resources for students
Interested in research? Not sure if it's what you want to do? I encourage any undergraduate students who are considering research in psychology to reach out to faculty, researchers, or graduate students to talk to them about it.
How to talk to people?
I've put together some guidelines for communicating with folks in academia.
Before you reach out to people, please look over these tips on communicating professionally.
And here is a guide if you want to ask someone for a letter of recommendation.
Some good ways to get involved:
Contact a research lab and volunteer as a research assistant. Participating in a lab is a great way to get a feel for whether research is right for you. By volunteering in a lab, you can learn about the scientific process, help out with experiments and data collection, and much more. Here's a listing of the faculty at UC Santa Cruz and the faculty at UC San Diego.
NSF REU program
The National Science Foundation funds undergraduate students to travel to and participate in research programs all over the nation. If you're considering graduate school in psychology, I highly recommend participating in an REU program at least once. Here is their website: http://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/reu/
Summer programs and internships
NSF REU is great, but some other institutions may offer summer research programs or internships as well. The American Psychological Association has gathered a couple useful links here: http://www.apa.org/education/undergrad/research-opps.aspx
A partnership between several top research institutions provides an expenses-paid, plus stipend, summer research opportunity matching you and a potential mentor based on your research interests. Provides a gateway to graduate education for undergraduates. https://www.btaa.org/resources-for/students/srop
Pathways to Science database
The Pathways to Science database might be useful. It allows you to filter your search based on e.g. type of opportunity, field of interest, year in school. https://www.pathwaystoscience.org/programs.aspx
Post-baccalaureate jobs and internships
If you are a recent graduate or graduating soon, you might be interested in full-time or part-time research employment opportunities. This can be a good way to build up experience if you are not ready to apply for graduate school yet. Some databases with current job openings are maintained here, here, here, and here.
Also, here is a website with additional information about psychology research opportunities.
For graduate school and beyond:
Applying for graduate school?
If you want to pursue a PhD in psychology, there are a few things you will want to prepare. You want to have research experience (this page is a good starting point!), plan a list of schools you want to apply to (here's an example spreadsheet), identify and contact potential faculty advisors with whom you hope to work (some advice on this here and here), and take the GRE (here is some advice to get started).
Interested in clinical programs and career paths? Check out this guide on clinical psychology from Dr. Mitch Prinstein.
Fellowships and funding opportunities
If you're about to apply for graduate school or you're in the early stages of a graduate program, there are several funding opportunities you should consider applying for. For example, check out the NSF GRFP, Ford Foundation, NDSEG, SMART, AAUW (for women), PD Soros (for New Americans), and Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Here's a list of fellowship opportunities maintained by UC Santa Cruz, and here's another bigger list of graduate funding opportunities.
Writing and authorship
Academia involves a LOT of writing. Here is a chapter about how to write a lot, and here are some tips for writing well. Here are guidelines from APA about determining authorship, and here is a document with advice for graduate students about authorship.
Applying for a program or drafting materials like essays and a CV can seem pretty intimidating at first, especially without knowing the details of what it is like. I hope sharing some concrete examples from my past materials can help make the process more approachable.
Here are my application essays for the 2014 NSF REU program at University of Cincinnati
Here is my fall 2014 application for the psychology graduate program at UC Santa Cruz
Below are drafts of my CV from my fourth year as an undergraduate (2014) to my fifth year as a PhD student (2019):
YOU CAN DO IT!
Finally, I'm always available as a resource for students who are curious about research.
Feel free to send me an email and we can arrange a time to meet and talk more about your specific interests and potential plans.