Your  Account:

RA Positions in Faculty Labs

In addition to teaching and other duties, most tenure-line faculty in the Psychology Department have active research labs focused on specific topics within psychology (e.g.  Romantic Relationships, Stress, Autism) in which they are continuously collecting data, analyzing it, and preparing it for publication. Being a Research Assistant (RA) in a faculty member’s research lab is one of the best ways to get research and applied experience while in school – not to mention, it looks great on your resume and on your applications to graduate school! 

Although working as an RA in a research lab is a time intensive and demanding role that requires a high degree of responsibility and professionalism, it can be a great way to get a strong letter of recommendation or job reference from a faculty member too while also working in a team, learning more about research methods and building skills that can be applied to a variety of different careers. Often, you can also get Psych 499 credit (which counts as a psychology elective) in exchange for your work in a faculty member's lab (for more information regarding PSYC 498/499, please visit FAQS ABOUT INDEPENDENT STUDY (498) AND INDEPENDENT RESEARCH (499) ). 

Faculty Name Research Area(s) Job Information How To Apply
Dr. Daniel Berry Social Psychology | Neuroscience | 

Opening Date: Spring 2022

Position Details: Our lab broadly focuses on how people respond to others in need and show kindness to one another. Specifically, we adopt a multimethod social cognitive and affective neuroscience approach to examine the role of attention and deliberate cognitive processes (e.g., mindfulness meditation) in enhancing empathy and kindness. Research assistants are given the opportunity to help with one or two ongoing projects being conducted in the lab. Students serve as experimenters and deliver protocols to participants (currently remotely), code and analyze behavioral and electroencephalographic data, conduct literature searchers and related tasks for meta-analyses, present research at conferences, and even design and implement their own studies.

Requirements:  The lab takes a holistic application approach. Although we will ask you about your grades, previous courses taken, availability, and year in school, we have no minimum requirements. Students should be dependable, professional, detail oriented, and have interest in learning how to conduct and communicate about psychological science. If you are interested in joining the lab please use this link to apply (SAP Lab Application).

Go to Dr. Berry's Faculty Site, click on the "People" tab. Scroll down to section titled "Join Us" and follow the link to our application page.

Please note that to complete the application you must have a resume or CV. It is best to prepare this prior to starting the application.

Dr. Nancy Caine Comparative Psychology |

Opening Date: Fall 2020 or Spring 2021(depending on campus approval for proposed research under COVID restrictions)

Openings: Ongoing

Position Details: 2-3 Research Assistants.

Research assistants participate in: development of research ideas; preparation of stimuli; data collection in both the lab and field; coding videos; data analysis and interpretation.

Requirements: RAs will have completed all lower division course work and PSYC 360 with grades of B or better. Willingness to work outside in hot or cold weather is essential. RAs must be reliable, detail-oriented, and self-motivated, and must have a real interest in the study of animal behavior from an evolutionary perspective. Students who are simply looking for lab experience and are not truly interested in animal behavior research will not be good candidates.


I will talk with you in order to determine if there is potential for a good match between your goals/interests and the goals and activities of the Caine lab. Please note that I may not be able to include undergraduate research assistants until the COVID situation is better resolved.

Eligible students should contact me to begin a conversation.  In that email, please confirm that you have in fact met the requirements listed in the left column. Also, tell me when you expect to graduate and what your career goals are.  I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.   email Dr. Caine 
Dr. Dustin Calvillo Cognitive Psychology |

Apply by: December 1, 2019

Start Date: Spring 2020

Position Details: Research assistants assist in developing research ideas; creating stimuli; collecting data in the laboratory; coding, entering, and analyzing data; and preparing abstracts and manuscripts.

Requirements: Minimum requirements include completion of PSYC 220 (Statistics), 230 (Research methods), and 362 (Cognitive processes) with a minimum grade of a B; minimum overall GPA of 3.0 (3.5 GPA or higher is preferred); commitment to work in the lab for two consecutive semesters; and interest in cognitive psychology.

Interested students should email Dr. Calvillo to request an application.
Dr. Nate Carnes Social Psychology | Political Psychology | Evolutionary Psychology |

Openings: Ongoing

Start Date: Spring 2019

Position Details: Student researchers work as collaborators in the scientific process. You will engage in guided readings, attend lab meetings, formulate research questions and the study materials to test those questions, analyze data, and write up findings (especially if you are proactive and hard-working). Research assistants also act as experimenters conducting behavioral economic games, coders for qualitative data, and more depending on your skillset.

Requirements: Interest in morality or statistics. Available for 10 hours per week. GPA of 3.0 or better. Completion or current enrollment in PSYC 220 and 230 with a grade of B or better.

Email Dr. Carnes with your CV.

We will have a face-to-face meeting to discuss your academic background, career aspirations, and why you want to work in the Moral Economics and Dynamics Lab.

Dr. Haylee DeLuca Bishop  Developmental Psychology

Openings: No current openings; likely openings for Spring 2021

Position Details: Research assistants are given the opportunity to help develop and conduct research projects. This includes conducting literature reviews, engaging in guided readings, developing research questions and identifying ways to test hypotheses, recruiting participants, cleaning and analyzing data, writing up results, attending lab meetings, and other tasks as needed.

Requirements: Minimum requirements include an interest in developmental psychology, availability to work for 10 hours per week, a commitment for at least two semesters, and a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

 How to apply: Go to and click on the CRAYA Lab tab; Complete the lab application and email it to Dr. DeLuca Bishop at


Dr. Elisa Grant-Vallone Organizational Psychology |

Openings: No current openings

No openings for Spring 2020
Dr. Gerardo M. Gonzalez Clinical Psychology |

Opening Date: August 2019

Openings: Ongoing

Position Details: 1-2 Research Assistants

Learn animation application skills (content, scene creation, testing, evaluation, data collection, data analyses, write-up results)

Requirements: Students must be able to meet for a one-hour weekly lab meeting and commitment to a minimum of 5 hours per week.

Email Dr. Gonzalez
Dr. Sharon Hamill Developmental Psychology |

 Openings: No current openings

Position Details: Train to become a mentor in the Youth Resiliency Project. This project requires that we work in local middle schools and high schools with youth who have experienced trauma and toxic stress. Students will assist with the development of materials, program evaluation activities, presenting data at conferences and writing manuscripts.

Requirements: Students must be able to meet for a one-hour weekly lab meeting and commitment to a minimum of 5 hours per week.

No openings 
Dr. Alex Huynh  Social Psychology

Openings: Accepting applications for Fall 2021

Position details:  Students will take part in the development of research ideas, recruiting participants, designing surveys, and completing literature searches. Students will also be responsible for data entry and data management (e.g., data cleaning through excel/spss). See for the type of research done in this research lab. When the time is right, 1-hr weekly lab meetings will occur.

Requirements: Ability to volunteer 5-10 hours a week. There are no strict requirements, but students who have completed Psyc 220 (statistics), 230 (research methods) and 332 (social psychology) are preferred. Previous research lab experience is also a plus. You must be motivated, dependable, professional, and detail-oriented.

 Email: explaining why you’re interested in joining the lab. If you have a grade transcript or CV, that would also be appreciated in the email. 
Dr. Sasha Kimel Social Psychology |  Cultural Psychology |

 Openings: Please email Dr. Kimel (ideally with a copy of your resume or CV) regarding the possibility of Fall 2021 openings!

Position Details: Research assistants in the lab are often given the opportunity to help conduct several different research projects a semester and also tend to be involved in a variety of different tasks. RAs are often involved in participant recruitment, running experiments, providing feedback on study designs, coding and analyzing data, graphic design and/or design editing, conducting literature searches, and assisting with the writing of IRB and grant applications. Advanced students also sometimes design their own studies.

Requirements: You do not need to have previous research experience! Rather, it is critical that you are self-motivated, have high attention to detail, are responsible and have timely email communication. It is also critical that you are able to participate for Psych 499 credit at 10 hours a week. Strong preference will be given to RAs who are able to commit to working in the lab for at least a year.... A background in computer programming is a plus!


 To apply, please visit and follow the directions on how to complete the application process
Dr. Janice Phung Developmental Psychology |

Opening Date: Fall 2020 application to start Spring 2020 (minimum one-year commitment)

Openings: Ongoing

Position Details: Participant recruitment and enrollment, connect with community organizations, data management (e.g., data processing, data entry, data cleaning), collecting data from children, adolescents, and adults, conducting literature searches, participation in lab meetings, presenting on research conducted.

Requirements: Students must be able to meet for a one-hour weekly lab meeting and commitment to a minimum of 5 hours per week. More information:


Complete an application through the Lab Website:

Dr. Kim Pulvers Clinical Psychology  | Health |

Opening Date: Full for Fall 2021/Spring 2022

Position Details: Survey, interview, and bio-behavioral measures to identify mental health factors associated with tobacco and marijuana use; support interventions to reduce tobacco use

Requirements: Rigorous attention to detail and strong organizational skills, critical thinking/problem solving, interpersonal skills, and fast responsivity to email communication.

Must commit at least ten hours per week and two semesters and have completed Research Methods.

Go to Dr. Pulvers’ Faculty Site and click on the Prospective Students tab. Complete the lab application and email it to Dr. Pulvers at

Dr. Wesley Schultz Social Psychology |

 Openings: Summer, 2021; Fall, 2021

Position Details: Research in the Applied Social Psychology Lab aims to understand and solve social problems. One of my ongoing lines of research focuses on conservation and environmental protection, including behavioral studies on energy, water, recycling, litter, and climate change. Undergraduate Research Assistants provide support across a range of research activities, but especially focused on data collection, analysis, and writing. No prior experience is required, but students should be enrolled in courses at CSUSM, and have completed the lower division requirements for their major. Students should be able to commit to at least 10 hours per week of lab responsibilities, and enroll in PSYC 498 (Independent Study). Hours are flexible, and depending on the project, could involve off-campus work associated with field experiments.

More information about my research and lab is available at:

 Email Dr. Schultz to inquire
Dr. Keith Trujillo Psychopharmacology | Behavioral Neuroscience |

Openings: Ongoing

Position Details: Student researchers spend time reviewing the background scientific literature that provides the foundation for research in the laboratory, as well as procedures used in the lab. In addition, they contribute to ongoing studies, participate in the development of research ideas, perform supervised experiments, analyze and interpret data, and present at conferences.

Requirements: Completion of PSYC 360 (Biopsychology) and commitment to work in the lab for two consecutive semesters. Must be reliable, detail-oriented, and self-motivated, and have strong desire to work with rodent animal models to better understand the brain and behavior. Some requirements may be waived for highly motivated students. Preference for students interested in pursuing graduate study in behavioral neuroscience or related areas.

Email Dr. Trujillo with a resume/CV, and a 1 page statement of introduction, including personal background, academic background, and future career interests.
Dr. Kimberly Vanderbilt Developmental Psychology | Social Psychology | 

Opening Date: Ongoing

Position Details: Travel to off-campus children's museum to interview children in our studies, and interact with families.

Requirements: Experience working/interacting with children, availability from 10a-12p, at least 1 day a week, Mon-Sat.

Go to Dr. Vanderbilt's Faculty Site, go to the "rockstar lab" tab, download and complete the application at the bottom of the page. OR email 
Dr. Allison Jobin Developmental Psychology | Clinical Psychology

Openings: Ongoing

Position Details: Research conducted in the SPARCC Lab is focused on treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families and the delivery of effective evidence-based practices in community settings. Student researchers assist with literature reviews, participant recruitment and enrollment, data collection/entry, behavioral coding, and related tasks. Advanced students may be involved in the delivery of intervention procedures to study participants.

Requirements: Minimum requirements include the ability to work 5-10 hours/week with a commitment of at least 2 semesters and an interest in working with children, families, and community providers. Preference for students demonstrating curiosity about treatment for children with ASD and/or related childhood disorders, professionalism, attention to detail, accountability, and openness to learning and feedback.

 Email Dr. Jobin to express interest, including your CV/resume. Please tell me a bit about your interest in joining the lab, relevant academic, professional, or personal background, and future career interests. I will reach out to you to set up a meeting.


Dr. Anna Woodcock Social Psychology | 

Opening Date: Fall 2020 and Spring 2021

Position Details: Research assistants help conduct longitudinal and experimental research projects. This includes conducting literature reviews, data entry, participant contact management, creating and testing online surveys, hypotheses, recruiting participants, cleaning and analyzing data, creating figures, and attending lab meetings.

Requirements: Ability to work 10 hours per week and a commitment for a least two semesters. Applicants with the following qualities will be given the highest consideration: interest/match between student goals and goals of the research lab, professionalism (e.g., communication skills, responsibility, timeliness), motivation and openness to learning and feedback, curiosity, and a demonstrated commitment to the lab.

Interested students should email Dr. Anna Woodcock Applied Social Psychology Lab.
Dr. Aleksandria Perez Grabow Clinical Psychology | Counseling Psychology | 

Openings: Currently not accepting RA applications for Spring 2021

 Position Details: Participant recruitment and enrollment, data management (e.g., data entry, data cleaning through Excel/SPSS, monitoring electronic data collection), collecting data from children, adolescents, and adults, coding responses, literature searches, participation in lab meetings, and presenting on research conducted.

Requirements: Ability to work 10 hours per week and a commitment for a least two semesters. Applicants with the following qualities will be given the highest consideration: interest/match between student goals and goals of the research lab, professionalism (e.g., communication skills, responsibility, timeliness), motivation and openness to learning and feedback, curiosity, and a demonstrated commitment to the lab.

Interested students can download and complete the application on Dr. Grabow's Faulty Site. Please email the completed application to 
Dr. Carrick Williams Visual Cognition | 

Openings: Spring 2020 & Fall 2020

Position Details: Develop research ideas; Run experiments in visual cognition, including informed consent procedures and debriefing participants; processing and analyzing data; participation in laboratory meetings.

Requirements: 3.0 GPA minimum and previously passed PSYC 362 with a B or better. Ability to work 10 hours per week. Motivated and interested in cognitive psychology. Committed to work in the lab for at least 2 semesters.

Email Dr. Williams to request an application.