We want to ensure that UROP students approved for pay have no problems receiving wages in a timely manner. This “toolkit” gives students with newly-approved UROP projects clear steps on how to be set up for weekly pay. It also covers important payroll-related topics such as I-9s, tax-withholding forms, timesheet submission, and holiday pay. A list of resources and contacts for UROP students encountering any kind of issue regarding payroll and affordability is also included.
Of course, the UROP Office is your first stop for help with any UROP-related matters. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us at 617-253-7306, or visit us in 7-104, Monday-Thursday – 9am to 5pm (no appointment necessary) or via virtual appointments on Fridays.
I-9 & Tax Withholding Forms
As soon as you accept a paid UROP position and before you start working on your UROP, you must complete your I-9 and payroll tax forms with MIT (if you have not done so previously). Complete details can be found on the Student Employment site at: https://sfs.mit.edu/find-a-job/for-students/getting-paid/. You need only complete the I-9 once with MIT; payroll cannot be issued if this is not on file. Details on taxes and other payroll withholdings can be found on the VPF Personal Payroll Activities page.
MIT pays students by direct deposit, so paychecks will be deposited electronically to the bank account you designate. Complete the online Direct Deposit Preferences for Payroll via Atlas under the “About Me” tab in the Money Matters section.
Minimum Wage & UROP Funding
The minimum hourly rate for UROP in AY2021-22 will be $14.25/hour. If requesting UROP office direct funding, you may request up to a total of: $1,995 (140 total hours) in each of the fall and spring terms, and $6,840 (480 total hours) for the summer. These amounts are current for the 2021-22 academic year and are subject to change.
The amounts listed in the wage/materials and services field in your approved paid UROP applications are the maximum amounts you can earn for the given semester.
Materials and Services (M&S) Expenses
Occasionally, the UROP Office will approve funds for materials and services purchases or travel to relevant conferences. Any approved materials and services amounts are listed within your approved paid UROP application. Funds allocated for materials/travel are generally processed via the following means:
- Requisition/Purchase Order. Your UROP department’s payroll coordinator may assist you with making purchases via MIT vendors and/or setting up a purchase order for materials using a UROP account.
- Reimbursement. You may make purchases up front and then approach your UROP department’s payroll coordinator to assist you with processing a reimbursement which must be approved by UROP Staff.
If you have questions about how to access funds allocated to you for materials/travel, please contact the UROP Office (Room 7-104, 617-253-7306, email@example.com).
Your UROP approval email has critical information on how to get set-up in the payroll system to submit your timesheets via ATLAS. Timesheets must be submitted on a weekly basis. Failure to do so creates unnecessary additional work for payroll coordinators, and delays payments to you.
Your UROP department’s payroll coordinator can help with any payroll related matters. In addition to setting you up for timesheet submission via the ATLAS system, they will advise you on when timesheets should be submitted, and in what preferred manner (online, printed timesheets, etc.,). Be sure to contact your payroll coordinator once you receive your UROP approval notice.
You MUST report your worked UROP hours on a WEEKLY BASIS or your pay will be delayed. YOU are responsible for keeping track of your cumulative earnings toward your UROP maximum and may not work more than the hours allocated.
Note that the accounts used by the UROP Office have expiration dates. If you are funded by the UROP Office and submit late timesheets against an account that has expired, your faculty supervisor will be responsible for providing the funds to pay you. If you are submitting timesheets each week, you will not run into this problem.
It is critical that UROP participation for international students aligns with visa requirements; this is particularly important for paid UROP participation.
- Weekly Hours. International students are restricted in the number of hours that may be worked during any given week. During the fall and spring terms, international students are limited to 20 hours per week and during winter and the summer vacation, 40 hours per week. Please note that this applies to all paid positions at MIT, so if you have a job in addition to your UROP, you may work no more than 20 hours per week while school is in session and 40 hours per week while on vacation for all positions combined.
- Off-campus UROP. While most UROP research happens on the MIT campus, some projects take place at off-campus MIT-affiliated locations, such as the Whitehead Institute for Biological Research, the Broad Institute, and Boston-area teaching hospitals. In those cases, international students must secure an authorization from the International Students Office (ISO) to work in these locations, in advance of beginning research.
Please consult your international student advisor in the International Students Office (ISO) with any questions.
UROPs in International Locations
Due to international tax and wage regulations, MIT is not able to offer paid UROPs to students that are not physically located in the United States. However, students living abroad may opt for a credit-only UROP. Alternatively, students may choose to do a non-UROP experiential learning opportunity (such as remote teaching, public service, entrepreneurship) paid by stipend.
Wellesley students are not eligible for direct funding support from the UROP Office. However, supervisor funding is allowed if the faculty supervisor agrees. Wellesley students need to cross-register each term in which they undertake UROPs and should refer to the Wellesley College Student Application Checklist for complete information.
If a student holds more than one paid UROP or other MIT position paid through MIT student payroll, then aggregate hours in excess of 40 are paid at time and a half. For instance, if a student has a summer UROP at 40 hours a week and another on-campus job at 10 hours a week, the student will earn 10 hours of overtime; depending on when payroll is processed, these overtime hours may be charged to either “employer.”
Because weekly hours in excess of 40 across any combination of campus positions are automatically paid as overtime, UROP Office Direct Funding recipients should not work more than 40 hours per week for all paid summer appointments. The UROP Office does not have a budget to support overtime hours.
Students funded by faculty/departmental funds should talk with their supervisors before working more than 40 hours/week as faculty/departmental budgets may be limited as well.
Students who work on a holiday can be paid for those hours, but students are not paid for hours that they do not work on a holiday.
Help is Available!
Please remember there are numerous offices and resources that can help you with any issues related to payroll, finance, and general affordability issues. Do not hesitate to reach out for any help you might need.
- The UROP Office is available to assist students and refer them to available resources. Our staff are located in Room 7-104 and can be reached at 617-253-7306 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The HR-Payroll/Student Payroll Office can help with payroll related concerns, including receiving payments and submitting hours via the payroll system. Contact staff at email@example.com, Room NE49- 4000.
- The International Students Office (ISO) can assist international students with questions about work-eligibility, VISAs, obtaining social security numbers, and related matters.
- Student Support Services, known as “S3,” provides guidance and advocacy for students and act as a hub for resources, referrals and information across the MIT community. S3 staff are located in Building 5-104, directly off of Lobby 7 at the 77 Massachusetts Avenue entrance to MIT and can be reached at (617) 253-4861.
- The Accepting Resources MIT Coalition (known as “ARM”) aims to connect students with campus resources when they are struggling with financial issues.
- The MIT Ombuds Office listens to concerns, resolves disputes, manages conflicts, and teaches more productive ways of communicating.