Carnegie Mellon University

Research Opportunities

Lori Holt's lab is working to understand the perceptual, cognitive, and neurobiological basis of how we listen. We use a combination of tools to tackle questions about how human listeners decode complex sounds like speech. Ongoing research includes testing children in auditory learning tasks, examining foreign language classroom learners, electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) imaging of auditory cognition, and computational modeling. We are happy to welcome students who are responsible, motivated, and inherently curious. Adventurous, collaborative, and adaptable personalities with a sense of humor will fit into our community well. Students have the option to volunteer or to work for course credit. Please note that a two-semester commitment is required and the first semester serves as a probationary period. If you are interested in becoming a Research Assistant, please contact our Laboratory Manager, Christi Gomez. In your email, please include a description of your interests and what you hope to gain from a research experience.

The Auditory Lab with Dr. Laurie Heller's research examines the human ability to use sound to understand what events are happening in the environment. Our perceptual experiments address whether there are acoustic cues that reveal attributes of sound events. We test discrimination of sounds, labeling of sounds, and even gestures. We have also examined how this knowledge influences which brain regions are recruited during the perception of sound events. Current questions are whether audition plays a significant role in the perception of multi-modal events and how listeners can learn to extract the information that echoes contain in order to navigate.

Student Research Assistants:
Understanding of acoustics or perception is desirable, and the willingness to learn to use Matlab. Appropriate for students with an interest in Cognitive Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, HCI, signal processing, or audiology. For Research Programmers, experience in Matlab programming and/or Unity is a plus.

Research assistants and programmers will be eligible to receive research credit. If interested, please email a resume to laurieheller@cmu.edu

Dr. Kasey Creswell’s Behavioral Health Research Lab is currently running two studies that are exploring the ways that alcohol affects young adult drinkers and the underlying factors that may relate to drinking. Our lab is looking for highly motivated and detail-oriented students who desire to get hands-on experience in the field of clinical psychology and learn valuable research skills. Please note that research assistants are expected to commit to working 9 hours per week for at least two semesters, with the option to volunteer or earn course credit. If you are interested in getting involved in our lab, please visit our website and complete the RA application, or contact our lab manager Greta Lyons to learn more.

The Cognitive Development Lab is always looking for self-motivated students interested in developmental psychology to work as Undergraduate Research Assistants! Students have the option to volunteer or to work for course credit. Please note that a two-semester commitment is required and the first semester serves as a probationary period. If you are interested in becoming a Research Assistant, please e-mail our Lab Manager, Emma Gurchiek.

Cognitive Development Lab Undergraduate Research Assistant Application Form

The Data-Driven Diversity (D3) Lab uses data and insights from psychology and behavioral economics to understand how different groups experience student success, thriving, and a sense of belonging at Carnegie Mellon University. We are always looking for interested and motivated students who want to be involved in research aimed at creating a campus where all students thrive and succeed. We emphasize involving undergraduate research assistants in all aspects of the research process, from developing ideas to collecting, analyzing, and disseminating the research. Research assistants should be able to commit about nine hours per week and actively participate in our weekly lab meeting,  and should be able to join the lab for at least a year so they can be exposed to a more comprehensive research training experience. If you're interested in joining, please visit www.d3lab.org/get-involved.

Dr. David Creswell's Health and Human Performance Lab is currently running three large studies exploring the effects of mindfulness meditation training on stress reduction in community volunteers. These studies provide RAs with the opportunity to work directly with participants, learn data processing, and more! Research assistants are expected to reliably work in the Health and Human Performance lab nine hours per week and actively participate in our weekly lab meeting. Research assistants are expected to work in this lab for at least a year so that they can get a variety of training experiences. If you are interested in getting involved, please visit our website and complete the RA application.

The Infant Language and Learning Lab is looking for new research assistants.  The ILLL studies how babies and adults learn, use, and respond to language.  We are looking for students who are responsible, motivated and have a track record of academic excellence who are available to work approximately 9 hours/week. Research assistants will receive course credit for their work and have an opportunity to learn how to recruit and test infants, as well as a variety of other experimental skills.  If you are interested, you can learn more about the research going on in the lab and can fill out the application form and return it to Erik Thiessen.

Professor Danny Oppenheimer is recruiting research assistants and rising seniors looking to do senior theses.  We are looking for students who are responsible, motivated, and who are available to work approximately 9 hours/week. Research assistants will receive course credit for their work.  Occasionally, funded projects allow for paid research assistant work in lieu of course credit.  Introductory RA positions are available for students with no previous research experience. Additionally, more advanced positions are available for students with at least 2 semesters of previous lab experience. Students interested in doing a senior thesis in the lab should reach out to us during their junior year.  If you are interested in any of these research experiences, you can learn more about the research going on in the lab by emailing Danny Oppenheimer; please include in your email what type of research experience you are interested in. 

The Memory Lab is looking for Research Assistants to help conduct a study to test a new method that may improve second language learning. We are looking for motivated and responsible undergraduate research assistants (RA's). RA’s will have the opportunity to work directly with subjects, learn about data analysis and get hands on experience working in a research lab. RA’s are expected to be available to work approximately 9 hours/week and will receive course credit. If you would like to know more about the work in the lab, please visit our website.  If you are interested in working as an RA in our lab, please fill out this form and email it to Professor Lynne Reder.