Federal Work Study Research Assistantships

Student Office of Research and Creative Activities (ORCA) and the Financial Aid Office support up to twelve $2,000 undergraduate and graduate student research assistantships (URAs) through the Federal Work-Study (FWS) program. This program allows faculty from across the college to request an eligible student as a research assistant to advance their research/scholarship. This program is mutually beneficial, as students gain valuable experience as part of the academic process, while faculty gain valuable assistance to further their scholarship. The specific responsibilities of the student will vary based on discipline but are intended to be more task-oriented (e.g., data entry, literature searches, grant proposal support, routine lab, or studio work) than research appropriate for independent-study credit or summer research supported through grants. Several faculty within a department or across disciplines are encouraged to apply together for a single FWS research assistantship position. This is a Federal Work-Study position, so students will be assigned for the entire academic year unless they cease to be eligible financially or academically.

Application process

This is a pre-match program in which faculty are expected to identify an eligible student as part of the application. This may be achieved by advertising a position to recruit interested and eligible students. The Financial Aid Office determines student eligibility by submitting FAFSA data for each academic year. Only students that qualify for the Federal Work-Study program will be eligible for the undergraduate research assistantship. This program will support students for five to 10 hours per week during the academic year. 

1). A student's Gross Need should be checked by them via myOswego before you apply. 2). Additional FWS eligibility questions shall be answered by Jennie Hoffman-Smith, Senior Associate Director of Financial Aid, jennie.hoffman@oswego.edu. Please provide the student's ID number and make sure that your question is detailed and specific. 3) Submit your application using the link below. To apply for FWS-RA, you will be asked for information about yourself, co-applicants, and an FWS student (ID, major, credits, FWS eligibility); a detailed description of the student's expected duties; your project goals; and expected effect on your professional career.


  • Faculty participating in this program are expected to supervise and mentor Federal Work-Study students and submit appropriate paperwork (e.g., timesheets) throughout the academic year.
  • Duties assigned to the FWS research assistant must be directly related to and advance the faculty's research/scholarly agenda.
  • The faculty members are required to submit a report to the Student ORCA office summarizing the experience by May 15th of a given academic year. Please use this link to submit your report. The lack of a report for a previous grant disqualifies you from future FWS-RA's.

Evaluation criteria

The submission of an application does not guarantee a Federal Work-Study RA student. The Financial Aid Office and Student ORCA will evaluate the applications based on the merit of proposed student duties and how the student will advance the faculty's research/scholarship agenda. To eliminate any bias and potential COI, the recommendation to fund/not fund shall be made to the Financial Aid Office and Student ORCA by faculty serving on the Scholarly and Creative Activities Committee's Student Subcommittee.

The completed application will be accepted until September 19th.  You must be signed in your SUNY-Oswego mail or Laker Apps to view and fill in this form. Please use this link to submit your application:  https://forms.gle/aM8VttaWZmNJsgVb8

If you need an extension, please let me know- I'll check if it is possible. Send your questions to the Student ORCA Director ORCA@oswego.edu.