Readers are appointed each semester to check and correct problem sets in a number of courses. They may not grade examinations. Readers are generally registered students and they are required to have a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0 and must have received a grade of B or higher in the course for which they are appointed. The number of hours per week allowed for a given course is determined by the number of units and the enrollment. If the enrollment in a course diminishes through students dropping it, the allocation will be reduced. Students may read for more than one course or more than one section of a course, to a maximum of 20 hours per week. If a student is employed in another capacity (e.g., as a GSI or GSR) for less than 20 hours per week, this time may be supplemented by employment as a reader so long as the total number of hours does not exceed 20.

  1. Procedure for Applying for a Reader Position

    Students interested in becoming readers should apply online via the links in our guide for prospective GSIs, Readers, and Tutors. The procedure to apply for a reader appointment is the same as the GSI.

    A GSI or Reader will not receive a paycheck until appropriate payroll forms are completed in 337 Soda. Readers will need an authorization form before they can make an appointment to complete forms.

  1. Graduate Student Research Appointments

    At Berkeley, research assistants are given the title of Graduate Student Researcher (GSR). A large number of EECS students are employed as GSRs through the Campus Shared Services Team 2 (formerly ERSO). There is no formal application procedure; individual faculty members who hold research grants almost always make appointments. It is up to the student to contact faculty members and to discuss funding possibilities. Participation in projects or seminars is usually helpful in securing an appointment. It is also helpful to have demonstrated some research skills or creativity.

    GSRs will receive a small pay increase after passing the qualifying exam and completing their advancement to candidacy. Students must submit verification that they advanced to candidacy to the Campus Shared Services Team 2 office in order to receive the salary increase. The standard summer appointment is made at approximately 100% for up to three months.

    GSR payroll forms are to be completed at the Campus Shared Services Team 2 Payroll office, 197M Cory Hall.

  1. Combined GSR/GSI Appointments

    In the case of combined appointments (for example, GSR+GSI, Reader+GSI, Reader+GSR, etc.), the Department will allow a total combined appointment of up to 65% ONLY in cases where:

    • the position to be added on has been listed
    • no suitable candidate with an appointment of less than 50% has been found
    • the Department has asked the student to serve in the added position

    For example, a professor is looking for a Reader for the course for which you are already the 50% GSI. The Department advertises the position, and no other suitable candidate is found. The Vice Chairman can decide to write a letter of exception to grant you an appointment of more than 50%, so that you can hold both the GSI and the Readership for the course. The Graduate Division having a general rule against students holding on-campus appointments of more than 50%. Any request for an appointment or combined appointments totaling more than 50% must be approved by the Vice Chair for Graduate Matters.

    However, you should be aware that any student with combined appointments of more than 50% may become liable for social security taxes on all of their income. This liability could deduct a large part of the financial benefit of working more than 20 hours per week. Also, international students may not be employed more than 50% time without jeopardizing their visa status.