IELTS General Reading Sample 2.2

Section 2: Workplace Survival - Appointment Letter Academia

Jordan has received a letter offering him a Research Assistantship. Read the letter and answer the questions which follow.


Sample Letter

Appointment Letter - Full-Time Research Assistant


Date: April 02, 2021

Name: Jordan Washington

ID: 111111


Dear Jordan,

I am pleased to offer you a Research Assistantship in the University of XYZ’s Center of Biotechnology. You will receive a monthly stipend of USD 3,000 with a start date of September 10, 2021 and an end date of August 30, 2025. You will be paid on a bi-weekly basis and will have the option for direct deposit.

Tuition is waived for all students who hold a full-time Research Assistantship. Full-time Research assistants registered for 9 credit hours or more will be charged 50% of full-time mandatory fees. Tuition waivers awarded with assistantships do not include overload tuition charges.

Please note: It may take until October 1 (fall semester) or March 1 (spring semester) for tuition waivers to post to your student account. Student late fees are not applied during this time. If the waiver has not yet posted after the dates listed above, please contact your department.

In addition to the stipend and tuition benefits described above, your assistantship will also include individual health insurance. Further information regarding health coverage can be found at: Student Health Benefit Plan Information. If you are able to show proof of alternative coverage by a U.S. based health insurance plan that meets all of the criteria outlined at Student Health Benefits Plan information, you are encouraged to waive the UXYZ Student Health Benefit (UXYZ SHBP) by completing the waiver. A link to the waiver can be found on the information page referenced above.

From your stipend, you will need to cover room and board and graduate student fees. The student fee rates for the current academic year can be found online once you log in to your official account. Housing is available either in a graduate dormitory, conveniently located on campus, in university apartments, or in private rentals.

Additional information on graduate appointments can also be found on the university website.

Duties associated with the assistantship include:

  • Develop an expertise in the Biotechnology sector

  • Perform day-to-day experimental activities, maintain detailed up-to-date laboratory notebook, utilize safe laboratory protocols

  • Maintain lab in clean and high-functioning condition

  • Adhere to experimental protocols required for product development and lab services for clients

  • Coordinate, generate and maintain research reports, presentations and databases

  • Follow guidelines on data entry, conservation and sharing

  • Use professional concepts to contribute to the development of the lab technology base, and to achieve objectives in creative and effective ways

The Research Assistant will also be responsible for:

  • Remaining current on relevant scientific and industry techniques

  • Interfacing with outside Associates on collaborative programs

  • Assisting the team with documenting and updating Standard Operating Procedures as needed

  • Other duties as assigned

The time spent on these duties is approximately twenty hours per week. Your continued employment is contingent upon your ongoing demonstration of successfully fulfilling these job expectations.

This offer and start date are contingent upon successful completion of a background check and your ability to present proof of valid work authorization for the period covered by this offer. You will receive an email from the background check vendor, HireRite, with instructions to complete the process. Please respond to this request at your earliest convenience as the background check can take up to two weeks to process.

Please complete hiring forms I-9 and W-4 and return them to the Centre’s admission office in the Biotechnology Department as soon as possible. Please note that if you are completing the form I-9 offsite, it requires an authorized UXYZ representative to verify your documents: (Authorized Representative Form).

If you are an international student who will hold an F1/J1 student visa, you may complete the hiring paperwork during your Fall orientation once you have arrived on campus.

You should also be aware that a mandatory orientation for new Assistants and Fellows is held during the week before classes. Information will be posted on the Graduate School web page approximately one month before the semester begins.

Your acceptance into our graduate program has only come after a careful review of your academic background. We believe that you are an excellent fit for our program and we hope that you will accept our offer. Your time at UXYZ promises to be a rewarding period of personal and professional growth. You are certainly welcome to visit us at any time in order to discuss our program in greater detail. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We ask that you please inform us of your decision as soon as possible.

Please provide your written response to this offer by endorsing and returning this letter no later than May 15, 2021, although an earlier response is appreciated.



Ivana Welsh.

I accept _______ or do not accept _____ this offer of an Assistantship.


Signature:________________________________________ Date_________________



Sample Questions

Q1. Complete the following statement on the basis of the information available in the above passage:

Jordan Washington has been _______________a position of ______________ in the _______________ of the _____________.

A) given, research analyst, University of XYZ, Centre of Biotechnology

B) appointment, Research Assistantship, Centre of Biotechnology, University of XYZ

C) offered, Research Assistant, Centre of Biotechnology, University of XYZ

D) appointed, Research Assistant, Centre of Biotechnology, University of XYZ

Q2. Evaluate the following statements and respond with “True” or “False”:

  1. Jordan Washington has to accept the offer of research assistantship to be eligible for appointment.

  2. The grant for the position is USD3000 a month, to be paid bi-weekly.

  3. Apart from research grant, Jordan is also entitled to individual health insurance.

  4. The total period of the project is four years.

A) All statements are True

B) Options 2. and 3. are True; Options 1. and 4. are False

C) Options 1., 2., 3. are True; Option 4. is False

D) Options 1., 2., 4. are True; Option 3. is False

Q3. Complete the following sentence using appropriate words:

The day-to-day engagements of a Research Assistant will include:

____________ assigned experimental activities, _____________ detailed, well drafted laboratory notebook, __________ all safety protocols of the laboratory.

A) perform, maintain, utilize

B) performing, maintaining, following

C) perform, create, adhere

D) performance, write, utilize

Q4. What are the preconditions associated to a successful appointment for the position?

A) Ability to pay tuition fee, Agreeing to predefined duties, Accepting the offer

B) Accepting the offer, Completing forms I-9 & W-4, Accepting available accommodation

C) Proof of valid work visa, Positive background report, Verification of documents by University representative

D) Not given

Q5. A word that means “official rules,” “conventions,” “designated procedures” is_________________

A) Guideline

B) Conservation

C) Method

D) Protocol

Q6. Synonyms for “interfacing” are:

A) Meeting, Learning

B) Interacting, Collaborating

C) Browsing, Chatting

D) None of the above

Q7. Complete the following information:

The stipend offered by the University for the position is to fund: __________, ____________, and _____________.

A) Tuition Fees, Accommodation and Boarding

B) Research needs, Lodging, Travel

C) Library charges, Laboratory Charges, Dormitory

D) Not given

Q8. The University has requested Jordan to ‘endorse and return’ the appointment letter as soon as possible. What does this mean?

A) Jordan must send a ‘support and reply’ to the letter.

B) Jordan must send an ‘knowledge and understanding’ of the letter.

C) Jordan must reply with an ‘agreement and acknowledgement’ of the letter.

D) Jordan must send an ‘acceptance and acknowledgement’ of the letter.

(Answers on Next Page)

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