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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 391/392 credits. 391 is a fall course and 392 is a spring course. If the faculty sponsor and student agree on 391/392 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 391/392 form, and return it to the faculty member for processing.