Instructional Support

The OUE administers the Instructional Support Fund, which pays teaching fellows and teaching assistants in FAS. A teaching fellow (TF) is a Harvard graduate student who—as part of his or her education—assists a faculty member with course instruction. Information on the expectations for and responsibilities of TFs can be found on the GSAS website. In certain instances, a teaching assistant (TA) may be hired to join the teaching staff for a course; information on the expectations for and responsibilities of TAs can be found here.


Each spring, departments make requests for course sections for the upcoming academic year in the section allocation tool. OUE makes preliminary section allocations based on historical and estimated enrollment data, FAS target section sizes—which vary depending on the type of course—and, in some instances, PTP estimates. Final section allocations are contingent on actual enrollment numbers.

For AY 2016-17, fall appointments will start on August 1 and end on December 31; spring appointments will start on January 1 and end on May 31. For a detailed current timeline see our Spring 2017 Section Allocation and TF/TA Appointment Schedule.  The TA/TF pay rates for 2016-17 can be found here.

OUE expects departments to adhere to all GSAS policies on teaching fellow appointments, including those that give preference for teaching fellow appointments to students to whom a guarantee of teaching was offered at admission. After these students have been assigned, departments and course heads are expected to consider and prioritize all other qualified applicants from within GSAS. A helpful summary of the GSAS administrative policies and procedures can be found here. If a department needs to request a TF exception to a GSAS policy, please us this Exception Request Form for TF Appointments.

Finally, please note that the Program in General Education makes its section allocations and teaching appointments separately from OUE.

Questions? Please contact us at

spring_appointment_schedule_s17.pdf213 KB
updated 2017_tf_exception_request_form.pdf135 KB