For Students

Graduate Students

Please see here for more information about the developmental science program.

Undergraduate Research Experience

Review the information below regarding undergraduate participation in the BASE Lab. If interested, complete the form at the bottom of this page. 

Undergraduate research assistants (RAs) play a very important role in our research! RAs assist with recruitment, data collection, data editing and coding, and analysis. RAs also participate in regular lab meetings. The best way to learn if psychological research is for you is to jump in and get your hands dirty, so to speak. The BASE Lab provides a fun, engaging, and supportive environment to directly contribute to developmental research. You will also gain experience with observational and psychobiological methodologies, data management and analysis, and research dissemination. It is not uncommon for undergraduate research assistants to participate in national and international conferences and/or submit research for publication.


  • Minimum 3.2 Overall GPA
  • Commitment of at least two consecutive semesters (one full academic year).
  • Experience working with children.
  • Interest in learning more about developmental science and research methodology

Students interested in various UROP experiences or in completing a directed study should contact Dr. Wagner directly. Please note that eligibility for participating in directed or advanced study requires at least one semester of volunteer experience. 


The BASE Lab is always interested in working with talented undergraduate students. Please complete the form at the bottom of the page if you are interested in volunteering in our lab!

Directed and Advanced Studies

We encourage undergraduate students to investigate the opportunities for research and support provided by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).

The BASE Lab participates in various internship, scholarship, and mentored research programs offered through UROP. The BASE Lab also supports students’ interested in completing a directed study.

Students are required to work in the lab at least one year before sponsorship of a UROP or directed study will be considered. 

Students interested in completing an honor’s thesis should contact Dr. Wagner directly.

Letters of recommendation

The following advice for students regarding letters of recommendation was adapted from the Child Adaptation and Neurodevelopment (CAN) Lab at the University of Utah. 

It is my pleasure to provide letters of recommendation and support for outstanding students. Please do not hesitate to ask for my support. But before you ask, please think about if I will be able to write a strong letter for you. Here are a few things to consider before asking for a letter of recommendation:

  1. How well do I know you? The best letters of support include specific details and examples of a student’s strengths. Please include in your request information about how often we’ve met, the work you’ve done in my class or in the BASE Lab, and what I’ve read of your writing. If you were a student in one of my classes, think about how well you did, how well I might know you from that class, etc.
  2. Can I speak to what is being asked? Think if my experiences working with you will allow me to address the specific questions that are being asked of the recommenders. For example, very often recommenders are asked to speak to an applicants leadership skills. If you’ve not held a leadership position in one of my classes or in the BASE Lab I won’t be able to adequately speak on this topic.
  3. What do you want me to add to your application? I need to know what specifically I can add to your overall application. Is it related to my research expertise? Were you a research assistant for me and you need to demonstrate a particular set of skills? Are you hoping for me to provide some information that other letter writers cannot? If there are particular details about our interactions that you want me to highlight, remind me of them.

If you feel I can provide a strong recommendation after considering these three questions, please

  1. Please give me as much advance notice as possible – three weeks at the minimum. And it is even better if you talk to me months before the letters are due about your possible need for letters.
  2. Include the following in your initial email: the semester and year and the name of the course(s) you took with me.
  3. If it has been more than a year since you took my course, please fill me in on what you’ve been doing since I last saw you.
  4. Tell me why you’re applying to this particular program.
  5. Email me a copy of your resume and a copy of the essay or personal statement for the program you’re applying to.
  6. Tell me exactly what you’re applying to so that I can address it properly in my letter. And give me a link to the program. “I highly recommend Steve Smith for your program” is not as good as “I highly recommend Steve Lee for the Duncan J. Watts Fellowship at the University of Waterloo.” If you’re applying to multiple graduate programs, please give me the list of all of them at once so that I can efficiently write your letters.


BASE Lab Undergraduate Research Assistant Interest Form

Please complete this form if you are an undergraduate and interested in working in the BASE Lab in any capacity.

  • Include both your overall GPA and your major GPA in parenthesis.

Join the BASE Lab!

Research Assistants: The BASE Lab is always interested in working with outstanding undergraduate and post-graduate research assistants.

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