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Opportunities for Student Research

What is meant by the term "research"?

  • The term "research" refers to a study in which an investigator asks a question and then uses the scientific method to collect data to answer the question.

What should students expect?

  • Students should expect to work closely with a faculty member (and even other students) to:
    • choose a topic area within psychology
    • conduct a comprehensive literature search of the topic using electronic databases (e.g., PsychInfo)
    • develop a specific, testable hypothesis
    • choose an experimental design that adequately tests the hypothesis
    • design a methodology and procedure to systematically collect appropriate data
    • assume a primary role in data collection and entering the data into an analysis program
    • assist in analyzing the data using the appropriate statistical analyses
    • write-up the experiment according to APA Publication Style guidelines (6th edition).
    • present the findings at the annual Rowan University Research Conference

Why should students consider doing research?

  • There are several reasons why students should consider doing research:
    • Participation in research is in an important aspect of an application to graduate school in most fields within psychology and the sciences.
    • Understanding research methodology, design, and analysis forms the foundation of the Psychology program
    • Experience working with a team, and sharing knowledge and skills with your fellow students, faculty colleagues, and the general public
    • Link basic research to applied practices

Are there different types of research projects?

  • Research projects vary widely. You can research many different areas in psychology: child development, cognitive psychology, human factors, addictions, group processes, and many other possibilities. Check out the faculty research interests!

How to Get Involved

When should students consider getting involved in doing research?

  • Students should have completed the Statistics and Research Methods course (undergraduate students) or the Research Methods and Statistics in Counseling (graduate students) before considering getting involved in research.

How do students begin the process of getting involved in research?

  • Students interested in research should approach several faculty members and speak to them about the type of research they do, and their availability to supervise your research project (see Faculty Research Interests).

How to get academic credit for research?

  • Students may be able to get academic credit for conducting an independent research project. To apply to get academic credit, the student should do the following:
    • Contract with a faculty member during the advance registration time period
    • The faculty member will give you a blue form to complete. The course is call Independent Study (undergraduate students) or Thesis I (graduate students).
    • Complete the blue form. You will need to provide sufficient detail regarding the general description of the project as well as the specific goals of the project
    • Submit the completed SIGNED form to the faculty member.
    • The form will need to be signed by the faculty member, department chair, and the Dean of Liberal Arts & Sciences.
    • If it is approved at all levels, the Registrar will register you for the course.

This page was originally written by Dr. MaryLou Kerwin (kerwin@rowan.edu)