Daily Archives: February 23, 2016

Sheeran Lab Research Position Summary

One program that I found that I was interested in is a research assistant position at Sheeran lab on UNC campus. This lab is a psychology lab that allows undergraduate students to apply for positions as assistant to work and assist in the lab for however many semesters they would like.

The application process, firstly requires the interested party to send an email to inquire about the position and include a resume; next they conduct interviews with the interested applicants, and then they chose from the pool of candidates, who will get the positions. They did not indicate how many positions were open.

They do not require letters of recommendation, personal essays or cover letters, and have no formal application, entrance essays or application questions. They also do not require any prerequisite classes, but you can get this position without interview if you are in Psych 231 research class for an EE credit. They did require applicants have a GPA of 3.2 or above at UNC, and be in good academic standing. Once you have gotten the position they do require HIPAA training.

The lab’s current mission is to determine relationship between personality and consumer habits, however it is stated that the full intent of the experiment is not to be disclosed until the completion of the experiment in order to avoid skewed results from bias, and other confounding factors. The lab is testing the collected data certain fitness bracelet that is a pedometer and accelerometer, and it’s correlation with the results of respective peoples’ personality tests. The experiment is double blind so neither the participants nor the administers are aware of the full purpose of the experiment or what is it testing specifically.

The research assistant’s responsibility is to run participants for current experiment. This job requires the participant to read a script to the people who are testing the experimental product, to configure a test product using a computer software, to and collect data from the trial run via computer program. The lab requires seven hours/week (4 in lab running participants, 3 at home organizing data on the computer). The position said it would work around the RA’s class/work schedule, and you can schedule your weekly hours to come in to the lab, at the beginning of the semester.

The strength of this program is that is can count for an EE credit. It also involves my future career interest of psychology. It is easy to apply and they get back to you quickly about whether or not you have gotten the position. Also, once you have gotten the position you can continue to be a lab assistant for as many semester as you would like without the need to reapply. What I would get out of this program is research experience, in order to work in other research labs as well as give me an idea of how carry out my own research in the future. It will also give me the networking connections with Dr. Sheeran and the lab coordinators in order to get future opportunities in different labs or to work in the lab for research proposals I would like to start on my own. There is no presentation at the end or post-internship presentations.

The weakness of this program is that it is in its final stretches and I might not be able to be as active as research assistants who applied earlier in the semester, however the lab starts a new experiment almost every semester.

There are no room/board/transportation cost, since it is on the UNC campus. There is also no stipend; it is an unpaid, volunteer position.