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Psychology
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  • Student research

    Undergraduate research opportunities

    The Department of Psychology encourages undergraduate majors to be involved in research opportunities. Common methods for becoming involved in research include: 

    1. Working with a faculty member as a research apprentice (credit via PSY308).
    2. Completing the Psychology departmental Honors program and/or designing independent research with a faculty member.
    3. Designing an independent research project in conjunction with a faculty member who is willing to oversee the project (credit via PSY481).
    4. Some students will be eligible for the McNair Scholars Program - please review their website.

    Gaining experience with psychological research

    Some instructors offer extra credit for participating in psychological research conducted by UW-L's Psychology Department, but anyone can volunteer to participate in these studies. To browse and enroll in psychology studies currently being conducted, please visit the Sona System website (UW-L's web-based system for signing up to participant in psychological research).

    Grant & research opportunities

    1. Information regarding domestic and international grants for UW-L undergraduate research can be found at http://www.uwlax.edu/urc/.  Examples of successful psychology grants are linked below under "examples."

    2. The McNair Program - McNair Scholars must either be low-income, first generation college students AND/OR be members of a traditionally underrepresented group in their field (usually African American, Latino/a, Native American and/or Asian Pacific Islander). It is STRONGLY recommended that psychology majors apply to McNair after enrolling in or completing PSY331.

    3. Resources for external scholarships and research experiences for psychology undergraduates.

     

    Presentation & publication opportunities

    Presentation & publication opportunities

    The most common conferences at which UW-L psychology students present their work are listed below (UW-L Celebration, MPA, & NCUR). Several other presentation options are available - please discuss with your faculty advisor. Each conference and journal has its own application processes and guidelines (one size does not fit all).

     *As undergraduates, students may present the same poster at multiple events.  However, job applications, graduate school essays and resumes should be clear that each presentation was regarding the same research project.

    **All projects presented involving human participants must have received IRB approval.

    UW-L Celebration of Student Research and Creativity (Spring Semester)
    The Annual UW-L Celebration of Student Research & Creativity  

    Dates

    • Abstract due - Late Feb
    • Conference - Mid April

    Student details

    • Psychology Students: Encouraged
    • Psychology students who received research grants: required to submit and present (poster or oral)
    • Psychology Honors Students: must present in a conference forum (UW-L Celebration is a recommended forum - as a poster)
    MPA - Midwestern Psychological Association (late April/early May) 
    Midwestern Psychological Association (MPA) - Chicago, IL

    Dates

    • Abstract due - Early Nov
    • Conference - Early May

    Student details

    • Pyschology Students: Optional
    • Psychology students who received research grants: Optional
    • Psychology Honors Students: Encouraged
    NCUR - National Council on Undergraduate Research
    NCUR   UW-L sponsors a set of students. NOTE: If multiple authors, only 1 student can be funded (no exceptions)

    Dates

    • Abstract due - Early Dec
    • Conference April

    Student details

    • Psychology Students: Optional
    • Psychology students who received research grants: Optional
    • Psychology Honors Students: Optional
    Publication opportunities

    Publication is an option for students who have completed strong research designs with interesting results.  Follow the author instructions for whichever journal you choose exactly.  You may not have the same article under review at more than one journal at a time.

    Outlets

    Considerations

    • Undergraduate research journals provide quicker turn-around time for reviews and are more accepting of design issues such as smaller samples.  Turn around time is important to consider for graduate school applications deadlines. 
    • Academic content journals are more prestigious and have a larger audience. 
    • Authorship?  Make sure that student author(s) and faculty advisors are comfortable with whatever authorship decisions are made. Link to helpful chart regarding authorship and a sample publication contract
    • Faculty members make better contact authors (need not be first author) as they tend to have more stable contact information. 

    Preparing and printing a poster

    Posters are a visual medium - reduce text! Samples are hanging on the 3rd floor of Graff Main Hall.

    Prepare a 2-minute oral "overview" for people who ask "What did you find?" or "Tell me about your study?" that involves you directing them visually to key components of your poster/study. 

    • Step 1: Confirm the appropriate size poster needed for your particular conference. If you are presenting at more than one conference, make your poster in the smallest size.
      • NCUR - no larger than 46" x 40" (width X height)
      • MPA - no larger than 5' X 3' (width X height)
      • NASP - no larger than 5' X 3' (width X height)
    • Step 2: Design your poster as a single PowerPoint slide AFTER setting the slide to be the ultimate size of the poster wanted.  Video showing how to set a slide to your poster size. 
      • You can download examples of templates from one of several sites - make sure to download the correct size.
      • Title lettering should be at least 1" tall. For the primary text no font should be smaller than 18 and we recommend 22-24. 
      • Please include UW-L Logo on the poster - download 
      • Please include your faculty advisor's name and a reference to the psychology department: e.g., Faculty Sponsor - Alex O'Brien; Psychology
      • To reduce text, we recommend reducing your abstract, intro, method, results, and discussion to one double-spaced page per section FIRST before placing cutting paste text to the poster template.
      • Keep APA style for referencing and presenting statistical data - but for text presentation, tables and figures you are freed up to be more creative. You may use bullets and you may bold or highlight important components. In addition, for the format of the poster, you may want do center the results visually and place the other elements based on what makes sense and is easy to read.
      • Grant recipients should include an acknowledgement phrase.  Examples: This research was supported by an UW-L Undergraduate Research Grant."  OR "The authors gratefully acknowledge a grant from the UW-L Undergraduate Research and Creativity Committee."
    • Step 3: Have your advisor review your poster for typos/errors etc.  

    • Step 4: Printing your poster. PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR POSTER FOR PRINTING A WEEK IN ADVANCE. We recommend against lamination - it makes the posters difficult to read. 
      • Grant recipients should work with Sheri Craig (Psychology's Administrative Assistant) to submit the order to DigiCopy electronically through the department's account - making sure to let her know if you have grant money to help pay for the cost. 
      • Graduate students should apply for funding through Graduate Studies Office.
      • If you do not have funding through the university, we recommend DigiCopy (mention UW-L for a discount and have your student ID card). You can submit your file online.  
      • The cost will be ~$30.
      • Check your final printing for errors before presenting.
    The department would appreciate keeping your posters after you present (bring to 335 GMH). 

    Examples of student grants and presentations

    GRANTS

    Undergraduate research grant submissions (2009 - current)

    PRESENTATIONS

    UW-L Celebration of Student Research & Creativity - Psychology Posters - 2014 

    NCUR 2013 - list of psychology students' titles and faculty advisors