Research Assistantship

We encourage undergraduates at Georgia Tech and elsewhere to become involved in research as early as possible in their studies.  The most important and informative letters of recommendation for graduate studies and references for future employment typically come from faculty who supervise research.  Getting involved in research requires students to take the initiative. 

Students may do research for course credit, for pay, or as volunteers.  Regardless of how they are compensated, undergraduate research assistants have real responsibilities that cannot be taken lightly.  However, expectations may differ for paid, credit, and volunteer research assistants. 

Is Psychology Coursework Required?

Some labs will accept entering students with no psychology coursework whereas others may prefer that students complete some coursework first.  the responsibilities of undergraduate research assistants typically increase with experience.  

How Do I Find Opportunities?

Students interested in conducting research in a faculty member's lab should start by browsing the research areas within the School of Psychology to identify which areas are of interest.   Within each area, faculty members have ongoing, unique programs of research.  To learn more about the current research being conducted in a specific lab, students should browse the individual lab websites.  Find the "Contact Us" area of the individual lab's webpage and follow instructions about whom to contact if you are interested in applying for an undergraduate research position in that lab.  

You can also view research assistant recruitment announcements or flyers on the bulletin board near the faculty mailboxes in the J.S. Coon building.  Or, click here to view current recruitment announcements from labs. 

Research Experience for Course Credit

To register research for course credit (PSYC 2699 for Fr./Soph or PSYC 4699 for Jr/Sr), students should pick up a Petition to Enroll form which can either be printed here or found in the front office in the J.S. Coon building.  The professor under which a student will begin working should help fill out the form, and completed forms should be turned in to Shebbie Murray in J.S. Coon, Rm. 134 prior to registration.  After a request to enroll is processed, students will receive an email with the CRN of the course for which they should register.  it is the student's responsibility to register for the course prior to the close of Phase 2 registration. As a general guideline, for each credit hour, a student is expected to complete 3 hours of research per week (e.g., 3 credit hours = 9 hours per week commitment).  Alternative time-commitments and specific research expectations must be arranged individually with the advising professor.  Up to 3 hours of 2699/4699 can be applied toward PSYC electives.  

Across Universities

Most labs welcome interest in research positions from motivated undergraduates studying at other universities.  Georgia Tech students may also contact researchers in other departments at Tech and at nearby schools such as Georgia State and Emory about research opportunities.  Students who spend their summers in different parts of the country should consider contacting local labs about summer positions.  In addition, there are organized summer workshops and internships.

For any questions about Undergraduate Research Opportunities, please contact Dr. Jenny Singleton (jenny.singleton@psych.gatech.edu).