TA training programs

In recognition of UBC’s Teaching Assistants and their important contributions to teaching and learning, the University is committed to providing support that addresses their needs while they develop competencies and skills relevant to their professional lives, and that enhances teaching excellence overall at UBC.  

Central support for TA Training Programs at UBC commenced during the 2007/2008 academic year. The objective is to provide financial and consultative support to Faculties for the development, delivery, and assessment of TA training. TA training initiatives are supported in the following ways:

  1. Financial Support from the Provost Office (adjudicated process)
  2. Consultative Support from the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology:
    • consultation and development support
    • the services of training facilitators, as required
    • facilitation support
    • resource sharing
    • sharing of participant feedback with workshop facilitators to support ongoing program improvements
    • program evaluation design support   

TA Training Program Funding

Faculties or their Departments may apply for funding of their TA Training Programs every two years.  The next Call for Proposals will be in March 2020, for the years 2020-21 and 2021-22. 

Expectations and criteria

It is expected that training programs will provide graduate students with the fundamental knowledge, abilities, and skills necessary to begin their work as Teaching Assistants, recognizing that these skills will be learning context-specific. Proposals should identify the attributes and competencies that TAs will develop as a part of their training.

The Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology is available to assist you with program, proposal, and budget development.  Please contact Dr. Joseph Topornycky (joseph.topornycky@ubc.ca), Manager of Graduate Student Programs or Dr. Shaya Golparian (shaya.golparian@ubc.ca), Educational Developer and TA Development Program Coordinator. 

All proposals for TA training program funding will be reviewed by an adjudication committee with a focus on the following criteria:

  1. The proposal clearly articulates knowledge, skills and competencies that TAs will acquire as a result of the training.
  2. The proposal clearly explains how their knowledge, skills and competencies will be gained.
  3. The proposal outlines how the program will be assessed.
  4. The proposal appropriately reflects consideration of issues of cultural diversity.*
  5. Expected outcomes and the program evaluation process are clearly defined.
  6. The proposal defines how more senior TAs will be involved (if relevant and applicable) in the implementation process.
  7. For continued programs, the proposal contains a one-page interim progress report.
  8. The budget is appropriate and justified, with an explanation of associated costs.

*In order to reflect university strategic priorities addressing intercultural understanding, diversity and equity, and Indigenous engagement (https://president.ubc.ca/strategic-initiatives/creating-our-strategic-plan/ and http://aboriginal.ubc.ca/strategic-plan/) proposals will be expected to identify how TA training will prepare TAs to work in culturally and socially diverse classrooms, and where relevant, to teach and discuss Indigenous issues. CTLT in collaboration with the First Nations House of Learning (FNHL) is now able to provide advice and support for the development of more aspects of the training program. Proposals may include more experienced TAs as participants, recognizing that training can also be of benefit to those already working as TAs and that experienced TAs may contribute to the training team.  For more information, please send an email to Ms. Amy Perreault, Strategist for Indigenous Initiatives, at amy.perreault@ubc.ca.

Suggested Workshop Feedback Form

Promoting TA Training Programs

How to apply  (next call for proposals will be posted here in March 2020)
Cost guidelines

TA Training Program – Cost Guidelines for 2018-19 and 2019-20

The TA Training Program grants aim to provide support for Departments to achieve their intended aims, whilst at the same time balancing the desire to fund as many Departments as possible within a fixed annual budget envelope. To balance these issues, the adjudication committee notes the following:

  • Catering costs: We recognize that catering TA training events can encourage strong attendance and support informal networking opportunities. However, proposals should ensure that catering requests are proportionate with respect to the duration of the event, and are provided for those events genuinely requiring it (rather than, for example, by default for each of 9 events offered by your Department).
  • Faculty activity: TA training program grants cannot be used to pay for Faculty members' time. We recognize and value the considerable in-kind support and effort that Faculty provide to TA training programs, but to make funding available for this group would inevitably result in fewer Departments receiving funding.
  • Cost per TA:  A “cost-per-TA” metric is not used as a rigid criterion in adjudicating proposals, but is data the committee considers, with a view to consistency and maximizing the impact of the fund. Historically, we have used a guideline average of $150 per TA. Looking at funded proposals over the last 3 years, around three-quarters fall within a cost-per-TA range of $110 to $210, with larger Departments benefitting from economies of scale such that their figure is often closer to the lower end of this band.
  • Please be advised that the funding from this program cannot be applied to pay participants to take the TA training.   Departments may consider a variety of options to encourage participation among TAs.  See Promoting TA Training Programs.

In developing a TA Training Program proposal, an accurate budget projection is important.  The following table includes information and suggested costs for some of the most common expenses. 

ItemEstimated Rate/Cost

Food / drink

$12.00 – $20.00/person, depending on duration of the activity

Student Wages (please add 10% for benefits)

It may be possible to have a portion of the wages subsidized under the Work-Learn Program.  Please explore this option, at: 



Although Coordinators are typically appointed as Graduate Academic Assistants, their salaries are expected to keep pace with GTA salaries.  Current GTA salaries are listed here; however, please note expected increases in July 2018 to:

  • GTA1:  $32.24/hr
  • GTA2:  $31.02/hr
  • UTA1:  $17.33/hr
  • UTA2:  $15.47/hr

The above amounts reflect a 1% General Wage Increase taking effect July 1, 2018.  Other anticipated increases for CUPE 2278 employees are:

  • Jul. 1, 2018:  Economic Stability Dividend, amount TBD (recent HR update)
  • Sep. 1, 2018:  General Wage Increase, 0.5%
  • Jul. 1, 2019:  General Wage Increase, 1%
  • Jul. 1, 2019:  Economic Stability Dividend, amount TBD

Sample costs for a CTLT seminar in 2018/2019 and 2019/2020

$40.00/hour per facilitator per seminar.  This applies to preparation time and up to 2.5 workshop hours. 

For any workshop time beyond 2.5 hours, the hourly amount is half the above amount (i.e. $20.00/hour) per facilitator per seminar. 

Workshops are co-facilitated. 


Exemplary proposals

The following proposals were among those most highly praised by the 2016-17/2017-18 Adjudication Committee as examples of excellent programs.  New (or returning) applicants may find it helpful to consider similar approaches.

Application form 

Applications cover two years at a time.  They are 5 pages in length. 

In cases of existing TA Training Programs that are applying for two more years of funding, an evaluation report on the past two years must be included with the application.  The entire proposal, including report, should not exceed 8 pages.

Applications are submitted via email to the Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President Academic Affairs, via selina.fast@ubc.ca.  They will be due in May 2020, and adjudication will take place in June.  Applicants will be notified of the results by the end of June. 

For help with service-related budget planning, applicants should refer to the Cost Guidelines above, provided by the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. If you are relying on collaborating with other support units, please connect with those units directly regarding their costs prior to finalizing your proposal.

Application form for 2018-19 and 2019-20   (for example only; please watch this space for the 2020-21 & 2021-22 application, with a deadline date in May 2020)

    Reporting requirements

    There are two instances in which a report is required: 

    1.  At time of application:

    Faculties or Departments currently receiving funding and wanting to re-apply must submit an Evaluation Report with their application which will be due in April/May 2020, in order to be considered for further funding in the next 2-year round (2020-21 and 2021-22).  This report will outline training delivered to date with a focus on evaluation of the program's success, and plans for adjustments to the program based on feedback collected.  An Evaluation Report template will be included in the Application Form. 

    Example of a commedable Evaluation Report

    2.  At mid-point (i.e. at the conclusion of 1st year): 

    Funding is released one year at a time.  At the end of Year 1 (2018-19) of the 2-year cycle, the unit must submit a progress report to the Provost Office (by June 7th, 2019).  The report will be reviewed by the Adjudication Committee before the second-year of funding can be released. 

    First-Year Report Template - for example only; template is under revision.  The next first-year reports will be due in June 2021. 

    First-year / progress reports should include the following components:

    1. the total number of participants, in comparison with the number that had been expected;
    2. a description of the training program and the curriculum delivered; 
    3. a brief evaluation of the program over the past year; and
    4. a summary of expenditures made, in comparison with what was allocated. 
    Currently-funded TA training programs

    A list of TA training programs that received funding for 2018-19 and 2019-20 can be viewed here.


    For questions relating to program development and implementation:

    Dr. Shaya Golparian
    Educational Developer and TA Development Program Coordinator
    Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology

    Dr. Joseph Topornycky
    Manager, Graduate Student Programs
    Centre for Teaching Learning and Technology

    For questions about the submission process:

    Selina Fast
    Executive Assistant to the Vice-Provost and AVP Academic Affairs
    Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic


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