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Finance and aid

Learning and Earning

Gain Experience Through Research

Through STATGRAF Research and Equantz International, the school participants are fully-funded including tuition, medical insurance, and a stipend. For more detailed information regarding the cost of attendance, including specific costs for tuition and fees, books and supplies, housing and food as well as transportation that are available at location. However, the participants who are yet to complete their PhD program or Post-Doc research use this program. You’ll have between four- and six-years research work terms.

Welcome to Learning and Earning (L&E)! As part of your financial aid package, Learning and Earning (L&E) research opportunities provide an amazing experience to earn part of your School fees rather than increase your loans financial position and decline and reduce the loan amounts offered to you.

Remember that the less debt you educate with, the more choices you’ll have in life! When you take full advantage of L&E opportunities, you will:

  • Gain valuable job skills and research and digital experiences
  • Build your resume and learn to write a dynamic, job-specific cover letter
  • Find major-related work for an edge on a career job search
  • Meet other fellow participants, work with professionals, and expand your social and career networks
  • Be more confident talking to recruiters at job fairs
  • Become an aggressive, savvy job hunter

Overview of Learning and Earning

The Learning and Earning (L&E) Program is a financial aid-like program that promotes part-time research employment for School participants to help finance their education. L&E is awarded based on financial need as determined by the financial aid application submitted. Both Junior and Senior Fellow participants may be eligible for L&E.

Learning and Earning Details

By participating in the Learning and Earning Program, a portion of your wages will be subsidized by your L&E award. The L&E subsidy is what makes L&E eligible participants very desirable to employers. For example, if a department pays you $40/hour, it costs their budget a net $20/hour. You’re a highly sought-after employee, because L&E saves employers money!

Obtaining a L&E job will allow you to use your earnings to pay for items in your budget like living expenses, food, and many other school related expenses. Any earnings made with work-study will be paid directly to you via a direct deposit or a paper check; L&E earnings will not pay any fees within your account. As a result, this will provide you the opportunity to control how you spend your L&E earnings.

Benefits of Learning and Earning

Participating in L&E can allow you to avoid loans by earning part of your School costs rather than taking out loans to fund your academic fees. In addition, L&E earnings do not count against your financial aid eligibility when you fill out next year’s Aid or Sponsorship applications. Whereas non-work-study earnings are considered “additional income” on the Aid or Sponsorship and may affect your financial aid eligibility in the future.

While L&E provides several financial benefits, you can also gain valuable research and development work experience and develop transferable digital skills while in school, putting you in a stronger position to pursue other employment opportunities when you complete the program. Gaining professional experience outside of the classroom while also being paid through L&E will put you in a greater advantage both financially and professionally.

Learning and Earning Eligibility

Fellow participants may be eligible for Learning and Earning (L&E) by applying for the Fellow and Post-Doctoral Affairs (FPA). If there is financial need as determined by the application then participants can request a conversion of eligible need-based into L&E via STAGE. The initial maximum L&E award for Fellow participants can be up to 70% of the L&E award offered, and the earnings are reflected in STAGE, particpants may submit a request to convert additional eligible stipends into L&E.

Find and Get Assigned to a Research Learning and Earning Engagements

The first step to earning your L&E award is to find a research initiative. Learning and Earning research works are listed all throughout the academic year in the STATGRAF Research requests.

Before you begin your search for a Learning and Earning research engagement, please confirm that you have been awarded a L&E award and that you have formally accepted your award in STAGE. Once logged into STAGE, click “My Finances”, then click “View awards” and locate your L&E award. You should find a blue “Accept” click that will allow you to formally accept your L&E award. You will not be able to be offered a L&E research work until you have formally accepted your L&E award in STAGE.

Apply for a Research Engagement

  • Once you have located an opportunity that you are interested in, send e-mail to FPA.
  • You will be able to review the Job Request which will contain the job description, qualifications, pay rate, remote work accommodations and much more.
  • To determine how you can apply for a job, review the “How to Apply” section and this will state the employer’s preferred method to apply for their job.
  • There may be some employers who will provide an external link to apply to their work-study job. Please review the job description and qualifications thoroughly to determine how to apply for the job.


  • Connect to as many researchers and companies that you are interested in to increase your chances to get hired and have options.
  • Learning and Earning (L&E) research initiatives are posted throughout the academic year, but from late April to early September you will find a significant number of jobs available as employers wish to initiate researchers as soon as the academic year begins.

Get Referred to a Work-Study Job

Once an employer extends a verbal/written offer to specific research, there are a few steps that you and your employer must take to ensure your research engagement is connected to your L&E award. The L&E referral process must be completed to connect your job to your L&E award so that you may begin to earn your award. The referral process consists of two steps:

Learning and Earning (L&E) Referral Process:

Step 1 – Employer offers you a L&E research engagement. Your employer/supervisor will need to initiate the referral process by formally offering you a L&E engagement

Step 2 – Participant accepts the research engagement offer. An engagement offer email notification will be sent to you via your School email and you will be advised to log into the participant portal of STAGE to formally accept your engagement offer.

Once both steps of the referral process are complete, your L&E research engagement will be linked to your L&E award, allowing you to earn your award.

Get Hired

Now that the referral process is complete, your employer will need to take steps to ensure you can complete the onboarding process to become hired as a researcher or by a particular organization, if hired by an off-campus employer. It is important that you complete the onboarding process to ensure you are formally hired as an researcher so that you may be able to begin working.

Learning and Earning Frequently Asked Questions

Learning and Earning (L&E) is a smart and experiential way to go about financing your education at Simon-Erdős School of Design Sciences. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding the program and the ability to find a job that is right for you.

1. What is Learning and Earning?

Learning and Earning (L&E)  is a need-based aid-like program that gives you the opportunity to earn money through part-time research engagement. This program pays a portion of your wages, so this subsidy makes you very desirable to employers! For example, if a department pays you $40/hour, it costs their budget a net $20/hour. There are three advantages for the work-study participant:

The subsidy makes you a highly sought-after employee.

Learning and Earning earnings do not count against your aid eligibility when you fill out next year’s Aid and other Scholarship programs.

Learning and Earning gives you the opportunity to earn part of your School Academic Fees rather than increase your loans. The less debt you graduate with, the more choices you’ll have in life.

2. Who is eligible for work-study jobs?

Participants who receive or potential to receive financial aid from other institutions and have L&E as part of their financial aid package are eligible to apply for L&E research engagements. In order to begin earning L&E funds you must have a complete financial aid file (no missing documents) and your financial aid awards must not be conditional.

3. Can I keep working if I'm not enrolled or complete Fellow program?

Unfortunately, you can’t continue to earn Learning and Earning if you are no longer enrolled. If you withdraw, are dismissed, or completed program, your last day to earn L&E funds is the last day of your enrollment. If your employer wants to continue your employment they may choose to do so, but they are responsible for paying you 100% of your earnings without the L&E subsidy. This arrangement would be between you and your employer and any earnings after enrollment will not be work-study eligible. You must immediately notify your employer of changes in your enrollment.

4. How can I get the most out of the Learning and Earning program?

Big picture: Learning and Earning research engagements give you an edge to help pay for the School Fellow program and complete with less debt.

Bigger picture: Learning and Earning research engagements help you develop your resume, network with employers, obtain major/career-related work, and assist you in becoming a savvy, aggressive job hunter.

Biggest picture: One day, you’ll be in a corporate position to set-up a contract with STATGRAF Research office and save your company/organization money by reaching back and hiring your fellow designers. Your Learning and Earning research engagement experience will have traveled full-circle.

5. Is Learning and Earning mandatory? Do I have to get a research engagement?

No, you are not required to work. You may have the option of converting your L&E to loans. If you do not use L&E, it is less likely you’ll receive it as part of your financial aid the following year. If you don’t convert your L&E to loans or don’t earn it, be sure not to include it as a resource in your personal budget.

6. Is there summer Learning and Earning?

No, there is no summer-specific Learning and Earning. L&E awards from your academic package cannot be earned after the following spring term ends, or after you are no longer enrolled, whichever is earlier. However, if you have L&E as a part of your academic award package, you may begin earning these funds as early as January, provided that your financial aid file is complete (no missing documents) and your financial aid offer is not conditional. Check My Finances in STAGE to review your awards and to make sure there are no missing documents.

Although your L&E funds can be earned during the summer, they are specifically designed to meet your expenses during the academic year. Earning your L&E award during the summer deducts from your academic award package. Save these earnings to pay your expenses once the academic year begins.

There is no option to convert summer loans to L&E. L&E is not available for Summer Abroad Programs, Education Abroad Programs (EAP), or Inter-campus transfers

7. How much does a Learning and Earning research engagement pay?

From minimum wage to upwards of more than $40/hour (usually graduate research positions). Employers set the rate and the highly skilled/greater responsibility jobs tend to pay more.

8. If I don't work, do I have to give the money back?

Since you don’t receive the money until you earn it, and you can’t earn it without having a work-study job, there is no money to give back. The answer is “no.”

9. How do I get paid and how often?

You are paid directly by STATGRAF Research or your off-campus employer. Off-campus employers pay according to their own schedule. In a STATGRAF Research position, you will most likely be paid bi-weekly. Please contact FPA or Organization Relations for general payroll information. Please refer here for direct deposit/Electronic Fund Transfer instructions. For specific questions about your pay, please direct them to or because the Financial Aid Office L&E unit is not part of the payroll process.

10. Are my work-study earnings taxable?

Yes, generally Learning and Earning incomes are taxable, just like regular work earnings. Please refer to your payroll department with specific questions about how your income is taxed. For on-campus employment, you can email your questions to Note that off-campus employers are obligated to deduct taxes. You will be required to complete an Employee Withholding Allowance Certificate when you start working, which will determine how much income tax is withheld from your Learning and Earning earnings. Here is a link to the tax form for you to review prior to completing it.

11. Are there any restrictions with Learning and Earning research engagements?

Yes, some regulations restrict Learning and Earning from being used to:

  • Displace a regularly-hired or budgeted employee – for instance, we can work with for-profit companies, but the job needs to be created for a participant researcher and be directly related to a participant’s major/career goals. Summer internships are great for that. On the other hand, we couldn’t allow an employer to hire the subsidized Learning and Earning participant as part of its counter help, because the employer would be displacing a regularly hired/budgeted employee.
  • Promote organizations that restrict membership, such as a union.
  • Campaign for a political candidate or issue.
  • Lobby legislatures.
  • Recruit members for a religious organization or construct/maintain a religious building.

Work outside the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States unless with a branch of the campus, STATGRAF Research or the Canada/UK government (an embassy, for example)

12. Can any employer be a work-study employer?

Any STATGRAF Research employer can be a Learning and Earning employer and we also work with off-campus member companies who set-up a contract with us. We are expanding our off-campus presence and including employers ranging from Hong Kong, to New York City, to London.


^ The amount payable is less of the “Deposit” paid upon acceptance.

The amount illustrated is based on current prevailing VAT at 5%. Note that GST will be changed from 5% to 15% on 1st January 2023. The applicable total amount payable will be charged accordingly.

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