Graduate Assistant to the Faculty-in-Residence

We are no longer accepting applications for this position. We anticipate spring searches for multiple positions for the 2021-22 academic year. Please check back.

Position Summary

The Graduate Assistant to the Faculty-in-Residence (FIR GA) works collaboratively with faculty, staff, and students to foster vibrant and inclusive residential areas that offer 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 Resident Directors (RD) and Resident Assistants (RA), 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, is seeking candidates for an opening to work with South Area Faculty-in-Residence Melissa Foster in the 2021 winter and spring quarters. The employment term will be January 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Support programming in the residential area 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
  • Assist the FIR in identifying and recruiting other faculty members and/or administrators to engage with residents through programs and events
  • Reach out to campus offices and departments about possible programs for residents
  • Working with the RDs, assist in coordinating involvement in and planning of FIR programming by RAs, the student-led programming board, and general residents
  • Attend scheduled meetings with the area leadership team
  • 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 residential areas served by FIRs. Each FIR works to enact their own unique programmatic vision in collaboration with RDs. Applicants should therefore be aware that details of the FIR GA position may vary by residential area.


The FIR GA will receive a $1,000.00 monthly stipend (6 months, January-June) and a limited meal plan to use when the campus dining halls are open (6 months, January-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 remainder of the 2020-21 academic year (winter and spring quarters)
  • Maintaining residency in the Evanston area for the remainder of the 2020-21 academic year (winter and spring quarters) to fulfill essential tasks for the FIR (e.g., shopping, event management, etc.)
  • 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 as an RA or similar student leadership position as an undergraduate

Application Process

Interested candidates should email a resume and cover letter detailing their interest in and related qualifications for the position to the Office of Residential Academic Initiatives ( To complete your application, please have your departmental adviser or Director of Graduate Studies sign a Departmental Approval of Application [PDF], which certifies that the Graduate Assistant to the Faculty-in-Residence position is compatible with your academic responsibilities and plans. You can submit a scanned version to Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with the goal of filling the position before the University’s winter recess, which begins Thursday, December 24.