Federal Work Study (FWS) for Research Assistants

What is Federal Work Study?


The Office of Undergraduate Research promotes using Federal Work Study (FWS) for funding for research assistants. FWS is a federally funded program that provides college students, who qualify, a chance to learn useful skills that can be applied to their future employment and earn money while pursuing their degree.  In terms of undergraduate research, skills can be developed in a faculty mentored and structured research environment as a Research Assistant under FWS.  Students have the opportunity to learn essential aspects of the research process and gain experience in academic research and collaboration.


Why pursue Federal Work Study?


Faculty mentors, or department liaisons, have the opportunity to employ students to work with them on research and creative scholarship while FWS student employees gain valuable research experience and income.



If qualified, students have the opportunity to receive hourly payment when working with faculty as a research assistant, instead of just volunteering for the position.


Steps to Complete:
  1. Contact workstudy@ucf.edu with the below information:
    • Request an employer login to the FWS Job Connection website
    • Provide and FWS or HR liaison name and contact
    • Provide Department, College, FWS funding account and OPS liability account, individuals who need access, emails, and phone numbers
  2. Contact UCF’s FWS Coordinator (Office of Financial Aid) for an Employer Login account: https://finaid.ucf.edu/
  3. Once employer login is attained, access Employer Forms, and submit “Add Job Listing” online form.
  4. Refer to the FWS – Employer Procedures page for program rules and employer responsibilities prior to students beginning work, during the semester, and upon completion of employment.
  5. Once the search is completed, you may remove the listing with the “Remove Job Listing” form accessible through Employer Forms.


Steps to Complete:
  1. Prior to the beginning of each semester, check with Office of Student Financial Assistance to see if/how much you qualify for Federal Work Study.
  2. Federal Work Study eligibility is determined by the information submitted on the FAFSA. Check https://finaid.ucf.edu/ for the most up to date criteria for qualification.
  3. If you do qualify, accept your award on myUCF > View Financial Aid.
  4. Complete the FWS Contract on your myUCF To Do List
  5. Ask your research faculty mentor to post a research position for you on the FWS Job Connection website, and apply to the position.
  6. Meet with your faculty mentor’s department point of contact for Federal Work Study. Be sure to take employment documents:
    • Award Summary
    • Class Schedule
    • Voided Personal Check for Direct Deposit
    • Social Security Card
    • Driver’s License
  7. Once your hiring packet is completed, you may start working on the research under FWS.