Research Assistantships

Below are the research assistantships available in our department.
Feel free to email the contact individual for that lab.
Please check back as new opportunities are listed on a continuing basis.
If you are a PBS member and would like to post on this page, please complete our Undergraduate Recruitment Form.

Contact: Jerrold Meyer , jmeyer@umass.edu
Responsibilities:

My laboratory conducts research on the hormonal effects of chronic psychosocial stress by analyzing cortisol concentrations in samples of scalp hair and fingernails obtained from subjects of varying ages (some studies are developmental) and stressful conditions. Cortisol in hair and nails comes from the bloodstream and accumulates over periods of 3-4 months, thus providing a biomarker of adrenal cortisol secretion over those time periods. RAs are responsible for processing the samples and extracting the cortisol to be analyzed later by the lab technician using an ELISA assay. RAs also attend weekly lab meetings at which we present and discuss papers from the recent stress literature.

Pre-requisites: Previous coursework in behavioral neuroscience, behavioral neuroendocrinology or other neuroscience-related classes is highly desirable. Neuroscience track students are especially encouraged to apply.
Times you must be available: Mandatory lab meetings are 5-6 PM on Mondays. Research hours are flexible.
Hours per week: 6-9 (including lab meeting)
Credits: 2-3 (corresponding to hours per credit)
Contact: Eleni Ahmahra Kapoulea, Graduate Student , ekapoulea@umass.edu
Responsibilities:

We are looking for undergraduate research assistants interested in getting hands-on research experience working on a study examining emotional processing and memory. Undergraduate research 
assistants will actively participate in research data collection, data management, and statistical analyses for the Time Perspective and Information Processing Study. If you are interested in applying to being an RA, please send your CV and two listed references to Eleni Kapoulea (ekapoulea@umass.edu) and Elle Waite (ewaite@umass.edu).

Sponsoring Faculty Member: Bruna Martins-Klein

 

Times you must be available: TBD
Hours per week: 3 hours/week for each credit earned
Credits: 2-3 credits
Contact: Professor Jeff Starns , jstarns@umass.edu
Responsibilities:

Data collection; experiment development; participation in research meetings.

Pre-requisites: None
Times you must be available: 4-5:30 Thursdays; flexible scheduling otherwise
Hours per week: 3-6 hours per week
Credits: 2-3 credits
Contact: Sarah McCormick, Graduate Student , samccorm@umass.edu
Responsibilities:

The Individual Differences in Development (IDD) Lab studies variation in human development from early childhood through adulthood. We conduct research on facets of human development 
spanning cognition, emotion, and behavior. Our emphasis is on the interaction of biological and environmental factors. This includes examination of genetic, neurological, and physiological factors and how these interact with environments in families, neighborhoods and schools, as well as cultural differences.

The IDDLab is currently seeking 2 undergraduate research assistants to assist on a project examining the influence of parent language use on the development of social cognition, in particular theory of mind, in preschool-aged children. Undergraduate RAs will primarily assist with editing and coding transcripts of parent-child interactions and coding videos of participants for looking time. RAs may also be able to assist with remote, online data collection with families, if interested. Further, assisting on an in-person extension of the project collecting neural data with fNIRS may be possible, though not guaranteed.

If you are interested in applying to work in our lab, please fill out the following application: https://tinyurl.com/ftj53njn. Applications will be considered until positions are filled.

Sponsoring Faculty Member: Kirby Deater-Deckard

 

Pre-requisites: Ideal candidates will have the ability to commit to at least two semesters.
Times you must be available: RAs should be available to attend lab meetings if possible (not required); time will be decided based on lab members availability. Hours are generally very flexible and most coding can be done remotely on a schedule that works for you.
Hours per week: 6 – 12 hours/week (including lab meetings)
Credits: 2-4 credits
Contact: SPaH Lab, SPaHlab@umass.edu
Responsibilities:

In the Social Processes and Health Lab, we study how features of the social environment affect health-related behaviors and outcomes.  We examine a range of social processes (including mimicry, peer networks, and community norms) and health behaviors (including alcohol consumption and unhealthy eating).  The ultimate goal of this work is to use our understanding of social processes to inform and improve the design of health promotion interventions.

Undergraduate research assistants will help with a variety of tasks, such as data entry and analysis, data collection, survey construction, study design and interpretation, and literature reviews.  We are especially interested in students who are at least sophomores and have basic knowledge of research methodology and statistics.

If you are interested in applying to work in our lab, please fill out the following application: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScAtX0AgXL8U86jA-HmVr9fqQ_Qu2G5rxoQ6RlZd3sG9JkXkg/viewform?usp=sf_link

Times you must be available: TBD
Hours per week: 3 hours per week for each credit earned
Credits: 2-3 credits
Contact: Tasneem Mohammad, tmohammad@umass.edu
Responsibilities:

You will help conduct a study on people's physiological responses to interacting with a member of either a rival or an enemy group. You will learn how to use psychophysiological tools (e.g. electrocardiography (ECG) equipment, impedance cardiography (IMP) equipment) to answer psychological questions. 

Responsibilities and duties include: contributing ideas to project development, participant recruitment, corresponding with participants, running participants in the lab, attaching physiological equipment to participants, data collection and scoring, working as part of a research team.

This position requires high attention to detail, weekly commitment to consistently be available at the lab 9 hours a week, problem-solving skills, organizational skills, self-motivation, flexibility, and the ability to work both independently and in collaboration with others.

Necessary training and supervision will be provided by Dr. Leidner, his postdocs, graduate students and lab manager.

For more information about the lab in general, please visit: http://people.umass.edu/bleidner/

To apply, please on the lab website click on “Join the lab” and then “Lab Application Form.”

For questions, please email lab manager Tasneem Mohammad, tmohammad@umass.edu

Pre-requisites: Statistics (Psych240) and research methods (Psych241) are desirable but not strictly necessary if you are able and willing to learn "on the fly".

Hours per week: 3 hours/week for each credit earned, almost always 9 hours including lab meetings

Credits: 3

 

Times you must be available: We will schedule regular team meetings based on everyone's availability. You will be expected to have regular hours available for the lab during weekdays (between 8am and 7pm), but we will schedule those hours around your availability.
Contact: Graduate student Marielena Barbieri (mbarbieri@umass.edu) or Professor Evelyn Mercado (evemercado@umass.edu),
Responsibilities:

The FAM Lab examines how exposure to stress impacts close relationship dynamics (i.e., parent-adolescent, couples), mental health, and overall well-being through a biopsychosocial lens. Currently, the lab is focused on exploring family relationships as protective factors for mental health among Latinx youth. Undergraduate Research Assistants are being recruited to work on several projects examining the effects of stress on health, families, and academic outcomes.

(Minimum) RA Requirements: Will assist in participant recruitment, data collection, conduct literature reviews on relevant lab topics, create surveys, code video data, and attend weekly lab meetings.

If you are interested in applying to work in our lab, fill out this application: https://forms.gle/qkd69AudtDaZtahY8.

Prerequisites: Potential RAs should have experience and/or a strong interest in working with ethnically and racially diverse community populations and an interest in increasing their knowledge on the collection of biological markers and psychological assessments. In addition, ideal candidates will have the ability to commit to at least two semesters and/or be bilingual in Spanish.

Hours per week: 3 – 9 hours/ week (including lab meetings)

Credits: 1- 3 credits

Times you must be available: RAs should be available to attend lab meetings; time will be decided based on lab members availability. Flexibility in schedules is needed for this lab.
Contact: Professor Kyle Cave, kcave@umass.edu
Responsibilities:

Help us write computer programs to control our experiments in visual perception and cognition, and to analyze the results.

Pre-requisites: Programming skill, preferably in R, JavaScript, or Octave/Matlab.
Times you must be available: Flexible
Hours per week: 3 hours/week for each credit earned
Credits: 2-4 credits
Contact: Professor Kyle Cave , kcave@umass.edu
Responsibilities:

You will help us in testing participants in our experiments in visual perception and attention. The experiments may be in the lab or online. Participants will see images on a computer screen and 
will respond with button presses. You will explain the task to them, answer their questions, and make sure they are performing the task correctly. During our lab meetings, you will participate in discussions in which we design new experiments and interpret the data we have collected.
 

Times you must be available: scheduling is flexible
Hours per week: 3 hours/week for each credit earned
Credits: 2-4 credits
Contact: Professor Andrew Cohen , alc@umass.edu
Responsibilities:

The main focus of the lab is decision-making: how are human decisions influenced by a variety of factors such as emotion, culture, stimulus format, delay, personality, sleep, and interruptions.  Visit https://blogs.umass.edu/rdcl/  for more information. 

Current projects include 1) how to best construct and evaluate the success of eyewitness lineups 2) how to best teach Bayesian reasoning concepts 3) how decision-making phenomena affect other tasks.

Minimal requirement are: participating in 1 lab meeting a week (1-1.5 hrs), presenting research or research articles once a semester, recruiting participants, running experiments, and coding data.

Pre-requisites: Juniors and Seniors: Psych 240 (at least a B+) and Psych 241. Freshmen and Sophomores welcome without 240 and 241
Times you must be available: Thursdays 3:50-5:00, plus flexible times to run subjects
Hours per week: 3-9 hours/week (including weekly lab meetings)
Credits: 1-3 credits