Undergraduate Research Opportunities

PSY 39000 (Research Experience in Psychology)

PSY 39000 is a course that allows you to work as a research assistant on projects managed by a faculty member or graduate student in the Department of Psychological Sciences. Through this course, you’ll gain hands-on experience in data collection and learn skills such as data analysis, data interpretation and writing. The course will also allow you to develop contacts for job references and letters of recommendation as well as enhance the competitiveness of your application for graduate school, professional school or a variety of careers.

Faculty Accepting Undergraduate Students — Summer 2023

Teri Kirby – Social

Faculty member and other supervisors

Teri Kirby, PhD, Assistant Professor—Social Psychology
Casey McMahon, Lab Coordinator
Junming Zhang, Graduate Researcher

Description of research area

Research in Dr. Kirby’s lab explores a range of topics related to diversity, inclusion, identity, prejudice, and discrimination. We most often focus on racial/ethnic, gender/sex, and LGBTQ+ diversity.

Recent topics of investigation include:

  • Diversity ideologies: ideas about how to accommodate differences across ethnic, gender, and sexual orientation categories (e.g., multicultural and colorblind approaches to diversity)
  • Diversity initiatives: intersectional approaches to diversity initiatives, how diversity initiatives shape sensitivity to discrimination, self-concept, stereotyping, and academic/workplace outcomes
  • The co-opting of diversity by majority/privileged groups
  • Cultural appropriation
  • Intersectionality and feminism
Description of undergraduate participation

Research assistants typically gain experience running participants in experimental lab studies, recruiting research participants, programming surveys, collecting survey data, entering or analyzing data, reviewing relevant psychological literature, and helping to design studies. They also gain experience with software that can be useful for graduate school (e.g., Qualtrics,
Zotero, SPSS, R and RStudio).

Research assistants attend research group meetings to discuss projects in the lab and learn more about the research process. Finally, more senior research assistants may have the opportunity to conduct independent research projects and mentor/train more junior assistants.

Research setting

Labs in Psychology Building

Number of assistants needed


Contact information

Please submit your application at:

For questions, please contact Casey McMahon: cemcmaho@purdue.edu

Additional comments
  • Must have completed PSY 120
  • Completion of or enrollment in PSY 240 and PSY 203 preferred
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher preferred
  • Minimum commitment of 3 credits per term (9 hours per week) required, as well as two terms overall (those committing to three or more terms receive preference)

However, all interested candidates are encouraged to apply. We especially encourage people from underrepresented or marginalized groups to apply.

Franki Kung – Industrial-Organizational

Research Team

Principal Investigator: Franki Kung, Assistant Professor, I-O Psychology
Graduate Investigators: Sharon Li, Rick Yang, and Dante Bruno
Lab Manager and Researcher: Carmen Huang

Description of Research Area 

At the Conflict and Mindset Collaboratory, we conduct research to help people and organizations effectively manage:

  • Culture and Diversity (e.g., diversity policies, cultural mindset, immigrants)
  • Conflict Resolution (e.g., negotiation, feedback effectiveness)
  • Multiple Goals (e.g., self-regulation, goal conflicts)
Description of Undergraduate Participation

We design the lab experience to prepare our undergraduate research assistants for graduate school and jobs in the fields of I-O and social psychology, management, human resource, and organizational behavior. Students will join a community of peers, researchers, and mentors passionate about the studies of diversity, conflict, and goals. Besides individual project team meetings and tasks, students attend lab meeting weekly to learn and discuss related issues and enjoy other social events throughout the semester (e.g., lunch, escape room, mini golf).

Junior research assistants will have the opportunities to

  • learn how to conduct online surveys, literature reviews, behavioral experiments, and qualitative analysis (e.g., picture coding, focus group analysis)
  • develop scientific thinking and presentation skills in weekly lab meetings
  • attend research and professional development workshops (e.g., literature review, survey design, data analysis)
  • honors contract or scholarly project

Senior research assistants (typically 1+ year experience) will have the opportunities to

  • manage participant recruitment and lab schedule
  • conduct training sessions
  • develop their own research ideas and design studies
  • present findings in academic conferences

We support and encourage student involvement in our lab through scholarship programs such as Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, OUR Scholars, and Summer Stay Scholars.

Research Setting

Our research takes part mostly in our lab space (in the Psychological Sciences building) and some part of the work can be carried out remotely (e.g., from home).

Number of Assistants Needed:


Contact Information

To Apply, please fill out this form and supply related documents.

Contact Dr. Kung at frankikung@purdue.edu if you have questions. Twitter: @ConflictMindset

Additional Comments

Preference is given to students who major or are interested in Psychology, Business, or related fields. Application is reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the semester – if you are interested, apply now!

Dr. Jennifer Brown

Faculty member or graduate student

Dr. Jennifer Brown

Lab Website: https://jenniferbrownphd.wordpress.com/

Description of Research Area 

Work conducted in our clinical health psychology lab is focused on addressing substance use, HIV, and reproductive health disparities both domestically and globally.  Current research seeks to:

  • Develop and evaluate culturally-tailored interventions to prevent HIV/AIDS; improve reproductive health and substance use outcomes; and address the intersection between substance use and infectious diseases.
  • Implement evidence-based interventions in community settings to improve HIV, reproductive health, and substance use outcomes.
  • Understand cultural facets of mental health, substance use, reproductive health, and infectious disease disparities.
Description of Undergraduate Participation

Students will be involved in all phases of research, including conducting literature reviews, designing studies, working with research participants, analyzing data, and preparing presentations and publications of study results. Students will also participate in regularly scheduled lab meetings and discussions of readings on relevant clinical health psychology topics.

Research setting

Dr. Brown’s lab is located on the first floor in the Psychology Building.


If you are interested in joining our laboratory, please contact Dr. Brown at the email address below for an application.

Contact Information

Email: jenniferbrown@purdue.edu

Registering and Earning Credit for PSY 39000

Registration for PSY 39000 is done during open registration using Scheduling Assistant — not during pre-registration using the course request form. Although PSY 39000 may be taken more than once, no more than six credits may be taken for a standard grade. All additional PSY 39000 credits must be taken as pass/no pass credit. Only three credits of standard-grade PSY 39000 can be used in the psychological sciences major, the brain and behavior science major, or the psychological sciences minor.

During the 16-week fall or spring semester, you are expected to work three hours in the lab for every credit earned (e.g., three credits would require nine lab hours per week). After the fourth week of the fall or spring semester, you may not register for three credit hours of PSY 39000 without special permission from the Department of Psychological Sciences. Late enrollment in PSY 390 during any semester reduces the number of possible credit hours you can earn.

During the eight-week summer session, you are expected to work in the lab six hours per week for every credit earned (e.g., three credits would require 18 lab hours per week).

Additional Local Opportunities

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