Application for Research Project Associate (RPA)

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The goal of the Research and Project Associate Program is to provide graduate students an opportunity to engage in the teaching, research and programmatic life of the Stone Center, its working groups and institutes. Only projects that provide enrichment and learning experiences, which contribute to the professional development of our graduate students, will be selected. In the same spirit, only projects that are institutional in scope will be supported — for example, research for a monograph by an individual faculty member does not fall within the scope of the program, but the development of a major conference or lecture series does.

Faculty, professional staff, or affiliated centers and institutes may submit projects. All applications are due on or before September 1 for a project that will be conducted in the fall semester and December 20 for the spring semester. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals as soon as possible, even as much as several semesters in advance for large pre-planned events.

A committee composed of the Stone Center's Executive Director, Assistant Director for Graduate Programs, and other relevant staff or faculty will make the final selection.

Research and Project Associates are normally appointed for one semester. Summer appointments are not available under this program. Nevertheless, we are cognizant of the fact that some projects might be better served by full-year commitments. For this reason, reappointments are possible when mutually agreed upon by all participants.

Fall semester appointments run from the second week of September through the first week of December (Thanksgiving week excluded); Spring semester appointments from the third week of January through the third week of April (Mardi Gras week excluded).

Each Associate must work 6 hours per week (a total of 72 hours per semester). Total hours may be unevenly distributed over the semester depending upon the specific nature and requirements of the project and upon the student's schedule and commitments.

The Project Director will be responsible for directing the progress of the project and counseling the Associate in methods and skills required to achieve results of the highest quality. He or she will make sure that the proposed schedule and duties are adhered to and that the project continues to be a professionally valuable learning exercise for the Associate.

The Associate must complete all hours by the end of classes for each term. Associates that have not completed their commitments will not be eligible for financial aid.

Both the Research and Project Associates and Project Directors are responsible for completing a brief end-of-semester final evaluation of the project and the work experience.

Applicants seeking to become Project Directors must be

  • members of the faculty of the Stone Center, its working groups, committees, programs and affiliated institutes
  • professional staff members of the Center, its working groups, committees, programs and affiliated institutes

Priority is given to projects that

  • preserve the spirit of the mission and purpose of the program
  • provide positive learning and professional development experiences for associates
  • show strong promise for advancing institutional goals
  • demonstrate careful and thorough planning
  • achieve clear outcomes in the period of appointment.

Completing and submitting this form constitutes formal submission of an RPA assignment request. The primary purpose of these questions is to assess the nature and requirements of the work that will be performed so that Center staff can create productive collaborations between Project Directors and RPAs in projects that support our research, teaching, and institutional goals.

Name of Project Director and RPA Supervisor
Departmental or Unit Affiliation
Project Title
Project Description

Please explain the project, noting any work already accomplished and any strategic objectives.
Minimum Qualifications

Please describe any specialized technical skills or linguistic competencies; any subject, disciplinary, or methodological expertise; and any previous experience, etc., required of the RPA.
Key Responsibilities and Performance Standards

Please define the specific role and duties that the RPA will have and describe the nature of the collaborative relationship between the Project Director and the RPA, and the degree of independence of the latter.
Work Schedule

Please outline the approximate time the RPA will devote to different responsibilities during the appointment and the expected work schedule of the RPA. (i.e. Regular weekly hours during the workday, periodic evening hours, special event hours, etc. The more detailed the work schedule the better. For instance, if you expect the RPA to organize, set-up, and attend a lecture series or a workshop/symposium on fixed dates and times, please list the details of these events as specifically as possible.)
Work Environment

Please describe expectations of where the work will be conducted and any specific equipment the RPA might need to complete the work assigned.
Outcomes and Evaluation

Please explain the nature of the product that you anticipate from the project and how you will assess the quality of the contribution of the RPA.
Additional Information (Optional)

Please use this feature if you would like to append any additional details, information, or documents about the project via a single .pdf file upload.