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					                                                       Graduate Assistantship

                                           Scheme Guidelines and Procedure


Contents
Introduction ............................................................................................................................................ 2
Assistantship details................................................................................................................................ 2
Application Process ................................................................................................................................. 2
   Eligibility .............................................................................................................................................. 2
   Benefits of Graduate Assistantship ..................................................................................................... 3
   Method of Application ........................................................................................................................ 4
   Selection Process ................................................................................................................................ 4
Graduate Assistantship ........................................................................................................................... 5
PhD and Graduate Assistantship............................................................................................................. 6
   Duration of Graduate Assistantship .................................................................................................... 6
   Academic Progress Reports ................................................................................................................ 6
   Absence from the University .............................................................................................................. 6
   Termination of Graduate Assistantship .............................................................................................. 8
   Relinquishment of Graduate Assistantship......................................................................................... 8
   Right of Appeal.................................................................................................................................... 8
   Specific obligations of the Graduate Assistantship holder ................................................................. 8
Academic position................................................................................................................................... 9
   Workload............................................................................................................................................. 9
   Professional Development .................................................................................................................. 9
   Line Management ............................................................................................................................. 10
APPENDIX 1 – Graduate Assistantship Training .................................................................................... 11
       TEACHING & LEARNING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT & TRAINING REQUIREMENTS FOR
       GRADUATE ASSISTANTS ................................................................................................................ 11




Graduate Assistantship Guidelines and Procedure 2012                                                                                                  Page 1
Introduction
Most graduates in health related areas choose employment over further study, and those already in
the workforce seem reluctant to forego a regular salary to return to post graduate study. The Faculty
has established the Graduate Assistantship as an incentive to encourage clinical professionals to
return to study and enrol in a doctoral degree. This Assistantship is particularly focused on
attracting talented clinicians and practitioners from Allied Health, Nursing and Midwifery disciplines,
who wish to investigate pursuing an academic career.

The Assistantship consists of a tax free Graduate Assistantship together with a three year paid
position, 0.2 full time equivalent, with the Faculty. Up to ten Graduate Assistantships will be offered
to commence each year, with a maximum of 30 Graduate Assistantships at any one time.

Students begin their candidature in approximately October, and concurrently undertake training for
teaching in Higher Education. At the beginning of first semester, students begin teaching in the core
first year program.


Assistantship details
The Graduate Assistantship will provide successful applicants with:

 i.         A tax-free stipend equivalent to an Australian Postgraduate Award (Industry) for a period
            of up to three years (currently $27,651 per annum).

 ii.        A fixed term, three year teaching appointment equivalent to seven hours per week
            (0.2FTE) at the Associate Lecturer level.

 iii.      A research grant of $5000 payable in the second year of candidature, subject to satisfactory
           progress.

The total package has a potential annual tax-free income in excess of $36,000 including the teaching
appointment.

Graduate Assistantship candidates will apply for candidature specific to Faculty research priority
areas and candidates will be selected through a competitive process.


Application Process

Eligibility
To be eligible to apply to become a Graduate Assistant, a person must:

      i.   have an application for enrolment in a full-time doctoral research program in the Faculty of
           Health Sciences accepted (application for candidature to be submitted concurrently with the
           application for the Graduate Assistantship);
  ii.      be an Australian citizen; or have been granted permanent resident status and lived in
           Australia for at least the 12 months prior to application. This includes New Zealand citizens
           who are granted Permanent Residency status on arrival, but who must also satisfy the
           residency rule;

Graduate Assistantship Guidelines and Procedure 2012                                              Page 2
 iii.    not be in receipt of another equivalent award, Graduate Assistantship or salary to undertake
         the proposed program of study;
 iv.     not previously have held an Australian Postgraduate Award or a La Trobe University
         postgraduate Research Graduate Assistantship for more than 3 months;
  v.     have applied for a La Trobe University Postgraduate Research Graduate Assistantship or
         Australian Postgraduate Award simultaneously with this application;
 vi.     not have already completed a degree at the same level as the proposed candidature, or at a
         higher level at La Trobe University;
 vii.    not be currently employed in a continuing or fixed term academic position extending beyond
         the middle of the year applying.

Benefits of Graduate Assistantship

Stipend
The Graduate Assistantship provides a stipend which matches the stipend provided by an Australian
Postgraduate Award Industry (APA) Graduate Assistantship and will be paid fortnightly direct to a
recipient’s bank account. Full-time stipend payments are indexed annually and may be tax-exempt.

Research Training Scheme place
Graduate Assistants will normally hold a funded Research Training Scheme place by virtue of their
enrolment.

Research Grant
A research grant of $5,000.00 is available to the Graduate Assistantship holder in the second year of
candidature, subject to satisfactory progression.

Thesis allowance
An allowance matching the amount provided by the La Trobe University Postgraduate Research
Graduate Assistantships scheme for costs associated with the production of a Doctoral thesis will be
paid upon presentation of signed and dated receipts. Original receipts from the persons who
provided the services, showing the amount paid by the award holder, the date of issue of the
receipt, the service provided and the name, address and telephone number of the person who
supplied the goods/services are required. The allowance does not include such costs as purchase of
computer equipment or software. The allowance is payable only for the number of copies required
by the University (4 soft-bound and 2 hard-bound copies).

The allowance cannot be claimed prior to submission of the thesis but must be claimed within 6
months of the date of submission and no more than two (2) years after termination of the award.

Receipt of top-up funding, awards, etc.
Award holders may enter into contractual arrangements and receive top-up funding from industry.
They also may obtain funds for fieldwork, equipment or other expenses not covered by the award.
Funding for overseas travel costs may be obtained from Australian Government awards or any other
source.




Graduate Assistantship Guidelines and Procedure 2012                                            Page 3
Award holders may also receive minor awards, allowances or other earnings which are
supplementary to the Graduate Assistantship, or income derived from part-time work undertaken
within the University’s guidelines.

Top-up funding may not exceed 75% of the base Graduate Assistantship stipend rate. Graduate
Assistantship holders are recommended to seek advice from their financial consultant regarding
possible taxation implications associated with any top-up funding.

Family Allowance Benefits
Graduate Assistantship holders with dependent children may be eligible for Family Payment from
Centrelink. Applicants should contact Centrelink without delay for details of this and other programs
for which they might be eligible (for example, Rent Assistance, Guardian Allowance or Health Care
Cards), as benefits are not payable retrospectively.

Employment
Graduate Assistants will be guaranteed employment by the Faculty of Health Sciences on a fixed
term, three year, 0.2FTE teaching appointment at the Associate Lecturer level.

Method of Application
Applications will be called for in the first half of each year. Candidates should discuss the application
with the Head of School and research program leader before submitting an application.

The following documentation is required as part of the application:

            I.    La Trobe University ‘Application for Masters/Doctoral Candidature and/or
                  Postgraduate Graduate Assistantship’ form;
           II.    a summary of supporting information, including proposed work arrangements;
          III.    a signed letter of support from the Head of School/Director of Centre
          IV.     current Curriculum Vitae
           V.     cover letter addressed to Associate Dean (Research)
          VI.     Australian Post Graduate Award (APA) form

Selection Process
Applications will be considered by a Sub-Committee chaired by the Associate Dean (Research) or
his/her nominee. The Associate Dean (Research) will then advise the Dean of the recommended
Graduate Assistants. The Dean will endorse the final result.

Applications will be ranked based on the established Faculty’s procedure for ranking scholarship
applicants. This ranking is made on the basis of one of the following, using established methods to
be able to compare applicants:

        An Honours degree completed at La Trobe
        An Honours degree completed at another Australian (or New Zealand) university
        A Masters degree with a research component completed in Australia or overseas
        Equivalent training and experience




Graduate Assistantship Guidelines and Procedure 2012                                                Page 4
This ranking will be reviewed in the light of consideration by the committee of the information
contained in the application of each applicant. Preference will be given to candidates whose
research is part of one of the Faculty research programs. The current Faculty research programs are:

        Sex, Health and Society
        Healthy Motherhood
        Human Movement and Sports Science
        Living with Disability
        Physical Activity and Rehabilitation

Applicants will be offered graduate assistantship positions based on this ranking.

All applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application.

Candidates wishing to appeal the decision of the Committee should write to the Associate Dean
(Research) within 14 days of receiving notification of the original application decision. Appeal
applications should clearly outline the basis for the appeal. Documentation not submitted with the
original application will not be considered.

The award will be taken up, no later than 31 October of the year of the application; any extension
beyond this date, arising from exceptional circumstances, must be approved by the Associate Dean
(Research). The Associate Dean (Research) reserves the right to withdraw the offer of the award if
an applicant does not reply to the offer by the date specified or does not commence studies by the
allowed date. Continuation of the Graduate Assistantship after one year is contingent on satisfactory
progress being maintained by the candidate. Satisfactory progress must be endorsed by the relevant
Review Panel.

Subcommittee
The Associate Dean (Research) will establish a committee to consider the applications. The
committee membership will be Associate Dean (Research) as the Chair and a representative from
each School in the Faculty. The committee will consider the applications individually, and will then
meet to discuss the results, and determine the recommended Graduate Assistants.


Graduate Assistantship
The Graduate Assistantship program will be the responsibility of the Associate Dean (Research).
Meanwhile, the Associate Dean (Academic) will be responsible for the teaching aspect of the
scheme, including the teaching preparation, professional development, and workload allocation.

The Associate Dean (Research) will meet with Graduate Assistants as a group at least twice a year
(with the Executive Dean attending at least one meeting). This will include a meeting in October, to
welcome the new Graduate Assistants and another meeting mid to end of the first semester.




Graduate Assistantship Guidelines and Procedure 2012                                             Page 5
PhD and Graduate Assistantship

Duration of Graduate Assistantship
The research doctorate candidature associated with the Graduate Assistantship is tenable as follows:

   i.    A full-time award may be held for up to three years.
  ii.    Other than in exceptional circumstances as determined by the Associate Dean (Research), an
         award holder is expected to submit a thesis for examination in the minimum possible time,
         i.e. within three years of commencement of the Graduate Assistantship.
 iii.    Normally, periods of study already undertaken towards the degree prior to the
         commencement of the Graduate Assistantship or undertaken during suspension of the
         Graduate Assistantship, will be deducted from the maximum period of tenure. Such
         deductions will be on a one-to-one basis for every day of full-time candidature. Variations to
         this must be approved by the Associate Dean (Research).
 iv.     An annual renewal of the Graduate Assistantship may be made, subject to satisfactory
         academic progress, to the maximum period indicated above.

Academic Progress Reports
 The University Higher Degrees Committee (Research) (HDC(R)) requires all doctoral candidates to
submit a progress report at least once a year, usually in July or August. The appropriate form will be
forwarded by the University Research Services Office (RSO) at the relevant time. Failure to submit a
progress report by the due date may result in suspension of payment of the Graduate Assistantship.
Some Graduate Assistantship holders, especially in the first year of receipt of the Graduate
Assistantship, may be required to submit an additional report.

The HDC(R) requires all doctoral candidates to participate in two Research Review Panels each year
to monitor and provide advice on their progress. The first of these may be a ‘virtual’ panel.

If the HDC(R), on the advice of the supervisor and the Head of School, does not consider that
academic progress is satisfactory, the Graduate Assistantship may be temporarily suspended or
terminated.

Absence from the University
While an award holder is expected to continue a program of study and research during the period
for which the award is held (i.e. there are no breaks between academic terms or academic years)
leave of absence may be granted in the following circumstances:

Recreation leave
Graduate Assistantship holders are entitled to paid recreation leave each year calculated on a pro-
rata basis. No more than twenty days recreation leave may be accumulated and leave must be
taken during the tenure of the Graduate Assistantship. The supervisor’s agreement, which may not
be unreasonably withheld, must be obtained before leave may be taken. No leave loading is payable
on the Graduate Assistantship component of the leave taken. However, Graduate Assistantship
holders who continue to hold a part-time academic position will be eligible for the normal pro-rata
leave associated with that position.



Graduate Assistantship Guidelines and Procedure 2012                                             Page 6
Sick leave
A Graduate Assistantship holder may take up to two weeks paid sick leave a year within the tenure
of their Graduate Assistantship. For medically substantiated periods of illness lasting longer than
two weeks, research students may receive up to three months paid sick leave which is additional to
the normal duration of the award. Applications for paid sick leave for periods longer than three days
must be accompanied by a medical certificate, signed and dated by a registered medical
practitioner.

Maternity leave
Graduate Assistantship recipients who have completed 12 months of their Graduate Assistantship
are entitled to up to 12 weeks maternity leave.

The expiry date of the candidature and Graduate Assistantship, and the due date for submission of
thesis will be adjusted to allow for approved sick, personal and maternity leave.

Field studies: locally or overseas
The HDC(R) may approve a candidate conducting substantial amounts of the required study at
organisations outside the higher education system. In such cases the University remains responsible
for the academic aspects of the award holder’s candidature and must ensure adequate support,
supervision, training and research freedom for the candidate.

Provided the HDC(R) has approved fieldwork away from the University, the Associate Dean
(Research) may permit continuation of the Graduate Assistantship during the approved fieldwork
period.

Note: The HDC(R) normally will not approve periods for overseas research earlier than six (6)
months into the candidature. In any case such periods will be approved only if adequate supervision
is provided, the candidate remains enrolled on a full-time basis, the research work can be credited to
the candidate’s course of study and the research is essential for the completion of the degree.

Suspension of a Graduate Assistantship
In special circumstances and with the approval of the principal supervisor and the Head of School, it
may be possible to suspend the Graduate Assistantship for up to twelve months within the tenure of
the award. Such suspensions normally will not be approved earlier than six months into the
candidature.

Periods of study undertaken towards the degree during suspension of the award will be deducted
from the maximum period of Graduate Assistantship tenure.

The period of tenure of a Graduate Assistantship will not be reduced when a Graduate Assistantship
holder suspends both candidature and the Graduate Assistantship for the permitted period.

Students who discontinue their studies but suspend rather than relinquish their Graduate
Assistantships will (subject to also meeting the University’s requirements relating to suspension of
candidature) keep open the option of resuming their Graduate Assistantship at a later date.




Graduate Assistantship Guidelines and Procedure 2012                                             Page 7
Termination of Graduate Assistantship
A Graduate Assistantship will be terminated upon submission of the thesis or at the end of the
Graduate Assistantship tenure, whichever is earlier.

A Graduate Assistantship will be terminated if the holder does not resume study at the conclusion of
a period of suspension, and does not make arrangements to extend that period of suspension.

The Graduate Assistantship may be terminated before the completion of the period of tenure if after
due inquiry, the Associate Dean (Research) concludes that a Graduate Assistantship holder has not
fulfilled the requirements of the Graduate Assistantship or has not met the eligibility criteria, or
HDC(R) determines that the student has not been making satisfactory academic progress.

A Graduate Assistantship will be terminated on the death, incapacity, or withdrawal of the holder.

Relinquishment of Graduate Assistantship
A Graduate Assistantship holder is expected to give at least ten working days, notice of intention to
relinquish the Graduate Assistantship.

Right of Appeal
Graduate Assistantship holders may, at any time, request a review by the Associate Dean (Research)
of any decisions made by the Associate Dean (Research) in relation to the Graduate Assistantship.

Such requests must be made in writing to the Associate Dean (Research) within 30 days of the date
of receipt of the disputed decision, setting out the reasons in full.

Notwithstanding the information above, in accordance with the appeal procedures of the University,
a Graduate Assistantship holder may exercise the right of appeal directly to the University
Ombudsman.

Specific obligations of the Graduate Assistantship holder
A Graduate Assistantship holder will diligently and to the best of his/her ability apply him/herself to
the successful completion of the degree within the period of the award.

Graduate Assistantship holders will abide by the National Health and Medical Research Council
codes on human and animal experimentation, guidelines established by the Recombinant DNA
Monitoring Committee of the Australian Government and rulings of the Safety and Ethics
committees of the University.

All Graduate Assistantship holders are required to conform to the regulations, policies and
guidelines of the University governing their candidature, including disciplinary provisions.

Other provisions
Any areas not covered by the above conditions will, subject to a decision by the Associate Dean
(Research), normally follow University regulations for similar Graduate Assistantships and awards.




Graduate Assistantship Guidelines and Procedure 2012                                              Page 8
Academic position
Graduate Assistants will be employed by the Faculty in a 0.2 EFT Academic position, at the Associate
Lecturer Level, to teach into the core first year program. This is a three year and 2 month
appointment (from October year of appointment to December three years post appointment), while
the candidate is completing their doctorate. The position commences simultaneously with the
commencement of the Graduate Assistantship, usually in October of the year of application.

When Graduate Assistants are appointed, the Associate Dean (Academic) will confirm which core
first year subject coordinator will be the line manager. The Associate Dean (Academic) will contact
the Graduate Assistants in relation to the professional development and teaching requirements, as
per the program in appendix 1.

Usually, graduate assistants teach into core first year subjects. If there is a compelling reason why a
graduate assistant should teach into another subject, a request can be made to the A/Dean
Academic for a different teaching load. This will only be considered, once a graduate assistant has
taught into the core first year for at least one year. If this request is approved, the department that
teaches the other subject needs to provide 0.2 EFT (4 contact hours/week) ongoing staff member to
be allocated to the core first year teaching, by the first year coordinator. The graduate assistant
must do four contact hours of teaching in the other subject. The graduate assistant’s line manager
will not change while the GA is teaching into another subject.

If a Graduate Assistant withdraws from the scheme, their 0.2 EFT academic position will be ceased.

Workload
Incumbents will normally conduct workshops in the core first year subjects, HLT1IPA
(Interprofessional Practice A) and HLT1IPB (Interprofessional Practice B). However, where a
Graduate Assistant’s professional background aligns more appropriately with other core first year
subjects, they may be able to conduct workshops in those subjects. They will not be permitted to
have coordination or significant administration responsibilities, nor conduct lectures while in the
first two years of their candidature. They will teach up to 104 contact hours per year (average of four
hours per week during semester), as well as undertaking required marking and teaching preparation.

The First Year Coordinator will determine the number of workshops the Graduate Assistant is
required to teach in HLT1IPA and HLT1IPB (or other CFY subjects as negotiated), to make up an
average of four contact hours per week. The First Year Coordinator will then allocate specific
Assistants to a workshop group.

Professional Development
All Graduate Assistants are required to undertake the professional development program in
appendix 1; including participating in CTLC training, specifically the Effective Tutoring 1 workshop,
before teaching is commenced. Once teaching has commenced, Graduate Assistants are required to
participate in Faculty online teaching support. It is a requirement that the Graduate Assistants are
involved in subject orientation and attendance at subject related meetings, totalling approximately
six hours for each semester. There may be additional professional development requirements during
the contract, as directed by the Associate Dean (Academic).



Graduate Assistantship Guidelines and Procedure 2012                                              Page 9
Line Management
Graduate Assistants will be line managed by a core first year subject coordinator, including for the
approval of leave, PEDS and other management issues. It is expected there will be some liaison
between the supervisor, and other relevant subject coordinators when the incumbent’s
Performance Develop Plan is being completed, when leave requests are received, or if any issues are
identified.




Graduate Assistantship Guidelines and Procedure 2012                                          Page 10
APPENDIX 1 – Graduate Assistantship Training
TEACHING & LEARNING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT & TRAINING REQUIREMENTS FOR
GRADUATE ASSISTANTS


Graduate Assistants play an important role in the delivery of the Faculty’s first year program. It is
important that our first year students feel supported as they manage their transition to university. A
range of training and professional development activities exist to support Graduate Assistants as
they prepare for their teaching role in the Faculty. Outlined below are the minimum training and
professional development requirements for Graduate Assistants. Where a Graduate Assistant can
demonstrate prior completion of a training or professional development activity listed below, then
the Graduate Assistant would not be expected to undertake this activity again. This should be
discussed with the Academic Supervisor during the initial orientation to their teaching role.

Proposed training schedule (subject to change at any time)

October:

    1. Online Induction for New Staff
       This is a compulsory requirement of all new University Staff. You can access the online
       induction via the Induction for New Staff intranet site at
       https://intranet.latrobe.edu.au/people-culture/recruitment/induction

         You will also receive an invitation to attend the University’s Induction to LaTrobe and
         Welcome to University Life sessions, one month prior to their scheduled delivery. These
         usually take place in February and July.

    2. Observation of First Year Workshops
       In October, each Graduate Assistant will be assigned a current Workshop Facilitator in
       HLT1IPB (Interprofessional Practice B) or another core first year subject as appropriate, who
       will serve as an initial Mentor. This provides an opportunity for the Graduate Assistant to
       attend a weekly workshop in a core first year subject and to observe their Mentor as they
       facilitate an EBL class.

February:

Prior to the commencement of semester one, a number of training activities should be completed as
follows:

    1. Introduction to Enquiry Based Learning (EBL)
       This workshop is provided by the Faculty of Health Sciences and is designed to introduce
       participants to EBL and their role of workshop facilitator in the first year program.
       Workshops are delivered by experienced EBL Facilitators from the Faculty.

    2. First Year Subject Orientation



Graduate Assistantship Guidelines and Procedure 2012                                           Page 11
         Each first year subject provides a pre-semester orientation for staff facilitating workshops.
         You will be notified by the relevant Subject Coordinator of session details. In this
         orientation, you will meet other Facilitators and Subject Coordination staff and will be
         provided information in relation to subject delivery and assessment.

    3. Learning Management System (LMS) Training – LMS Basics
       The first year program, and indeed most subjects offered by the Faculty of Health Sciences,
       uses the University’s Learning Management System (LMS) to support the delivery of subject
       material and to engage students in their learning. The University’s LMS is Moodle™. If you
       have not previously used the LMS at La Trobe, then it is a minimum requirement that you
       complete the LMS Basics workshop provided by the CTLC. Booking and registration for
       these training workshops is done through the StaffOnline Training Centre which you access
       via your StaffOnline login. A range of guides and training video clips are also available at
       http://www.latrobe.edu.au/lms/support-guides.html



March:

    1. Effective Tutoring 1 – Practical Strategies for Engaging Students &Promoting Learning

         The University requires that anyone demonstrating, tutoring or facilitating at La Trobe
         completes this workshop. It provides research-informed fundamentals of learning and
         teaching to enhance student learning and is delivered by the University’s Curriculum,
         Teaching & Learning Centre (CTLC). These workshops are usually offered in the second week
         of March. For further information, please visit http://www.latrobe.edu.au/ctlc/staff-
         dev/tutoring1.html

July:

    1. Effective Teaching for Higher Learning: Practical, Research-based Strategies
       This three day workshop (or two day intensive workshop), provided by the CTLC, is an
       orientation to the principles and practices of curriculum, teaching and learning at La Trobe.
       It is held several times, and at different regional campuses, throughout the year. Graduate
       Assistants are required to complete one of the mid-year offerings of this workshop.
       Registration is required through the StaffOnline Training Centre. Further information about
       this workshop can be found at http://www.latrobe.edu.au/ctlc/staff-dev/three-day-
       workshop.html

There may be other training and professional development sessions that are identified as a
requirement for Graduate Assistants during their candidature. Similarly, a Graduate Assistant and
their Academic Supervisor may identify other training or professional development needs during the
period of candidature. This may be undertaken with the approval of the Associate Dean (Academic).




Graduate Assistantship Guidelines and Procedure 2012                                              Page 12

				
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