NSF REU Site: Michigan Summer Program in Cognition and Early Development

Applications for our 2021 program have closed. Please check back in December 2021 for information on our program for 2022.

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

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 each other, think about the minds of others, and acquire language, as well as how language shapes children’s thinking. We invite students from both the University of Michigan and other universities to apply!

Our 10-week program will run from June 1st to August 6th, 2021. The program will be fully remote this year, with opportunities for online testing. Interns do not need to be in Ann Arbor to participate in the program. 

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 online 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 on various topics (e.g., applying to graduate school and writing research statements), which will all be hosted online. At the end of the program, interns will present their projects to members of the Psychology Department at an online 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 have an NSF REU grant that would offer full stipends to competitive candidates, with priority given to those who are first-generation college students or from other underrepresented backgrounds. To be eligible for this stipend, 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 would 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.