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How to Find Research Experiences

Looking for 1:1 help with your search or applications?


Join email listservs

Professional organizations:

Certain psychology-oriented organizations, such as the American Psychological Association, have email lists that you can join. Within this chain, professionals often share opportunities both in research and clinical work, and they vary across all different levels of experience. Sometimes, students send out emails to these listservs asking about particular types of research experiences that they are interested in, and they may hear back from others in that group.

University related:

Some schools have listservs related to specific departments. You can find out if it exists by asking people in the psychology department. However, if you only receive department-wide emails that do not send out research opportunities, you can also contact people in the department and find out the best way to keep track of university-related research opportunities.


Your school's psychology department page

On the faculty page, you can click through their lab websites - do any of them interest you? If so, search for a link to send in an application, or if there isn’t one, send an email to the lab manager expressing your interest and asking if they are looking for new RAs.


Cold emails

Reach out to PIs to show interest in their work. See templates and examples here.

Connect with professionals on LinkedIn and send messages there (see our previous post all about LinkedIn here!)


Google Search

Google is only as good as what you search for. Narrow down your search with pieces of information such as:

  1. Location

  2. Specific disorder or construct of interest (e.g., sleep, neurodevelopment, addiction)

  3. Specific population of interest (e.g., infants, couples, adolescents)

  4. Methodological keywords (e.g., fMRI, qualitative, longitudinal)


Word of mouth

ASK AROUND! Speak to professors, peers, and people within the psychology department (i.e., the department chair, department administrator, etc.).

  1. Sometimes, your current (or former) professors have insights into positions that either:

    1. Have not yet been posted

    2. Are only shared with a relatively small number of people

    3. Are unofficial!

      1. For example, they may know that a colleague is in need of help with data analysis for a certain project

  2. Certain labs are open to new RAs even if it is not advertised anywhere. You may only learn about these opportunities through a PI’s colleagues, or from peers who are current lab members. Learn of opportunities through peers who are currently in a lab!


Job search websites

Psi Chi’s page: as is the case with other job search sites (e.g., Indeed, Google search, Monster, Handshake), you can narrow down your search based on location filters or job title/function (research assistant, administrative assistant, cognitive psychologist, etc.)

LinkedIn (you can refer to our previous post linked here for a full overview of how to make the most out of your LinkedIn search!)


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