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Graduate Assistantship in Undergraduate Research and Fellowships

Undergraduate Research & Fellowships (URF) is responsible for UT’s centralized undergraduate research programming and nationally competitive fellowships support infrastructure. Our mission is to:

  • develop, coordinate, and assess diverse undergraduate research programs and fellowships support services;
  • provide holistic student advising services, using the context of research and fellowships, that help students clarify their goals and more deeply engage with the campus, local, state, national, and global communities;
  • educate the campus community about opportunities in undergraduate research, creative production, and nationally competitive fellowships;
  • report on campus-wide undergraduate research and fellowships engagement and identify pathways/barriers to improved access and participation;
  • celebrate student engagement in these high-impact educational experiences;
  • support faculty mentors and, relatedly, recognize and celebrate strong mentoring relationships between students and faculty.

Duties and Responsibilities

Fellowships—Fall Semester

Reporting to the URF coach and the Senior Writing Consultant (SWC) during the fall semester, the URF GA will support applicants to the Gilman Scholarship and the Critical Language Scholarship. Fellowship responsibilities include:

  • providing timely written feedback to in-progress applicants on personal and project statements, short-answer essays, and abstracts over multiple rounds of drafts, including structural revisions and lower-order revisions (grammar, spelling, sentence structure, citations)
  • providing follow-up meetings as needed concerning structural revisions to application essays with attention to argumentation, organization, and development
  • with experience, conducting one-to-one consultations with fellowships/award applicants from a variety of majors to help them develop a foundational narrative arc for their application essays that honors students’ stories and strategically incorporates and justifies their award candidacy and grant proposal
  • assisting URF Senior Writing Consultant and URF Coach to plan, schedule, and execute writing workshops and retreats to support fellowships applicants during the application process for the Gilman Scholarship and Critical Language Scholarship, among others.
  • communicating with applicants to develop customized timeline with goals and draft deadlines designed to retain students within lengthy and rigorous application processes
  • maintaining detailed records and data collection
  • assisting the SWC and Coach in scheduling events that accommodate student availability
  • assisting the SWC and Coach in designing and maintaining fellowships Canvas sites
  • fielding fellowships interest forms and managing student enrollment in Canvas and URF workshops
  • attending and participating in office meetings
  • conducting intake meetings to orient students to fellowships
  • other duties as assigned

Undergraduate Research—Spring Semester

Reporting to the Undergraduate Research Program Coordinator during the spring and summer semester, the URF GA will support programming that advances undergraduate research at UT. Undergraduate research responsibilities in spring include:

  • planning, organizing, and facilitating undergraduate research seminar series and tracking attendance
  • attending campus events requiring an undergraduate research table, such as Orientation and Division of Student Success events, as needed
  • contributing to social media accounts (including content creation) and assisting with website maintenance
  • supporting student organizations advised by the office, such as the Undergraduate Research Student Association (URSA) and TEDxUTK
  • assisting with the preparations and execution of EUReCA, the annual exhibition of undergraduate research and creative achievement with approximately 1200 student presenters
  • tracking student attendance at events and other relevant metrics as assigned
  • other tasks as assigned

Undergraduate Research: Summer Semester

Undergraduate research responsibilities in summer include:

  • attending campus events requiring an undergraduate research table, such as Vol Summer Welcome, Orientation, and Division of Student Success events, as needed
  • with guidance, planning and being a host for the Summer Research Scholars professional development and social activities
  • assisting with the preparations and execution of the Summer Research Scholars Symposium
  • tracking student attendance at events and other relevant metrics as assigned
  • other tasks as assigned


  • strong writing skills and extensive experience writing at the college level
  • strong interpersonal communications skills
  • strong organizational skills
  • experience with research and research writing
  • full-time status as graduate student at UT

Preferred Qualifications

  • experience as a writing tutor and/or teaching at the college level
  • experience composing research/fellowships proposals
  • knowledge of composition/writing teaching theories
  • experience with student or academic event planning
  • familiarity with Canvas course design and maintenance


  • tuition waiver
  • monthly stipend of $1500/month
  • graduate student health insurance
  • 20 hours/week; 12-month (including summer) appointment available; at-will position

Application Procedure

Review of applications will begin on June 16 and interviews will be held during the month of July with an expected start date of August 1. To apply, please e-mail as attachments your resume—with names and contact information for three references—and a 1-page cover letter expressing interest in and qualifications for this position to Please use the subject line “[LAST NAME]: URF Graduate Assistant”. Any questions about the position should also be directed to

For other available positions, visit the graduate assistantships page.