Get Involved in Research

Conduct Research

Psychology students

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).

Honors Research

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.

2022 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

The Psychology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) provides research support and professional development opportunities to undergraduates interested in gaining research experience and pursuing a career in the field of Psychology. 

The program will take place from June 12th to August 4th and will consist of weekly professional development and skills workshops, brown bag lunches with faculty and graduate students, and research experience under the direction of a faculty mentor.

Brownbag lunches and workshops will be held in person on Cornell campus. Research can be performed remotely with the permission of the faculty mentor. 

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. 

Students seeking funding can apply for an hourly stipend of $15/hour for 32 hours/week for the eight-week program.

Students who are already funded through other means (e.g., faculty grants, the Nexus scholars, etc.) are also encouraged to apply to participate in the professional development aspects of the program.

This is a competitive program with limited funding open to all Cornell students interested in Psychology. 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.

A complete application will include:
- Application form
- Current CV/Resume (uploaded in the application survey)
- Short letter of support from faculty mentor

(A simple acknowledgment that the mentor is willing to sponsor you/the project)

Students should submit their application form and CV here by April 29th.

Faculty mentors should submit a letter of support here by April 29th.

Contact us with questions at diversity_psych@cornell.edu.

2022 Community-Engaged Research Opportunity

This year we have a unique paid summer community engagement research opportunity. If you have a strong interest in engaging community partners in psychological research, please apply!

The selected student will work closely with a graduate student and faculty mentor to:

  • survey local organizations to identify points of overlap between community needs and psychology resources/expertise
  • work to form community partnerships with these organizations
  • expand/refine our critical reflection materials for our summer research program 

The selected student will also be invited to participate in the SURF program’s weekly professional development and skills workshops and brown bag lunches with faculty and graduate students.

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. This is a part-time position for approximately 10 hours/week for approximately 8 weeks at a rate of $15/hour.

To apply, please complete this short application form and upload your current CV/Resume here.

Contact us with questions at diversity_psych@cornell.edu

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 (psychology_chair@cornell.edu) and the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Vivian Zayas (psych-dus@cornell.edu).

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 $4,000 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 CHE students may apply provided that they have a CHE faculty research advisor, 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 short reports at the end of the research experience.

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.

For more information contact Jean Miller at jmt19@cornell.edu.

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

Overview

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

Tim DeVoogd with student

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

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.

CUP Conference

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.

Departmental Colloquium

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.

Professional Opportunities

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.

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