Housing & Residence Life

Graduate Resident (GR)


The Graduate Resident (GR) is a key student leadership role within Housing and Residence Life (HRL). GRs serve as mentors, advisors, and resource agents for the Resident Assistants and residents within the residential community. GRs report directly to a Residence Coordinator and are responsible for encouraging a positive living environment for residents by coordinating academic services, advising house councils, and supporting leadership of the Resident Assistant teams. As student leaders responsible for helping shape and maintain positive residential communities, GRs are role models for the residential communities.


On this page, you should be able to find the information needed to answer many of your questions and guide you through the selection process. In particular, it is important to review the GR role description, the selection timeline(s), as well as other important resources you will need to complete the application, including individuals willing to serve as references for your application. Please note that a new hire candidate file is considered to be complete only after both a successfully submitted online application and recommendation forms have been received.

As GRs serve in prominent roles on campus, we are committed to selecting only the most capable and dynamic staff members. Therefore, the selection process is designed to enable us to learn as much as possible about each candidate. Please give this careful consideration as you complete the online application and progress through the interview process. Getting to know you is key to hiring individuals who will be successful in the role, and a vital member of our staff teams.


2018-2019 Academic Year Graduate Resident Application Process

The application for next academic year (2018-2019) will open on Friday, January 5, 2018 and will close on Friday, March 2, 2018. You can access the application via this link

Once you access the Symplicity portal, you will need to provide Net ID and Net ID password in order to log in. Upon successful log in, you will select the “survey” tab, and you will find a link to the 18-19 Graduate Resident Application.

2018-2019 Academic Year GR Application Screening Process

This application will take, on average, 90 to 120 minutes to complete. You are permitted to revise your application after you submit it, as long as the application period is still open. Any applications that are not complete before the application period closes will not be considered for interviews. 

Your references will be contacted periodically between Friday, January 9, 2018 and Friday, March 2, 2018. Please be sure you have made them aware that they are serving as your reference before you submit your application. 

Your application will be reviewed by a Selections Review Panel (SRP) composed of Residence Coordinators, RA representative(s) and GR representative(s) and chaired by the Associate Dean for Staff Selections. Your application will be considered based on your responses, and based on the recommendations that your references provided. All who apply may not be invited to participate in the interview process, as the purpose of the SRP is to identify candidates for interview that would be successful in the role. Not being selected for an interview does not exclude you from participating in other applications processes for the GR role throughout the academic year.

2018-2019 Academic Year GR Interview Process

All applicants that have been invited to interview the GR role for the 2018-2019 academic year will be sent an invitation to schedule an interview. Interviews will be held on Monday, January 26, 2018, with candidates arriving the afternoon of Sunday, January 25, 2018 (accommodations being provided by HRL), and will be in the form of a group/individual interview process, beginning at 9:00 am and ending at 4:00 pm. Interviews will be held in the Career Center in Smith Warehouse, on Central Campus. 

Applicants will indicate their acceptance of the group process invitation via a link provided to them via email, and will receive a confirmation email from rlselections@duke.edu prior to the interview date. Because we will have applicants who are not physically located in Durham this semester, and may need to interview at a distance, we provide the opportunity for those applicants to interview via Google Hangout, if necessary. 

The SRP will then review evaluations from the group process, and select those candidates that would best fit in the GR role, and those that are eligible to be selected as alternates, as well as those candidates that would not be a fit for the GR role. 

The selection of applicants for open GR positions will occur on Friday, April 6, 2018 and all offers will be submitted to those applicants no later than Monday, April 9, 2018, including alternate offers. All 2018-2019 hires will be expected to return to campus to move into their GR role on Saturday, August 4, 2018. All new hires will also attend 2018-2019 GR Training, beginning on Monday, August 6, 2018. 


Resident Assistant and Graduate Resident Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility Questions

  • I currently do not have a 2.5 GPA.  Am I eligible to be an RA?
    • No.  In order to be eligible to be selected, a candidate must have a 2.5 cumulative GPA.  If a candidate applies and does not have a 2.5 GPA, they will not be invited to enter the interview process.  HDRL reviews the GPA of all candidates prior to the interview process after applications have been submitted.  
  • I am currently on disciplinary probation.  Am I eligible to be an RA?
    • No.  If a student is on disciplinary probation, they are not eligible to be an RA.  HDRL conducts a student conduct check on each candidate prior to the interview process.  

Undergraduate Student Specific Questions

  • I am an undergraduate student. Can I apply to be a Graduate Resident? 
    • No. Undergraduate students are not eligible for the Graduate Resident role. Only current or incoming Duke graduate students are eligible. 

Graduate Student Specific Questions

  • I am a current or incoming graduate student. Can I apply to be a Resident Assistant, Graduate Resident, or both?
    • Graduate students can apply for both roles. They can also apply to only one of the roles, if they so choose. There are typically more vacancies for the Resident Assistant role than for the Graduate Resident role.
  • If I am an incoming Duke graduate student and have not received admission, can I apply for a role?
    • Yes, you can apply for any role even if you have not yet received admission into a Duke graduate program. If you are selected for the role, your selection will be conditional upon your acceptance into a Duke graduate program. 
  • I am a married Duke graduate student; can my spouse live on campus or can I apply for a position?
    • Married Duke graduate students are allowed to apply for both the Resident Assistant and Graduate Assistant roles. 
    • Students in the Graduate Resident role can be partnered, engaged, or married, regardless of campus. 
    • For the Resident Assistant role, if married, you would only be eligible for positions on Central Campus (apartment style community), which makes up less than 15% of our Resident Assistant team (21 out of 168 positions). If selected, the candidate will be given a position on Central Campus. 
  • I have no prior experience being in a residential leadership role (i.e. Resident Assistant or Graduate Resident). Can I still apply for the Graduate Resident role?
    • We encourage any interested applicants to apply despite lack of experience with residential leadership. We like for applicants to have some experience; however, there are many other transferable skills that will help the individual excel in the Graduate Resident role.

Returning Resident Assistant Questions

  • I am a returning Resident Assistant and would like to switch campuses for the next academic year (i.e. East to West, East to Central, West to Central, Central to West). Can I switch campuses?
    • Yes. If you intend to return as a Resident Assistant, you may seek a campus switch for the next academic year. During the intent to return process, you must indicate that you would like to switch campuses. RL Selections will host a campus switch interview for all current RAs interested in switching campuses. 
    • Please note – if you enter the campus switch process and are offered a position, you are obligated to accept the position offered. 
    • You cannot return to your current position or seek another location.
    • Note: Your current home Residence Coordinator makes the final decision if they want you to switch campuses. 
  • If I was not accepted to a role, can I reapply at a later date?
    • Yes. If you were not accepted to a role at this time, you can definitely reapply at a later time. We have many opportunities for reapplication throughout the academic year and summer terms.

General Questions

  • Can I have a pet as a Resident Assistant or Graduate Resident?
    • No pets are allowed for Resident Assistants. Pets are allowed for Graduate Residents only.
  • Do I need references to support my application for the Resident Assistant or Graduate Resident Roles?
    • Yes. You will need to select at least two references and provide their information as part of your application. RL selections will reach out to them to provide a reference to support your applications. All references must be included on the completed application.
  • I am a rising sophomore; can I be an RA on West or Central Campus?
    • Yes, you are eligible to be an RA on West or Central Campus.  However, most sophomores who are selected for the RA role will be an RA on East Campus.

Time Related Questions

  • Are Resident Assistants and Graduate Residents expected to arrive early before the semester begins and stay past the start of breaks?
    • Resident Assistants and Graduate Residents are expected to arrive early prior to the start of the academic year for formal training and to assist in the preparation of residence hall opening. During breaks, they may be asked to remain on campus to help close the residence halls and return early to help re-open the residence halls. At the end of the academic year, both roles are asked to remain on campus to assist with the closing of the residence halls. A date is usually determined by campus.
  • Do we have to ask for a weekend off in either role?
    • Each Resident Assistant and Graduate Resident is allotted 8 pre-approved days per semester where they can be off and away from campus. 
  • What does “duty” look like?
    • Varies from campus to campus and area to area. Generally Resident Assistants will be asked to conduct 2-3 rounds per night and note any significant observations and incidents. During this time, Resident Assistants may encounter alleged policy violations and be expected to confront them. Students will serve as 1st responders to student issues between the hours of 5:00pm – 8:00am. Resident Assistants will also be expected to keep a detailed log of their observations and interactions to submit to their home Residence Coordinator and Graduate Resident. 
  • I work about 10 hours for another department, can I still be a Resident Assistant?
    • Yes.  We estimate that a Resident Assistant will spend about 15 hours per week in the role.  There are some weeks where the role may take more time and other weeks where it may take less. Employment in other departments must be pre-approved by your Residence Coordinator, so that they are aware and can make sure that you are able to handle your academic commitments and your RA commitments in an adequate fashion.
  • Is training mandatory? 
    • Yes.  It is required for all Resident Assistants and Graduate Residents to attend training. HRL does allow for RAs and GRs to apply for exceptions to be absent from training.  Each situation is handled on a case-by-case basis and is decided on by the RA Training Committee.  In general, academic course related conflicts are approved. Non-academic course conflicts are handled on a case-by-case basis.

Study Abroad Questions

  • I have been invited to interview for the Resident Assistant role, but I am currently studying abroad. How can I interview for the role?
    • If you are currently studying abroad, have applied to a role, and have been invited to interview, we conduct video interviews. You will be provided with an opportunity to indicate how RL Selections can contact you for interviews during the selections process. 
  • If I am studying abroad in the fall semester and would like to be a Resident Assistant for the spring semester, how do I apply?
    • In the fall semester, we have a separate application for spring vacancies. You will need to complete this separate application to be considered for any vacancies. 
  • I am a Resident Assistant and am planning to study abroad in the Fall semester; however, I have not applied to the program and/or been accepted to the program. Can I still apply for the Resident Assistant role?
    • Yes, we welcome any interested individual who would like to serve in the Resident Assistant role. If you are planning to study abroad and/or have applied to a study abroad program, you can apply for the Resident Assistant role. We ask that you inform us as soon as you are made aware of your Study Abroad approval or denial via your Residence Coordinator, or via the Associate Dean of Staff Selections. 

Application & Placement Related Questions

  • I am completing my application and would like clarification on what is expected from the essay response questions. 
    • The essay response questions are intended for the applicant to provide more information about their experience, skills, personality, work ethic, and more. Please write the essay responses in paragraph form. The applicant should use their judgment on length – enough to cover the topic. 
  • I am having some technical difficulties with Symplicity and/or the application. Where can I get assistance?
    • Please contact our team at rlselections@duke.edu if you have any questions about Symplicity, the application, or any other selections-related topic. 
  • How does the placement process work?
    • Once the interview process is complete, the Residence Life Team makes decisions regarding who will be the best individual for the role.  While we do take candidates preference into consideration, we ultimately select team members with the best interest of the department, area, and student.   Preference does not equal placement.  If a candidate is selected, but they are not happy with the campus or area location, they are not able to switch into a different area.  One offer, one placement.  

Benefits Questions

  • Benefits Clarification:
    • Resident Assistants and Graduate Residents receive a stipend that is divided into four payments throughout the year. Additionally, they receive free on campus housing and a meal allotment. 
    • Note: These financial benefits do affect financial aid packages. 
    • Special Note: The meal allotment is not to be misconstrued as a meal plan. Its purpose is to provide RA’s with food points so they can dine with residents in our many eateries. RA’s typically have to add food points towards the end of the semester to their meal plans. 
  • Financial Implication of Role Benefits:
    • The financial benefits of the Resident Assistant and Graduate Resident roles affect one’s financial aid package. HRL is required to provide financial details for both roles to the Office of Financial Aid. All situations are different and unique; thus it is hard to provide a consistent answer. We encourage you to contact the Office of Financial Aid at Duke with your questions. They have provided some examples and information on their website at http://financialaid.duke.edu/other-sources-aid. 
  • If I get selected to be a Resident Assistant or Graduate Resident, do I need to have a meal plan?
    • It is up to the individual to decide.  HRL provides a meal allotment for each role.  There are some who will solely use what we provide for their meal plan.  Others use the meal allocation that we provide and an additional meal plan.  It is the individual’s choice.
GR4 N1 Grads


HRL GR Role Description 
Important links
Important Information for GRs Receiving Financial Aid from Duke

Thank You

For more information, please send an email to rlselections@duke.edu or contact Associate Dean Janine Weaver-Douglas at janine.weaver.douglas@duke.edu.