Office of Sponsored Programs

Guidance for Paying Student Workers on Grants and Contracts

TTU Policy 642-Student Workers establishes the restrictions and conditions for student employment. The employing unit is responsible for verifying an individual's eligibility and maintaining documentation of verification. Student hourly employees are typically undergraduate students, employed "at-will," have no expectation of continued employment, and do not count toward Tennessee Tech’s full-time equivalent (FTE) count. Student hourly employees are not eligible for any insurance benefits. Please contact the Human Resources Office for documents such as timesheets as well as questions concerning FICA (Social Security) withholding, student status, etc.

The following guidance is offered to assist departments in determining appropriate pay for undergraduate student employees. Departments have the discretion to establish the hourly pay rate for the student worker. When determining undergraduate student employee compensation, please follow the Guidelines for Student Employee Compensation provided by the Human Resources Office. Generally, undergraduate student workers on research projects would fall in the $10-$12 pay range. 

Undergraduate assignments should be designed to ensure that the students have meaningful research experiences and that their participation constitutes an appropriate contribution toward the work statement of the project. The goal should be to guide these students in all aspects of research work, integral to the student’s education, such as theoretical frameworks, experimental designs, data collection via physical or chemical analyses, data analysis and interpretation, and publishing. The primary duties do not involve classroom instruction.

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