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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Research Opportunities


Take advantage of the different kinds of academic experiences the Department offers by becoming an active member of our intellectual community.

  • Get to know the faculty. Our faculty is accessible to undergraduates, but you must seek them out. Doing so is worth the effort. Professors often serve as unofficial advisors and provide letters of recommendation for jobs or graduate programs.
  • One of the best ways to get to know the faculty is get involved in one of our research labs early in your undergraduate career.
  • Work with a faculty member as a research assistant, or take an independent study course.
  • Get to know some of the graduate students, many of whom you will meet as Teaching Assistants or Teaching Fellows or by taking advanced courses. Graduate students can give you advice about applying to graduate school.
  • Undergraduates are welcome at our colloquia; see the calendar of invited speakers.

Earn Money or Research Credits

Interested in contributing to scientific research and earning money at the same time? The Psychology Department at Boston College frequently conducts research studies on a variety of topics. Find a list of active studies or read about our research credit system through the Research Participation Credits page, or visit a lab page to see current studies.

Lab Positions

Spring 2017 research assistant position available in the Cooperation Lab at Boston College

The Cooperation Lab at Boston College directed by Katherine McAuliffe is seeking motivated, reliable and enthusiastic research assistants who would like to gain experience with research in social cognitive development. Research in the lab focuses on the development of cooperative abilities in children, with a particular focus on how children develop a sense of fairness. Questions include 1) how do children respond to inequity between themselves and peers? 2) How do children use information about peers' behavior to choose a partner in a resource game?  Research assistants will have the opportunity to work with children ages 4-9 years old.

We are currently seeking a research assistant who has a vehicle and is available on Saturdays for 7-8 hours to drive to and from the Acton Discovery Museum. Research responsibilities include participant recruitment, help run studies and debrief parents.

Research assistants will work closely with other team members and will be supervised by the Cooperation Lab’s director and lab manager.

Individuals with access to a car and interested in this opportunity are encouraged to apply for Spring 2017. Individuals interested in learning more about the lab a becoming a member in Fall 2017 are welcome to apply as well. To do so, please complete the application and send a PDF of your CV to Gorana at with the subject line “Research Assistant Application [Spring or Fall] 2017.” There is no deadline for submission but we are eager to find motivated assistants as soon as possible and will review applications as they come in.

The Language Learning Lab, led by Prof. Joshua Hartshorne, is seeking undergraduate research assistants for Spring 2017. The lab employs interdisciplinary methods to study various aspects of language learning. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of our research, we are seeking undergraduates with a wide range of interests and experience. 

1. We are looking for two to four undergraduates who have experience working with children to help run studies at local museums with children of varying ages. Students who desire hands-on experience working with kids and running studies are encouraged to apply here. This position requires large blocks of availability and willingness to work on the weekends.

2. We are looking for one to two undergraduates with experience in mathematics and statistics, who would join our statistics team. Our statistics team is currently working on the exciting problem of analyzing very large datasets to determine lifetime development of language outcomes. Creative problem solvers who have experience with computer programming are encouraged to apply here.

3. We are looking for several research assistants with an interest in gaining general and varied experience within a psychology lab. Responsibilities include scientific outreach, participant recruitment, instrument design, study design, and participating in our online experiments. Organized and curious undergrads with an interest in psychology should apply here.

Please contact with any questions.

Dr. Elizabeth Kensinger’s Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab is looking for two or three undergraduate volunteers who are: interested in sleep research, highly motivated, independent, and night owls. These research assistants will be involved in assisting with the electrode placement on participants for sleep monitoring. They will also work as a team to monitor polysomnography (records brain waves during sleep) on overnight participants for the sleep portion of a research project that will be running through the Fall 2016 semester. The time commitment will be approximately one overnight session per week. These overnight sessions will last from approximately 10:00pm until 8:30am and will occur in the sleep lab located on the fourth floor of McGuinn.

This is a great opportunity to gain valuable independent research experience for those who have busy schedules during the day that prevent them from participating fully in a research laboratory. Each research assistant will have the opportunity to get some sleep during the sessions because they will be working with a team. If any students are interested in pursuing additional research using the sleep recordings, this position could also fulfill an independent study. There will also be an opportunity to work in the lab during the day, scoring and analyzing collected data from the project, if the applicant so desires, though this is not a requirement of the position. If you are interested in the position or have questions, please contact and please include OVERNIGHT SLEEP RESEARCH in the email subject.

Dr. Sara Cordes’ Infant and Child Cognition Lab at Boston College is currently seeking several outstanding volunteer research assistants for the 2016-2017 academic year. Research in the lab focuses on understanding how infants, children, and adults keep track of number and other quantities. We are interested in the development of number concepts and how early abilities translate to later verbal counting and mathematics achievement.

RAs may work with infants, children and/or adults on a broad range of projects, depending on interest and skill set. RAs must be motivated, mature, and have an excellent academic record. Psychology majors are preferred. Position requires some weekend and evening availability. Must be detail-oriented and have excellent interpersonal skills.

If interested, please submit an application here, and then send a CV and a transcript (unofficial is fine) via email to Raychel Gordon at

The Morality Lab is looking for volunteers who are interested in gaining research experience in psychology and neuroscience.

Research questions include but are not limited to:

  • How do people reason about the minds of others? Do the way people reason about the minds of others differ across social contexts (e.g., whether the situation is a cooperative or competitive one)?
  • How does perspective-taking influence different social behaviors? Examples of social behaviors include acting fairly, cooperating with strangers and friends, and punishing others for their misdeeds.
  • How do people determine whether a person is a friend or foe based on perceptual cues and behavioral patterns?

Responsibilities may include helping design experiments, recruiting participants, collecting data, processing and analyzing data, reading papers, and attending lab meetings. Preference will be given to freshmen, sophomores, and juniors interested in being a part of the lab for more than a semester. Please visit the lab website for details on applying for a volunteer position in the lab.