How to Apply
Prospective Postdoctoral and Graduate Students
If you are interested in working in the Developmental Psychopathology Lab as a postdoctoral or graduate student, please contact Dr. Brian D'Onofrio. Openings in the lab change from year to year, so please inquire about the possibility.
Prospective Undergraduate Research Assistants
The Developmental Psychopathology Lab only takes a couple of Research Assistants (RAs) each semester and over the summer. RAs typically engage in the following activities in the lab, which includes a commitment of 10 hours/week for 3 credits:
Read research articles (to learn about development, psychopathology, and research methods)
Meet weekly with postdoctoral and graduate students
Conduct a thorough literature search, collect articles, and create an Endnote (reference software) file of the articles for a particular research topic
Identify a research question and write a paper that reviews the progress of the current literature, as well as future directions
After several semesters in the lab students write an honors thesis, which typically involves (a) identifying a research question, (b) completing a thorough literature review, (c) conducting analyses of a dataset, and (e) writing a manuscript. Several students have submitted and published their undergraduate thesis!
If you are interested in applying for a RA position in the lab, please complete the following Lab Application form and email it to Dr. Brian D'Onofrio. We will start evaluating RAs on October 15th (for the spring semester) and March 15th (for the summer and following fall semester).
Because we can only take a couple of RAs in the lab each semester, competition for the spots is very competitive. There are a number of phenomenal labs in the department (Department Research Labs) that are conducting research on related topics, including research in developmental psychology, clinical psychology, and neuroscience. Some of these labs are doing research with children, adolescents, and young adults. We, therefore, encourage you to take a look at other labs in the department when applying.
Here are some practical suggestions that may be helpful as you look for research opportunities:
1. Take challenging classes (e.g., statistics, neuroscience, biology, chemistry, etc.) and do well in them. Research labs are looking for students who are hardworking and motivated, and succeeding in difficult science classes is one indication of this.
2. Take a lot of psychology classes and courses in statistics/methods. Take a lot of psychology classes and courses in statistics/methods. Having background knowledge in the substantive area of the lab's research, as well as research methods and designs, is very helpful. Since our lab's research also covers content areas in public health and epidemiology, it may also be helpful to look into electives in the School of Public Health, including coursework in epidemiology and biostatistics. Many students interested in clinical psychology choose to pursue the department's certificate in clinical psychological science, which includes a requirement for interdisciplinary breadth courses like these.
3. Start looking for research positions as early in your college career as possible. It is not uncommon for our lab (and others) to take motivated freshman and sophomore students, so that they can work in the lab for multiple semesters/years. Getting involved in research early will also help you to decide earlier whether you want to continue pursuing research later in your academic career and give you more time to get involved with research in a greater depth.
4. Gain experience working with children and/or families (e.g., working at a summer camp or after-school program). Having these types of experiences can be helpful in seeking research opportunities in a lab like ours, in which the data collection involves direct contact with children.
5. Make sure you carefully and thoughtfully complete the lab application. We give preference to applications that do not have typos and are well written.