Degree In Sight

It may be chilly out now, but applications for summer science programs will soon be due. Whether you're thinking about going to grad school next year, or you're a grad student looking to pick up lab skills, summer science programs can boost your future research career and provide you with invaluable professional connections.

Programs span a variety of topics and research areas, so a little Googling could turn up the perfect match for you. For a sampling of programs, read on:

  • Each year, APA's Advanced Training Institutes immerse advanced graduate students, postdocs and psychology faculty in cutting-edge topics and new research techniques. Past institutes have covered such subjects as data mining, structural equation modeling, and research methods with diverse racial and ethnic groups. See what's being offered this summer.

  • At the APA Minority Fellowship Program's Psychology Summer Institute, graduate students, especially members of ethnic-minority groups, get mentored by top researchers and practitioners. Over six days in Washington, D.C., participants learn many skills, including grant writing, how to give a successful presentation, how to get published and how to find funding. The association covers travel and lodging expenses for all participants. More information.

  • Not sure if you want to visit Europe or study social psychology this summer? Do both at the European Association of Experimental Social Psychology Summer School, which will be in Greece this coming summer. Exclusively for graduate students, the program offers two-week courses on such topics as attitudes, gender and sexuality, intergroup relations and social cognition. Most attendees are European, but the program reserves five slots for American students, and scholarships are available to defray tuition and travel costs. More information.

  • Students with a neuropsychology bent can network with like minds at the Summer Program in the Neurological Sciences, sponsored by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Graduate, undergraduate and high school students join research teams that are working to understand stroke, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, and other diseases and disorders of the nervous system. Participants earn a salary but must find their own housing. Learn more.

  • The Center for Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh offers rising sophomore or junior undergraduates 10 weeks of research experience in the center's state-of-the-art labs. Under the supervision of a faculty member, students complete a project in neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, molecular biology, brain imaging, computer simulations, neuropsychology or behavioral assessments. Students also get free housing and a $3,000 stipend. To apply, visit online.

  • Work one-on-one with professors conducting research in human factors, industrial/organizational psychology or health psychology at Clemson University's Summer Program in Applied Psychology. College sophomores and juniors can apply for the summer-long program, which offers a $5,000 stipend. More information.

  • Undergraduate students who'd like to gain research experience on such topics as children's language learning, memory, reasoning and numerical reasoning can apply to work for nine weeks in the Johns Hopkins Laboratory for Child Development. Students work as a full-fledged member of the lab team, attending lab meetings and helping to run experiments, and can earn college credit and a stipend of up to $1,800. For more information, e-mail.

  • The Summer Research Initiative at the University of Maryland offers ethnic-minority and other undergraduate students an eight-week exploration in such fields as clinical, cognitive, developmental, industrial/organizational and social psychology. In addition to lab experience, students go to lectures on the ins and outs of grad school and connect with mentors. The university provides round-trip airfare, room, board and a $2,700 stipend. To apply, visit online.

  • Practicing psychologists conduct research, too, and undergraduate students at Pace University's Counseling Center Summer Internship Program learn that firsthand. Participants help conduct psychology research projects while also working alongside campus therapists as they provide outreach, counseling and other services to the students and faculty. Interns take part in ongoing, weekly seminars that provide training on professional issues, clinical issues, research and outreach techniques. This internship is unpaid, but the university frequently provides low-cost housing to participants. More information.

  • Work with state-of-the-art technology through Colorado State University's Summer Program on Mind and Brain for undergraduates. Participants gain full access to the university's EEG systems, driving simulators and eye-trackers to conduct their own nine-week perception, cognition or cognitive neuroscience research project. Students receive full room and board on campus, a $4,050 stipend, up to $500 for research expenses, and up to $500 for travel. Visit online to apply.

  • At Duke University's 10-week Mechanisms of Behavior Program, undergraduate students work with a top researcher to understand animal behavior through neurobiology. Students learn a variety of lab skills, including animal husbandry, surgical techniques and behavioral observation. Participants receive room and board and a stipend. For more information, e-mail program coordinator Christopher Allen.

By Sadie F. Dingfelder
gradPSYCH Staff

Further Reading, Resources

  • Div. 41 (American Psychology-Law Society) student section.

  • Brodsky, S.L. (2009). Principles and Practice of Trial Consultation. New York: Guilford Press.

  • Bush, S.S., Connell, M.A., & Denney, R.L. (2006). Ethical Practice in Forensic Psychology: A Systematic Model for Decision Making. Washington, DC: APA.

  • Kuehnle, K., & Connell, M. (2008). The Evaluation of Child Sexual Abuse Allegations: A Comprehensive Guide to Assessment and Testimony. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.