Graduate Assistant to the Faculty-in-Residence

Applications are closed for the upcoming 2018-2019 academic year.

Position Summary

The Graduate Assistant to the Faculty-in Residence (FIR GA) works collaboratively with faculty, staff, and students to foster a vibrant and inclusive environment in residential buildings with a live-in faculty member who organizes academic, cultural, and social programming for residents. The FIR GA is a Northwestern graduate student who serves as a part-time (10-12 hours per week), live-out staff member, and reports to the FIR. This position includes working with diverse groups of students, staff, and faculty in a highly-selective and competitive environment.  In particular, a GA can expect to work closely with a Resident Director (RD), and possibly also an Assistant Resident Director (ARD), who are Residential Life staff members.

 A FIR GA should be well-organized and able to work in a fast-paced, complex organization with daily priority changes. A successful FIR GA should possess excellent interpersonal communication, strong organizational and administrative skills, as well as a commitment to educate students, engage the community, and enrich the Northwestern experience.

 The Office of Residential Academic Initiatives (ORAI), which oversees the FIR program, currently anticipates two openings for 2018-19. The employment term will be September 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Support programming in the residential building(s) served by the FIR
  • Assist the FIR with planning, coordinating, advertising, and hosting events and programs for residents
  • Assist the FIR in overseeing the programming budget, including submitting reimbursements and facilitating other spending on behalf of the FIR via ORAI
  • Assist the FIR with assessment, including (but not limited to) program evaluation and student learning; this includes recording student attendance at events
  • Assist the FIR in identifying and recruiting other faculty members and/or administrators to engage with students in the community through programs and events
  • Reach out to campus offices and departments about possible programs for residents
  • Working with the RD and/or ARD, assist in coordinating involvement in and planning of FIR programming by RAs, student-led programming boards, and general residents
  • Attend scheduled meetings with the residential community leadership team as requested
  • Communicate with the RD about any concerns related to the well-being of residents
  • Participate actively in the life of the community and maintain a visible presence through formal and informal interactions with residents, Residential Life staff, and the student-led programming board
  • Develop and submit to ORAI regular reports on programming
  • Develop and provide content for the Residential Services website and social media initiatives
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the FIR

 There are substantial differences among the communities served by FIRs. While some communities span multiple buildings and others are contained in a single building, every FIR works to enact their own unique programmatic vision.  Applicants should therefore be aware that details of the FIR GA position will vary in different communities.


The FIR GA will receive a $1,000.00 monthly stipend (10 months, September-June) and a limited meal plan to use when the campus dining halls are open (10 months, September-June). The candidate selected for this position will not receive any additional benefits, other than the stipend and meal plan stated above. The FIR GA can purchase a student parking permit (an R permit) through the Parking Office, but the cost will not be reimbursed by Residential Services. Residential Services does not offer a tuition waiver, health insurance, or other benefits.

Minimum Qualifications

The FIR GA position requires the ability to review written documents, manuals, and online materials; operate office equipment, including computers, cell phones, and printers, as well as being able to assist others in doing so; and to lift and carry at least 10 pounds. The FIR GA position also requires the ability to monitor social and educational activities.

 A successful candidate will also have the following qualifications:

  • Undergraduate experience living on campus
  • Enrollment in a graduate program (master’s or terminal degree) at Northwestern University for the entire 2018-19 academic year
  • Excellent interpersonal communication, organization, administration, and advising skills and experiences, as well as a commitment to advancing social justice, furthering student learning, and enriching the Northwestern experience

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working with community development
  • Experience working with high-achieving and diverse students in a fast-paced environment
  • Experience with the implementation and assessment of student learning outcomes
  • Experience as a Resident Assistant (RA) or similar position as an undergraduate

Application Process

Interested candidates should email a cover letter detailing their interest in and related qualifications for the position, along with a resume to:

Tim DeBold
Assistant Director, Office of Residential Academic Initiatives

 Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but applications received by April 27 will receive the fullest consideration.