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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

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 and independent, and night owls. These research assistants would be involved in assisting in electrode placement on a participant for sleep monitoring and then working as a team to monitor polysomnography (records brain waves during sleep) on an overnight participant for the sleep portion of a research project starting next semester, Spring 2016. The time commitment would be an overnight approximately once week in the sleep lab on the 4th floor of McGuinn; the overnight hours would be approximately 10 pm until 8:30 am. 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. Because students will be handling the overnight sessions in teams, there will be the opportunity for each student to get some sleep during the night. If the student is 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. Ellen Winner's Arts and Mind Lab is looking for one or two highly motivated undergraduate research assistants to assist with research in the psychology of the arts. We are investigating many topics in the field including child and adult intuitions and judgments about visual art, effects of intensive musical training on children's executive functioning, development of complex theory of mind as measured through fairy tale understanding, adult judgments and attitudes about actors, and habits of mind in music and art education. Research assistants begin as volunteers and gain valuable experience by running experiments, helping with data scoring and analysis, discussing experiment design and theory in our meetings, and reviewing relevant literature. This experience is incredibly important for future graduate work in psychology, and research assistants have the option to do thesis projects. Some experience working with children is helpful; fluency in Mandarin or Spanish and/or access to a car are pluses. To apply, please visit