Be a Research Assistant

What is Psychology 4998?

  • You will be doing hands-on work with professors, graduate students, and other undergraduate students in a research laboratory. This is not a traditional class, and instead credit is given for time spent in the lab.

What are the pre-requisites for Psychology 4998?

  • Permission of the instructor. Check out the psychology lab websites for specific requirements for each lab.

Is Psychology 4998 required for the Psychology major?

  • It is not required for the Psychology major, but we strongly recommend that students get involved in research (take Psychology 4998), especially if they are interested in pursuing research-based graduate programs (e.g., Ph.D.) in psychology.

When should I take Psychology 4998?

  • It is available throughout the year, including summer. However, some projects are only available during certain terms. Students interested in gaining a strong research background should begin taking Psychology 4998 as soon as possible after completing Psychology 1100.

How many credit hours is Psychology 4998?

  • Credit hours are variable depending on the nature of the project and the time commitment of students. A maximum of 3 hours of Psychology 4998 can be applied towards the Psychology major. However, students can take additional hours of Psychology 4998 towards their overall general (non-psychology) electives. Typically, students take 2 to 4 credit hours of Psychology 4998 per semester.

How much time will I need to commit to Psychology 4998?

  • You are expected to commit approximately 3 hours per week in the lab for every credit hour you earn for Psychology 4998. For example, taking Psychology 4998 for 3 credit hours will mean that you are expected to devote approximately 9 hours per week to the project.

How do I find out about the research projects being offered?

  • Check out current psychology labs on this page.
  • Listen in class for any announcements about Psychology 4998 and look for any posted flyers in the Psychology Building and Lazenby Hall.
  • Visit your professors during Office Hours to talk more extensively about their research (after checking out their lab website) and express an interest in getting involved.
  • Attend talks by faculty to learn more about their research (e.g., Psychology Enrichment Program).

Is there anything specific I need to do or say when communicating with the Psychology 4998 contact person?

  • YES. Etiquette is very important. Do your homework before you shoot off an e-mail! You should know at least a little about the research the lab does. For instance, check out publications that the faculty member has before contacting the lab.
  • DO NOT say…Hey, I’m interested in your project. Do you have any openings? Thanks. Your e-mail will most likely be ignored or at best not responded to quickly.
  • DO say something like: Hello, Professor (his/her name): My name is (your name), and I am interested in your project on (name project). What interests me most about your research is (name a few items here you find interesting about this project and explain why you are interested in them). I have read some articles in your research area (cite names of relevant articles you have read on the subject) and so your research investigation really intrigues me. I would like to be able to contribute to your project in any way I can. I am in my (what year). I have taken (discuss coursework that is relevant to the lab, including statistics and research methods). I am hard-working, dependable, responsible, flexible, and willing to work (how many) terms in your lab if selected (if a multiple term commitment is preferred for that particular project). Would you be willing and able to meet with me and discuss your research further? I am available (name specific days and times you are available – give a range). I can be reached at (your phone and e-mail contacts). Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Iam A. Student.

Note: Use the above as a format but not word for word!  Use this template as a guide and try to set yourself apart. Bring up your unique experiences and traits that can help you contribute to the lab.

  • Often you will be invited for an interview before you are offered a 4998 position. If you are offered a position, you then negotiate your working hours and responsibilities directly with the person offering the position.
  • Once you have accepted a 4998 position, you will need to have the Primary Investigator- PI- (the faculty member) sign a Course Enrollment Permission Form. You can pick up this form in the Psychology Advising Office or download it from the registrar's website.
  • Before asking the faculty member to sign it, fill out: 
    • Your Name, Student ID #
    • Semester/Year
    • Department, Course # (4998), # of credit hours, and PI (the faculty member). 
  • After the faculty member signs the form and fills in the class number (this # is specific to each faculty member and changes each term), bring it to the Psychology Advising Office or email it to We will enroll you in the course.
  • The final deadline to submit these forms in AU and SP semesters is the second Friday of the term. Please refer to the registrar's website for summer semester deadlines and details.

Psychology Labs

Coutellier Lab - Dr. Laurence Coutellier

Kirby Lab - Dr. Liz Kirby

Lenz Lab - Dr. Kathryn Lenz

Leuner Lab - Dr. Benedetta Leuner

Brain Injury Prevention & Rehabilitation - Dr. Jennifer Bogner (for Psych 4998 inquiries, contact Michael Mahaffey)

The Buckeye Brain Aging Lab - Dr. Scott Hayes

Clinical Neuroscience – Dr. Ruchika Prakash

Depression Research - Dr. Daniel Strunk

Early Psychosis Intervention Center (EPICENTER) – Dr. Nicholas Breitborde

Mood & Personality Studies – Dr. Jennifer Cheavens

MRI Investigation of Neurodegenerative Disease, Stress Effects, & Traumatic Brain Injury - Dr. Jasmeet Hayes

Risk and Resilience in the Context of Childhood Cancer – Dr. Cynthia Gerhardt, Nationwide Children's Hospital. For PSYCH 4998 inquiries, contact clinical research coordinator, Katy Kerby:

Stress & Health – Dr. Janice Kiecolt-Glaser

The Stress and Immunity Cancer Project – Dr. Barbara Andersen

Translational Neuroscience of Early Psychosis at EPICENTER - Dr. Aubrey Moe

Women's Behavioral Health - Dr. Kristen Carpenter

Cognition (Aging, Disorders, & Development) - Dr. Roger Ratcliff & Dr. Gail McKoon

Cognition in Motion - Dr. Richard Jagacinski

Cognitive Control – Dr. Andrew Leber

Language Perception – Dr. Mark Pitt

Model-Based Cognitive Neuroscience - Dr. Brandon Turner

Vision & Cognitive Neuroscience – Dr. Julie Golomb

Z-Lab: Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience - Dr. Zeynep Saygin

Cognitive Control – Dr. Andrew Leber

Social Affective and Immunology Lab – Dr. Baldwin Way

Social Cognitive Neuroscience - Dr. Dylan Wagner

Vision & Cognitive Neuroscience – Dr. Julie Golomb

The B-BAL | Buckeye Brain Aging Lab ( - Dr. Scott Hayes

Children and Parents Lab - Dr. Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan

Cognitive Development - Dr. Vladimir Sloutsky

Developmental Language & Cognition – Dr. Laura Wagner

Learning Disabilities Innovations Hub - Dr. Stephen Petrill

Social Development - Dr. John Gibbs

Z-Lab: Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience - Dr. Zeynep Saygin

Attitudes & Persuasion –Dr. Richard Petty

Attitudes & Persuasion - Dr. Duane Wegener

Attitudes & Social Cognition - Dr. Russ Fazio

Cognitive & Affective Influences on Decision Making - Dr. Brittany Shoots-Reinhard

Motivation & Cognitive Science – Dr. Kentaro Fujita

Self, Stereotypes, & Social Norms – Dr. Steven Spencer

Social Affective and Immunology Lab – Dr. Baldwin Way

Social Cognitive Neuroscience – Dr. Dylan Wagner

Subjective Perspectives Research – Dr. Lisa Libby 

Information Processing in Human Memory – Dr. Trisha Van Zandt

Mechanisms & Contingencies – Dr. Andrew Hayes