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Undergraduate Research Assistance for Faculty Projects

The Department of History offers two ways -- by earning course credits or monetary compensation -- for students to work as faculty research assistants. No student should conduct research for a faculty member on a volunteer basis.

1. Course credit. This option requires a student and faculty member(s) to document the type of work, readings, and assignments (if applicable) the student will undertake to fulfill the requirement for a 1-4 credit course.

  • For History majors only, HIST 497 or HIST 497W: Directed Research can be taken and must result in a research paper. HIST 497 can be taken for 3 credits (a research paper of fewer than 8,000 words) or HIST 497W can be taken for 4 credits (a research paper of more than 8,000 words). For History majors and non-History majors, HIST 398R or 398RW: Research Tutorials are available, and only the HIST 398RW has a written requirement (20 pages of writing required). These 300-level classes can be taken for 1-4 credits.
  • Once the faculty member and student have decided which course the student will enroll in, the student should send the undergraduate program coordinator, Jazlyn Jones, an e-mail requesting enrollment into the course. Once the undergraduate program coordinator confirms the faculty's willingness to supervise, the student will be enrolled in the course.
  • In the interest of establishing best practices, we ask that the faculty mentor meet and communicate regularly with the student, keep track of the work-in-progress and the work accomplished, and foster an intellectual experience that engages with the historiography, methodologies, and theories that are relevant to the professor's research project.

2. Monetary Compensation. Because it is not credit bearing, this option does not require the faculty member to meet regularly with the student to assess their learning, assign and evaluate written work, or engage in methodological or content-area instruction, though this is certainly permissible.

  • Faculty can pay students an hourly wage out of their research accounts or through departmental and college programs (e.g., SIRE) designed to promote student-faculty research collaboration. Compensation through certain programs (federal work study, SIRE) is set by those programs. If the faculty member is not working in conjunction with internal or external programs, they set the hourly wage they wish to pay. In these cases, the department recommends that undergraduate RAs be paid at least $15/hour.
  • Students must contact Allison Rollins to complete any necessary paperwork to be set up as a student employee. They may not begin work until they have been set up in Emory's payroll system.
  • Faculty are reminded that if they hire work study students, the federal government will pay 75% of the student's wages. Allison Rollins can assist faculty in advertising RA opportunities to work study students.
  • The Director of Undergraduate Research should be notified of this arrangement so that the department can keep track of these students and the number of research opportunities that are taking place over the course of a year.
*Policy Effective Fall 2021