Graduate Contracts

Contract Details

Graduate contracts are submitted and processed via OnBase, the university’s document management system. Contract revisions for terms prior to Fall 2020 should be submitted to maps@mines.edu after updating the original Excel contract form. 

All contract submitters are responsible for knowing and complying with Mines Graduate Assistantship Policies governing the awarding of contracts. The Office of Graduate Studies (OGS) upholds these policies and oversees the graduate contract review and approval process. The digital workflow in OnBase includes checks by multiple campus offices depending on the contract type (e.g, ISSS, Financial Aid, ORA, Bursar, and MAPS as applicable). Contracts not in compliance with the policies linked above will be returned by OGS or representatives of other offices; they can then be amended and resubmitted.

OGS notifies contract submitters prior to the start of each term of any changes to contract protocols and/or relevant policies, and offers training sessions for new submitters.

As of July 1, 2023, pay for graduate students will be disbursed in the WorkDay system. This has caused changes to several aspects of RA/TA contracts, now incorporated in the information below. There are no major changes to Hourly and Fellowship contracts. All contract types will still be prepared, submitted and processed in Onbase.

Access to OnBase Form and Workflow

For information on accessing and using the OnBase system, visit the ITS OnBase Help Site and review the Training & Documentation resources below.

If you need to submit a graduate contract, please request access to OnBase by submitting an ITS OnBase Help Ticket that describes your role and need for access. This will be routed to the Office of Graduate Studies for approval. 

 

Training and Documentation

Deadlines

The OnBase workflow includes review and approval of contracts by a series of campus offices, as well as student authorization, before contracts are processed for pay and/or tuition coverage, etc. Because of this, OGS encourages contract submitters to meet the submission dates below to ensure timely processing and payment.

The dates below are particularly important for RA/TA contracts, which will now disburse pay at the end of each month for work performed in that month (see below). Hourly contracts, which still disburse semi-monthly pay 2 weeks in arrears, must be submitted prior to a student’s start date and can be set up for part of a semester/term, or for an entire calendar year if desired.

For new hires, the OnBase workflow will automatically send students instructions for completing the new hire paperwork, as well as student authorization and a background check (if requested). Completing these items may take additional time.

 

Term  Suggested Submission Date (RA/TAs)  Processing Deadline (contract must be received by MAPS/Bursar/FA for timely pay) 
Fall 

July 26 (for new students)

August 2 (for continuing students)

August 5 (for new students)

August 16 (for continuing students)

Spring   

December 8 (for new students)

January 10 (for continuing students)

Summer  April 30 May 10

Contract Dates

Contract Dates and Pay Schedule

As of Fall 2024, RA/TA contracts will disburse pay on a monthly (rather than semi-monthly) schedule, and will have different start and end dates relative to past years:

Fall                  August 16 – December 31 (pay on 8/31 (for 0.5 mo), 9/30, 10/31, 11/30, 12/31))
Spring             January 1 – May 15 (pay on 1/31, 2/28, 3/31, 4/30, 5/31 (for 0.5 mo))
Summer         May 16 – August 15 (pay on 5/31 (for 0.5 mo), 6/30, 7/31, 8/31 (for 0.5 mo))

Hourly contracts will continue to disburse pay on a semi-monthly schedule, 2 weeks in arrears, and may be set up for any time frame within a term/year, including breaks. Contract submitters can modify the start/end dates of Hourly contracts in the form.

The timing of pay/awards via Fellowship contracts varies with the funding source and fellowship type. Funds for multi-year national external fellowships are typically disbursed to students at the start of each term or, in some cases, on a monthly basis. Please check with OGS and/or ORA regarding fellowship contract questions.

For more information on contract timing and pay, review the Graduate Assistant Policies website under “Terms of Appointment.”

OGS contacts: Rachel Adams (rachel.adams@mines.edu) and Jenny Briggs (jsbriggs@mines.edu)

Tips and Tricks for Contract Submitters

1. Take your time

  • As you move through sections of the contract, give the system time to retrieve and display appropriate data from Banner. Some examples include:
    • After entering a Student CWID
    • Following the selection of a Contract Term
    • When entering an Appointing Department
    • While searching for a Supervisor
  • Within the workflow, give the system an opportunity to process the request by only clicking buttons/user actions once. For example, when canceling a contract, enter appropriate text in the comments box and only click the “Send Request” button once. The system may not respond instantly but it will.

2. Have all your contract information on-hand before preparing a contract.

  • Please note that, for Fall 202, contracts can now be saved in a draft status (i.e. started, saved and resumed at a later time) by clicking the new “Save As Draft” option at the bottom of the form.

3. How to handle Read-Only Documents (locked)

  • OnBase has built-in functionality to automatically “lock” documents from editing if another individual is viewing the document. If you, or one of your students experiences issues making changes to a contract, such as student authorization or amendments, the document may be locked by someone else. As part of Campus Administrator access, you have the ability to view the history of the document to determine the last person who viewed the contract thereby locking it. You may contact them to ask them to close the contract. If you cannot gain editing access to the document, please submit a ticket to the ITS Helpcenter.

4. Use the Notes section at the bottom of each contract form to describe or explain more details about the contract that will help the next office in the workflow to review and process it in a timely manner. For example, state the type of work the student is doing on an hourly contract, or the fact that a new index is being used in an amendment to an RA contract, or the fact that a student is waiving Student Health Insurance.

5. Be aware that in Fall and Spring, all international students and first-year non-resident US students on RA/TA contracts are eligible for coverage of “differential tuition” by OGS (see the Graduate Assistantship Policies under Tuition Remission for more information.) This is applied by the Bursar’s Office when processing contracts. To activate this coverage for eligible students, check the “Eligible” box on the form and select “Resident” for the level of tuition to charge to the department funding source. Contact OGS (jsbriggs@mines.edu or rachel.adams@mines.edu) if you are uncertain whether your student is eligible for differential tuition coverage. Domestic students are typically eligible only in their first year if a non-resident and are expected to become residents for subsequent years. International students are typically eligible in all years of their graduate program at Mines.

6. Chrome is the recommended browser for students and faculty to use when viewing contracts.

7. Instructions for Summer RA contracts as of 2024: Summer RAs are now required to register for 3 research credits if on a 0.5 FTE contract and 1.5 research credits if on a 1.0 FTE contract, which in most cases are covered by the OGS Summer Research Tuition Fellowship (see Graduate Assistantship Policies under ‘Tuition Remission.’) For more details on the contract preparation steps, please review the files labeled Summer 2024 that are posted in the TRAINING AND DOCUMENTATION section above.

8. Instructions for RA/TA contracts in Fall 2024. Emails were sent to department/program staff in summer 2023 regarding changes. Please review the 3 sample contracts labeled Fall 2024 that are posted in the TRAINING AND DOCUMENTATION section above. Please see an important update to the sample contract for continuing RA/TA from summer to fall posted 8.2.23.

Questions

If your questions were not addressed in the Training & Documentation guides, please contact the appropriate person or department below:

  1. For general questions about contracts and OnBase steps, please contact Rachel Adams (rachel.adams@mines.edu). Policy related questions may be sent to Jenny Briggs, Assistant Dean (jsbriggs@mines.edu).
  2. For technical questions regarding specific forms, fields, and workflow functions, please submit a ticket to the ITS Helpdesk.

Contact

Office of Graduate Studies

Alderson 451

grad.services@mines.edu