Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Why Get Research Experience in Psychology?
One advantage for students who attend large state universities with graduate programs is the opportunity to actively participate in research projects conducted by faculty members and graduate students. Participating in research allows a student "hands on" experience in their chosen field, an opportunity to see the scientific process in action, and the chance to become better acquainted with a faculty member who can serve as a mentor to the student.
The Psychology Department at KSU is very research oriented. Faculty members are actively engaged in research, and graduate students in our Ph.D. Clinical and Experimental programs conduct their own independent research projects. Students engaged in research often are able to assist with data collection, learn data management skills, read articles relevant to the lab research projects, and attend lab meetings. Participating in research is also good preparation for students interested in attending graduate school (for more on this topic, see "Want to Go to Graduate School?"). Paid research positions are rare, but undergraduates majoring or minoring in Psychology can earn course credit (PSYC 31498 or PSYC 41498).
How Do I Get Research Experience?
- Please click the following link to see the current list of research labs searching for undergraduate assistants. Positions Available.
- Also, feel free to contact any faculty member whose research interests you to ask if they need any undergraduate research assistants (Descriptions of faculty research interests).
- Another possibility for students, who want to carry out an independent research project, is to do an Honors thesis. Even students who have not taken honors coursework early in their college career can complete an honors thesis and earn departmental honors if their current GPA is 3.2 or higher (3.4 or higher in their major). Students must take honors coursework over 2 semesters to complete the honors requirement. To complete a thesis, students need to identify a faculty member who is willing to serve as the advisor for their thesis. Faculty will be better able to serve as thesis advisor if the student has already been involved in that faculty member's research as an undergraduate research assistant (for example, enrolled in PSYC 31498 or 41498 with that faculty). Thus, we strongly recommend that you seek involvement in faculty research before your senior year. For information about the honors thesis, contact the Honors college at 672-2312 or click here to access their web site.
We also offer two courses that provide intensive lab experience: Laboratory Experience in Psychological Research: Social/Clinical (Psyc 41573) and Laboratory Experience in Psychological Research: Cognitive/Learning (Psyc 41574). In these courses, students will gain experience with research methods, data analysis, computerized statistics programs, and scientific writing.
Opportunities for Paid Summer Research Experience
One other option is to participate in a summer paid research experience. Below are links and brief summaries that describe how to get information regarding various summer research programs around the country.
Council on Undergraduate Research: This website and organization are dedicated to finding and providing undergraduate research opportunities for those people primarily at undergraduate institutions. The website has links that aid in finding summer undergraduate research fellowships in math, science, and engineering. Students apply for fellowships and can be awarded stipends and money for other costs. The website also posts the organization's quarterly journal that can be easily attained.
NSF's Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program: This site posts information regarding the National Science Foundation's REU programs around the country. Interested students can access a list of institutions around the country the host the program, as well as information on the area of research at the institution and how to contact each institution.
The APA Summer Science Institute: This APA program is restricted to freshman and sophomore college students. It is a 9 day program that allows students to learn about research in psychology through seminars and hands-on lab experience. This is a competitive program, and students are required to pay a registration fee as well as all travel fees. Some scholarship support is available.
Summer Opportunities for Undergraduate Minority Students: Website was designed, and is maintained, by an individual named Caroline Kouassiaman. The goal of this website is to guide those minority students interested in gaining summer research experience to institutions offering summer positions. There are not as many links on this site as the others, but still may be of some use.