Academic Appointments

An academic appointment is an excellent way for students to earn funding while advancing their own research. The following policies regarding academic appointments apply to all UCSF graduate students in student academic title codes. (All UCSF student academic titles are non-represented.)

Students appointed to student academic title codes must be registered at UCSF and in good academic standing.

Student earnings: Please contact your program administrator with questions on stipend earnings. The stipend level for the basic sciences PhD programs is $44,000 in the 2022-23 academic year. There is no standard stipend level for the social and populational sciences PhD programs.

Academic appointment maximum: The NIH requires that graduate students who have their stipends funded on NIH research grants must have an academic appointment, and their stipend must be paid via the UCSF payroll system. For more information regarding NIH guidelines including maximum compensation levels see Graduate Student Researcher Compensation. UC policy restricts students to a 50% or less appointment during the academic year (September-November and January-May) in any combination of appointments. During quarter breaks and in the summer, graduate students may have up to a 100% appointment. If the student's curriculum requires summer attendance and the payroll appointment is 25-50%, fee remission must be paid by the same funding source as the stipend/salary. Student academic appointments are not considered employment and do not accrue sick or vacation leave.

Exception request process: Student academic appointment policy exception requests to the 50% appointment maximum while school is in session must be sent via email to Annabelle De La Rosa, Graduate Division financial analyst. The letter request should be on department letterhead, include a strong justification for the exception, the percentage and duration of the appointment, appointment payroll title(s), plus approval from the program director and student's faculty adviser. The request will be reviewed and if approved, the letter will be converted to PDF format, returned to the program who should attach the approved letter to the HR PeopleConnect case requesting the payroll appointment increase.

Fee Remission Policy

  • Unless prohibited by the funding source, departments that appoint graduate students in student academic titles (see table below) at 25%-50% time for an entire quarter or have the dollar equivalent (e.g. 50% appointment for half the quarter) are required to pay their tuition and fees from the funding source(s) that pays the student's stipend. If the appointment is split between two or more funding sources, the fee remission will be split in the same manner. The combination of student academic appointments must equal 25%-50% to be eligible for fee remission. Read the unabridged fee remission policy.
  • The student academic appointment must be effective within the first week of instruction in the quarter for which fees are paid.
  • In rare cases, a student may have a fellowship that pays fees and tuition, but may still hold a student academic appointment. Notify Annabelle De La Rosa in the Graduate Division if this situation occurs.
  • Students on filing fee are not eligible for student academic appointments (GSR, TA, or tutor).
  • Students appointed less than 25% are NOT eligible for fee remission and the appropriate student academic title codes should be used (see table below).

To comply with this policy, programs are required to submit a separate fee remission authorization/cancellation form for each quarter that the student is appointed (list multiple students on one form). Send the form via email to General Accounting at the beginning of the quarter for which fee remission is being requested. Contact General Accounting for submission deadlines.

The Graduate Division audits student academic appointments to insure policy compliance, verifies fee remission eligibility, and will contact programs if corrections must be made.

Fee remission required with 25% - 50% appointment:

Student Academic Title Title Code
Graduate Student Researcher, Fee Remission 3282
Teaching Assistant, Fee Remission 2310
Tutor, Fee Remission 2860


No fee remission with less than 25% appointment:

Student Academic Title Title Code
Graduate Student Researcher, No Fee Remission 3266
Teaching Assistant, No Fee Remission 2311
Tutor, No Fee Remission 2861


UC policy allows students with teaching assistant appointments a maximum of 18 quarters regardless of appointment percentage. No exceptions can be made to this policy.

Non-Taxability of Fee Remission: Fee remission is non-taxable. Therefore, fee remission benefits are not included in gross earnings reported to the IRS. However, fee remission benefits are listed on the 1098-T form and may be treated as tax-exempt income, per IRS Publication 970. See additional information on taxes.

Membership Election Form Procedure

There are contractual requirements for UC San Francisco to distribute the UAW Membership Election Form. A union membership election form shall be provided, upon appointment, to all new GSR’s and ASE’s. The forms are sent to new employees in the applicable bargaining units monthly around the 15th of the month via DocuSign.

Note: Current law limits the University’s communications with represented employees about union membership. All questions about the Membership Election Form, or about dues or fees, should be directed to the UAW (their contact information is on the bottom of the form). 

Employees should return completed Membership Election Forms directly to the union when they receive it via DocuSign. Alternatively, forms can be returned via email to the UAW at [email protected].

Helpful Links:

When budgeting student academic salaries on grant proposals, please note that fee remission is charged in addition to health benefits. Please use a 5% increase annually when budgeting tuition and fees in future years.