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?
- For projects in the Humanities, apply for Student Research Partnerships supported by the Humanities Center.
- For projects in STEM, apply for Faculty/Student Research Awards in Math and Science supported by the Towsley Endowment.
- Student Research Partners supported by the Office of the Provost. Projects in Humanities (including Arts and Social Sciences) and projects in STEM should apply to one of the two above funds before applying to the DOC. DOC applications are considered on a rolling basis.
- Laurence and Lucille Wu Family Endowed fund for Faculty/Student Collaborative Study Projects. This fund can support one or two study/research projects of faculty and students. It would be particularly appropriate for projects that involve travel together. Applications are considered on a rolling basis.
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 2022 they are paid at a rate of $12.50 per hour, which is $500 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 signed by their research supervisor. 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 payments be processed for SRPs and SRFs?
SRP and SRF payments are facilitated through a series of OnBase supported workflows, in order to process SRP payments through Student Employment Office and SRF payments through Accounts Payable. Payment requests submitted directly to Accounts Payable and requests to set up SRPs directly through the supervisor portal will not be accepted.
Note: When completing the OnBase form, please keep in mind that the form will timeout if it is idle for too long and you will receive an error when you go to submit. If that happens, please start over.
If you have any additional information about the payment, please enter that information in the Comments section on the form.
The workflow includes the following steps:
- Department/Office/Faculty Member Submission
The process is initiated by the department, office, or faculty member awarding the funds (for an SRF) or supporting the position (for an SRP). The form initiator will enter pertinent information about the award to support the next steps of the workflow. One form will need to be submitted for each SRP or SRF. For your convenience, many of the fields in the form will auto-populate from Colleague.
- Student Submission
The student will receive a notification to complete the second part of the workflow.
SRFs will need to do the following:
- Confirm resident status for tax purposes.
- Record international travel plans, if applicable.
- Acknowledge consent to Assumption of Risk, Insurance Coverage, Waiver of Liability, and understanding of Tax Treatment of Payment.
- Confirm that direct deposit information is on file with the Business Office. Students who have not already provided their bank information will need to complete the Non-Payroll Direct Deposit Bank Account form on the Hub to enable direct deposit into their bank account. Confirm resident status for tax purposes.
SRPs will need to do the following:
- Record international travel plans, if applicable.
- Fill out a W-4 form and an I-9 Employment Eligibility Form at the Office of Human Resources in Strong House, if the student has not been an employee of the College in the previous year.
- Tax Review
If an SRF indicates they are a non-resident for U.S. tax purposes, the form will be sent to Shari Mayer, Payroll and Tax Manager, for review of applicable tax withholding. When tax withholding is required, a gross-up amount will be calculated so that the student will receive the full amount of the award. In most cases, this gross-up amount will be covered by the Office of the Provost. If it isn’t covered by the Provost, the process initiator will be notified.
- International Travel
If an SRP or SRF indicates they will be traveling internationally, a notification will be sent to Randie Johnson, Purchasing and Risk Manager, to coordinate international travel insurance coverage for the dates of travel.
For SRFs (generally submitted by the Office of Student Fellowships), the initiator will be asked whether the student needs to secure IRB approval and/or complete Health and Safety Training. The OnBase workflow does not notify students of these requirements or ask initiators to confirm they have been completed, but instead relies on initiators to work with students on this outside the workflow.
- Payment Request or Position Setup
For SRFs, when the OnBase workflow steps have been completed a Payment Request form will automatically be sent to the Business office for review. The Payment Request auto-populates information that was entered by the initiator of the form (e.g. student name, ID #, award amount, project title, budget number, etc.).
For SRPs, when the OnBase workflow steps have been completed the Office of the Provost will forward the request to Student Employment Office to complete the position setup.
- General Ledger Coding
All SRF research awards will default to expense code 5912, all Experiential SRFs submitted by the Office of Student Fellowships will default to expense code 5914, and all SRPs will default to expense code 5130.
- Uploading Documentation
Upload the award letter or any other documentation you have to support the details of the SRP or SRF.
For SRFs, the form initiator will be notified when the Payment Request form has been submitted to Accounts Payable for processing.
- Budget Approvals
If the form initiator is not an authorized budget manager, notifications will be sent to the assigned budget manager to confirm approval of payment. The budget managers will be able to review the form and will then need to click the Accept or Reject buttons on the bottom left side of the OnBase screen.
If you have any questions about submitting the OnBase form, please contact Danette Demann, Senior Administrative Assistant to the Associate Dean.
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 2022 this rate is $12.00 per hour, which is $480 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).