Why participate in research?
Working side-by-side with a faculty member and/or graduate student on research can allow you to…
- Deepen your understanding of scientific research methods and cutting-edge psychological theories.
- Get hands-on experience and individualized training.
- Prepare yourself to be successful at the next level of education.
- Bolster your resume (CV) to help you get into graduate school. Most graduate programs now look for potential students to have research experience beyond classroom assignments.
When am I eligible?
You can participate in research as a Volunteer at any point in your undergraduate career. You simply need to find a willing mentor.
You can participate in research for Psyc395 credit if you…
- find a willing mentor,
- have completed Psyc101 & 2 additional Psyc courses (at least one of which must be at the 200-level or above), AND
- achieve & maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher
- You cannot apply for Psyc395 credit until after you have completed these prerequisites.
You can participate in the Honors Program in Psychology (psychology.unc.edu/undergraduate-studies/honors-program) if you are eligible (See Honors Program webpage) and if you have completed Psyc395 for at least one semester.
- Please note that students cannot register for both Psyc395 and Psyc693H (honors credits) in the same semester.
How do I find a research mentor?
Expect your search for a research position in one of our labs to be a very time consuming process.
- Start your search 2-3 months before the start of the target semester. Some of your options for finding a mentor are listed below…
- Check the Office of Undergraduate Research’s database of research opportunities (http://cf.unc.edu/our/pubforms/browse.cfm).
- Read psychology faculty & graduate student websites to identify mentors that you might want to work with.
- List of faculty members (click on the names to find websites) can be found here (https://psychology.unc.edu/people/faculty/)
- List of graduate students and their research topics can be found here (http://psychology.unc.edu/people/graduate-students-2/)
- Faculty members outside the Department of Psychology can only be Psyc395 mentors if they conduct research that is psychological in nature AND collaborate with a faculty member from the Department of Psychology.
- Check the bulletin boards on the first floor of Davie Hall.
- When you have identified a potential mentor, send an email containing your resume, available hours, relevant skills/experiences, and a short written passage about why you would like to work with him/her.
- It is advisable to contact multiple potential mentors to increase your chances of finding a research opportunity.
What are the Psyc395 course requirements?
- The first and foremost requirement is that you find a mentor willing to bring you on to his/her research team (See “How do I find a mentor”).
- Your mentor will establish the course specifics (contained in your Psyc395 syllabus) but there are some general requirements as well…
- You will work in your mentor’s lab for 9 hours per week in the Fall/Spring semesters or 30 hours per week in summer semesters for 3 credits (6/20 hours for 2 credits; 3/10 hours for 1 credit).
- You will write at least 10 pages of scholarly work for 3 credits (7 pages for 2 credits; 4 pages for 1 credit). Scholarly work cannot be a log of activities.
- You must meet with your faculty advisor at least 4 times per semester and your direct supervisor weekly (Note: Sometimes your mentor will be both the faculty sponsor and direct supervisor).
How do I apply for Psyc395 credit?
- IMPORTANT: You must stay aware of the Psyc395 APPLICATION DEADLINE. The deadline is always 2 business days before the late registration deadline. Click here to see the late registration deadline.
- Work with your mentor to complete and print out the PSYC395 APPLICATION.
- Obtain your Psyc395 syllabus from your mentor and attach it to the Psyc395 application.
- If this is your mentor’s first semester mentoring, have him/her complete the Mentor Orientation Form, and attach it to the application and syllabus.
- Turn in the entire packet of materials to Dana Ripperton (235 Davie Hall).
- Note the deadline – LATE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
- After turning in your Psyc395 application materials, do not attempt to register yourself on Connect Carolina. We will do that for you.
- It is your responsibility to check Connect Carolina at the start of the semester in order to ensure that you have been registered correctly.
Psyc395 Application Form
As mentioned above, please be aware of the Psyc395 application deadline.
To access the Psyc395 application form, please click here.
What else can I do?
Participating in research with a faculty member or graduate student is a great start, but you can do more to prepare yourself for a career in psychology…
- Work with your mentor to determine if you can complete a Senior Honors Thesis.
- Work with your mentor to find a conference at which you can present a poster of your research.
- Work with your mentor to publish your research in a journal (there are many undergraduate-focused as well as professional journals).
- Work with your mentor to find funding for your research.
- To find some of these opportunities you can search…
- The Department of Psychology’s Undergraduate Research Facebook page (www.facebook.com/unc.dopur.program)
- The Office of Undergraduate Research’s research funding opportunities database (http://cf.unc.edu/our/specfunding.cfm)
- Any popular search engine (e.g., search “undergraduate psychology research funding” or “undergraduate psychology conferences”)