Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Applying for an RA Position
Volunteering as an undergraduate RA in the Saron Lab can be a great way to contribute to research, gain valuable experience, and interact with graduate students in your field of interest.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect from my undergrad research experience?
For the first quarter, new undergraduate research assistants will primarily be involved in data entry and data maintenance. Students will also be expected to participate in weekly journal club and lab meetings. During this introductory quarter, we hope that students will develop a sense of both the overarching project and the multidisciplinary work in which our lab is engaged. At the start of the second quarter, students will have an opportunity to choose a specific aspect of the project to focus on, working closely with graduate students and post docs to develop data processing and analysis skills. Note that our lab is not actively collecting data, so research assistants will not have the opportunity to collect data or to work with research participants.
Who will I be working with?
You will likely be assigned to a current graduate student and/or post-doctoral scholar, as support for their research. This is meant to be a productive relationship for both individuals—the supervisor acts as guide and mentor, while the RA assists with necessary and often time-sensitive tasks.
What is the time commitment required?
All RAs must commit to a full year, contingent on performance. Many RAs choose to continue on after this, allowing for an even deeper involvement in our research methods, and a greater understanding of this field as a whole. RAs are expected to work a minimum of 6 hours per week.
Can I receive credit for my time?
Yes. Psychology and NPB majors are eligible to receive credit for their work. This will require you to fill out the PSC 199 form for psychology credit. This should be filled out with your designated mentor. One unit of credit equals 30 hours per quarter, which amounts to 3 hours/week for fall, winter, or spring quarter or 5 hours/week for summer sessions. Keep in mind that the minimum time commitment for the lab is 6 hours/week.
Do I need to have worked in a lab previously?
No. While prior lab experience is beneficial, it is by no means a necessity. We take into account your interest, critical thinking, academic standing, and demonstrated ability in other areas.
For students who will be asking for a letter of recommendation:
Letters of recommendation are not given by default, but are given only to those students who demonstrate self-motivated engagement and an intellectual contribution to the work. If this is something that you are interested in, it should be discussed with your mentor well in advance.
How to get started:
Please look over the Methodological Approaches page to see if there is a particular methodology you are interested in learning more about. Though you will not immediately be assigned to a specific methodology, it is valuable for you and your mentor to have a clear sense of which aspects of the project interest you most. It would also be useful for you to review our lab's publications, to familiarize yourself with the kind of work we do. Finally, If you are interested in becoming a Research Assistant in the Saron Lab, please download the following application and return your completed form (along with the supplementary materials as outlined in the sidebar) to Quinn Conklin or Alea Skwara.
Thank you for your interest; we look forward to hearing from you!
UPDATE: We are not currently looking for RAs, although undergraduates may still apply at any time; openings may occur.
In order to apply as an undergraduate Research Assistant (RA) in the Saron Lab, please do the following: