Students are encouraged to become involved in research. Conducting research is a valuable learning experience. For those students who intend to apply to graduate school, involvement in research as an undergraduate (including presentation of research at a conference) is a positive addition to the graduate school application and will also often lead to a good letter of recommendation from the faculty mentor. There are several ways to become involved.
Research Methods Lab course (PSYC 3340)
The Research Methods Lab course provides psychology majors with hands-on experience conducting research with human participants. Students who have taken this course are encouraged to present their research at a scientific conference. The Arkansas Symposium for Psychology Students (ASPS) is particularly appropriate. ASPS is held every April at a university in Arkansas.
Independent Readings course (PSYC 4180, 4280, or 4380)
Students can seek a faculty mentor to work with them on an independent project that reviews a particular body of research literature. Students often read and discuss a body of literature and write a literature review paper. Often, the Independent Readings course is used to develop a research proposal with the intent of actually conducting the research the following semester. To register for the course, the student and faculty mentor should complete this online survey.
Independent Research course (PSYC 4182, 4282, or 4382)
Students can seek a faculty mentor to work with them on an independent research project. In other cases, faculty members will seek to recruit students to become a significant part of a research team for the purposes of conducting the faculty member’s research. To register for the course, the student and faculty mentor should complete this online survey.
Honors in the Major Program
Students who meet particular academic requirements can become involved in the Honors Program. See that link for more information.
Volunteer Research Assistant
Students can also seek opportunities to be a volunteer research assistant for a faculty member who is conducting research. Simply ask several faculty members in the department if they know of anyone conducting research who might need some student help.
Funding Opportunities to Support Student Research
STOPS database – contains information on scholarships, fellowships, internships, grants, travel internships and awards for students at all levels including undergraduate and graduate.
Guidelines for Offering Enrichment Credit Points in Psychology Courses
The Enrichment Credit policy for the Department of Psychology and Counseling provides valuable opportunities for students to directly experience the behavioral research enterprise and provides a substantial pool of human research participants for the faculty and student research in the department. Specifics of the policy include the following:
- Enrichment credits can be obtained by participating in research studies conducted by faculty and students in the Department of Psychology and Counseling OR by investing an equivalent amount of time in research-related activities provided by the course instructor.
- All research studies must be approved by the University’s Institutional Review Board to assure adherence to ethical guidelines.
- All Category I core courses in the undergraduate curriculum (General Psychology, Psychological Statistics, Research Methods, Research Methods Lab, History and Systems) will require completion of 4 enrichment credits.
- For General Psychology and all other Category I courses, the total points associated with the 4 enrichment credits should account for approximately 5% of the course grade.
- Category II, III, and IV courses may offer, at the discretion of the instructor, enrichment credit points as part of the course grade and/or as extra credit activities. The total points associated with the enrichment credits should account for no more than approximately 5% of the course grade.