Teaching Assistantships


A Teaching Assistantship (TA)is a contractual agreement between the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies (Queen’s University) and a graduate student to provide a specified number of hours of teaching support during a term. All TAs and TA contracts are governed by the PSAC TA TF 901 Collective Agreement. 


Teaching Assistantships serve several functions:

  • Most importantly, they provide teaching support to the undergraduate programs of the School;
  • they are a basic component of financial support for graduate students;
  • they are an important part of the professional development of graduate students;
  • it is important to stress that the salary received by teaching assistants is payment for services/work performed and not a stipend or funding award.

Provincial regulations require that full-time graduate students work no more than ten hours per week, not to exceed 130 hours per term. The current rate of pay for Graduate Teaching Assistantships is $39.31 per hour.

Mandatory Requirements Prior to Serving as Teaching Assistant

All new SKHS teaching assistants are required complete the University-mandated Accessible Instruction for Educators Online Tutorials.  SKHS TAs are also required to complete other specific SKHS-specific TA education sessions hosted by the SKHS Graduate Coordinator during Orientation Week. 


In the first instance, all SKHS TA positions will be made available to SKHS full-time graduate students in good standing in their first or second year of master’s study, or first through fourth year of doctoral study.  Where this first round of TAs do not meet undergraduate programs teaching needs, third year master’s and fifth year doctoral students will also be invited to serve.  Invitation to rank your TA preferences will be provided via email from the SKHS Graduate Assistant during May and June each year.


TAs come in several different forms and may involve one or more of the following responsibilities:

  • Laboratory Instructor – Formal laboratory sessions are held in biomechanics, and exercise physiology. Usually lab instructors lead undergraduate students through structured laboratory assignments. They may also provide instruction and supervision related to use of equipment and treatment of volunteer test subjects, and they may give assistance in the analysis and interpretation of data. Marking and administrative duties may also be assigned as part of this type of TA. In some instances, preparation time may be included in the hours.
  • Laboratory Demonstrator – This assignment usually involves assisting course instructors in biomechanics or exercise physiology by providing demonstrations to undergraduate classes. These demonstrations may teach the use of equipment and testing protocols, or illustrate typical responses of human subjects to different exercise situations. The TA may be involved in providing background talks to the class, setting up equipment, recording data or explaining analysis of data collected during the demonstration. Again, preparation time, attending lectures, marking and/or administrative duties may be assigned as part of this type of TA.
  • Seminar Leader/Marker – Teaching assistants in the social sciences are often assigned responsibilities either as markers, or as a combination of marker/seminar leader. Seminar leaders are normally allocated one hour of preparation time for each seminar. With reference to marking, the time that a student devotes to marking each paper should be agreed upon mutually by the TA and the course instructor.

TAs and course instructors may agree that it is necessary for TAs to attend course lectures to prepare to lead seminars.  This time is included as part of the TAs overall responsibilities and identified on the TA contract.

If it becomes apparent that the time contracted to a TA assignment does not permit completion of the originally allocated workload, the TA should inform the course instructor who in turn should notify the SKHS Graduate Assistant. 

If it becomes apparent that the time contracted to a TA assignment is more than  that required to perform the TA’s responsibilities, the TA should inform the course instructor, who in turn should notify the SKHS Graduate Assistant.

All TA contract changes must be represented on a revised Teaching Assistant Agreement and filed appropriately. 

When graduate students have marking responsibilities in more than one course per term (which is common), course instructors should attempt to coordinate the due dates of the TA assignment duties so that they do not fall at the same time.

How to Apply for an SKHS TA Position

All SKHS TA positions are advertised on the SKHS website during the spring (May or June) of the year.  Eligible SKHS graduate students may apply for any/all TA positions of interest using the SKHS customized TA ranking software.  Eligible SKHS TAs are provided with software password and access instructions by the SKHS Graduate Assistant via email in May or June each year.  A full roster of available positions is listed with instructions on how to rank your preferred positions.


The SKHS Graduate Assistant works with the SKHS Undergraduate Cooordinator and SKHS Course Instructors to match student TA rankings with available TA positions based on the TAs skills and background and how they best suit available TA positions.  Not all TAs will receive their top ranked TA options but every effort will be made to match TAs to their ranked choices wherever possible and to meet undergraduate program needs. 


Graduate TAs will be offered TA positions via email by the SKHS Graduate Assistant during June and July each year.  Upon acceptance of the TA position offer, the Graduate Assistant will load each contract into the Queen’s Peoplesoft payroll system for acceptance.  TAs will be provided with complete TA online contract acceptance via email from the SKHS Graduate Assistant during June and July each year.

TA Payroll

TA assignments are paid to students through the Queen’s University Electronic Payroll System. The SKHS Graduate Assistant prepares the TA contract on line; the SKHS Director approves online; the student/TA accepts online via Peoplesoft/SOLUS; and the Department of Human Resources clears the contract for payment. A photocopy of each completed TA contract is retained in the graduate student’s official graduate file in the SKHS Graduate Office. Students are encouraged to save or print out copies of their own TA contracts.

TA Payment

TA contracts are paid in 1/4 amounts of the overall term contractual amount of each TA contract on the last working day of each month during that Term as a direct deposit to the student’s banking account.  TA payment is salaried income and thus 4% vacation will be added and income tax, CPP, and EI deducted accordingly. 

TA  – Responding To A Student Who Is In Distress

CLICK HERE for at-a-glance instructions and tips on helping your students when they are in distress.  Always remember to refer to your course instructor to ensure you are helping your students in the best way possible.