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Terminating Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs)

It is necessary to notify the Physics Graduate Office (PGO) via email no later than noon the day before the payroll due date if you intend to terminate a student's funding. Most students have automatic deposit of their paychecks and will be paid unless the salary is terminated by the payroll due date. Most 12 month GRA salaries will automatically terminate at the end of the nomination period, usually September 30th.

Graduate students may be paid as a GRA through the end of the term in which they defend. Please see the current academic calendar for end of term dates. If a student defends in April or May, he/she is eligible to be paid as a graduate student through the end of third term or June 30. Timely notification is extremely important when terminating a GRA salary as the graduate payroll checks are processed in the Payroll Department from one to two weeks before the actual payday. When students are set up for a 12 month GRA but defend or leave before their financial aid award automatically ends on September 30th, you must notify the PGO via email well before the next payroll cutoff date to successfully cancel a payment. Retrieving automatic deposits is not usually successful. Please see the monthly payroll calendar for important dates.

If a student switches research groups, it is necessary to notify the PGO so the proper labor adjustments can be made.

Please note that if your graduate student is on a student visa and intends to stay at Caltech beyond graduation as a postdoc or research staff, they must contact the International Scholar Services Office at least three months before the final defense date in order to remain in correct visa status since they will no longer be eligible for a student visa. Failure to update the visa status may result in the need to leave the US and re-enter on a new visa in order to continue working beyond graduation.  Applications for a post-doctoral appointment must be sent from the advisor to the PMA Division Office.  Since graduate student salaries usually end on June 30, the post-doc appointment start date would be July 1, unless arragements to cancel the June GRA are sent to the PGO and the division office well before the June payroll date.