Instructional Support

The Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE) administers the Instructional Support Fund, which pays teaching fellows (TF) and teaching assistants (TA) in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS).

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.

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Section Allocation Tool (SAT)

Each spring, departments make requests for course discussion and lab sections for the upcoming academic year in the OUE's online Section Allocation Tool (SAT). OUE makes preliminary section allocations based on historical and estimated enrollment data, and FAS target section sizes—which vary depending on the type of course. Final section allocations are contingent on actual enrollment numbers.

Teaching Fellow (TF)

A TF is a Harvard graduate student who—as part of their education—assists a faculty member with course instruction. Information on the expectations for and responsibilities of TFs can be found on the GSAS website.

Teaching Assistant (TA)

In certain instances, a TA may be hired to join the teaching staff for a course; information on the expectations for and responsibilities of TAs can be found in the FAS Appointment and Promotion Handbook.


Appointment Start and End Dates:

  • Fall TF/TA appointments start on August 1 and end on December 31
  • Spring TF/TA appointments start on January 1 and end on May 31

Helpful resources for departments appointing TFs/TAs:

TFs/TAs in General Education Courses

The Program in General Education makes its section allocations and teaching appointments separately from OUE.

Undergraduate Course Assistants (CA):

Undergraduate student instructional support staff are hired as Course Assistants.

Additional TF/TA roles:

Bok Center Media and Design Fellows (new AY2020-21)  support  innovative course development within the FAS, partnering with faculty and staff to design a variety of digital tools, course materials, and assignments for undergraduate courses and departments.  Departments, as well as individual courses, can request  support  from a Media and Design Fellow.  Most appointments will span the full academic year, allowing Fellows to develop technical expertise, create course materials and digital resources for an upcoming semester, and  support  the implementation of new activities. Fellows will be paid hourly.  Visit the  Bok Center website  for more information about the program and about how to apply. This is a new role. 

Departmental Writing Fellows provide discipline-specific writing advice and  support  for students in departments as they navigate their concentrations. The primary responsibility of each DWF is to work one-on-one with students on writing assignments for departmental courses. DWFs work directly with the Writing Program to implement programming over the course of the year, and candidates for the position are nominated by the department.  This is typically a year-long appointment (beginning in fall) If your department would like to learn more, please contact James Herron, Director of the Harvard Writing Project ( 

Bok Pedagogy Fellows support TF training in departments. As part of the enhanced  instructional  support  for remote teaching, departments that currently do not participate in the  Pedagogy Fellows Program  will be invited to apply to join for the 2020–2021 academic year. Pedagogy Fellows collaborate with faculty, administration, and the Bok Center’s senior staff to enhance training and  support  for teaching fellows within their departments and across the FAS. Consult the  full job description  for more details, and click  here  for a list of the 23 departments that already participate in the program.   Please visit the  Bok Center website  for more information about how to apply. 

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