Accessing your Graduate Assistantship and Graduate Funding

Graduate Assistant appointments may be offered to some full-time graduate students (including Visa students) at a rate of $10,506.69 (2022-23) at the Master's level; and $11,457.79 (2022-23) at the Doctoral level. A regular appointment constitutes a maximum of 270 hrs of work over the Fall and Winter terms averaging not more than 10 hrs of work per week. Representative duties include, but are not limited to: preparing classes, teaching, demonstrating, leading seminars, supervising laboratories, marking, consulting with students, holding assigned office hours, setting tests, examination and lab sets, conducting field trips, and providing other academic support assistance. A graduate student is eligible to hold a maximum of two full-time appointments (4 terms) at the Master's level or four full-time appointments (8 terms) at the Doctoral level.

Steps to Set up your Graduate Assistantship (GA)

Your GA is employment with Lakehead University and must be set up each year. You will be required to obtain your Financial Support Form from the Office of Graduate Studies and proceed based on your circumstances. 

Step 1. Register for both Fall and Winter terms (Enrolment Services will notify you when you are eligible to do so).

Step 2. Reach out to Graduate Studies at graduate.assistant@lakeheadu.ca to begin the GA process. On the Subject Line indicate: "Begin my GA Set-up"

Step 3. Follow email prompt from Graduate Studies and proceed (by email) either to (a) Accounts Receivable  OR to (b) Human Resources , based upon your Tuition/Term Fee payment circumstances:

    1. If you need to use your GA to pay all or some of your term fees please email Accounts Receivable at graduate.accounts@lakeheadu.ca  to begin the process of assigning payroll towards your student account. 
    2.  If you do not need to use your GA to pay your term fees, (i.e you are using other payment methods such as Scholarships/Awards and/or Bursaries, OSAP (out of province funding), Sponsorship, or paying from your own resources) please contact Human Resources directly at hr.assistant@lakeheadu.ca and let them know you are ready to receive your GA package.

Graduate Scholarships, Awards, Bursaries

Scholarships, Awards, and Bursaries are allocated each term in approximately September, January, and May, by the Graduate Funding Officer in the Office of Graduate Studies. Upon confirmation of full-time registration and Social Insurance Number (SIN), scholarships, bursaries, and awards will be first applied to any balance on the student's accountIf the scholarships, bursaries, or awards have overpaid the student account, eligible refunds will be issued by direct deposit to the student's bank account (Canadian bank accounts only).

In order to receive the surplus funds, the Bank Information Form on myInfo (Financial Profile - Update My Bank Information) must be filled out. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that accurate information is submitted. Errors will cause delays.

Questions about refunds may be addressed to: graduate.accounts@lakeheadu.ca

Any other question about Scholarships, Awards, and Bursaries, should be directed to: funding.grad@lakeheadu.ca

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between my GA and my other graduate funding (e.g. Awards, Scholarships, and Bursaries)?

A Graduate Assistantship (GA) is an offer of employment. Funds are issued to students through Payroll.

Questions about employment can be directed to Human Resources: hr.assistant@lakeheadu.ca

Awards, Scholarships, and Bursaries are awarded by Lakehead or external funding agencies (e.g. OGS, NSERC) and are applied to registered students typically at the beginning of each term. If there is a surplus of awards on your student account, a refund could be issued to you each term.

Questions about award refunds can be directed to Accounts Receivable (Student Accounts): graduate.accounts@lakeheadu.ca

 I do not have my SIN number yet. Can I start my GA duties?

 No, you must have a SIN number and Canadian bank account before you can set up your GA.

 My supervisor says I only need to complete 100 hours. Is this acceptable?

No, you must complete 270 hours over two terms, or 135 per term.

 Can I start my GA duties before I have registered for courses?

No, you must be fully registered for your Fall and Winter terms before you can set up your GA.

 Can I continue my GA duties after I withdraw from the program?

No, once you withdraw from the program, you are no longer able to work your GA position. To withdraw from the program, reach out to admin.grad@lakeheadu.ca. To stop your GA duties please immediately reach out to your GA supervisor and email graduate.assistant@lakeheadu.ca

 Where do I find out what my GA duties are?

Please reach out to your Graduate Coordinator, found here

 My Supervisor said I can split my hours per term. Is that allowed?

No, you must complete 270 hours over two terms, or 135 per term.

 Is my GA supervisor also my academic supervisor?

Sometimes. Some students are paired with their supervisor while others may be paired with a professor in their department.

Will my GA pay cover my tuition?

Maybe. Your individual circumstances will determine what kind of statutory deductions and required benefits will appear on your paystub. Statutory deductions include Income Tax, Canada Pension, and Employment Insurance. Other required deductions include union dues, medical, dental, and vision benefits.  Tuition is deducted last

When your first pay occurs please login to myInfo to view your Student Account (Student Tab –>My Financial Profile -->View My Account) to confirm that the amount requested from your Payroll Deduction Authorization Form matches what was applied from your pay to your student account. At minimum, please make sure to check again after the first pay in January as tax rates may change. If there is a shortfall, you will have to make an additional payment by the last Friday in April.

Questions about Payroll: payroll.analyst3@lakeheadu.ca

Questions about Student Account: graduate.accounts@lakeheadu.ca

 Do I pay tax on my GA?
 

Earnings as a graduate assistant are classified as employment income, and as such, subject to statutory mandatory deductions for Canada Pension Plan contributions, Employment Insurance premiums, and income tax deductions. 

Income tax amounts can vary based on individual circumstance and declarations made when filing out the federal and provincial TD1 tax credit forms.

Earnings for your GA position are reported on a T4 Statement of Remuneration paid and reported in Box 14 as employment income.  T4’s are made available to employees through their myInfo accounts by the end of February for the prior calendar year.  For example, earnings paid to a graduate assistant during the 2022 calendar year will be reported an a T4 made available through myInfo by the end of February 2023.

When will I be paid for my GA?
 

Graduate assistants are paid on a semi-monthly pay cycle with 2 deposits made each month.

Deposits are made on the 15th and last of each month unless that particular date falls on a weekend or banking holiday.  In those cases, the deposit is made the last business day before the banking closure.  For example, should the 15th of the month fall on a Saturday or banking holiday, your deposit will be made on the prior Friday (the 14th).

When will my funding (scholarships, awards, or bursaries) be placed on my student account? 

Scholarships, awards, or bursaries will be placed on your student account after the start of the term, and before the end of the first month of the term.

Where can I apply for more funding

Please see more about other funding here.

If my graduate funding covers my tuition & compulsory fees (term fees), do I have to send payment by August 15?

No. If you have enough funding from any of the sources below (or combination of sources), to cover your fees in FULL, your payment is deferred, and you do not need to make a payment by August 15:

  • OSAP
  • GA
  • Scholarships, Awards, Bursaries
  • Sponsorship

However, if the above sources only partially cover your fees, you are responsible to pay the difference by the published Payment Due Dates