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 that 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 Study.
Faculty may also elect to hire Student Research Assistants (SRAs), depending on the project’s scope (see FAQs below for more information). This is considered to be work-study.
What is the difference between SRPs and SRAs?
There are two types of undergraduate research positions: Student Research Partners (SRPs) and Student Research Assistants (SRAs). Their differences lie in the student’s contribution to the research, the duties associated with the research, as well as their funding.
- Student Research Partners: SRPs, in close collaboration with faculty, define and investigate an original research question that is pertinent to a faculty member’s research program. Students can often expect to be a co-author on a future publication or to present their findings at a conference or other venue suitable to the discipline.
- Student Research Assistants: SRAs assist faculty members with individual research tasks, which together do not constitute the investigation of a research question. Some examples include glassware washing, caring for animals, proof-reading, locating references or sources, transcribing or coding interviews, and bibliographic editing.
How do I know if my research is best supported by a SRP or a 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.
Research with SRPs requires that the answers to all of the following questions be “yes”:
- Is the activity part of the student’s overall educational program?
- Is the activity conducted primarily for the benefit of the student as part of educational opportunities provided to students?
- Are the responsibilities not considered service for the benefit of the college?
- Are the activities such that the college would not hire an employee to perform those activities?
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 Dean of the College Office. 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.
- Apply for a Faculty Stipend for mentoring summer undergraduate research. 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.
How are SRPs paid?
During academic breaks, SRPs may receive financial support via a Research Fellowship. The purpose of offering financial support during breaks is so that students can afford to further their education by pursuing more in-depth research experiences.
Payments will be in the form of fellowship stipends, payable in one lump sum before or at the onset of the anticipated work. No taxes will be 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. SRPs are paid through Accounts Payable and can work outside of the U.S.
Beginning in Summer 2020, the student research stipend at Carleton supports students working full time (approx. 40 hours) at a rate of $480 per week, up to ten weeks in summer or three weeks during winter break. For students doing research on a part-time basis, the level of support should be adjusted proportionally (i.e. three quarter-time = $360 per week, half-time = $240 per week, one third-time = $160 per week, etc.).
How will payments be processed for SRPs?
Starting Spring 2021, Student Research Partners (SRPs) and Fellowships for Research or Experiential Learning payments will be facilitated through a series of OnBase supported workflows, in order to process the payments through Accounts Payable.
All Student Research Assistantships (SRAs) are considered employment assignments and must be paid through the Student Employment Office. For more information about paying SRAs, please refer to the “How are SRAs paid?” section on this page.
Payment Requests submitted directly to Accounts Payable will no longer be accepted. Please use the link below to initiate the OnBase process for submitting SRP and Experiential Fellowship payments through Accounts Payable.
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:
1. Department/Office/Faculty Member Submission
The process is initiated by the department, office, or faculty member awarding the funds. 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 student being paid. For your convenience, many of the fields on the form will auto populate from Colleague.
2. Student Submission
The student will receive a notification to complete the second part of the workflow and submit the following:
- Confirm resident status for tax purposes.
- Record international travel plans, if applicable.
- Acknowledge consent of 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.
If the student does not complete the OnBase form within 48 hours they will receive automatic email notification to complete the workflow. Once submitted the student and the initiator will be emailed a copy of the submission form for their records.
3. Tax Review
If a student indicates that 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 Dean of the College Office. If it isn’t covered by the DOC, the process initiator will be notified.
4. International Travel
If a student indicates that they will be traveling internationally, notification will be sent to Randie Johnson, Purchasing and Risk Manager, to coordinate international travel insurance coverage for the dates of travel.
For fellowship payments (generally submitted by the Office of Student Fellowships), the initiator will be prompted to confirm that the necessary IRB approval and/or Health and Safety Training have been completed.
6. Accounts Payable Payment Request
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.).
7. General Ledger Coding
All Student Research Partner payments will default to expense code 5912 and all Experiential awards submitted by the Office of Student Fellowships will default to expense code 5914. The numbers in this field will not be able to be changed.
8. Uploading Documentation
Upload the award letter or any other documentation that you have to support the award amount.
The form initiator will be notified when the Payment Request form has been submitted to Accounts Payable for processing.
10. 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, Sr. Administrative Assistant to the Associate Dean. If you have any questions about the Accounts Payable process, please contact Kara Lloyd, Accounts Payable Manager.
Note: This form should not be used to submit payments for prizes or honors. Those types of payments should still be submitted with a Payment Request form and documentation directly to firstname.lastname@example.org for processing.
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 to primarily benefit the faculty member and facilitate the progress of their research. If you hire a student to work for you as a research assistant, you 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?
Student Research Assistantships are considered to be employment assignments, and as such, they are paid through the Student Employment Office. You will need to set up your student(s) to be paid by going to the Student Financial Services Supervisor Portal. SRAs must work in the U.S. and are not permitted to work in another country while employed. Student work is subject to FICA taxes (7.65%) and that amount will also be deducted from your budget when the students are paid.