GRF Job Description


Graduate Resident Fellow – West Campus House System


The Graduate Resident Fellow lives in a West Campus House and supports the House Professor-Dean, Assistant Dean, and House Fellows in creating a positive, vibrant and academically engaging residential community; serves as mentor, and role model to undergraduate residents; and serves in a leadership role for academic enrichment by promoting a variety of programs and activities. Throughout the period of employment, the GRF’s role as a graduate/professional student remains their central priority; House leadership (House Professor-Dean and Assistant Dean) will work directly with GRFs to ensure that assigned duties and expectations support their ongoing development as students and scholars, including efforts to accommodate GRF responsibilities and schedules with other graduate student requirements and expectations.

The GRF position is a one-year appointment. There is no obligation to renew this appointment (details below).

Core Responsibilities (approximately 5 hours per week averaged over the 12 month contract period and concentrated during the 9 months classes are in session):   

  1. Attending and leading House programs (lectures, discussions, events, etc. and weekly house dinners).
  2. Support student involvement and community building (e.g. building rapport with residents and fostering a safe residential environment, programming)
  3. Provide academic and social support (e.g. assisting students in navigating social conflicts/community living, informal advising to residents on Cornell’s academic and personal/well-being resources, course of study, etc.)
  4. Administrative duties (e.g. assist with opening/closing weekends, move-out room inspections, attending training and staff meetings)

Other Expectations of Leadership in a Living/Learning Community:

In addition, GRFs are expected to participate and contribute in the following ways:

  1. Dining and informal interactions with students (enabled by the provided meal plan)
  2. Engaging House Fellows and Guests-in-Residence (through attendance at receptions, House Dinners, etc.)
  3. Participating in after hours on-call rotation
  4. Maintain community standards (e.g. enforce rules, observe and report violations of community standards)


I. Provide Academic Support

  • Meet individually with and be generally present and accessible to house residents.
  • Participate in the development and implementation of programs and activities that support and enhance academic engagement and encourage student-faculty interaction (e.g. invite speakers/faculty for dining discussions).
  • Develop a working knowledge of Cornell's academic programs, opportunities and support services for the

purpose of referrals (e.g. Cornell Abroad, Cornell-in-Washington, internships, externships, Career Services).

  • Offer academic/mentoring expertise in their field of study.
  • Advise students on postgraduate plans and opportunities and make referrals to resource offices as


II. Support Student Development and Community Building

  • Interact regularly with house residents in the dining room including attendance at House Dinners.
  • Attend house functions.
  • Advise and encourage residents in planning and implementing programs and activities.
  • Work with other Graduate Resident Fellows to promote inter and intra-house programs and activities as well as interactions with other university residential units.
  • Develop a working knowledge of Cornell and local area agencies for the purpose of personal counseling

referrals (e.g. Counseling and Psychological Services/CU Health, EARS, Victim Advocacy Program)

  • Communicate program, and policy information to residents through meetings, bulletin boards, e-mail, etc.
  • Serve on or advise House Council as applicable within House.

III. Maintain Community Standards

  • Communicate, observe and enforce community behavioral standards (e.g. Campus Code of Conduct, Housing Contract/Terms and Conditions, Community Living Standards, Life Safety requirements) by confronting inappropriate behavior, and / or initiating the judiciary process.
  • Be familiar with building fire alarm equipment and system, security/access systems and other safety issues and practices as well as assist in emergency evacuations.

IV. Administrative Duties

  • Attend all staff training sessions and staff meetings. Attend House/Community Council meetings as requested.
  • Assist with orientation, move-in and move-out administrative duties.
  • Assume responsibility for other house administrative functions as assigned by the House Professor-Dean and Assistant Dean of the House.
  • Serve in the rotational on-call responsibilities.
  • Prepare reports, logs, and administrative forms as required.

Supervision: Supervised by the House Professor-Dean and Assistant Dean of the House

Eligibility requirements:

  • Must be a full-time registered graduate or professional student at Cornell University. Individuals who are registered in the Graduate School and are receiving Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships, Graduate Assistantships, Graduate Research Assistantships and Fellowships are generally eligible for employment. However, each individual has different provisions attached to their financial support, so it is essential to clear your status with the Graduate School before accepting a GRF appointment.
  • Must have completed at least one (1) year of graduate or undergraduate study at Cornell.
  • Must secure permission from the Director of Graduate Studies and the special committee chair or the student’s academic advisor. (Not applicable for applicants from the professional schools).
  • Must have approval from the House Professor-Dean/ House Assistant Dean to take on additional employment.
  • International students must ensure that their employment complies with Homeland Security regulations and other relevant United States laws and must have approval from one of the Immigration Advisors in Cornell's Office of Global Learning.
  • Students on partial fellowships (tuition or stipend) are eligible if they are in accordance with the Graduate School requirements regarding registration units.

Recruitment, Application & Selection:

  • Complete an application form including two letters of reference. 
  • Select applicants will be invited to interview (by a selection team of faculty and staff).
  • Appointment is by the House Professor-Dean and Assistant Dean of the House. Signature form signed by the Director of Graduate Studies (only for M.A. & PhD students) and Special Committee Chair or Faculty Advisor.

Employment and Training Expectations:

  1. GRF appointments require the completion of a successful background check once an offer is made and prior to moving into the residence.
  2. Live in the assigned West Campus House and dine regularly in the House dining room.
  3. Term of appointment is August 1, 2024 to no later than July 31, 2025 renewable by the House Professor-Dean and Assistant Dean with required approval from the individual’s graduate program official. There is no obligation to renew this appointment; however, appointments that are not renewed will end on May 31st of their final year.
  4. Attend all staff training in August 2024, January 2025 and periodic in-services.
  5. Staff must remain in residence in December 2024 until all residents have left and all GRF administrative duties are complete.
  6. Staff must be in residence prior to the reopening of the House in January 2025.
  7. GRFs must be available and accessible to residents whenever the House is open for student occupancy includingFall, Thanksgiving, February and Spring Breaks.
  8. Must observe all terms and conditions of the housing contract.
  9. Spouse/partners have no employment responsibilities within the house but are welcome to participate in house life as they wish.

In order to perform the duties of the position, each GRF will be housed in a one bedroom efficiency apartment within a West Campus House and supplied with a GRF Meal Plan. Housing for GRFs is available from August 1 through June 30. GRFs who renew their appointment for the following academic year retain their apartment through July. There is no meal plan during academic year breaks or during the summer

Remuneration:  Over the course of the 12 month appointment, GRFs receive a stipend on a semi-monthly basis. Stipend totals are $1920 (1st year), $2640 (2nd year), $2880 (3rd year), and $3120 (4th year). Students selected for these positions will retain any tuition/stipend/grant awarded to them in addition to the remuneration listed here. For those not renewing their appointment, the balance of the stipend will be awarded on May 31st of their final year.