Michigan Summer Program in Cognition and Early Development

2023 Cohort

Applications for our Summer 2024 program are now closed.

*** Please click here for frequently asked questions. If your question is not listed here, please email us at MSPICED-admin@umich.edu ***

The Michigan Summer Program in Cognition & Early Development (MSPICED) is jointly hosted by four developmental psychology laboratories led by Drs. Susan Gelman, Nicole Gardner-Neblett, Ioulia Kovelman, and Felix Warneken.

We are seeking motivated students to participate firsthand in developmental psychology research. Our research investigates the cognitive and social foundations of young children’s behavior. In particular, we study how children cooperate with others, form concepts of the natural and social world, as well as acquire language and develop literacy skills. We invite students from both the University of Michigan and other institutions to apply!

Our program will run from June 3rd to August 2nd of 2024. We expect the program to be fully in-person this year.

Each summer intern will be paired with a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow mentor (see Researchers) to work on a research project. Interns will gain experience in a variety of research activities, including conducting experimental studies with children, processing and analyzing data using state-of-the-art statistical software, recruiting and scheduling families, and helping with study design. Interns will also be introduced to developmental neuroscience research methods, including functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS).

In addition to working on specific research projects, interns will attend weekly lab meetings, reading groups, statistical analysis workshops, and professional development seminars (e.g., on applying to graduate programs and writing research statements). At the end of the program, interns will present their projects to members of the Psychology Department at a poster fair. 

Successful candidates should demonstrate enthusiasm in developmental psychology and in working with children and families. Previous research experience is desirable, although not required. We offer both full-time (40 hr/week) and part-time (20 hr/week) positions.

For students not enrolled at the University of Michigan, we will offer full stipends to competitive candidates, with priority given to those from groups that are historically underrepresented in STEM. To be eligible for these stipends, applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents and must commit to full-time positions (40 hr/week). External applicants are also highly encouraged to apply for funding from their home institutions or outside sources, and we will be happy to support such applications. Some additional funding may be available. 

University of Michigan students can find intramural funding through the LSA Opportunity Hub. Work study positions and additional funding may be available on a case-by-case basis for eligible students.