HomeFaculty & StaffAcademic RegulationsChapter 18: Academic Research Assistant and Intern Program

Academic Research Assistant and Intern Program


  1. Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to establish policy and institute procedures to support MCU’s Academic Research Assistant and Intern Program.

  2. Background. The Academic Research Assistant, Internship, and Volunteer Programs are designed to provide support to Marine Corps University faculty and staff. In general, faculty and staff, working with their educational program deans/directors, will be responsible for screening, selecting, evaluating, and coordinating all details regarding research assistants and interns. Unpaid volunteers may work with faculty at the discretion of the faculty member and dean/director.

  3. Definitions.

    a.  “Research Assistant” is defined as a paid position dedicated to providing research or administrative support to faculty and/or staff. Research assistants may conduct research to support scholarly products, to include presentation of papers at educational conferences and symposi Research assistants may also provide administrative support to the supervising faculty or staff member.

    b.  “Intern” is defined as a paid or unpaid position dedicated to providing research or administrative support to faculty and/or staff, which offers the occupant of the position the opportunity to achieve academic credit for the learning achieved in the exercise of his/her duties. The position is monitored closely by credentialed faculty to ensure learning outcomes associated with the position are achieved. An intern may work toward individual projects relating to his or her respective field(s) of study. An intern will be encouraged to coordinate with his or her school and/or college to obtain academic credit for his or her experience at Marine Corps University. Marine Corps University will attempt to comply with academic supervision and/or evaluation requirements required by the school(s).

    c.  “Unpaid Volunteer” is defined as an unpaid position supporting faculty or staff, which does not include opportunities to achieve academic credit for performance of duties associated with the position. It may provide the occupant of the position with opportunities to expand his or her skill set.

  4. Limitations. Research assistants, interns, or unpaid volunteers will not perform personal services or be given responsibility for tasks that are within the scope of duties identified in any Marine Corps University federal position description. Anyone who is engaged in any of these positions will not be used to displace any Federal employee’s position. Further, any instances of impropriety, nepotism, or unethical behavior will be dealt with appropriately.

  5. Terms of Service.

    a.  Research Assistants. MCU Research Assistants (RAs) provide support on a variety of tasks and projects and are funded by the Marine Corps University Foundation (MCUF). Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis to fill program needs. The majority of RAs are hired to work one on one with faculty and/or staff. Interviews begin for RA positions one to two months before the anticipated start date. MCU Research Assistant positions are paid positions. The assigned duty location for research assistants will be negotiated on an individual basis. RAs may work off-site under a negotiated agreement. It may be feasible for the majority of the research to be conducted on-line and/or at libraries or archives established to support educational research. However, if off-site research is the preferred arrangement, a research assistant will be expected to maintain close contact either via telephone or via e-mail with his or her assigned mentor/professor as well as periodically traveling to the Marine Corps University campus to meet with his or her mentor/professor to discuss assigned research projects.

    b.  Interns. An MCU intern is placed, according to his or her interests, to work with faculty and/or staff members across the University’s colleges, centers, and internal directorates. Generally, an intern is expected to work unpaid, but some intern positions funded by MCUF are also available. Interns should consult with individual components for specific duties.

    c.  Volunteers. An MCU Volunteer agrees that his or her services are provided as a volunteer and that he or she is not an employee of the United States Government or an instrument thereof with specific exceptions stated in DD Form 2793. MCU Volunteers are required to complete DD Form 2793.

  6. Candidate Administrative Details. Candidates may request an application package by contacting the Marine Corps University Outreach Coordinator through the Marine Corps University website (https://www.usmcu.edu) under Contact Us: Points of Contact.

  7. Marine Corps University Processes and Responsibilities.

    a.  The Marine Corps University Outreach Coordinator.

    i.  Coordinate with local colleges and universities for the MCU’s Research Assistant Program at the request of the institution. Otherwise, the institution may solicit Research Assistant, Intern, or Volunteer positions independently, providing information to the Outreach Coordinator for recordkeeping purposes.

    ii.  Maintain a database of individuals who are 1) serving as current RA, Interns, or Volunteers; 2) previously served as Research Assistants, Interns, or Volunteers; or 3) have expressed interest in becoming a Research Assistant, Intern, or Volunteer. Provide application packets.

    iii.  Provide contact information of prospective Research Assistants, Interns, or Volunteers to Marine Corps University academic deans and/or academic center directors.

    b.  Receiving Director. The director responsible for Research Assistants/Interns/Volunteers should do the following:

    i.  Make the requests for Research Assistants, Interns, or Volunteers and approve all requests for paid Research Assistant support for the respective education program or educational support unit.

    ii.  Review and validate the Research Assistant or Intern solicitation Application Packages (See Appendix T). Also, the director will ensure the proposed Research Assistant projects meet the criteria of scholarly research and have measurable deliverables.

    iii.  Submit required paperwork to Human Resources and Organizational Management, Quantico (HROM-Q) via the VPBA Civilian Personnel Office to include signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), completed Application, Resume, Transcripts, Letters of Recommendation, DD Form 2793 (Appendix U), Proposal Papers, and other required material as applicable. Provide duplicate copies to VPAA’s Outreach Coordinator for the files.

    iv.  Ensure faculty/staff supervisor discusses and signs the Research Assistant or Intern MOU (See Appendix V) in detail prior to the research assistant or intern’s start of his/her tenure with Marine Corps University.

    v.  Comply with all assessment and assignment criteria specified by the Research Assistant/Intern’s college and school, if applicable.

    vi.  Maintain comprehensive records documenting the individual’s performance and accomplishments and provide copies to VPAA’s Outreach Coordinator in at the conclusion of the Research Assistant or Intern’s term of service.