The UAB Graduate School awards Blazer Graduate Research Fellowships annually to highly qualified first-year doctoral candidates who are engaged in full-time research. These fellowships provide students with financial support for stipend, tuition, and health insurance for four consecutive academic terms. Students will be supported after completion of the Blazer Graduate Research Fellowship by the faculty mentor's intra- or extramural grant awards, contracts, institutional training grants, individual fellowship awards, or start-up packages in the case of new faculty.

Graduate Student Classifications

The following Graduate Student guidelines are for departments which have students classified in the following assignment categories: Graduate Assistant, Graduate Research Assistant, Graduate Teaching Assistant, and Graduate Student Trainee. Students who are assigned to one of these categories must be enrolled in an official graduate program and can only have an additional assignment under special circumstances as described below with permission of the Graduate School Dean. In addition, a student’s primary assignment should be within his/her graduate program or department. The only exception to this requirement is for Graduate Assistants (GAs) funded through Athletics, Campus Rec, or Campus Housing.

Graduate Assistant (GA) (06)

Activities include, but are not limited to, duties primarily in support of administrative functions (e.g. performing clerical functions, maintaining webpages, supervising computer labs, and drafting non-research materials). Effective October 2, 2016, Graduate Assistants will be considered non-exempt student employees and will be paid for hours worked. GAs must record their hours worked using the Campus KRONOS system.

Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) (06)

GRAs conduct original, professional-level research in their field of study (e.g. conducting experiments, analyzing data, and drafting research publications for professional journals or conferences) primarily for the purpose of fulfilling the requirements for an advanced degree. The GRA assignment is considered an academic appointment and is exempt from FLSA requirements.

Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) (06)

GTAs are directly involved in classroom or laboratory instruction (e.g. teaching classes, leading discussion groups, preparing curriculum, and grading exams) primarily for the purpose of fulfilling the requirements of an advanced degree. Any teaching assignment must be in the student’s own field of study or one that is closely related. The GTA assignment is considered an academic appointment and is exempt from FLSA requirements.

Graduate Student Trainee (46)

Graduate Student Trainees are paid monthly from Fellowship or Scholarship resources. Graduate Student Trainees are not considered to be UAB employees. This appointment is intended to allow the individual to be a full time student. No past, present, or future services are required as a condition of receiving this appointment.

In some pre-approved cases, the graduate student is awarded a combination of the appointment categories. The student should be given two separate award letters clearly specifying the conditions of each award.