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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Research Opportunities

research

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


Fall research assistant positions 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 5 to 10 hours. Research responsibilities include participant recruitment, help running studies both Boston Commons, The Discovery Museum in Acton and other outdoor spaces and debriefing parents.

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

Anyone is welcome to apply. To do so, please complete the application send a PDF of your CV to Gorana at gonzaloi@bc.edu with the subject line “Research Assistant Application Fall 2016.” 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, welcomes applications for school-year research assistants who are interested in language acquisition, linguistics, computational models of cognition, or all of the above. 

The lab’s research considers all aspects of language learning, but recent research is focused on three interrelated problems: bootstrapping language acquisition, language and common sense, and critical periods. The lab employs varied methodology, including judgment studies, eye-tracking, and ERPs. However, we are particularly interested in emerging methods, which allow us to test tens or even hundreds of thousands of children and adults over the Internet.

RA duties depend on interest and skill set, but may include study design, participant recruitment, and data analysis. RAs should be highly motivated and curious. Both students with an interest in computer science or math and those with an interest in psychology research are encouraged to apply. Students who speak multiple languages are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants for volunteer RA positions should fill out the application here. Please contact skorb@bc.edu 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 canlab@bc.edu 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 gordonrg@bc.edu.


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.