Graduate Student Appointments: Graduate Student Research Assistantship Program - Benefits

Group Health and Life Insurance

G.S.R.A.'s with a one-quarter (25 percent) or greater appointment fraction for four or more continuous months are eligible to participate in the University's GradCare health insurance program and Group Life Insurance consistent with the terms of each plan. Coverage is not automatic. Application for GradCare should be made by the G.S.R.A. online using Benefits Self Service within thirty (30) days of the effective date of an eligible appointment or during the annual designated "open enrollment" period. Departments facilitate provision of this coverage by processing appointments on a timely basis (i.e. wherever possible, prior to the beginning of the term).

Dental Insurance

Group Dental coverage is effective with the beginning of a term in which an appointee has a 25 percent or greater appointment fraction for an appointment period of not less than 4 continuous months.

For details, refer to information available on the Benefits Office website at: benefits.umich.edu/benefitgroups/grads.html.

Travel Accident Insurance

Graduate Student Research Assistants who travel on University business (other than trips to and from their regular work site) are covered by the University's Travel Accident Insurance plan.

Summer Insurance Coverage

Individuals who are appointed during Term II of an academic year and who will be re-appointed with a 25 percent or greater fraction during Term I of the following academic year may be eligible for continued University contribution to premiums for health and Dental Insurance during the summer. In order to assure proper handling, the Benefits Office must be alerted to the Term I appointment by no later then April 10th.3

Tuition Waivers

A Graduate Student Research Assistant who holds a 25 percent or greater appointment fraction throughout not less than an entire academic term is eligible for a tuition waiver which eliminates the appointee's responsibility for tuition payment for that term.

Effective September 1, 2006: In the term that a graduate student finishes all the requirements of a Ph.D. program, eligibility for a tuition waiver will be based on the appointee holding a GSRA appointment at 25 percent or greater fraction of effort that is effective at the start of the academic term through either the date of final defense, or for a two month period, whichever is longer.

Charges to research accounts: When a G.S.R.A. is appointed on a non-general fund, externally sponsored project which charges no fees, a fixed rate, determined and announced each year, will normally be charged to the involved research account.4

Taxation of tuition waivers: All questions regarding the taxability of tuition waivers under provisions of the Internal Revenue code should be directed to theĀ  Internal Revenue Service.

Vacation and Sick Leave

G.S.R.A. appointments do not provide for paid vacations or holidays. However, remuneration is not reduced during the term of the appointment for class recess or holidays. Graduate Student Research Assistants are eligible for sick pay not to exceed three (3) weeks in a consecutive twelve (12) month period, beginning on the first day of the initial appointment period when unable to meet appointment obligations because of personal illness or injury. Pay during such periods is subject to approval of the department chairperson, head of the research unit, or the G.S.R.A.'s supervisor or mentor, as appropriate.

Leaves of Absence Without Salary (FMLA)

Leaves of Absence from an academic program are academic issues handled locally by each academic unit.

In general, due to the limited term nature of G.S.R.A. appointments, no leaves of absence are available during the course of the appointment period. However, if an individual has been appointed by the University, in any capacity, for 12 months or more and has worked at least 1250 hours during the 12 months immediately proceeding the request for leave, a federally mandated Family Medical Leave may be available. In no case can an FMLA leave extend beyond the previously-processed appointment end date. The University complies fully with the Family Medical Leave Act.

Other Benefits

G.S.R.A.'s responding to a subpoena may serve on jury duty or as a witness without loss of compensation.

Other benefits include use of the Credit Union, the University Club, Instructional staff library privileges, and bereavement time.


3More comprehensive information concerning insurance benefits associated with Graduate Student Research Assistant appointments is available from the Benefits Office (734-615-2000). Inquiries concerning specific coverages, costs, terms, limitations, etc. should be directed to that office.

4Questions concerning the application of tuition waivers to specific student accounts and the generation of waiver charges to other accounts or funding sources should be directed to the Student Accounts section of Financial Operations (734-764-7447).