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Resident Advisors

Resident advisors are 16 graduate students employed by the Office of Residential Life to fulfill various responsibilities in the Harvard Griffin GSAS residence halls.

Resident advisors (RA) are graduate students who live in the residence halls to provide support to fellow students.


Resident advisors:

  • act as liaisons with the Offices of Residential Life, Student Services, Dean of Students, and various other offices
  • help residents, particularly new residents, adjust to their environment at Harvard and in the residence halls
  • are available for urgent and non-urgent matters
  • manage and report emergency situations such as illness, accidents within the premises of the residence halls, facilities problems, etc.
  • are visible and available to students both in the residence halls and at the Student Center at Harvard Griffin GSAS
  • inform residents of housing policies, rules, and regulations, and monitor compliance
  • receive information from residents and report needed repairs and facilities problems; monitor progress
  • staff at least two key distribution shifts during move-in weekend (August 23-28, 2024) and at other times as necessary
  • help residents who are locked out of their rooms
  • are available to residents several nights each term for lock-out duty
  • attend monthly meetings and additional ones, as necessary, that are organized by Residential Life. RA meetings are usually held on the first Wednesday of the month from 8:00 a.m. –10:00 a.m.  A second meeting is held occasionally. Class schedules and other commitments need to be arranged accordingly.
  • plan, organize, and hold social events every two to three weeks, at minimum, for the floor for which they are responsible
  • participate in events organized by Residential Life and Student Services, fellow RAs, Graduate Residence Hall Council, Harvard Griffin GSAS Student Council, and Student Center Fellows
  • organize and participate in activities/meetings as an RA liaison
  • pick up information and materials at the Office of Residential Life (Lehman Hall, Room 203) every Thursday afternoon to be posted and/or distributed
  • submit paperwork, online forms, expense forms/receipts, and weekly report forms on time.


In order to be eligible, applicants must:

  • be a full-time Harvard graduate degree-seeking candidate who has lived in the residence halls for at least one full term at the time of application AND will continue to be registered full-time for the academic year, OR
  • be a Harvard Griffin GSAS degree-seeking student who is currently and will be registered in the Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for the academic year.

RAs must attend the meetings and events below. Confirm your availability on these dates before applying.

August 13–September 9, 2024, and May 15–30, 2025
RAs must be in residence

August 15–21, 2024
RA Training

August 23–28, 2024
Move-in Weekend

January 13–24, 2025
January@HarvardGriffinGSAS. RAs are expected to remain in the residence halls for at least five days of the term.

January 18, 2024, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Resident Advisor Winter Retreat

Application and Selection Process

The 2024–2025 Harvard Griffin GSAS resident advisor application is now closed. Please contact the Office of Residential Life with any questions.

Duration and Benefits

RAs are selected for the academic year and may reapply for the following year as long as they continue to be enrolled in a graduate degree program at Harvard. Reappointment is not guaranteed.

RAs in Child, Conant, and Richards Halls are provided with free small single room and 10 meals per week, Monday through Friday, at the Commons at Lehman Hall for the academic year. RAs in Perkins Hall, which houses a larger number of students per floor than the other residence halls, may choose either a small or large room. 

Events Calendar