Create a Student Role in Your Unit or Group

Student engagement through on-campus roles, paid and volunteer, are a defining part of the Queen’s student experience. Here are tools to help you think creatively about how to create or adapt student roles in your group or unit.

Working at Queen’s this year has been nothing short of amazing! I have experienced many opportunities that have helped me grow both personally and professionally—getting great work experience that is also rewarding. 

— Veronica Sewilski, Student Assistant, Orientation & Transition

Different Ways to Hire a Student for On-Campus Positions 

Work Study Program

  • The Work Study Program pays 75% of the employee's hourly wage. Employers are expected to pay 25% or $4.14 an hour, plus all employer-paid premiums. 

  • Students must meet the criteria for being in financial need. 

  • For more information visit the Work Study Program webpage or email:

Summer Work Experience Program (SWEP) 

  • SWEP positions are partially-funded through the undergraduate portion of the Student Assistance Levy

  • Students must be currently registered in a full-time Queen’s undergraduate degree program and be returning to a full-time degree program in the fall (i.e. not graduating this year)  

  • For more information on how to submit a job proposal, visit the SWEP program webpage or email:  

Queen’s Undergraduate Internship Program (QUIP)  

  • The Queen’s Undergraduate Internship Program (QUIP) provides 2nd or 3rd year students with a 12-16 month work experience.

  • The program is open to domestic and international students in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of Arts and Science, School of Computing, and Faculty of Health Sciences.

  • Employers in Ontario who hire QUIP interns may be eligible for the Ontario Cooperative Education Tax Credit

  • For more information, visit the QUIP webpage or

Student Casual Roles 

  • All students currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program are eligible for casual roles

  • For more information on how to create casual student roles, reach out to your department’s Human Resources advisor

Please remember that student roles are meant to add additional capacity to a department by creating positions that are best suited for students; new student roles should not replace staff roles. Please check with your HR Advisor if you have any questions.

Also, please remember that student roles including Graduate Teaching Assistants, Graduate Teaching Fellows, Graduate Research Assistants, and JD and MD Teaching Assistants at Queens are covered by the PSAC Unit 1 collective agreement. Additional information can be found on the Faculty Relations Office Website.

Volunteer Student Positions  

  • Students can also support faculty and peers through volunteer roles on campus, either through student clubs or programs facilitated by your department (e.g., Resume Coach PeersPeer Health EducatorsPASS),

  • Think creatively about how you could engage student volunteers

Consider How a Student Could Contribute to Your Unit 

  • What skills may students bring?

  • What work is not being done that a student could do? 

  • What projects have we wanted to do but never had capacity for?

  • What tasks can be collated into a role?

  • What research (e.g., literature review, scan of best practices) could benefit or enhance our work?

  • What student roles have we had in the past that we could adapt to a remote context?

  • What schedule would work best (hours/week, days/week)?

Examples of Student Roles at Queen's 

  • Student Ambassador: champion your unit’s program and services to other students, promoting opportunities among their peers through various means.

  • Data Analytics Assistant: analyze data in support of the efficiency and effectiveness of your unit, which could include social media reach, program or service data, evaluation responses, or client relations data.

  • Communications Assistant: support the communications work of your unit, which could include social media copy, scheduling, analytics, graphic design, newsletters, media content, and promotion.

  • Upper-Year Mentors or Peers: pair with mentees to support their journey at Queen’s, often scoped to a particular topic, space, or identity—e.g., study skills, women in STEM, resume coaches

  • Project Assistant: assist one or more projects in your unit with coordination, design, communication, development, delivery, evaluation, or other support as needed.

  • Simulation Laboratory Assistant: assist with the design, coordination, delivery, evaluation, or curricular simulated learning experiences, often in health sciences.

  • Research Assistant: support research activities of a lab or group, with activities as wide-ranging as research activities themselves.

  • Student Advisory Committee Member: a representative of the student perspective on committees in departments or units that advise on the design, delivery, and evaluation of programs and services

Considerations When Deciding if a Role will be Remote, In-person, or Hybrid 

  • What hardware, software, and office supplies will students require and how will they gain access to them

  • Projects with a clear and narrow scope and deliverables require less of your capacity to onboard and supervise so may be suitable for remote supervision—e.g., literature reviews, infographics

  • How many hours will the student work and what capacity does your office have in terms of physical office space and equipment?

  • Would the location impact a student’s ability to interact with colleagues and build their professional network?

  • Does the student have scheduling constraints? Would they benefit from a flexible work arrangement (i.e. working outside of normal office hours)?

  • Are there certain tasks that must be performed on-campus while other tasks can be performed remotely?

  • What mechanisms do you currently have in place to maintain communication with remote workers?

  • For current information about return-to-campus planning and human resources considerations, please see Looking Forward | Queen's Fall 2021 Safe Return to Campus (

Tips and Recommendations for Creating a Job Description

  • Consider keeping experience requirements low and relative to the amount of experience students would likely have had. Remember that part-time, summer, co-curricular and volunteer work experiences can meet your needs.

  • Rather than hiring from only one specific degree, consider being open to students from different academic backgrounds because they may have the skills you're looking for.  Students may be hesitant to apply if they don't have the specific degree or experience requirements you've listed.

  • List core responsibilities so that students know what they'll be accountable for, but don't go overboard with acronyms and jargon. Focus the job description on the key skills and experiences you want students to highlight for you in their application packages.

  • Describe how the student will be supervised and mentored during their time at your organization.

  • Describe the culture of your organization and why a student will benefit from working for you. 

  • Provide details about the compensation package (e.g. salary, vacation, health benefits).

  • In job posting, include contact information so students know who to address their cover letter to and invite students to contact you with questions about the position or your organization. 

  • Like most job seekers, students tend to wait until the deadline to submit applications, so indicate whether you plan to review applications as they are submitted, or if you will wait until the deadline to review all applications.

  • Include a clear list of items you expect in an application package (i.e. resume, cover letter, transcript, sample work, links to online portfolios etc.). 


 Template job description (Word, 22 KB)


Looking for Additional Funding 

In addition to SWEP and WS (see descriptions above), there are some federal and provincial programs designed to offer financial relief  (wage subsidies, funding, tax credits) to employers who hire current students that Queen’s employers can be eligible. You can read more about these programs here. 

Health & Safety Considerations

As always, the health and safety of Queen's student staff and volunteers is paramount. Roles should be created in accordance with the Queen’s University Campus Re-opening Framework and current public health guidelines; this may mean remote, in-person or hybrid roles depending on the current state of pandemic-related guidelines. Departments must apply extra consideration to ensure all student staff and volunteers feel safe at work or at their volunteer opportunity during this returning period. For more information, visit  Looking Forward | Queen's Fall 2021 Safe Return to Campus (

If you have any questions about health and safety for student staff and volunteers, please contact the Department of Environmental Health & Safety at or ext. 32999.

Next, learn how to enhance your student recruitment in Step 2: Recruit a Student!