Two months prior to the end of each academic semester, we seek smart, impassioned individuals interested in developmental psychology, music cognition, or language perception to apply to work or volunteer in our lab. Applications are due one month before the end of each semester.
Though we primarily attract students and volunteers who are interested in psychology, our research assistants boast a diverse academic background: other disciplines such as marketing, communications, computer science, biology, pre-medicine, pre-nursing, and physics (acoustics), all have important roles in our research. If you are passionate about contributing to research and participating in our lab, we would love to hear from you!
The lab is open for typical business hours: 9am-6pm, Monday-Friday. We are also open for limited hours on Saturdays (9am-4pm), to allow busy families time to participate in lab research. Students are generally required to work in the lab for 10-12 hours a week. Set schedules covering these hours are created based on student availability and the lab hours. Shifts are generally between 3-5 hours. Any shift shorter than 3 hours is not ideal as it does not allow ample time for student productivity. Students are also required to attend the biweekly lab meetings that are held by graduate students and Dr. Hannon.
All RAs must sign up for 3 credits for either PSY 498 (Independent Research) or PSY 496 (Independent Study). This would entail working for at least 10 hours/week or 150-180 hours for the entire semester. For each semester-for-credit, the final project entails either presenting a poster based on research conducted in our lab at an Undergraduate Symposium hosted by the Office of Undergraduate Research here on campus or another conference, or by writing a research paper or making a 15-minute lab presentation at the end of the semester on an ongoing, current study in the lab.
For students, we require at least a two consecutive semester commitment to the lab (Summer/Fall, Fall/Spring, Spring/Summer, Spring/Fall). This ensures enough time to train students and enables students to explore what a research lab has to offer. In the Summer session, students are required to work during all three sessions (May-August). We highly encourage and welcome students to stay with us beyond the minimum two-semester commitment!
We require that students sign up for research credit (either PSY-496 or PSY-498) during their first two semesters in the lab.
Research Assistants (RAs) gain first-hand research experience. General lab duties include recruiting and scheduling participants, running adult and child studies, coding participant behavior, and maintaining and inputting hard and soft data / information. Much of the work is independent and self-regulated, thus research assistants should feel comfortable working without constant guidance and be responsible for adhering to their schedule. Polished interpersonal skills are also a must: much of the time spent in the lab involves interacting with families over the phone and in person. Research assistants should be able to articulate information about the lab to these families and others, such as potential participants. Finally, depending on individual interests, the RA position can be modified to focus on particular aspects of the research whether that involves recruiting (sales), stimuli creation or experimental design.