On this page you will find information for students interested in joining the CASCR (and how to apply), what is expected of new research assistants in the CASCR, and other resources for current CASCR research assistants and others interested in attending graduate school in psychology.
Recruitment for the laboratory is done on an "as needed" basis determined by project demands and the graduation of existing undergraduate research assistants. Undergraduate students interested in working in the lab should complete the application and e-mail it to me (Dr. Ross) . Before completing your application, I recommend that you spend some time looking over this website to develop an understanding of the research that we do in the lab and what would be expected out of you. After receiving the application, I will contact you to schedule a time to meet to discuss our lab needs and your potential for joining the lab.
Interested in joining the CASCR??
First and foremost, I view working in the lab as a kind of traineeship. I invest a lot of time in the students who work with me, and I do not have an unlimited amount of time and energy for this part of my work. Therefore I choose students for the lab very carefully and only accept a handful of undergraduate research assistants each year. During their first quarter as members of the CASCR, students’ volunteer their time spent in the laboratory. After at least one quarter in the lab, students may have the opportunity to earn course credits for their research hours.
New research assistants are required to volunteer 5-7 hours per week in the CASCR. Upon joining the lab, new research assistants will receive an orientation into lab activities and the requirements of being an CASCR lab member (see below for information on requirements of new CASCR research assistants). During the first quarter, research assistants will primarily work on data collection for ongoing CASCR studies; however, as research assistants gain more knowledge and experience their opportunities will increase. Many advanced research assistants have the opportunity to assist with data analyses, conference presentations, manuscript preparation, and project development.
As I have a limited number of research assistant opportunities, competition is typically strong. Acceptance of new students into the CASCR is based upon availability, degree progress, and academic merit. Here are some of the criteria I apply:
It is best if beginning lab members have at least one full academic year left before graduation (and preferably at least 6 quarters), so they can receive some training and have time to develop their own project. However, research needs sometimes provide opportunities for students with less time until graduation and who do not necessarily want to develop their own project.
Undergrads in the lab must have a GPA of at least 3.0 (3.5 or better is desirable). The workload can become fairly heavy at times, because projects have their own pace and the people need to keep up. In order to get the background information required and also participate in the research, lab members have to do well in conventional student tasks. While I prefer accepting students with at least a 3.0 GPA (for the above stated reasons), students with a GPA below the 3.0 cutoff will be considered on a case‐by‐case basis.
Preference is given to students that have completed TMATH 110 (or another statistics course) and TPSYCH 209 (or equivalent research methods course) and have earned at least a "B" in these courses. Applicants that have yet to complete these courses or have completed these courses with grades below "B" will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
If you would like more information about the CASCR and/or research opportunities, feel free to contact me (Dr. Ross) @ (253) 682-4386 or via e-mail. Students interested in joining the CASCR must complete an application and return it to me either by dropping it by my office (MDS 104E) or attaching it to an e-mail. Following a review of the application, students will be contacted to arrange a time for an interview.
Welcome to the CASCR….Now what?
Information for New CASCR Research Assistants
1. Lab Requirements
All information regarding the lab requirements for new RA's can be found in the lab syllabus. Briefly, an RA’s duties in the lab may include but are not limited to:
· attend training sessions / lab meetings
· stimulus creation
· data entry
· running experimental sessions
· interacting with participants
· coding data
While the number of hours worked is somewhat negotiable and may vary throughout the semester depending upon such things as the number of projects we have running or the number of participants signing up, I expect RA's to work approximately 5-7 hours per week in the lab.
2. Human Participants Training
Individuals conducting research with human participants are required to undergo training to ensure the safety of the research participants. All members of the CASCR are required to complete the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) on-line tutorial on Protecting Human Research Subjects. (http://www.citiprogram.org/) This tutorial must be completed within the first week of joining the lab. Once completed, you must provide me (Dr. Ross) with a photocopy of Certificate of Completion to keep on file in the lab. More information on the federal regulations and PHRS training is available at the UW Human Subjects Division website (http://www.washington.edu/research/hsd/).
3. Getting Familiarized with Our Research
I have developed a list of readings related to research in the areas of eyewitness psychology and decision-making in criminal investigations. This list and the accompanying readings will be provided to new RAs via e-mail and on a CD entitled “Starting out in the CASCR”. These readings provide background knowledge about our areas of research and all new RAs are expected to familiarize themselves with these articles within the first couple weeks they are a members of the lab.
I want to go to grad school….What do I need to do??
Information on Prepping for Grad School and Other Undergraduate Resources
Preparing for Graduate School
Most students who join the CASCR are interested in pursuing graduate education in psychology or a related field. Typically, students that are interested in pursuing graduate training should begin preparing for graduate school during their Sophomore year of undergraduate education, and no later than the beginning of their Junior year, as preparing for graduate school requires a lot of time and effort. The American Psychological Association (APA) offers A Guide to Getting Into Graduate School on their website. This guide provides useful information on preparing for graduate school and references to other informative resources. Additionally, Dr. Ross has presented a seminar providing undergraduates with information on preparing for graduate school. The .ppt corresponding to Dr. Ross' seminar on What you need to do as an undergraduate to get into graduate school is available here.
Below is a list of additional resources that will assist you with preparing for graduate school as an undergraduate here @ UWT.
Relevant Professional Organizations
Below is a listing of the web sites of professional associations, arranged alphabetically. These links provide you with information about these organizations' functions including annual conferences, student sections and membership guidelines.