Research policies for students
Be aware of the policies pertaining to research opportunities for undergraduate students.
Deepen your learning and better understand and appreciate the scientific process. Research experience as an undergrad student will make you better prepared and more competitive for graduate and professional programs. Opportunities in the department include:
Volunteering as a research assistant
PSYC 504 or 505
Check the weekly Monday Memo for volunteer calls. Or contact professors you're interested in working with directly to see if they have any volunteer RA opportunities available.
Professors will want to review your transcripts and resume before they meet you to determine if you're a good fit for a position.
Most profs will require a 5-10 hour/week commitment for at least one semester. The time commitment should take your other academic deadlines and responsibilities into account.
Volunteer RAs receive valuable training in a specific research area (e.g., neuroscience; clinical psychology; industrial-organizational psychology). Typical activities undergraduate RAs perform include:
conducting literature searches
recruiting and running participants (i.e., collecting data)
scoring tests and measures
coding of responses to open-ended questions
entering and organizing data
using SPSS to perform statistical analysis.
Have you completed PSYC 300 & 301? Gain research experience in PSYC 499. This course will give you research experience while you earn academic credit.
PSYC 499 is a quarter course. You'll complete two PSYC 499 courses to receive credit equivalent to one 400-level half-course. All work in the course is graded pass/fail and there are no exams or papers.
You're responsible for finding a supervisor before you can register for the course. Check the Monday Memo and contact profs directly to learn about opportunities. Supervisors determine the kinds of tasks and activities you'll complete during the course. Requirements will vary from supervisor to supervisor and from student to student within the same course.
PSYC 499 is a good alternative for students considering a volunteer RA position because you get academic credit for similar work. The course will appear on your transcript as "Research Experience in Psychology." Your committed is limited to the fall or winter session.
You're expected to work six hours per week for the 13-week term. In the Spring and Summer sessions, this is pro-rated over the number of weeks of those terms.
You can't register for this course on-line. You'll need to find a supervisor first. Check the Monday Memo for opportunities, but you can also email individual professors who you'd like to work with and ask if they're interested in supervising you for PSYC 499. When you find a supervisor, they will create a course outline and submit it. Once approved the Undergraduate Programs Advisor will then up an allow for you to register for the course.
We must receive your outline one week before courses start in any semester.
You will complete a formal research project for academic credit, supervised by a faculty member, and possibly co-supervised by a grad student. You are responsible for securing a supervisor before you can register for the course. Most professors will only be interested in supervising projects related to their own research program, so be sure you're committed to a particular area of study.
It depends upon the complexity of your project and the length of time required to complete it. PSYC 504 is a full-course and PSYC 505 is a half-course. The major course requirement is a written report that follows APA format and organization (with an abstract, introduction, methods section, results section, and discussion).
Be sure to contact your potential supervisor well ahead of the start of the term in which you'd like to take the research course. For example, if you wish to take a research course in the Winter term, you should find a supervisor early in the Fall term.
The department must approve the outline that you've negotiated with your potential supervisor before you can enrol in the course. Because revisions might be necessary, it's important to begin this process well in advance of the start of term.
Your primary research course supervisor must be either Psychology faculty or hold an Adjunct appointment with the Department of Psychology.
Outlines for PSYC 504 or 505 courses are always due a month before the 1st day of classes and outlines for PSYC 499 are due a week before the last day to add classes in each semester.
We value experiential learning and are committed to offering students rich opportunities to involve themselves in all aspects of the research enterprise. To facilitate this process, we have prepared a handbook -- very much still a work in progress -- that we hope will be useful to:
*This initial version does not address PSYC 499 courses but future versions may.
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