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Work opportunities for research students

Paid work available to research students

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Undertaking teaching and learning support duties represents an important professional and career development opportunity for postgraduate research students. Brunel offers two levels of paid work available to Postgraduate Research students. The first level post is as a Demonstrator and the second level post is as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA).

Teaching and learning support duties will vary between Departments and research students should not rely on such opportunities being available. 

Role scope

Type of educational support



Support workshop/laboratory sessions led by others



Provide feedback and/or formative assessment of practical work



Provide practical support in relation to final year project and masters dissertation projects



Provide administrative support via the University VLE



Provide academic support (e.g. academic advice, formative feedback) via the University VLE


Lead small group teaching sessions (tutorials, seminars)



Provide feedback and/or formative assessment of (non-practical) coursework



Input to course material development



Provide tutorial support to final year project and masters dissertation students


One-off specialist lectures (UG or PGT*)



Summative  assessment (level 1 only)



Requirements of the role

The level of relevant education and experience of the research student is taken into account in making appointment and work allocation decisions. It would normally be expected that a GTA involved in supporting PGT education will have a PGT qualification or significant relevant experience.

It is University Policy that any postgraduate research student supporting learning and teaching must receive appropriate training before they can commence their duties, and all research students involved in supporting teaching and learning should attend recommended internal workshops and induction prior to undertaking any teaching responsibilities.

Hours of work

Up to 180 hours total per year including contact hours, preparation time, meeting attendance time and time to attend the professional development activities associated with the role.  The student contact hours will not normally exceed 6 per week and research students will not work (including time spent on training) more than 15 hours in a single week.

Hourly rate 


Hourly rate August 2018


£17.72       (Brunel Students Workers Only)

Graduate Teaching Assistants

£27.46        (Brunel Students Workers Only)

Find out more

Policy for the Employment of Postgraduate Research Students in Supporting Teaching and Learning