April 20, 2017

Research Assistantships

The Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research (OSCAR) has coordinated with the Office of Student Financial Aid in order to allow students to use their federal work-study to work as undergraduate research assistants for faculty at George Mason University. The goal of this initiative is to expand opportunities for students to be introduced to the concept of scholarship, to learn the research or scholarly methods in their field, and to give faculty free project support.

research assistantships


For more information about this program, please review our FWS Research Assistantship Handbook. Please also contact oscarfws@gmu.edu if you have additional questions after referencing this document.




Please be aware that you cannot concurrently participate in the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program.


Expectations for the Student

  • Students must be enrolled at least half-time (six credit hours per semester) to be eligible for this program.
  • Students will work as a research assistant for the assigned faculty member for 150 hours per semester. The schedule will be worked out between the student and the faculty member.
  • Students will fill out a bi-weekly timesheet on PatriotWeb to get paid.  Timesheets must be submitted on time. Unprocessed time sheets will not be paid, and cannot be made up in the future. Students will not be paid for hours they have not worked.
  • It is the responsibility of the student to keep track of their own hours worked to ensure overage does not occur. Students and supervisors may use the Paysheet Tracker to keep track of hours. Students may also see the hours they have worked on PatriotWeb.
  • The pay rate for these Federal Work Study Research Assistantships is $10.00/hour.


Eligibility is based on demonstrated financial need and is calculated by the George Mason Financial Aid Office. You MUST HAVE ALREADY BEEN AWARDED FEDERAL WORK-STUDY to apply for these positions! Please visit patriotweb.gmu.edu to view your eligibility.

For general information about Federal Work-Study please visit the What is Federal Work-Study? page. For specific questions about your unique situation, please call the Financial Aid Office.

How to Apply

Please visit Handshake for job descriptions for each position. Students can find available opportunities by registering for a student account and then searching specifically for federal work study by Position Type or by Job ID numbers. Make sure to write a unique cover letter that explains to the faculty member how you have the skills and abilities (or at least an interest in learning the ones listed) to do the project.