Research in Psychology
Get Involved with Research in the Department
Research Collaboration with a Faculty Member
Many students (freshmen through seniors) work with faculty members as research assistants and collaborators. Students may volunteer their time in a research lab, they may enroll in the Psychology Apprenticeship course (PSY270; .5 course unit), or they may receive Independent Research credit (PSY970). For information about the research being conducted by each faculty member in the department, check here to see who is currently recruiting students to work with them on research. You can also visit the Faculty Information pages. If you are interested in the research described, contact that faculty member and see if they have room in their research lab for an enthusiastic, responsible new member!
Have your own idea for a research project? Contact the faculty member with expertise most closely related to your interests and ask if they can serve as a mentor for Independent Research (PSY970). Students work closely with a faculty mentor in developing and implementing their ideas. Any type of research, but especially independent theses such as these are also very positive additions to a graduate school application.
Psychology Senior Thesis Program & Graduation Honors
Qualified psychology majors may apply for a year-long thesis program featuring advanced, original research. The program is developmental in that it seeks to offer intellectually curious students an intensive year-long experience of mentorship and collaboration. To be part of this program, students must be willing to invest considerable time and intellectual energy. Students interested in more general research experience are encouraged to, instead, speak with a professor about coordinating an Independent Research project. Successful completion of a thesis and a psychology GPA of 3.7 or better are both required for departmental graduation honors. For more information visit the Senior Thesis information page.
Research Awards and Funding
Departmental Research Awards
Both of these awards, funded by generous donors, are typically granted in conjunction with a senior thesis project. As such, applications for the awards are part of the senior thesis application process.
Rosenberg Research Award
The Rosenberg Research Award provides a stipend to a psychology student who is engaged in research that is developmental in nature (either directly or indirectly).
The Crist Family Research Fellowship
The Crist Family Research Fellowship provides a stipend to support students in either independent or collaborative research with a faculty member of the psychology department.
College Funding Sources
Harring-Wittenbraker Fund for Student Research
This endowed fund provides students with financial support associated with the direct costs conducting or presenting research. For example, funds may be used to pay the costs of gathering data and information, purchase necessary equipment, computer fees, copyright fees, or travel to conferences to present research results. A preference is given to students conducting research in the humanities and social sciences, followed by students conducting research in the natural sciences. For more information or to apply, contact the Dean of Academic Life.
Dean's Office Summer Research Grants
These grants are intended for students who plan to engage in research or independent study that will lead to publication, presentation, exhibition, or performance. They are not normally granted for participation in formal coursework, formal study abroad programs, or internships. Each student who is awarded a grant will receive a stipend for eight weeks of research during the summer and one course-unit of research or independent study at no cost. Recipients who do research on campus will be provided with campus housing (based on double occupancy). Students may not have other obligations (work, course work, etc.) during the period of the grant. In addition, the student is expected to be enrolled at Muhlenberg the subsequent Fall. For more information, visit the Summer Grants page.
Summer Faculty/Student Collaborations
In Summer Research Collaborations, a faculty member recruits a student as a research collaborator for the summer. That is, the student assists in a substantive way with the faculty member’s scholarship. A joint application must be submitted by the faculty member and the student. Each student who is awarded a grant will receive a stipend for either four or eight weeks of research during the summer. Optionally, the student may receive up to one course-unit of research or independent study at no cost. Recipients who do research on campus will be provided with campus housing (based on double occupancy). For more information, speak with a faculty member and visit the Summer Research Collaborations page.
Dean's Office Travel Awards
The College can fund student travel to present scholarship, to exhibit artwork, or to perform. Funding in the past has gone toward local, regional, and national venues of presentation. The awards are competitive. Students wishing to apply can get more information on the Travel Awards page of the Academic Dean's site.
National Funding Sources
Psi Chi Funding & Awards
Psi Chi offers a variety of awards and grants to undergraduate members. They encourage you to apply for multiple grants and awards throughout your college career because you will learn from the process. Each time you complete an application, you will gain experience and insight. For more information, visit psichi.org/awards/undergraduate.aspx
Society for the Study of Social Issues (SPSSI)
SPSSI funds a variety of grants and awards, some of which are available to undergraduates - particularly graduating seniors who will be beginning a masters or Ph.D. program. For information, visit spssi.org/awards
Summer Research Programs
Lehigh Valley Health Network Summer Scholars Program
The Research Scholar Program provides structured educational research opportunities for undergraduate students. The summer session spans 8 weeks, and the fall and spring sessions span 10 weeks each. Within each session, students apply for positions offered by health network departments. Each position involves a combination of research, as well as professional and clinical observations. The program offers educational experience for students and additionally provides valuable assistance to health network departments. For more information, visit: lvhn.org/research_and_education/college_student_programs/research_scholar_program
Lehigh Valley Hospital - Hospital Elder Life Program, Allentown PA
This is a research driven initiative which may be of interest to Muhlenberg College students who want to work with older adults, but also an opportunity for other students to get more applied research experience. Please contact the Muhlenberg's Office of Community Engagement if you want more information.
NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program ("REU")
The National Science Foundation funds this highly prestigious and competitive REU Sites program. An REU Site consists of a group of ten or so undergraduates who work in the research programs of the hosting university. Each student is associated with a specific research project, where they work closely with the faculty and other researchers. This program allows students to experience first-hand how basic research is carried out on a larger scale than ours here at Muhlenberg. Students are granted stipends and, in many cases, assistance with housing and travel. Undergraduate students supported with NSF funds must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions. Note: As you search for REU Sites, be aware that opportunities in the field of psychology are listed under multiple areas, including Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research. Also note that you contact each institution that is offering an REU experience individually to learn about their application requirements, deadlines and program activities. For more information, visit nsf.gov/crssprgm/reu/
American Psychological Association
APA maintains a list of undergraduate research and internship opportunities from across the nation, apa.org/education/undergrad/research-opportunities.aspx
Web GURU - Guide to Finding and Applying for Research Internships or Programs for Undergraduates
More information and leads on funding, programs and research: www.webguru.neu.edu/undergraduate-research/getting-started/finding-ur-opportunity.
Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research Summer Internship Program
The ICPSR summer internship program at the University of Michigan provides undergraduate students with a unique and expansive research experience that introduces all aspects of social science research. The program is excellent preparation for advanced studies and careers in data science and social science research. The students, under the supervision of faculty mentors, develop a research question, perform a literature search and review, complete data analysis, and report findings in a poster; learn good data management processes and research practices with a research process mentor; and attend classes at the ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods. Additionally, regularly planned luncheon meetings focus on research projects within ICPSR/ISR, ethics in research and data management, and life in graduate school or in a research career obtainable with a Bachelor's degree in the social sciences. For more information, visit icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/content/ICPSR/internship/
Research Assistant positions for recent graduates
Visit higheredjobs.com. Also, check with the psychology faculty to see if they have received information about open positions. Muhlenberg students should also check the Canvas page for declared majors - every opportunity we hear of is posted there. You can also check the web pages of universities for open positions. One final option is to write to researchers you are interested in working with. Be sure to attach a resume or vitae, and indicate in the e-mail whether you are looking for a paid or unpaid position.
Opportunities in Related Disciplines
National Institute of Health: http://www.jobs.nih.gov/
Post-Baccalaureate Research and Education Program (PREP) at the University of New Mexico.
PREP is a NIH-funded post-baccalaureate training program, designed to enhance the ability of individuals in the biomedical sciences to gain entry to, and succeed in, nationally-recognized PhD programs. PREP is aimed at individuals from under-represented groups in the biomedical sciences who have recently received a Bachelors degree. These individuals will either have relatively little laboratory experience, or will be changing research fields between their BS and PhD courses. This is a year long program with a stipend, health benefits, and tuition stipends. The program web site and online application can be found at: http://biology.unm.edu/PREP/index.asp
Department of Energy: http://energy.gov/student-programs-and-internships
Department of Energy DOE scholars Internship Program: Full details and an application can be found at the program web site at http://orise.orau.gov/doescholars
Have an opportunity you want listed here? Contact Professor Wolfe at email@example.com.