Examples include glassware washing, caring for animals, proof-reading, locating references or sources, transcribing or coding interviews, and bibliographic editing.
  • Student Research Fellows: SRFs receive financial support from Carleton, for example through a Kolenkow-Reitz Fellowship or another Carleton-funded fellowship, but their project is not supervised by a Carleton faculty member. Some SRFs work independently, while others are supervised by faculty at other institutions.

How do I know if my research is best supported by an SRP or an SRA?

Student Research Partners should make an intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline and they should be mentored to increase their capacity as an independent researcher. Student Research Assistants assist faculty with research tasks, but are not expected to gain an increased capacity to conduct independent research or to make the sort of intellectual or creative contribution to the project that would lead them to be a co-author on a publication or to present their findings at a conference.

How do Faculty apply for a SRP?

Are faculty compensated for supervising an SRA or an SRP?

Faculty can apply for a Faculty Stipend for mentoring SRPs. Faculty are eligible for a stipend if they will spend significant time supervising student research and will not receive a stipend or salary from grants or other sources. Applications are considered on a rolling basis.

Faculty who are supervising only SRAs are not eligible for a faculty stipend.

How are SRPs paid?

During academic breaks, SRPs are classified as Carleton employees. Beginning in the summer of 2024 they are paid at a rate of $13.75 per hour, which is $550 for a 40-hour week.  

Because SRPs are Carleton employees, their pay is subject to Federal and State tax withholding as well as FICA (social security) taxes. In addition, Carleton pays FICA employer taxes on SRP wages, which increases the amount that will be deducted from the budget paying them by 7.65%. SRPs are paid biweekly, and they must fill out electronic timecards, which are approved in Workday by their research supervisor/mentor. SRPs also earn overtime for any hours worked over 40 in a given week (which is from Sunday to Saturday).

How are SRFs paid?

SRFs are paid in the form of fellowship stipends, which are paid in one lump sum before or at the onset of the anticipated work. No taxes are withheld from this stipend and students are responsible for tax reporting on this payment. The only exception is that international students from countries with which the U.S. does not have a tax treaty will have their payment adjusted so that they will receive the full amount of the stipend, after 14% U.S. tax withholding. Shari Mayer is the contact person for determining the gross-up payment amount on a case-by-case basis. 

How will SRPs be set up in Workday?

We will use a two-step process to set up SRPs in Workday.  

Step One:  Complete the form linked below, which asks for the name of the supervisor/mentor, and some information about the students they will be supervising/mentoring.  This form can be completed by the supervisor/mentor, or by someone else on their behalf, as soon as the supervisor/mentor knows which students they will be hiring and how those students will be funded. To ensure there is enough time to complete all of the required steps before the SRP starts work, it is best to complete this form by May 1.

Step Two:  Once the form above is completed, staff in the Student Employment Office will set up a supervisory organization in Workday.  The supervisor/mentor will be notified when this is done, and they can then hire each SRP individually in Workday.  Supervisors/mentors will need to complete this process in Workday themselves, once for each of their SRPs.  Instructions for this process are linked below, in both detailed and summary versions.  In order to leave time for SRPs who have not worked for Carleton before to complete their hiring paperwork before their SRP positions begin, supervisors/mentors should complete this process by the end of the day on May 15.

How will SRF payments be set up?

You can use the link below to set up Student Research Fellowship payments.

How do faculty apply for an SRA?

Faculty wishing to hire a student research assistant to help with a particular project can apply for a Student Research Assistant grant to fund up to 160 student work hours during breaks and up to ten hours a week during the term. This fund is intended primarily to benefit the faculty member and facilitate the progress of their research. Faculty who hire a student as an SRA are not eligible for a summer mentoring stipend.

Faculty who wish to mentor a student to make an original contribution to the faculty member’s research or creative project should apply for Student Research Partner (SRP) funding, described above. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

How are SRAs Paid?

SRAs are classified as Carleton employees and are paid at the prevailing student wage rate. Beginning in the summer of 2023 this rate is $12.75 per hour, which is $510 for a 40-hour week.

Because SRAs are Carleton employees, their pay is subject to Federal and State tax withholding as well as FICA (social security) taxes. In addition, Carleton pays FICA employer taxes on SRP wages, which increases the amount that will be deducted from the budget paying them by 7.65%. SRAs are paid biweekly, and they must fill out electronic timecards, which are signed by their research supervisor. SRAs also earn overtime for any hours worked over 40 in a given week (which is from Sunday to Saturday).