Student Health Insurance
Single student coverage under the Iowa State University Student Health Insurance Plan is provided free of charge to all graduate assistants at ISU. Insurance sign-up for new students takes place during Orientation. New students should not discontinue any other insurance before ISU coverage begins. Students also can arrange for insurance coverage for their family; this option is available only through payroll deduction.

AETNA Health Insurance will provide the 2013-2014 ISU Students and Scholars Health Insurance Program. For information, contact the ISU Student & Scholar Health Insurance Program (SSHIP) office at 3810 Beardshear Hall; phone: (515) 294-4800; 877-477-7485 or email: Fax: 515-294-8226. Their website is at:

All international students, whether on assistantship or not, are required to carry the ISU Student Health Insurance or to be covered by another health insurance policy. For more information, contact the International Student and Scholars office in Suite 250/252 Memorial Union (294-1120).

Prescription Drug Benefit Program
Graduate students receive single coverage free of charge in a prescription drug benefit program that reduces the cost of generic and prescription drugs available at the Student Health Center. For information, contact the Student Health Center Pharmacy (294-7983).

Health Service
All students have access to services provided by the ISU Student Health Service. A mandatory health fee is assessed to all students registered for five or more credits. This health fee pays for some services offered at the Student Health Center. The health facility fee applies to the cost of the new Student Health Center. The health center fee is optional for students enrolled for fewer than five credits. The health fee can be increased without notice.

Additional information about the student group plan medical insurance and the benefits of the mandatory health fee can be obtained from the Thielen Student Health Center (294-5801).

During the exploration rotation period, BCB research assistants with half-time appointments earn vacation at a rate of eight hours per month (equivalent to two calendar days per month). A student may take vacation with the approval of the temporary advisor and by notifying the BCB office.

After students’ Home Department forms are approved, leaves (including maternity/paternity) are handled by the major professors and home departments, which develop and implement their own policies. Vacation time accumulated prior to joining home departments is not carried forward.

The Graduate College Handbook states only:

Arrangements for a leave of absence are made between the graduate assistant and that assistant’s supervisor. When a graduate student employee needs to be absent either for personal reasons or illness, the supervisor should be understanding and accommodating to that need. At the same time, the graduate assistant should attempt to plan personal leave so that it does not interfere with or cause neglect of the duties associated with his or her appointment. Supervisors of graduate assistants are responsible for ensuring that their assistants do not exceed reasonable limits for leave.

All ISU students with assistantship appointments are employees of ISU and, as such, are allowed the regular university holidays (New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day, plus one additional day each year determined by the university administration). Absences for other time off must be arranged with the temporary or major professor as outlined above.

Injuries and Injury Reports
If a student is injured while performing duties as a Graduate Assistant, he or she must submit a First Report of Injury as soon as possible. This form is available from ISU’s Environmental Health and Safety department. Usually the University's Worker's Compensation insurance carrier will pay for medical care.

Lab safety courses are a requirement for all students who work in laboratories on campus. A lab safety orientation is provided by EH&S which all students should attend.