HOW TO JOIN A LAB AS A RESEARCH ASSISTANT
Gaining first-hand research experience can be of value to students for many reasons. Some students may use the experience to decide whether they would like to take a research-oriented career path. Others may find the experience useful because it puts them in direct contact with more experienced researchers, such as faculty, graduate students, and post-doctoral students. For those who think they may want to continue to graduate work, lab experience is often essential, both for the knowledge gained and potential letters of reference. Duties in the lab will differ depending on the needs of the faculty sponsor, but typical lab work usually involves tasks such as data entry, scheduling, participating in lab meetings, and running both human and animal based subjects.
The first step in joining a research lab is for the student to find a faculty member in the Psychology department who is willing to supervise student research and whose research is of interest to the student. This should be done before the semester in which the student wishes to be a research assistant.
The student and faculty member must agree on an outline of the work to be done. Students may volunteer their time, or earn PSYCH 391, a fall course. If the faculty sponsor and student agree on 391 credit, the number of credits (1-3) must also be determined. For each credit, the student is expected to give 3 hours of time per week to the research lab. Finally, the student must complete the 391 form and return it to the faculty member for processing.
RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES AND SUMMER JOBS
Honor Courses and Tutorials
- The first step is for the student to secure a Psychology instructor who will be willing to supervise his/her work (this step must be done during the semester preceding the one in which the student actually enrolls in the course).
- He/she should do preliminary library work to obtain a background on the tutorial topic proposed.
- The student and instructor must then agree on an outline of the work to be done.
- The student must then get a tutorial form from the Psychology Department Office. This procedure, which is also required for Honors Tutorials, must be completed before the formal registration period.
Psychology 391– Special Problems
- STUDENT MUST ARRANGE FOR FACULTY ADVISOR
- Contact a member of the faculty in an area that is of interest to you to find out what forms of research/lab work needs to be completed.
- Prerequisites: The student must complete the 391 form, and return it to the faculty member for processing. Written proposal submitted to and approved by the chairperson.
PSYCHOLOGY 391.1…………..1 credit
PSYCHOLOGY 391.2…………..2 credits
PSYCHOLOGY 391.3…………..3 credits
Both the faculty and the Graduate Student Association sponsor colloquia, which you are welcome to attend. At departmental colloquia or meetings, psychologists, often from other institutions, are invited to discuss their current research. Some of these lectures will seem rather advanced, but watch for titles that interest you. If you are unsure about the topic covered by a lecture, ask an instructor about it. These colloquia will introduce you to the variety of research problems which interest psychologists and perhaps convey to you a more personal sense of what it feels like to be engaged in intensive research.