Find out more about joining our research lab!

Research assistants in the HDCI lab gain practical and hands-on experience that is invaluable when applying to graduate programs. Also, the individual mentorship and supervision received by HDCI research assistants helps prepare them for careers in academia, research, or therapeutic settings.

Working in the HDCI labs involves much more than "volunteering". Everyone plays an active role on the research team. Team members contribute to all aspects of the research process including assisting with IRB application preparations, conducting experiments, interviewing, interview transcription, data coding and analysis, SPSS data entry, and developing research presentations and publications.

The HDCI accepts a limited number of research assistants each semester. Acceptance into the lab is determined by the application content, HDCI lab space at the time of application, and the quality of the interview. After one semester of volunteering, students can register to take Independent Research course credits for their lab work, or begin working on an Honors Thesis Project (required for graduating with Honors in Psychology).

Undergraduate Students' Application Process

Are you interested in the areas of health disparities, identity development, or popular culture- then HDCI Lab may be right for you!

New HDCI undergraduate research assistants will undergo an orientation, attend seminars on research design and methodology and work directly on HDCI lab studies. Clearly, working in the HDCI lab involves much more than "volunteering"- you'll be an active part of a research team, and working on all aspects of the research process. Students interested in becoming a part of the HDCI lab take the should do the following prior to contact us:

1) Carefully review the HDCI Lab website content and brochure. The information provided here will give you a detailed overview of the lab, RA responsibilities, and the basic requirements for acceptance into the lab.

2) After doing this, you must complete the online application form linked here. You will need to know your current major GPA, cumulative GPA, and availability for the semester to complete this form.

3) Once we have received your application, you will be contacted within two weeks to schedule a meeting with Dr. Stephens or graduate student.


As members of the HDCI research team are given significant levels of responsibility, volunteer research assistants must meet the following requirements for acceptance:

  • GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Commit to working in the lab for a minimum of two semesters.
  • Work in the research lab 8 hours a week (plus 2 reading hours) during regular business hours.

Human Subjects

Federal regulations require that anyone directly involved in a research study undergo training to improve research subject safety. Student investigators, faculty, research staff and other key personnel involved in research are required to go to complete the "Social & Behavioral Research Investigators Course" in the Collaborative IRB Training Initiative Program (CITI Program). All students must complete this course and submit a copy of their certificate to Dr. Stephens prior to starting work in the HDCI research lab.