Research Opportunities

Faculty laboratories in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences have openings for undergraduate students to work as research assistants. Students can become involved in all aspects of research, from scheduling and running subjects to analyzing data. Depending on the lab, students can interview clients, run test sessions, and even design their own research projects.

Working in a research lab is a great opportunity to find out whether a student might be interested in a research career. In addition, students considering graduate school in psychology are strongly advised to obtain research experience while they are still undergraduates -- most graduate schools weight research experience quite strongly when making admission decisions.

Students can get course credit for working in a lab; this is generally offered on a satisfactory/fail basis rather than being graded (an exception is honors research). Most labs prefer that interested students register for course credit in the lab -- one hour of course credit usually translates into approximately three hours of time in the lab.

The requirements for different labs vary, and students are encouraged to talk to faculty whose area of research interests them or whose classes they have enjoyed. Some labs require a 2-semester commitment and may also have minimum GPA requirements as well.

Although most arrangements are made at registration time, there may be limited openings in labs at the beginning of a semester; students should check bulletin boards for fliers.

 

Enrollment Options

Research Practicum PSY:3994/31:185

Students working as research assistants in the lab of Psychology faculty are able to earn 1-3 semester hours of credit with Research Practicum. Offered only on an S-F basis, this course allows students to gain hands-on research experience while earning psychology credit. All work must be unpaid. Students in the University of Iowa Honors program can earn credit via HONR:3200/143:100 Honors Research Practicum.
  Note: Alternatively, students may earn transcript notion for this same type of activity via CCP:1005/409:031 Internship in Liberal Arts (see description in Volunteer/Internship Opportunities section).

Advanced Research Practicum PSY:3995/31:192

This course offers students the opportunity to earn 1-3 semester hours of graded credit by working as a research assistant within the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.  Students must have two semesters enrollment in Research Practicum before enrolling in Advanced Practicum.  It is expected that students enrolled in Advanced Practicum will engage in more independent work than students enrolled in Research Practicum.  Additionally, a writing component is expected with enrollment in Advanced Practicum.   

Honors Thesis Research  PSY:4990/31:199

This course allows students to earn 1-3 sh of graded academic credit for working on their honors thesis project.  Students can enroll in this course more than once, however, enrollment is not required for graduation with honors in the major.