Working as a Graduate Teaching Assistant
PhD students have the opportunity to work as Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) in the Department. The major roles include:
- Demonstrators for the 1st/2nd year Electronics Laboratories
- Mathematics tutoring for 1st year undergraduates
- Teaching assistants for the 1st/2nd year Professional Engineering and Technical Communications courses
- 3rd and 4th year lecture module support - mainly coursework marking
If you are interested in working as a GTA, please read all of the information below. If you have any questions please contact PG Office at eeePGoffice@imperial.ac.uk
Reasons to work as a GTA
1. Reasons to work as a GTA
Acting as a GTA provides you with an opportunity to broaden your experience at Imperial College, and develop further skills. These include learning to teach, convey complex technical concepts, writing/communication skills, etc. You may find that acting as a GTA helps you in improving your own technical abilities (both theoretical and practical), to broaden your knowledge base and to gain communication and task management experience.
Experience in teaching will set you apart from the other PhD students in applications for an academic career. Acting as a GTA also allows you to contribute to the work of the Department and ‘give something back’ to the community. Your work as a GTA will be celebrated by the Department and Faculty of Engineering via the Best GTA Awards ceremonies.
Only students registered in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering may work as GTAs. In exceptional circumstances, Module Organisers may make a case to the Director of Undergraduate Studies to employ a student from another Department.
If you are employed as a Research Assistant whilst studying for a PhD, you cannot receive additional payments for GTA work and you should not agree to undertake any.
In order to work as a GTA you will need to prove that you are eligible to work in the UK. This applies to everyone, even UK nationals. You will need to provide all relevant right to work documents. If you have a Tier 4 visa it must state that you are allowed to work. Please see the College's pages on right to work acceptable documents.
You will also require a National Insurance Number. To obtain an NI number, see the information online here. Please note the National Insurance number process takes several weeks, sometimes months, so you should do this as soon as possible.
3. Hours of Work
Your main objective as a PhD student in the Department is to successfully complete your PhD. Thus, the maximum number of hours you can spend working as a GTA is limited. You should not be asked to work more than 20 hours in any week or more than 200 hours over the course of an academic year. If you are concerned about the number of hours you have committed to work, you must discuss this with the module organiser and Postgraduate Manager as soon as possible.
The maximum number of hours you can work as a GTA each academic year is determined by your PhD supervisor. It is expected that holders of fully-funded studentships and scholarships will not normally work for more than 100 hours in total over the academic year. The absolute maximum the Department will allow is 200 hours per academic year. Most international students holding Tier 4 visas cannot work for more than 20 hours per week. If you have a visa please check the details regarding paid work.
In order to work as a GTA you must undertake GTA training. There are two compulsory training workshops (3-hour each):
- Introduction to Learning and Teaching
- Introduction to Assessment and Feedback for Learning
You are may attend any others if you wish to develop you teaching skills further.
Dates for October can be booked through this link.
Any time after October, please register through the Graduate School page for the GTA training programme.
GTA performance is monitored by the member of staff employing you. The students can comment on the quality of assistance provided by GTAs and this is used to determine if GTAs are retained for specific tasks.
Useful Information for GTAS: training supported by the Learning Technology team are now available on SharePoint. This includes training on panopto, blackboard and WebPA.
IMPORTANT: You are not permitted to work until you have submitted your right to work and joining documents
Before applying for any GTA work you must follow the steps below to register as a casual worker.
To apply for any of the GTA positions above, please contact the module organiser. Once you have been accepted by a module organiser, you can start the formal process of registering as a GTA.
The Good Work Plan legislation came into effect on 1 April 2020. It requires employers to provide a much greater level of detail about the registering of casual workers, in order to ensure full compliance with the legislation.
All GTAs must now complete their full registration process with the college’s Casual Worker Team. More information about the Casual Worker Team and the purpose of their role can be found on their webpage.
For all GTAs:
Once you have an agreement for GTA work in place, please note that the Appendix (Word) document is the only document which you need to provide to the department (eeePGoffice@imperial.ac.uk) directly. You are required to complete one Appendix document per type of assignment. Please note that the module organiser and your supervisor must both sign the Appendix document.
The Casual Worker Team will contact you and you will complete the rest of the registration process for your GTA work with their team. For new workers, this will involve providing your right to work documents plus National Insurance Number to them. There may be other documentation which you are required to complete, to register as a casual worker for your GTA work.
If you have any queries about the registration requirements, please contact the Casual Worker team directly. The Casual Worker team will also be your point of contact for any queries relating to work available, payments or changes to details.
*Please remember you are required to complete your registration in full, before you can start working as a casual worker on a GTA assignment.
Once your casual worker record has been set up you can claim your hours of work by submitting a weekly timesheet via the EEE Casual Payments System. If you experience any glitch when trying to access the new system, please get in touch with PG Office on eeePGoffice@imperial.ac.uk
The module orgainser must approve your GTA claim by the 5th of the month, in order for you to get paid on the 24th.
College Payroll will only release payments to those with casual worker records. All of the steps in section 5 (registration with the Casual Worker Team, plus a completed Appendix per type of work to eeePGoffice@imperial.ac.uk) must be completed before you can begin your work, and submit a claim for payment.
7. Payslips and deductions
You will find your monthly Payslip on My.Imperial.ac.uk. Please note that if you receive less payment than you expect from your GTA work, it may be due to statutory deductions.
All employers are required by law to enrol staff who meet certain criteria in a pension scheme to help people save more for their retirement. We have to make sure all staff are enrolled in a pension scheme every three years, even if you have opted out before.
If you want to be in a pension scheme, you don’t have to take any action. You will receive confirmation of your enrolment from the pensions office and the relevant pension scheme.
If you don’t want to be in a pension scheme, you can opt out by completing an opt-out form and returning it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you change your mind after you have opted out, you can join a pension scheme at any time by contacting the pensions office.