FUNDING >> Teaching Assistantships
The teaching assistantship (TA) comprises a small portion of the guaranteed graduate funding package. The standard TA service for the department is 140 hours per academic year. This is a relatively light assignment, approximately 5 hours per week, that offers invaluable experience in teaching and communication. The duties include preparation for classes, preparation of written or audio visual materials; attending lectures, teaching, leading discussions and supervising laboratories; holding office hours, consulting with students, writing and grading tests, examinations and lab sets, grading essays and term papers.
Please note that a TA assignment of less than the standard 140 hours will reduce the overall funding. Students may have the opportunity, subject to availability, to take additional TA hours to increase the overall funding. Typically, the extra hours are allocated for the summer session. It is recommended that additional TA hours be discussed with the student’s supervisor.
All first year students are assigned to the beginning astronomy undergraduate courses, AST101: The Sun and Its Neighbors and AST201: Stars and Galaxies. These courses are intended for undergraduate students with no science or engineering background. It is mandatory for all new UofT teaching assistants to attend a training program as established by the department of at least 3 hours combined in duration which is counted as paid TA work. The department provides an in-house training session in coordination with the Teaching Assistantships’ Training Program (TATP) which includes general pedagogical training, grading, managing the classroom, the CUPE 3902 Unit Collective Agreement, and topics specific to AST101 + 201.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 3902 (CUPE 3902) labor union represents teaching assistants and sessional lecturers at the University of Toronto.