Conduct Your Research

Hiring and Supervising Research Assistants

Research Assistants (RA) are an invaluable part of the research process. RAs can help with collecting, entering and organizing ideas, preparing reports and briefs, managing project emails and communicating and more.

Effective March 1, 2019, the process to hire Research Assistants will be administered through Human Resources.

Notes to Remember:

  1. The hiring process must be complete before the Research Assistant begins work
  2. RAs are classified as casual employees of the University
  3. They are paid through direct deposit into their chosen bank account
  4. Minimum wage for Alberta is $15/hour
  5. Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Canadian Employment Insurance (CEI) are paid by the employee and employer
  6. Appropriate tax is deducted based on the information on their TD1 Federal and Province
  7. The current employer's costs are approximately 17% (9.2% vacation and holiday, employer's CPP contributions of 5.10% and employer's CEI contributions of 2.268%)
  8. Overtime is all hours worked over eight hours per day or 44 hours per week, whichever is greater (8/44 rule). An employee overtime pay is at least 1.5 times the employee's regular wage rate for all overtime hours worked. Check out Alberta regulations for more information
  9. Researchers must provide job responsibilities in a written document

How to Hire a Research AssistantHiringProcess_RA_Research

  

Step One: Ensure Principle Investigator (PI) is Set Up as an Approver

The PI needs to be set up as an approver in Banner by filling out the Banner Systems Access Authorization Form found here.

Step Two: Develop Job Description and Determine Appointment Type

There are two types of appointment available for Research Assistants. For more information, review the Terms and Conditions of Employment for Research Assistants.

  • Student Research Assistant: Student Research Assistants are individuals who are actively enrolled in at least one (1) credit course at a University. A Student Research Assistant can be appointed for a period of at least three (3) months and up to two (2) years.
  • Non-Student Research Assistant. Non-Student Research Assistants are individuals who are not enrolled at a University but meet the minimum education requirements for the position. Non-Student Research Assistants can be appointed for:

    1. A period of less than fourteen (14) hours a week; or
    2. A period of more than fourteen (14) hours a week; regularly scheduled, for a period no longer than three (3) consecutive months.
Research Assistants work on an irregular schedule for not less than three (3) hours per shift and for not more than fifteen (15) hours per week during the Fall and Winter terms. December 1 to January 15 and the period of May 1 to September 15, an RA can work up to 35 hours a week.

Should the Research Assistant be unable to work three (3) hours per shift and puts restrictions on their hours, due to personal reasons, class schedule, etc., they are required to provide a request to work less than three (3) hours per shift in writing, to their Principal Investigator. A record of these requests will be kept in the Office of Research, Scholarship, and Community Engagement. If the Principal Investigator is requesting the Research Assistant to work less than three (3) hours, the Research Assistant will be paid a minimum of three (3) hours.

All Research Assistant appointments will automatically cease at the end of the term of appointment, unless renewed or extended.

Please contact your Faculty's Human Resources Business Partner if your position falls outside of these appointment types.

NOTE: Hiring through STEP is a separate process not covered in this document.

Use the below scale to select a candidate's pay grid:

  Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4
Hourly $17.50 to $20.00 $20.00 to $25.00 $25.00 to $30.00 $30.00 to $50.00
  • Consider the experience and education of your candidate when deciding the salary.
  • If you go over the above rates, please provide a rationale when submitting your Request for Offer form (below). A record of this rationale will be kept in the ORSCE.

NOTE: All existing employees' (currently working) salary scales will be grandfathered until current contract expires. If rehiring a past Research Assistant, please reference above Appointment Types and pay grid for selecting candidate's compensation.

Step Three: Interview & Select Candidate The Principal Investigator (PI) is accountable for the recruitment of the Research Assistant (RA). Employment opportunities may be posted on the Human Resources website. For assistance creating the job posting, please contact eRecruiter@mtroyal.ca.

NOTE: Once you have selected and received a verbal acceptance from your preferred candidate, please ensure they are aware that they will be processed as a casual in our system and as a result, they will be one pay period behind.

Step Four:

Once you have received verbal acceptance from your preferred candidate, complete an electronic Request for Offer form located on myMRU in the HR Toolkit.

Send the completed form to the ORSCE at ORSCEfinance@mtroyal.ca. ORSCE will complete the form and forward it to Recruitment at eRecruiter@mtroyal.ca with "Research Assistant" in the subject line.

NOTE: The start date needs to be a minimum of 10 business days after the date the Request for Offer form is submitted. If not, there may be a delay in pay. 

Once Recruitment receives the Request for Offer form, they will create an offer package. They will also be asking the candidate for banking information and a copy of their SIN card. The offer package will be sent to the candidate cc'ing: Principal Investigator & ORSCE at ORSCEfinance@mtroyal.ca.
  • Package includes:
    • Offer Letter
    • RA Terms & Conditions
    • Code of Conduct
    • TD1 Forms
    • Employee Commencement Form
       

Step Five: Offer Accepted

Once the candidate has accepted the offer, they will send it back to Recruitment. The employee will bring to Payroll their TD1 Forms, Employee Commencement Form, banking information, and copy of their SIN. Payroll will complete the following:

  • Set up the employee in Banner
  • Set up casual file

The PI (or designate) is responsible for filling out the "Account Create Form" in IT Services to grant the Research Assistant access to myMRU to complete their time sheet. The form can be found here.

NOTE: If you need assistance filling out an employee's Web Entry Time Sheet, you are encouraged to visit:

https://www.mtroyal.ca/EmploymentCareers/HumanResources/EmployeeServices/index.htm.

For further help, please contact Payroll at 403.440.6320.

NOTE: PI's who have been correctly set up as an approver in Banner should receive an automatic email from the system informing them of the deadline for payroll. If you do not receive this notification, please contact Payroll.

Once this is completed, Payroll will communicate with ORSCE that the employee is ready to start their first day as a Research Assistant!

Step Six: Onboarding and Offboarding

It is the PI's responsibility to ensure their new Research Assistant is set up for their first day. In particular, the PI will need to fill out the Account Create Form in order for them to get access to myMRU as an employee. This form will need to be filled out even if the Research Assistant is a current or previous student.

https:www.mtroyal.ca/CampusServices/CampusResources/InformationTechnology/AccountCreateForm/index.htm.

For more information, please contact IT Services regarding this.
The PI is also responsible for Offboarding the Research Assistant at the end of their appointment. This includes collecting any Mount Royal University property, such as keys.

Extending Your Research Assistant's Appointment

If the Research Assistant's term has yet to be completed, they can be extended up to a maximum of 2 years as per the Terms and Conditions.

  • The PI will need to contact ORSCE to confirm that the funds are available and verify an extension is possible
  • Once confirmed, ORSCE will email humanresources@mtroyal.ca to initiate the extension
  • Human Resources will send an Extension Offer Letter to the Research Assistant, cc'ing both the PI and ORSCE
  • The Research Assistant must return the signed Extension Letter to Payroll at: payroll@mtroyal.ca in order for the extension to take place.

NOTE: Once the Research Assistant's term has ended, the PI will need to re-complete the hiring process outlined at the beginning of this document in order to hire the Research Assistant again.

Step One: Ensure Principle Investigator (PI) is Set Up as an Approver

The PI needs to be set up as an approver in Banner by filling out the Banner Systems Access Authorization Form found here.

Step Two: Develop Job Description and Determine Appointment Type

There are two types of appointment available for Research Assistants. For more information, review the Terms and Conditions of Employment for Research Assistants.

  • Student Research Assistant: Student Research Assistants are individuals who are actively enrolled in at least one (1) credit course at a University. A Student Research Assistant can be appointed for a period of at least three (3) months and up to two (2) years.
  • Non-Student Research Assistant. Non-Student Research Assistants are individuals who are not enrolled at a University but meet the minimum education requirements for the position. Non-Student Research Assistants can be appointed for:

    1. A period of less than fourteen (14) hours a week; or
    2. A period of more than fourteen (14) hours a week; regularly scheduled, for a period no longer than three (3) consecutive months.

Research Assistants work on an irregular schedule for not less than three (3) hours per shift and for not more than fifteen (15) hours per week during the Fall and Winter terms. December 1 to January 15 and the period of May 1 to September 15, an RA can work up to 35 hours a week.

Should the Research Assistant be unable to work three (3) hours per shift and puts restrictions on their hours, due to personal reasons, class schedule, etc., they are required to provide a request to work less than three (3) hours per shift in writing, to their Principal Investigator. A record of these requests will be kept in the Office of Research, Scholarship, and Community Engagement. If the Principal Investigator is requesting the Research Assistant to work less than three (3) hours, the Research Assistant will be paid a minimum of three (3) hours.

All Research Assistant appointments will automatically cease at the end of the term of appointment, unless renewed or extended.

Please contact your Faculty's Human Resources Business Partner if your position falls outside of these appointment types.

NOTE: Hiring through STEP is a separate process not covered in this document.

Use the below scale to select a candidate's pay grid:

  Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4
Hourly $17.50 to $20.00 $20.00 to $25.00 $25.00 to $30.00 $30.00 to $50.00
  • Consider the experience and education of your candidate when deciding the salary.
  • If you go over the above rates, please provide a rationale when submitting your Request for Offer form (below). A record of this rationale will be kept in the ORSCE.

NOTE: All existing employees' (currently working) salary scales will be grandfathered until current contract expires. If rehiring a past Research Assistant, please reference above Appointment Types and pay grid for selecting candidate's compensation.

Step Three: Interview & Select Candidate The Principal Investigator (PI) is accountable for the recruitment of the Research Assistant (RA). Employment opportunities may be posted on the Human Resources website. For assistance creating the job posting, please contact eRecruiter@mtroyal.ca.

 

NOTE: Once you have selected and received a verbal acceptance from your preferred candidate, please ensure they are aware that they will be processed as a casual in our system and as a result, they will be one pay period behind.

Step Four:

Once you have received verbal acceptance from your preferred candidate, complete an electronic Request for Offer form located on myMRU in the HR Toolkit.

Send the completed form to Recruitment at eRecruiter@mtroyal.ca with "Research Assistant" in the subject line.

Note:The start date needs to be a minimum of 10 business days after the date the Request for Offer form is submitted. If not, there may be a delay in pay.

Once Recruitment receives the Request for Offer form, they will create an offer package. They will also be asking the candidate for banking information and a copy of their SIN card. The offer package will be sent to the candidate cc'ing: Principal Investigator & ORSCE at ORSCEfinance@mtroyal.ca.
Package includes:
  • Offer Letter
  • RA Terms & Conditions
  • Code of Conduct
  • TD1 Forms
  • Employee Commencement Form
Step Five: Offer Accepted

Once the candidate has accepted the offer, they will send it back to Recruitment. The employee will bring to Payroll their TD1 Forms, Employee Commencement Form, banking information, and copy of their SIN. Payroll will complete the following:

  • Set up the employee in Banner
  • Set up casual file

The PI (or designate) is responsible for filling out the "Account Create Form" in IT Services to grant the Research Assistant access to myMRU to complete their time sheet. The form can be found here.

NOTE: If you need assistance filling out an employee's Web Entry Time Sheet, you are encouraged to visit:

https://www.mtroyal.ca/EmploymentCareers/HumanResources/EmployeeServices/index.htm.

For further help, please contact Payroll at 403.440.6320.

NOTE: PI's who have been correctly set up as an approver in Banner should receive an automatic email from the system informing them of the deadline for payroll. If you do not receive this notification, please contact Payroll.

Once this is completed, Payroll will communicate with ORSCE that the employee is ready to start their first day as a Research Assistant!

Step Six: Onboarding and Offboarding

The PI will need to ensure that their new Research Assistant is set up for their first day. In particular, the PI will need to fill out the Account Create Form in order for them to get access to myMRU as an employee. This form will need to be filled out regardless if the new employee was a previous student.

https:www.mtroyal.ca/CampusServices/CampusResources/InformationTechnology/AccountCreateForm/index.htm.

For more information, please contact IT Services regarding this.
The PI is also responsible for Offboarding the Research Assistant at the end of their appointment. This includes collecting any Mount Royal University property, such as keys.
Extending Your Research Assistant's Appointment

If the Research Assistant's term has yet to be completed, they can be extended up to a maximum of 2 years as per the Terms and Conditions.

  • The PI will and the Budget Manager of the position will need to send an email to humanresources@mtroyal.ca, giving approval to extend the Research Assistant's appointment
  • Human Resources will then verify if the extension is possible
  • Once confirmed, Human Resources will send an Extension Offer Letter to the Research Assistant, cc'ing both the PI and Budget Manager
  • The Research Assistant must return the signed Extension Letter to Payroll at: payroll@mtroyal.ca in order for the extension to take place.

NOTE: Once the Research Assistant's term has ended, the PI will need to re-complete the hiring process outlined at the beginning of this document in order to hire the Research Assistant again.