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Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs)


A Graduate Student Researcher is a registered graduate student who performs research under the direction of a faculty member.

Use of Title

GSR with No Remission

Job Code 003266 is always used during the period 7/1 - 9/30 and during the academic year for students not eligible for the GSR tuition-and-fee (GSRTF) remission program.

GSR with Fee Remission

Job codes 003262, 003263, 003264, 003284, 003285, 003286, or 003287 are used during the academic year when a graduate student is eligible for the GSR tuition-and-fee remission (GSRTF) program.

A student eligible for GSRTF must be appointed to the job code (GSRTF Pool) associated with their academic home department/program (where the student is pursuing a degree) as follows:

  • 003262 - CSE (Computer Science & Engineering)
  • 003263 - MAE (Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering)/CENG/NENG 
  • 003264 - SE (Structural Engineering)
  • 003284 - General (all other departments and programs)*
  • 003285 - ECE (Electrical & Computer Engineering)
  • 003286 – Physics
  • 003287 - SIO (Scripps Institution of Oceanography)

For the Materials Science interdisciplinary graduate program, the job code should be that of the primary department of the student's advisor.

GSR + Other Graduate Academic Employment

Any student who is employed in a graduate academic title*, or combination of graduate academic titles*, totaling 25% or more for a quarter during the academic year, is eligible for a fee remission; and should be appointed to a GSRTF Job Code. (*Grad academic title: GSR, Associate, TA, Reader, Tutor)

Example: 24.99% GSR + 25.00% TA; student is eligible for a fee remission and GSR appointment should be on Job Code 003284 (or other applicable GSRTF Job Code).

A student whose total employment is less than 25% for a quarter is not eligible for a fee remission. 


Students appointed to this job code must meet the graduate student academic eligibility criteria listed in Chapter 1. 

Appointment Process

Appointment Percentage

GSRs may be appointed up to 49.99% during the academic months and up to 100% during the summer with the home department’s approval.  GSRs may never be appointed above 49.99% during the academic months; no exceptions can be made to this policy.

Pay Rate

Refer to the Student Academic Title Rates sheet for current rates.

Each graduate academic department/program has established a support policy for all of their graduate students and a GSR step level(s) to provide support at a certain level.  All GSRs in the same academic department/program are appointed to the GSR step level(s) as established by the student’s academic home department or program (not the fund source).

Use of the GSR title was adopted in 1995 by UCSD (previously we used the Research Assistant title).  All requests for use of GSR step level(s) are submitted by the Chair of the academic department/program to the Dean of the Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs for review and approval.

For a list of academic department/programs with approved GSR step level(s), please see Appendix: Graduate Student Researcher Step Levels by Department

Departments may update their Step Level by submitting a formal letter to the Dean of Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs.  The letter should be formal, addressed to the Dean of Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs, and signed by the Chair of the department.  Please submit using the Employment Exception Request Google Form.  

Pay Schedule

GSRs are paid monthly.

Position Begin and End Dates

GSR appointment dates should align with the quarterly pay periods when possible.  Job code 003266, when appointed to less than 25% during the academic year, can have flexible begin and end dates.  However, in order to maintain eligibility for GSRTF, the full quarter pay periods must be entered into UCPath. 

Fall QuarterOctober through December (10/1 - 12/31)
Winter QuarterJanuary through March (1/1 - 3/31)
Spring QuarterApril through June (4/1 - 6/30)

Summer Employment Dates

GSRs may be appointed up to 100% during the Summer with the home department's approval. The Summer period is defined as the day after Spring Quarter ends through the day before Fall Quarter begins. Since Summer dates vary from year to year, please refer to the Academic and Administrative Calendar for the applicable year. Effective, the first day Fall Quarter begins, the student will need to drop back to 49.99%. 


There is no formal vacation accrual for students appointed as Graduate Student Researchers since their employment may not exceed 49.99% time during the academic year.

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