Research Postgraduates

Teaching as Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs)

All full-time Research Postgraduate (RPg) students will be taking teaching roles as Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) as part of the teaching training in postgraduate education. They will take on ancillary duties in teaching and research work as assigned by the Postgraduate Programs Coordinators (PGCs) and supervising faculty in their department.

Responsibilities and Duties of GTAs

Responsibilities and duties of GTAs vary across disciplines and departments, but generally involve marking and grading assignments, teaching tutorials and/or laboratory sections, answering questions / queries from students, invigilating tests/exams, and managing courses on the learning management system. While a thorough understanding of the subject area is needed for GTAs to take on the teaching challenge, they also need to possess a good standard of transferable skills in teaching, communication, management, and presentation.

GTAs at HKUST may be required to work for 36 effective hours per month on average. “Effective hours” includes both contact hours and preparation time. In the case of research-related duties, if the duties performed are directly related to the student’s thesis research or project, the 36-hour limit shall not apply. Details of the terms and conditions of Postgraduate Studentships (PGSs) regulating the rights and duties of GTAs at HKUST are accessible at the Handbook for Research Postgraduate Studies.

PDEV6800 - Introduction to Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

This is a graduation required course for all new RPgs who are admitted in Fall 2019-20. The course is designed with highly hands-on and interactive teaching activities to build up students’ knowledge, skills and confidence in teaching and learning. To fulfill the course requirements, students need to complete two parts: 1) attend all five modules and pass all the assessments, and 2) teach one 30-min session (for RPgs on an MPhil program) or two 30-min sessions (for RPgs on a PhD program) as assigned by the supervising department. The first part is a prerequisite to proceed to the second part of the course.

New GTA Briefing Session to orient new GTAs is offered on 23 August 2019. All new RPgs are expected to attend the sessions to understand the course arrangement and their roles as GTAs. Students can also meet the departmental Postgraduate Programs Coordinators (PGCs), Graduate Teaching Assistant Coordinators (TACs) and staff.

GTA Training Program will be offered in the second week of September for RPgs who are admitted in/before Spring 2018-19. All GTAs who have not completed the program are advised to make-up for the outstanding workshops in this Fall 2019-20. Current GTAs who cannot make up this semester may be required to take the new course as the make-up arrangement starting from Spring 2019-20.

RPG T & L Resources

CEI provides RPgs with extensive teaching and learning resources. You can watch a collection of teaching and learning videos filmed from previous workshops and events to enhance and polish your teaching skills.

RPgs encountering problems related to departmental duties can contact their corresponding Graduate Teaching Assistant Coordinators (GTACs) who are the experienced GTAs of various departments working closely with CEI in support of departmental GTAs in exercising GTA duties. GTACs will also work in collaboration with CEI and PGCs to provide RPg Developmental Support Program and activities for the continuous progression of GTAs.