Research at York (RAY)

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The Research at York (RAY) program was created to enhance both the research culture of the University and the undergraduate student academic experience. Through the RAY program, eligible undergraduate students will have the opportunity to participate in research projects with faculty members and/or fellow students, while receiving compensation at a competitive rate. Students who are awarded a RAY position cannot hold another RAY, Work/Study, CLAY or YES position concurrently.


You may be eligible for the RAY program if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • Undergraduate student enrolled in a degree program.
  • Canadian citizen, permanent resident or protected person.
  • Demonstrate financial need.
  • Demonstrate satisfactory academic progress (that is, you are not on academic warning/probation).
  • Meet the specific skills and experience requirements set by the sponsoring faculty member.
  • Fall/winter session (September to April): full-time in both the fall and winter terms, that is, at least 60 per cent of a full course load (at least nine credits) in each term or at least 40 per cent (at least six credits) in each term for students with a permanent disability.
  • Summer session (May to August): student must be registered full-time in at least 60 per cent of a full course load (or 40 per cent of a full course load, for students with a permanent disability) or registered as a full-time student in the preceding winter term and returning to full-time studies in the following fall term.

We encourage students to apply for government financial aid (for example, OSAP or the comparable assistance program in the student's home province).

Salary Rate

Recognizing the value of their contribution to York University research, RAY student wages are set at a minimum rate of $15 per hour, which is above the top rate of other Work/Study university positions.

Rates for RAY positions and hours to be worked vary: details are available for each job posting on the Career Centre website.

RAY students are paid by their hiring department through York's payroll system.

Your employer must obtain a York employee number for you, keep track of your hours worked, and submit a payroll timesheet on your behalf every two weeks. If you have any concerns about your pay, you will need to discuss these concerns with your employer. Student Financial Services does not pay students and cannot make adjustments to your pay.

Benefits and Responsibilities

By participating in the RAY program, you can receive financial assistance to meet your direct educational costs (tuition, mandatory fees, textbooks) and gain valuable research experience that will supplement your classroom learning. RAY will also give you a preview of the type of research that you might encounter in graduate school study. As a RAY student, you will get work experience that will help you in your post-graduation career and receive research mentoring from faculty members and senior/graduate students.

A RAY position can provide you with hands-on research experience while assisting faculty members with meaningful research support. Examples of quality research activities include:

  • research proposal development
  • literature searches, web research/surveys, archival searches
  • preparing subjects for interviews
  • basic fieldwork or data collection
  • interview transcriptions
  • basic data/statistical analysis
  • translation of research materials
  • cataloguing
  • preparation and execution of experiments

As a RAY student, you are a valued York University employee and have important responsibilities. All students are expected to:

  • Complete your assigned duties.
  • Keep your supervisor informed of your availability to work the agreed-upon hours.
  • If you are unable to honour your commitment, speak to your supervisor immediately and try to arrange a more workable schedule.
  • If you withdraw or drop to part-time status during the academic session, inform your employer immediately: you will no longer be eligible for the RAY program and will have to resign from your position.

Employment Options Available to International Students

Visit York International for information about working in Canada.