Conduct Your Research

Hire and supervise research assistants

Research assistants (RAs) are an invaluable part of the research process.

RAs can help with:

  • collecting, entering, and organizing data
  • contributing ideas
  • preparing reports and briefs
  • managing project emails and communications
  • and more

Please note, Mount Royal University does not hire students from other institutions directly. Instead, this is managed through the transfer of funds to the relevant institution. This is to ensure that students are protected through the appropriate insurances, workers compensation, etc.

The library offers a resource guide for undergraduate research for students who wish to learn more about what goes in to being a research assistant or an independent researcher.  

Required Documents UPDATED FORMS: The Research Assistant (RA) Employment Agreement forms have been revised by MRU Legal Services to comply with MRU policies and applicable legislation. The previous forms will no longer be accepted by the Office of Research, Scholarship and Community Engagement (ORSCE). ORSCE MUST receive and approve a completed RA agreement BEFORE the RA commences work.

Expenses for RAs who have worked without an agreement in place will not be processed.

  • One of the following Research Assistant Employment Agreements (including Schedules). Researchers must provide the RA’s job responsibilities in Schedule A of the agreement.
    • Use this agreement if the RA's position is being funded through a Tri-Agency grant 
    • Use this agreement if the RA's position is NOT being funded through a Tri-Agency grant
  • RA Employment Agreement Information Sheet
  • Photocopy of the RA’s SIN card signed by PI.
  • Void cheque or other stamped document from the RA's bank with account information for direct deposit. Without this information the RA cannot get paid.
  • The RA's Federal Personal Tax Credits Return (TD1) and provincial Personal Tax Credits Return (TD1AB).

Training The Library offers training to assist all RAs working on research projects. From inter-library loans to discipline-specific searching to managing large citation lists, they work with individuals and small groups to ensure that RAs can quickly find and access the best research materials and resources to support a project. Contact your subject librarian or the Info Desk at 403.440.6088 for more information or to make an appointment.



While wages depend on the faculty member, the RA hourly pay at Mount Royal generally falls into the $17-$21 per hour range (before employer costs). Remuneration is inclusive of vacation pay, statutory holiday pay and overtime.

RAs are paid through direct deposit into their chosen bank account. Because of this, they must provide a void cheque or other stamped document with their account information in order to be paid.

RAs can be paid in two ways:

  • Equal Installments (Fixed Amount Paid Periodically): Semi-monthly (i.e. twice a month, middle of the month and end of the month) over the term of the contract. This is a good option for longer term contracts.
  • Unequal Installments (Fixed Amount Paid Periodically): If you are uncertain about the length of the contract, the hours involved or the hours are flexible, it is possible to pay for hours worked in a pay period. A timesheet must be submitted at the time of request for payment in this case.


RAs are classified as flex-time employees of Mount Royal University. This means their day-to-day start and end times are flexible. Flextime does not reduce the total number of hours worked in a workweek. It is the responsibility of the RA’s supervisor to inform the Research Finance Analyst of the hours worked by the RA per pay period. At the end of each pay period, the supervisor must provide a timesheet detailing the numbers of hours worked during each day of the pay period.

There will be two weeks lag time for payment.

We are here to help

For questions and assistance with hiring and paying a research assistant, please contact our Research Finance Analyst, Suman Panta, at 403.440.8639 or