Finding a Position as an Undergraduate Research Assistant (URA)
All URAs need a faculty advisor. The following faculty in Psychological Science currently have active research labs and often supervise undergraduate research assistants:
Parenting, Coping, Race and Racism
Adolescence, Risk, Resilience
Smoking Cessation, Body Image, Food Cravings
Neurobiology, Conditioning, Behavior
Neurobiology, Stress, Emotion, Resilience
Child ADHD Prevention, Treatment
Youth & Family Health, Biobehavioral Intervention
Social Development, Aggression
I-Sharing, Isolation, Connection, Eating
Traumatic Stress & Anxiety, Technology
Sexual Health, Function & Dysfunction
Mood, Seasonal Affective Disorder
Family Relationships, Adjustment, Temperament
Child ADHD, Physical Activity
Child Antisocial/Aggressive Behaviors
Learning, Behavior Regulation
Behavior, Neurobiology, Learning
Sex Differences, Stress Responses, Habits
Keep in mind that the availability of URA positions in faculty labs varies widely over time. A lab with multiple ongoing data collections will likely have more need of URAs than a lab that is focusing on project development or data analysis.
We recommend reading about each faculty’s research expertise on our department website (see the links above). Some faculty also have separate lab websites, which should be linked on their faculty webpage. You may also benefit from looking up their most recent published articles to learn more about what their research entails.
Once you identify one or more faculty whose research interests you, check their website to see whether they have a URA application form posted for students to complete. Then send them a brief, polite email that contains the following:
- Introduce yourself (name, class year at UVM, etc.)
- State that you are interested in gaining research experience and would like to know if there are any open positions for URAs in the faculty’s research lab.
- If they have an application form on their website, fill it out and attach it to your email.
- If they do not have an application form, briefly describe why you think this lab is a good fit for you.
Most faculty ask students to then either fill out an application that is specific to their lab, complete a one-on-one interview, or both. Because we have so many students interested in research, obtaining a URA position can be competitive. It is fine to apply to more than one lab!