Get Involved in Research
Cornell Psychology has a long and highly respected history of producing undergraduates that are fluent in critical thinking, research design and implementation, and experimentation. Direct involvement and participation in research is a crucial stepping stone to graduate studies, clinical psychology programs, or other post-graduate education and profession.
Research for Credit
The first step toward conducting research involved contacting members of the Psychology department (Faculty or Graduate students) to volunteer in a laboratory, receive course credit for conducting research (PSYCH 4700), or to inquire about research for pay when opportunities are available (e.g., via work study).
Rising Seniors with prior research experience can consider applying for the Honors Program in Psychology or Honors Program in Human Development to conduct a project of their own and earn this special distinction.
Summer Research Opportunities
The Department of Psychology offers summer research opportunities to Cornell Psychology and Human Development undergraduate majors. Information for Summer 2023 will be posted as soon as it becomes available.
2023 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
The Psychology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) provides research support to Cornell Psychology undergraduates interested in gaining research experience and pursuing a career in the field of Psychology.
The summer appointment period will fall within June 8, 2023 - Aug 19, 2023. Students may apply for an hourly stipend of $15/hour for up to 32 hours/week for up to 8 weeks (up to 256 hours total). Research can take place in the lab or virtually, but the format must be approved by the faculty supervisor.
This is a competitive program with limited funding open to Cornell Human Development and Psychology majors. Students from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented/historically excluded in higher education are strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants must be 18+ and eligible for employment in the US.
Interested students should contact a faculty mentor to initiate the application process – students can only be selected if they have a mentor (new or current) willing to work with them over the summer.
The application deadline for summer 2023 is March 31st with anticipated notification date of April 15th for accepted students.
A complete application will include:
- Short application form
- Personal statement of research and professional goals
- Current CV/Resume (uploaded in the application survey)
- Short acknowledgment of support from faculty mentor
Students should submit their application form and CV here by March 31st.
Faculty mentors should note their short acknowledgment of support here by March 31st.
Contact us with questions at email@example.com.
Research & Travel Grants (A&S)
The Department of Psychology offers awards to Cornell undergraduate students engaged in research to facilitate conducting empirical research and/ or the dissemination of that research.
Undergraduate Psychology Awards
The overall goal of these awards is to promote undergraduate research in psychology at Cornell. Our awards aim to provide funds to help motivated and talented undergraduate students undertake independent empirical work and take part in the dissemination of the work via attendance at national conferences. Although students from all majors/minors are encouraged to apply, priority will be given to psych majors and minors.
This 2022-2023 year, the funds are generously provided by the Halpern and Rosevear families.
Individual awards can be requested for up to a maximum of $500 for the purposes of research support or attendance at conferences. More information on each award and purpose is provided below.
Undergraduate students will need to download, complete and submit a nomination form. For each nominated undergraduate, a Psychology department faculty member must send a brief statement of support for each student, including the amount and purpose of the award. Please, send all materials to Department Chair, Felix J. Thoemmes (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Vivian Zayas (email@example.com).
Students may apply for these awards between Sept. 1 and April 30. Funds must be spent during the 2022 -2023 academic year.
Importantly, these awards are only given to undergraduates who have already applied for the College Research Awards, including the Einhorn and Undergraduate Research awards. For more information about theses awards and other undergraduate research opportunities at the College level, please visit https://as.cornell.edu/undergraduate-research
The Cornell Psychology Undergraduate Research Award:
Research funds can be used for participant payments, equipment, or other approved research-related expenses. Awardees will work with staff in the Psychology Department to process their research awards and will be responsible for a business purpose, IRB information, and/or participant payment logs, depending on the purpose of the award. In most cases, the department will purchase the research items directly for the students.
The Cornell Psychology Undergraduate Travel Award:
Travel funds can be used for research-related conference expenses, such as hotel costs, conference registration costs, and travel expenses. Awardees will need to submit receipts for all expenses for reimbursement. Awardees can discuss the possibility of having the department pay directly for conference fees and should consult with Psychology Department staff before booking travel/registering for conferences. Costs for food/beverages will not be reimbursed.
Research & Travel Grants (CHE)
Human Ecology Summer Research Stipends for Undergraduates
The College of Human Ecology provides a limited number of $6,000 summer research stipends to CHE undergraduates who will be involved in full-time summer research with a CHE faculty member. Both the student and the faculty member must be in CHE.
Students and their faculty mentors must both submit applications. Students should work with faculty members in preparing the 2-3 page proposal that is required as part of the application.
All currently enrolled - Spring 2023 - CHE students may apply provided that they have a CHE faculty research advisor, are enrolled full-time, are in good academic standing, and will be continuing as CHE undergraduate students in the fall semester. Students must be available for a full-time, 8-week summer research position. Simultaneous enrollment in courses is not permitted. Students must submit either weekly reflections or short reports at the end of the research experience. In addition, students often participate in a short presentation at the end of the summer, time to be announced.
Faculty members must review and approve the student’s application proposal before the student submits it and also submit a separate application. Faculty members must provide on-site supervision during the student’s 8-week summer research experience.
Application deadline for 2023 is Friday, February 24, 5:00 p.m. Application forms and instructions are available here.
Human Ecology Alumni Association Research Grants
The Human Ecology Alumni Association awards grants annually to undergraduates who wish to further the three objectives of the college: research, teaching, and outreach. Grants typically range from $500 - $1,000.
Participate in Research
A significant portion of the research conducted by the Psychology department relies on the participation of others. The nature of the work that rests on the participation of the community includes studying language in babies, children and adults, studying judgment and decision-making, studying mechanisms of perception, cognition, attention, and memory, and studying development of social behavior.
Research for Course Credit
Undergraduate students can participate in research for extra credit or as part of their courses through SONA.
Voluntary or Paid Research Participation
Some opportunities to be a paid participant also exist and can be found here.
Our department has a long tradition of conducting developmental research to better understand child health and social behavior. Parents and their children can help contribute to these efforts by visiting the following links to see if you and your child can participate in current experiments to better understand human behavior and development.
Join the Psychology Community
The Psychology community at Cornell is large and offers several opportunities to be involved, develop professional skills, and to network. Here are some of the ways you can get involved.
Psi Chi is the International Honors Society in Psychology. Being a part of this organization gives you exclusive opportunities for professional development in psychology and related fields, and is an opportunity to meet other students interested in these areas.
The Cognition and Neural Systems (CNS) Journal Club:
You can enroll in the CNS Journal Club for graduate or undergraduate credit (1 CR, S/U) as a Topics in Biopsychology seminar: PSYCH 6271. The course requires that you present at least once during the semester and participate actively overall. You are welcome to attend without enrolling, of course, but we do appreciate you enrolling if you plan to attend the whole semester and to present.
Meets on Tuesdays from 11:45 to 1:00 pm in Uris Hall 205.
The conference is a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to experience a professional conference in the field, to share and present their work, meet other students, and learn about the various kinds of exciting, cutting-edge work being conducted here at Cornell.
Click here for information about the Spring 2022 conference.
The department hosts renowned speakers from all over the world to visit and speak about their research. These lectures are held most Friday afternoons (from 12:20-1:30) and are open to the Cornell community. Undergraduates are encouraged to attend our departmental colloquium.
Click here to access the Colloquium Schedule for speakers and locations.
Graduate Research Seminar
Similarly, our department hosts the Graduate Research Seminar every spring semester, where Psychology Department Graduate Students present their original research. The GRS occurs on Monday afternoons (Uris Hall 202 from 12:20-1:30).
Undergraduates are welcomed and encouraged to attend our departmental colloquium and the Graduate Research Seminar.
The Psychology Department has established a Google group, Psychology Internships and Positions, to disseminate information about psychology research assistant positions, summer internships, full-time positions in research labs, clinical opportunities, etc.
If you would like to join the group, please visit the link above and click the "Ask to join group" link. Since the list is open to Cornell undergraduates only, you must use your Cornell email address to sign up.
Once you are in the group, you can choose how you receive information. You can receive all the emails as they post, or get a digest once a day, or view it as a web site. You will need a Google account to join the group.