Graduate Student Salary & Tuition

Graduate Research Assistants

Compensation for Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) includes salary, fringe benefits, and tuition (HOP 9-2030).

Graduate Student Salary

Graduate Research Assistants appointed to a sponsored project are paid within UT’s published student employee compensation salary ranges. To determine the appropriate graduate student salary rate within this range, contact the fiscal office in your academic unit.

Tuition on Sponsored Projects

Tuition remission is considered a component of GRA compensation (HOP 9-2030).

All proposals (including resubmissions, competing renewals, continuations, and supplements) that include salary support for graduate research assistants must also include a proportional amount of tuition unless the sponsor disallows tuition (VPR memo, September 5, 2001).

Salary, fringe benefits, and tuition should each be charged to the grant proportionally at the percent of effort the GRA dedicates to the project.

Graduate Tuition Rates

Tuition should be budgeted using the current rates published for each college in the UT Austin Tuition Tables. To determine appropriate escalation rates for future years, contact the fiscal office in your academic unit.

GRA Compensation on NIH Research Grants

GRA salary on NIH research grant proposals should be proposed at UT’s standard rates; however, the maximum amount NIH will award for the support of a graduate student on a research grant or a cooperative agreement (inclusive of salary, fringe benefits, and tuition) is tied to the National Research Service Award (NRSA) zero-level stipend in effect at the time the grant award is issued on the Federal award date (NOT-OD-19-036).

The NIH Grant Policy Statement allows institutions to rebudget funds to charge more than the awarded amount provided that OMB cost principles requiring reasonable compensation are observed. In general, graduate student compensation will not be considered reasonable if in excess of the amount paid to a first-year postdoctoral scientist at the same institution performing comparable work (GPS 2.3.7.9); therefore, UT Austin’s guidance for GRA compensation on NIH grants is as follows:

  • GRA salary on NIH research grant proposals should be proposed at UT’s standard rates.
  • Graduate students appointed to NIH grants may not receive compensation (salary, fringe, and tuition) in excess of the UT Austin minimum compensation level for entry-level postdocs (i.e. $65,505 in FY 2019).
    • The minimum compensation level for full-time, first year postdocs at UT Austin is the current zero-level NRSA stipend plus fringe benefits (e.g. FY 2019: $50,004 + 31% fringe benefits = $65,505).
  • Applicable inflation rates on salary and fringe benefits may be applied up to the first year postdoc compensation level each year.
  • After award, funds may be re-budgeted to establish UT’s standard rates for GRA salary, fringe benefits, and tuition up to the UT Austin maximum compensation level for GRAs (i.e. $65,505 in FY 2019).
    • Formal re-budgeting is not necessary unless the change exceeds 25% of the total award amount.

GRA Compensation on NIH Fellowships and Training Grants

Rates for GRA tuition and fees, training related expenses, and institutional allowance for NIH training grants and fellowships are established by NRSA (NOT-OD-19-036).

All required fees may be requested in fellowship and training grants, unless prohibited by the sponsor guidelines.

Student fees are not charged on research grants, but may be charged on training grants.