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. 

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 PhD programs is based in accordance with the Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) contract. Basic Science PhD students will be paid at salary point 6 at 50% effort. Non-basic science PhD students will be mapped to the appropriate associated new salary points listed in the UC Table 22 according to experience level.

Academic appointment maximum

Most student academic appointment are 50% (please see exception policy below). Graduate students who have their compensation funded on NIH research grants (e.g. R01 grants) must have an academic appointment, and their compensation must be paid via the UCSF payroll system (UC Path). 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. (Please see exception policy below.)

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.

Exception request process

Student academic appointment policy exception requests for appointments at 51% - 75% must be approved by both the program director AND the student’s faculty adviser. Appointments over 75% or at multiple locations (MLA) must be approved by the Graduate Dean.

Request for the Dean’s approval should be emailed to Annabelle de la Rosa, Graduate Division financial analyst. The request should be on department letterhead and 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 and returned to the program, who should attach the approved letter to the HR PeopleConnect case requesting the payroll appointment increase.

This applies to the Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters only and does not apply to the Summer quarter.

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 be 25% or more 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 greater than 25% appointment

Student Academic Title Title Code
Graduate Student Researcher, Fee Remission 3282
Graduate Student Researcher-Fellowship, Fee Remission 3141
Graduate Student Researcher-Trainee, Fee Remission 3151
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
Graduate Student Researcher-Fellowship, No Fee Remission 3140
Graduate Student Researcher-Trainee, No Fee Remission 3150
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 GSRs and ASEs. 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.