Research Assistantships

The Department of Psychology at Western Michigan University offers many opportunities for undergraduates to help with research projects, either by participating as subjects or as research assistants. See the project descriptions below and contact information for researchers in the department.

Research involvement

Participate as a subject

  • Often, researchers will come to various undergraduate classes to announce that they are seeking potential participants.
  • Seek out opportunities on your own by looking for psychological research flyers. Studies are posted on the bulletin board by 3700 Wood Hall.

Assist with a research project

Many investigators are looking for undergraduates to serve as research assistants each semester. In some cases, students may earn credit through PSY 3990: Research Apprenticeship.

  • Check bulletin boards in Wood Hall for advertisements.
  • Contact faculty members or graduate students in the psychology department to see if they are currently looking for assistance.

Credit for research opportunities

Serving as a research assistant for credit gives you the opportunity to work with a research team and receive feedback and supervision while developing critical research skills. You do not sign up for this course through the normal registration process; you need to be approved by the coordinator of the research project for a research assistant position. Follow these steps:

  1. Contact a faculty member or graduate student in the psychology department who is conducting research in an area that interests you. To find out what kind of projects are currently in progress, stop by a faculty member's office during their office hours, talk to your graduate student instructors, attend the research fair held each semester, check your email for opportunities, or talk with your fellow students. 
  2. Once you have met with coordinator of the research project, discussed your role, and are approved for a research assistant position, fill out the top portion of the Permission to Elect form for PSY 3990.
  3. Obtain the necessary signatures.
  4. The faculty member supervising the research lab will give the form to the Department of Psychology.
  5. You will receive instructions on how to register for PSY 3990. Be sure to follow these instructions carefully and check your schedule to make sure that you have registered for PSY 3990 for the correct number of credits. 

Start early

Getting the paperwork done will alleviate any problems with tuition bills, financial aid and last minute panic. If you have any questions, contact the undergraduate advisor.