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Research Opportunities with Faculty

Research Experience is highly recommended if you are considering graduate school. It is also a great way to earn upper division credit, gain valuable experience and earn a letter(s) of recommendation. The Psychology Advising Center recommends a minimum of two semesters of research experience for a Master's degree and a minimum of 4 semesters for a PhD. If you are interested in research, use the links below to investigate which professor, research area, or current research topic most interests you by clicking on the link to a professor's homepage. To get involved, simply send the professor(s) a short email expressing your interest to work as a research assistant in a lab or visit the professor in person. If you need any additional assistance, please visit the PAC office, BEHS 522, or call 801-213-1144 .

Brian Baucom, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Clinical Psychology
Office: 701 BEHS
Phone: (801) 581-8496

Our research group is currently conducting a number of interdisciplinary projects on many different aspects of couple interaction. These projects include studies of couple therapies and relationship education programs in the United States, Germany, and Australia, a study of couple based therapy for married couples where one spouse has been diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa, a study of the links between family violence and couple interaction, and a study of couple interaction during daily life.

Another major focus of our research group is the development of computational tools and statistical models for studying couple interaction. Most current projects involve collaboration with colleagues from a number of disciplines such as electrical engineering and biostatistics. As a result, our research group is active in a number of areas outside of clinical psychology including speech signal processing, affective computing, computational linguistics, and statistical modeling for multiply nested designs. These aspects of the lab make it an excellent fit for students with backgrounds both within and outside of clinical psychology, students with interests in couple interaction, couple therapy, and behavior & emotion, and creative thinkers who are excited about interdisciplinary collaboration.

While I am not currently accepting applications for new graduate students, our lab is accepting applications for a limited number of volunteer RA positions that would begin immediately. If interested, please contact Feea Leifker to apply and for further information about opportunities in our lab.

Katherine J.W. Baucom, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor, Clinical Psychology
Office: 1320B BEHS
Phone: (801) 587-7222

RA opportunities

I will be accepting RAs to join the HEalth and Adaptation in Relationships Team (HEART Lab) for the 2019-2020 academic year (beginning Summer or Fall 2019). RAs will be involved with several studies related to couple relationships and health. Course credit is available for interested U students, but not required.

If you meet the requirements below and are interested please email your CV (resume) and a copy of your unofficial transcripts to me:

Requirements for RAs

  • Particular interest in relationships and health
  • Able to commit at least 6 hours/week for Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
  • GPA 3.0 or higher

***I do not serve as a primary mentor to graduate students***

Cynthia Berg, Ph.D.

Professor, Developmental Psychology, Health Psychology
Office: 622 BEHS
Phone: (801) 581-8239

We are looking for students who are excellent workers as well as independent and able to take direction well. We are particularly interested in applicants who are majoring in psychology or a health-related field (at least in their sophmore year) with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. We do require at least 3 hours of work per week, and prefer 6, so only those students who are able to commit to that time should inquire. We will provide all the necessary training so no previous research experience is required, although any students who have had experience should not be discouraged from applying. Interested students should have some degree of computer experience (i.e., familiar with the internet and Microsoft Word and have access to email). Interested parties with special skills (e.g., bilingual with excellent communication skills in English and Spanish, data entry experience) are particularly encouraged to apply. Cindy Berg's Lab is looking for research assistants. If you are interested fill out the application. Download Application

Craig J. Bryan, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Clinical Psychology
Office: 710 BEHS
Phone: (801) 587-7978

There are ample research opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students to volunteer in the National Center for Veterans Studies on a number of Dr. Bryan's research studies. NCVS projects focus primarily on military mental health issues, particularly suicide risk and combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder.

For Aspiring Graduate Students

Decisions about which clinical faculty members will be prioritized for student recruitment will not be finalized until the fall semester. As such, it is possible that I will be recruiting graduate students to enroll during the 2016-2017 academic year. Although final determinations regarding recruitment will be made during the fall 2016 semester, and are influenced in part by the availability of grant funding in the NCVS, I am anticipating recruiting a student this coming year.

Due to large (and growing) volume of applications received each year for graduate enrollment, I am unfortunately unable to accommodaterequests to meet personally with aspiring students for campus visits.

Before emailing me to ask what my research focuses on or what I\'m looking for in a student, please review the projects currently underway in the National Center for Veterans Studies: I do not use any hard cutoff scores when reviewing applications, but the average applicant has an undergraduate GPA above 3.7 and scores above the 60th-70th percentile on GREs. I also carefully review personal statements and previous experience to determine applicants\' research interests and career goals are consistent with my work in the National Center for Veterans Studies. Personal statements are given considerable weight in the selections process.

**Qualified individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, to include military personnel and veterans, are especially encouraged to apply.**

Approximately 50% of graduate and undergraduate students in my lab are military personnel or veterans.

For Undergraduate Students Seeking Research Experience

We are accepting applications for undergraduate research assistants during the 2016-2017 academic year. Interested students should send (1) a resume and (2) a 1-2 page personal statement to my Research Lab Manager: Mira Reynolds,

Jonathan Butner, Ph.D.

Professor, Social Psychology
Office: 714 BEHS
Phone: (801) 581-3206

I am currently looking for graduate students and a post doc interested in the quantitative aspects of dynamical systems theory. I work closely with several interdisciplinary teams to examine complex behavior and am currently working to have both cutting edge and approachable methods for doing systems analyses.

Jacqueline M. Chen, Ph.D.

Jackie ChenAssistant Professor, Social Psychology
Office: 811 BEHS
Phone: (801) 213-3661

My research examines how an individual's psychology is shaped by his or her social group memberships. We seek to improve scientific understanding of diverse perspectives and provide empirical findings relevant to social issues.

I am recruiting undergraduate students for research assistant positions in the SCIP Lab. Interested students should email me directly to request an application.

Elisabeth Conradt, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Developmental Psychology, Health Psychology
Office: 602 BEHS
Phone: (801) 585-2315

I am currently recruiting graduate students to work with me starting in the Fall of 2019. Students have the opportunity to learn more about the fields of behavioral epigenetics and psychobiology with the goal of carving their own research niche in these areas. We will also be collecting data with pregnant women living in poverty and, ultimately, their newborns. Students will learn about how chronic and episodic life stress experienced by the mother while pregnant may shape infant physiological susceptibilities to their early environment. Students will learn about epigenetic and physiological methods with pregnant women and with infants.

Students also have the opportunity to publish on existing data sets that include a sample of 1,388 children with prenatal substance exposure, many of whom have also experienced significant stressful events in their early lives.

Are you an undergraduate interested in joining the lab? If so review our newsletter and fill out an application which can be found at

Sarah Creem-Regehr, Ph.D.

Professor, Cognition and Neural Science | CNS
Office: 1003 BEHS
Phone: (801) 581-5045

The Visual Perception and Spatial Cognition (VPSC) laboratory has many opportunities for undergraduate research assistants to participate in all aspects of our research. Our research is fun and interactive, involving tasks measuring space perception and spatial cognition in real and virtual environments. It is a great experience to add to graduate school applications as well! If interested, please email Dr. Creem-Regehr and see our lab web page.

Dr. Creem-Regehr will be considering graduate student applicants to start in Fall 2020. Please email her with your interests.

Sheila Crowell, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Clinical Psychology, Health Psychology
Office: 1323 BEHS


Students under my training will enjoy a wide range of opportunities and will be well prepared as both scientific researchers and clinicians. My research is conducted with highly complicated individuals, many of whom are facing their most difficult life challenges. Thus, clinical skills are developed in every interaction and scientific endeavors have meaningful implications for prevention and treatment. Currently, I am co-directing an NIMH-funded study of emotion dysregulation among pregnant women and potential epigenetic effects on children. With my collaborators, I also have ongoing research on adolescent depression, adult substance use, genetics of suicide, childhood trauma, personality disorders, sleep, and relationship processes. Almost all of my work involves rich biological and contextual measures (e.g., psychophysiological methods, interpersonal dynamics), with the goal of promoting a nuanced understanding of risk and resilience. The psychological conditions I study affect individuals from all backgrounds, although the burden is most often borne by those with few available resources for treatment. Students who are interested in examining issues of diversity, disempowerment, and oppression will find the Department of Psychology to be an engaging environment for this line of research.

Those students who are eager to pursue research-oriented academic careers will fit particularly well in the Department of Psychology and the University of Utah. The department houses several state-of-the-art psychophysiological laboratories and offers excellent statistical and methodological training. The University has fMRI facilities and a top genetics department. I personally provide didactic training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), a highly effective intervention for reducing emotion dysregulation, substance use, personality disorder traits, self-injury, and risk for suicide. I received my DBT training directly from Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., the treatment developer. Salt Lake City is a metropolitan hub of the West with access to abundant outdoor recreation activities, an ideal setting to balance intellectual and personal development.

I am intending to accept a graduate student in 2019 and I encourage interested students to review the work on my ResearchGate page, which I update regularly.

Pascal R. Deboeck, Ph.D.

Professor, Developmental Psychology
Office: 609 BEHS
Phone: (801) 585-5904

I am currently looking for graduate students interested in combining expertise in quantitative methods for modeling repeated observations with Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Cognition & Neural Science, or Clinical Psychology.

Lisa Diamond, Ph.D.

Professor, Developmental Psychology, Health Psychology
Office: 623 BEHS
Phone: (801) 585-7491

I am currently seeking motivated undergraduate students to assist with my current research project investigating the health implications of sexual activity among heterosexual and nonheterosexual women. Contact me directly for more information!

Trafton Drew, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Cognition and Neural Science | CNS
Office: 1003 BEHS
Phone: (801) 585-2882

I am currently seeking motivated graduate and undergraduate students to assist with a variety of current research projects which involve studying:
1). The role of visual attention in diagnostic radiology.
2). The electrophysiological underpinnings of visual attention and working memory.
3.) The interactions between searching through memory and searching through visual space.

Contact me directly for more information!
Graduate students would ideally have some experience with EEG, eye-tracking, or working closely with MDs / medical professionals. Some programming experience (Matlab-Psychtoolbox, ERPLAB, EEGLAB, Presentation, PsychoPy...E-Prime) is a definite plus.

Bruce Ellis, Ph.D.

Professor, Developmental Psychology, Health Psychology
Office: 502 BEHS


Dr. Ellis will be accepting new graduate students to work with him starting in the Fall of 2019. He works with students interested in studying developmental adaptations to stress.

Matthew Euler, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Clinical Psychology
Office: 1320a BEHS
Phone: (801) 581-6977

Graduate: I am hoping to recruit a new graduate student for the class entering Fall 2019. Students who are apt to have the best fit with the lab are those seeking a career in clinical neuropsychology, and who also have a strong interest in electrophysiology and neural mechanisms of cognition. Prior experience with electrophysiology, neuroimaging, and/or programming is highly valued, as is prior experience in clinical settings or with patient populations.

Students who join the lab will have many opportunities to contribute to the projects described above, and to develop their own novel directions that are consistent with the general laboratory focus.

Michael Himle, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Clinical Psychology
Office: 1330 BEHS
Phone: (801) 581-7529

I am interested in taking a new graduate student in the Fall 2017 application cycle. Graduate students who work in my lab typically come in with interests in one of the areas described above. Prior research experience and a basic working knowledge of cognitive-behavioral theory will make candidates more competitive.The University of Utah Clinical Psychology program is committed to the clinical science model and strives to provide well-rounded, balanced training in research and empirically-informed clinical practice. Consistent with this model, I make it a priority that graduate students who work in my lab will not only learn to conduct high-quality research, but will also learn how to deliver cognitive-behavioral treatment for disorders in which CBT is indicated. Students who have significant interests in both conducting research and translating that research into evidence-based practice will fit best with my lab. In addition, students in my lab typically have a strong research focus and are actively engaged in numerous research projects beyond the program requirements of a thesis and dissertation. Students in my lab will have many opportunities to present and publish research.In addition, I am always looking for undergraduate students who are interested in gaining research experience in one of the aforementioned (or related areas). 

Zac Imel, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Counseling Psychology
Adjunct Associate Professor, Psychiatry

The Laboratory for Psychotherapy Science is currently recruiting motivated undergraduate research assistants. The Laboratory for Psychotherapy Science investigates human interactions in psychotherapy, and the psychological processes that unfold in psychotherapy and medical interactions. Research assistants will be primarily involved in a new project focusing on interactions between doctors and patients during medical appointments, and will be responsible for coding primary care provider visits. Research assistants will also have the opportunity to participate in weekly lab meetings, become involved in research projects, and learn about psychotherapy research, health services research, and advanced quantitative methods. Prior research experience is a preferred, but not required. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and be able to commit 5 hours a week. If you are interested in this position, please email your resume/CV, unofficial transcript, and times of availability to If you have questions about the position please e-mail

Ansuk Jeong, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor (Lecturer), Social Psychology, Health Psychology
Office: MCB5056 BEHS

These are what will start in January 2016. The details will be provided in the near future.
1. Self-concept and well-being of people with chronic illness: A multisite study
- Three major hospitals in South Korea will participate in this study. The department of neurology and the department of family medicine will be the sites of recruitement. A quantitiative survey will be conducted.
2. North Korean defectors in South Korea: How do they make it?
- There are a few "superkids" among North Korean defectors in South Korea, where they face unexpected discrimination. A qualitative study will be conducted to examine the protective and resilient factors for their adjustment in S.Korea.

Patricia K. Kerig, Ph.D.

Professor, Clinical Psychology
Office: 1306 BEHS
Phone: (801) 585-5752

I maintain an active lab group and involve students in all phases and aspects of my research. Undergraduates wishing to join our lab are welcome to complete an application, available on our lab webpage.

For aspiring graduate students wishing to apply to our clinical program under my mentorship, please note that I am planning to review applications  during the current application cycle (for admission in the Fall of 2018).

Monisha Pasupathi, Ph.D.

Professor, Developmental Psychology
Office: 634 BEHS
Phone: (801) 585-9175

We are currently seeking volunteer research assistants to help with all of our projects. For credit only, 2-3 credits, 6-9 hours per week. Students interested in ultimately doing a senior thesis are especially encouraged to apply. Email Professor Monisha Pasupathi ( with: GPA in psychology, past coursework, research and career interests long-term. You'll get a response from the faculty member (Wainryb or Pasupathi) or graduate student whose projects have the best fit with your interests.

Brennan Payne, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Cognition and Neural Science
Office: 1034 BEHS

Interested in joining the lab? Contact me for information about opportunities at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral level.

  1. Undergraduate: Research assistants, honors thesis students, and human factors certificate program.
  2. Graduate: I will be considering graduate applications for students in the CNS program in the Fall of 2018. Contact me to discuss potential opportunities. Students with backgrounds and interests in cognitive and developmental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and psycholinguistics are encouraged to apply. Specific experience with cognitive electrophysiology, eye-tracking, MATLAB and R is a major plus.
  3. Postdoctoral: Please contact me to discuss potential for funding through ongoing grants, internal funding mechanisms at Utah, and external funding (e.g., NRSA).

Lee Raby, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Developmental Psychology
Office: 603 BEHS


My research focuses on longstanding questions regarding the significance of early parent-child relationship experiences for children’s behavioral and biological development. Through my research, I hope to better understand how various early caregiving experiences influence individuals’ stress physiology, representations related to attachment, cognitive skills, and self-regulation strategies. Currently, I am investigating these issues among families with adopted children. The two-fold goal of this work is to deepen our understanding of the interplay of children’s genetically based characteristics and environmental experiences while simultaneously providing information about how parent-child relationship experiences can promote the healthy development of children.

Graduate Students

I am currently recruiting graduate students to work with me beginning Fall 2019. Interested students are encouraged to contact me to learn about specific research and training opportunities.

Undergraduate Students

There are several opportunities for undergraduate students to assist with research projects related to the development of children who have experienced early adversity. If interested, please go to to learn more about the lab. On the 'Students' tab, you will find a newsletter outlining the lab’s current activities, information on being a research assistant, and an application to apply as a RA.

David Sanbonmatsu, Ph.D.

Professor, Social Psychology
Office: 702 BEHS
Phone: (801) 581-8505

I will be recruiting a student to begin graduate study in the fall of 2017.

Jeanine Stefanucci, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Cognition and Neural Science | CNS, Health Psychology
Office: 1031 BEHS
Phone: (801) 585-7895

I am considering taking a new graduate student for the fall of 2017. Please email me your credentials if interested.

If you are interested in joining my lab as an undergraduate research assistant, please email me before the start of the fall 2016/spring 2017 semester to see if we have openings.

David Strayer, Ph.D.

Professor, Cognition and Neural Science | CNS
Office: 1002 BEHS
Phone: (801) 581-5037

We regularly have undergraduate research assistant volunteer positions available at the beginning of Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters. Contact my graduate students (listed here) for more information.

My Applied Cognition Laboratory accepts graduate students roughly every other year. Feel free to contact me or my graduate students (listed below) if you have questions about this year's application process.

Yana Suchy, Ph.D.

Professor, Clinical Psychology
Office: 1301-B BEHS
Phone: (801) 585-0796

Graduate Study

I will be recruiting a new graduate student for Fall 2016. I will be looking for students who are interested in neuropsychological research on normal and abnormal aging, and on identifying (a) early preclinical markers of cognitive decline among older adults and (b) markers that signal risk of executive lapses in daily life, as they relate to the ConVExA model (described above). This line of research may include examination of older adults' early changes in executive functioning, emotion regulation, or complex motor programming/motor learning. Additionally, in collaboration with Dr. Paula Williams, we are also interested in examining personality changes that signal incipient cognitive decline in old age. These questions would all be examined within the framework of the currently ongoing longitudinal project, as well as the currently ongoing cognitive intervention project. Students in my laboratory are motivated to generate publications, and are generally well-published by the time they leave graduate school. Representative publications from these lines of research in our lab include Kraybill, Thorgusen, & Suchy (2012), Franchow & Suchy (2015), Euler, Niermeyer, & Suchy (2015), and Suchy, Kraybill, & Franchow (2011). Within this general framework, I encourage students to identify their own niche and to develop their own line of programmatic research.

Competitive applicants will demonstrate a strong research interest in studying neurocognitive markers of preclinical/subclinical cognitive change, and will have some experience working with older adults. Experience with administration of neuropsychological tests is also valued and strongly encouraged. With respect to neurocognitive domains of interest, applicants should have some conceptual understanding of the construct of executive functioning, as it relates to either motor learning/motor programming, or to emotion regulation.

Although my lab is currently full, I do consider admitting new volunteers on an ongoing basis. If you are interested in the line of research described above, and you are a highly motivated to learn about and contribute to all aspects of research (e.g., recruitment of participants, data collection, data entry), feel free to contact myself of one of my graduate students. We generally admit new volunteers for one semester on a trial basis. Following the trial period, we often require a one year commitment and the ability to contribute at least 5 hours a week to the lab activities. Hours are highly flexible.

Cecilia Wainryb, Ph.D.

Professor, Developmental Psychology
Office: 601 BEHS
Phone: (801) 581-8929

We are currently seeking volunteer research assistants to help with projects relating to: social and moral development; self and identity development; parent-child interactions; peer interactions; group identity and discrimination. Depending on individual interests and experience, volunteers may be involved in recruiting participants, assisting with interviews, transcribing audio files, entering and coding data. If you are interested in being a part of our research team, please email me ( ) and tell me a bit about yourself. Including a copy of your transcript and academic/employment references would also be helpful.Students interested in doing a senior thesis are especially encouraged to apply. Email me with: GPA in psychology, past coursework, research and career interests long-term.

Last Updated: 9/12/19