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Guidelines for Hiring Research Foundation Graduate Student Employees

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To: Department Chairs, Graduate Program Directors
From: Lisa Coleman, HRS Manager of Employee Benefits
Madeline Ricciardi, HRS Manager, RF Appointments & Payroll
Date: August 20th, 2007

The following guidelines have been developed to assist in the appointment of graduate student employees. This will also help departments and Principle Investigators (PIís) who wish to ensure that their RF graduate student employees can take advantage of low cost health insurance coverage.

Health Insurance for RF Graduate Student Employees

Research Project Assistants and Research Graduate Assistants may enroll in the Research Foundation Graduate Student Employee Health Plan if they meet the following eligibility criteria:
  • the employeeís appointment papers have been processed by Research Foundation Payroll, and
  • the employee is appointed for at least one semester (or the equivalent in months), and
  • the employee is paid on a bi-weekly (not hourly) basis and earns at least $153.92 each pay period with an annualized salary of $4,002 or more.
Please note that since a Senior Research Aid is paid on an hourly basis, students in this title are not eligible to enroll in the Health Insurance. We encourage PIís to appoint to a title that is paid on a bi-weekly basis.
Appointment Dates for Health Insurance Purposes
In order to ensure maximum health insurance coverage we encourage PIís to use the appointment dates/time periods indicated below. These dates will help to ensure that:
  • Graduate students who may experience a change in funding source from State to RF do not experience a loss of their health insurance coverage.
  • International graduate student employees are not automatically enrolled in the more expensive International Student Health Insurance when they come off payroll for short periods between appointments. Please note, International Students who have a lapse in the Graduate Student Health Insurance Program will automatically be enrolled in the Mandatory Student Health Insurance Program and will remain in that program through the end of the semester.
Suggested Appointment Dates for Fall, Spring and Academic Year
Fall Only August 20, 2007 to January 11, 2008 10.5 pay periods
Spring Only January 14, 2008 to May 16, 2008 9.0 pay periods
* Summer Only May 19, 2008 to August 15, 2008 6.5 pay periods
Academic Year August 20, 2007 to May 16, 2008 19.5 pay periods
12 Months August 20, 2007 to August 15, 2008 26.0 pay periods

Note: Summer only not eligible for benefits.

Appointing Research Foundation Graduate Student Employees

In order to process graduate student appointments in a timely fashion we encourage departments to refer to the following documents.

Form New Existing
RF Schedule for Submission of Paperwork X X
RA/RGA Appointment package list X X
Appointment and Change Form Routing X X
RF Appointing Form (2 pages) (for new RF employees) X -
RF Change Form (2 pages) (for existing employees) - X
W-4 Federal Withholding Tax Form X -
IT-2104 NYS Withholding Tax Form X -
IT-2104E NYS Cert. of Exempt. Withholding X -
I-9 Immigration and Naturalization Service X -
Request to Hire AA Summary of Recruitment Activity X X
Research Graduate Attendance Biweekly Attendance Report X X
List of departments and Payroll Specialist assigned to them X X

The forms, with the exception of the I-9 may be accessed on-line at

Copies of the I-9, which is a two-sided document, can be requested through Betty Fanning at (631) 632-6151.

In completing the salary portion of the Appointment Form, hiring units should note that the maximum salary for Research Project Assistants or Research Graduate Assistants is $30,000 per year.

For Further Information

Departments or students seeking further information on Graduate Health Insurance should contact Danielle Bray at (631) 632-6144.

Questions concerning Research Foundation appointments and payroll should be directed to the Payroll Specialist assigned to your department.

CC: L. Johnson