Research Opportunities

Dozens of faculty laboratories in the Psychological & Brain Sciences Department are conducting groundbreaking research in diverse areas of psychology and neuroscience. There are many ways for undergraduate students to become involved with research.

Many laboratories recruit volunteer research assistants (see the page on volunteering in a lab for more information). These positions can be open to freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. In certain cases, labs may be able to offer Work Study or other paid part-time positions. Financial support for undergraduate research is also offered through BU’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

Other research opportunities carry course credit. Junior and senior Psychology majors can enroll in a Directed Study to conduct research under the supervision of a faculty member while receiving credit toward program requirements. Psychology majors can apply to undertake a yearlong Honors in Psychology project for course credit in their senior year.

Advice for seeking undergraduate research positions:

  • A good way to get started is to browse the department’s list of laboratories or faculty listing and follow the links to individual lab sites. You can read about a lab’s ongoing research and look at its recent publications.
  • Labs have different processes for taking applications for undergraduate researchers. In many cases, the process is described on the lab’s website. If not, you can email the faculty member directly to describe your interests and inquire about available positions.
  • Talking with your advisor or your professors and teaching fellows (for example, by going to office hours) can be another good way to find out about research labs that align with your interests.

    Additional links:

    • A list of faculty neuroscience labs extending beyond the department is available here.
    • Forms to be completed by volunteer research assistants are available here.