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In order to provide one streamlined and efficient hiring process for all student workers and those hiring student workers, please follow our hiring process as outlined below.

Hiring Process

Please note, all student workers must complete their legal work authorization paperwork with HR prior to commencing work with any faculty member, department, program, or clinic.

The Student Hires Team requires 3-7 business days for processing a student hire.

Steps for Hiring Student Workers

Steps for Hiring Student Workers

  • First Steps for Faculty Assistants/Faculty

    • As soon as you know you want to hire a student – Complete the Intent to Hire Student Worker Form Part 1. 
    • If the student is outside of the US– Given payroll guidelines, please note that the hiring process may be prolonged and may come with additional costs if the student you wish to work with is outside the US.  One initial step that will help to expedite the process is to check in with the student to ascertain whether or not their I9 documents are valid through their intended appointment period. Please click here for a list of acceptable I9 documents.
    • If your intention is to hire a teaching fellow (TF), the course must meet the requirement of having at least 20 enrolled students.  If your course has fewer than 20 students, please reach out to to explore an exception. 
    • Faculty are encouraged to hire current HLS students.  We can review requests for hiring a recent graduate through our exception process.  Please note that the hiring process will look slightly different for a graduate than it would for a current HLS student.  These individuals are only eligible to be hired as temporary or less than half-time employees and are only eligible for very specific hours and employment periods.  Please email for additional information. 
  • First Steps for Student Workers

    • Once you are asked to work as Research Assistant, Teaching Fellow, etc., please connect with the Faculty Assistant or Faculty member intending to hire you. They will kick off the process and you will receive an email prompting you with instructions regarding next steps.
    • Begin to get your documents in order for completion of your I9. The list of accepted documents can be found here 
    • Please note, if you are a foreign national student, your documentation must be valid through your entire term appointment. 
    • As a reminder, student workers cannot work more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session.  If you hold multiple appointments, please be sure to keep your total number of hours worked for all positions within this limit.
  • Highlights from the Graduate Student Union contract

    • Research Assistants perform research to support faculty or principle investigators conducting research with a program; they will be paid at the hourly rate of $20 per hour.
    • Teaching Fellows perform instructional services, teaching, advising, etc.; they will be paid at the hourly rate of $20 per hour.
    • Student workers cannot work more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session. 


Intent To Hire Form

HR Contact

  • Students who are working for a clinic or program can contact the HR Business Partner associated with their clinic or program with any work related questions.
  • Students who are working directly for a faculty member can contact the Student Hires Team with questions.

Support Sheets

For RA/TF Hires:

For Program Hires:

Union Contract

For your reference, you can find the complete agreement between Harvard and the Graduate Student Union here.

Frequently Asked Questions

We know that there can be many questions around the student hiring process.  We hope that you can find answers to some commonly asked questions by visiting our Student Worker FAQ page.