Get Involved

Join the Lab

There are multiple ways to get involved in the Beyond Categories research program. All of our positions require completing an application (specified below). If you have any further questions regarding these positions, please contact Dr. Bukach or the lab manager, Olivia Stibolt.

The James S. McDonnell Cognitive Neuroscience Fellows Program

About the Program

The James S. McDonnell Cognitive Neuroscience Fellows Program is a unique opportunity for students to engage in intensive independent research and develop leadership skills in a cognitive neuroscience lab. JSM fellows will receive funding to conduct summer research in cognitive neuroscience fulltime, and 8 hours/week during the academic year for two full years.  The total value of the stipend over the two years is $12,480. (An additional $500 is available during the summer if the student opts to live on campus).

The fellowship is funded through an Understanding Human Cognition Scholars award to Dr. Cindy Bukach from the James S. McDonnell Foundation, and through the support of the University of Richmond Undergraduate Research Committee who provide support for one of the two summers of full-time research.  Fellows will conduct research in Dr. Bukach’s BEYOND CATEGORIES cognitive neuroscience lab. Cognitive neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field that studies the link between brain and behavior.  It combines approaches from neuroscience, cognitive science, and neuropsychology.  The capacity to think critically about cognitive neuroscience is becoming more important as public policies ranging from education and health to law and marketing rely more heavily on findings from cognitive neuroscience research.

 Who can apply?

Any University of Richmond freshman, sophomore or junior who has completed or is currently enrolled in Psych 200 may apply (NOTE: If a junior is awarded a fellowship, they will be eligible for two years of summer funding (one prior to and one immediately following their senior year), but only one year of funding during the academic year.

How do I submit my application?

Please reach out to Dr. Bukach and to the lab manager, Olivia Stibolt, to see if there are fellowship spots available and to be sent an application.

What is the commitment for a JSM Fellow?

A JSM fellow is committing to conduct research under the supervision of Dr. Bukach for two summers of fulltime work (10 weeks) between mid-May and July, and for 8 hours a week during the Fall and Spring semesters, starting January 2018 and ending at the end of Fall semester 2020.  The 8 hours a week during the academic year are intended to supplement an independent research course (Psyc 361, 461/462, and/or 491/492), and thus a JSM Fellow should expect to spend 18 – 20 hours a week in the lab during the academic year.  This provides fellows with an intense research experience similar to graduate training.  Fellows will participate fully in lab activities and meetings, and take on a leadership role in the lab. Fellows will present at the A&S Student Symposium in the Spring of both fellowship years.  Fellows are also expected to take at least one class related to Cognitive Neuroscience (e.g., Psyc 341, Psyc 444) or other course approved by Dr. Bukach in addition to courses in independent research.

In the lab, JSM fellows will be in charge of a research project under the guidance of Dr. Bukach, and will serve as a mentor for other lab members. For this reason, JSM fellows tend to be the best of our students, and are highly involved in all lab activities. Due to the time commitment, the JSM fellows program will place some limits on your involvement in other opportunities outside of the lab. We are looking for exceptional students who are interested in and willing to prioritize the fellowship as their primary extracurricular and employment activity.

What is the selection process?

Fellows will be selected on the basis of academic achievement and research aptitude, relevant career objectives and research interests, potential contribution to overall project outcomes, and personal motivation to participate in the program.

JSM Fellowship Expectations

As a JSF Fellow, you will be expected to sign a contract laying out the following expectations:

                 10 weeks of full-time paid summer research between May and July

                 16-20 hours a week of research during the fall and spring semesters

  • 8 hours of which will be paid and 8-12 hours of which will be completed for course credit (Independent research)

                 10 weeks of full-time paid summer research between May and July (specific dates to be specified later)

                 Completion of a cognitive neuroscience course, or another related course approved by Dr. Cindy Bukach

                 I understand that the JSMF Cognitive Neuroscience Fellowship is a leadership position, and I will be expected to set an example for professional standards in the lab (responsive and timely communication, respect for others, punctuality, attention to detail, maintaining a positive attitude, and enthusiastic participation in lab events).  By the second year, I understand that I will be expected to take leadership responsibilities and mentor junior students.

                 Should I choose to study abroad during the two-year fellowship, I understand that I will need to communicate this intention at least 6 months in advance so that the award can be suspended by one semester or converted from a 4 semester to a 3 semester award at the discretion of Dr. Bukach.

                 I understand that this fellowship demand a level of dedication that requires me to prioritize my lab commitment over other extra-curricular activities and may limit my availability for other paid positions.

                 I understand that continuation of this award is dependent on satisfactory compliance with the commitments listed above, and will be subject to periodic review by Dr. Bukach.

Meet our current JSM Fellows

We generally have between three and six JSM Fellows working in the lab at one time. To meet our current JSM Fellows, look here.

Pursuing Undergraduate Research in Stem-related fields Using Electrophysiology Fellowship

The PURSUE Fellowship is available to one student during the school year, and two students over the summer. The Fellowship involves working on the PURSUE project. Go to the PURSUE website for more information about the project.

PURSUE Fellowship Expectations

The formal requirements of the PURSUE Fellowship will be similar to those laid out in the JSM Fellowship, but have yet to be finalized.

Meet Our Current PURSUE Fellows

To meet our current PURSUE Fellows, look here.

 

If you are interested in joining the lab and earning class credit, complete the application. Students that earn class credit in the lab generally take one of the following classes: P300, P461/462, P491/492. The expectations for each are laid out below.

 

P300 Expectations

If you expect to join the lab as a P300 student, you will be expected to sign a contract laying out the following expectations:

                 I am committing to 10-12 hours a week (at least 6 for half credit) to research during the semester.

                 I understand that this commitment requires setting a regular weekly schedule to be in the lab, and attendance at the lab meetings. If my schedule needs to be revised, or if I am unable to attend a meeting, I will contact the lab manager see about making the necessary adjustments to my schedule.

                 I understand that as a P361 student in the lab, I will be expected to act with integrity (e.g., promptly reporting errors, helping fellow lab members when available) and follow the professional standards set for the lab (responsive and timely communication, respect for others, punctuality, attention to detail, maintaining a positive attitude, and enthusiastic participation in lab events).

                 I understand that this research position demands a level of dedication that requires me to prioritize my lab commitment over other extra-curricular activities and may limit my availability outside of the lab.

                 In many instances, other lab members will be relying on my ability to follow through with my commitments. I plan to respect the trust of my fellow lab members by fulfilling my responsibilities within the lab in a careful and timely manner.

                 I understand that continuation of this research position is dependent on satisfactory compliance with the commitments listed above, and will be subject to periodic review by Dr. Bukach.

 

P461/462 Expectations

If you plan to join the lab as a P461/462 student, you will be expected to sign a contract laying out the following expectations:

                 I am committing to 11-13 hours a week (at least 6 for half credit) to research during the semester.

                 I understand that this commitment requires setting a regular weekly schedule to be in the lab, and attendance at the lab meetings. If my schedule needs to be revised, or if I am unable to attend a meeting, I will contact the lab manager see about making the necessary adjustments to my schedule.

                 I understand that as a P461/462 student in the lab, I will be expected to act with integrity (e.g., promptly reporting errors, helping fellow lab members when available) and follow the professional standards set for the lab (responsive and timely communication, respect for others, punctuality, attention to detail, maintaining a positive attitude, and enthusiastic participation in lab events).

                 I understand that this research position demands a level of dedication that requires me to prioritize my lab commitment over other extra-curricular activities and may limit my availability outside of the lab.

                 In many instances, other lab members will be relying on my ability to follow through with my commitments. I plan to respect the trust of my fellow lab members by fulfilling my responsibilities within the lab in a careful and timely manner.

                 I understand that continuation of this research position is dependent on satisfactory compliance with the commitments listed above, and will be subject to periodic review by Dr. Bukach.

 

P491/492 Expectations

If you plan to join the lab as a P491/492 student, you will be expected to sign a contract laying out the following expectations:

                 I am committing to 12-14 hours a week (at least 6 for half credit) to research during the semester.

                 I understand that this commitment requires setting a regular weekly schedule to be in the lab, and attendance at the lab meetings. If my schedule needs to be revised, or if I am unable to attend a meeting, I will contact the lab manager see about making the necessary adjustments to my schedule.

                 I understand that as a P491/492 student in the lab, I will be expected to act with integrity (e.g., promptly reporting errors, helping fellow lab members when available) and follow the professional standards set for the lab (responsive and timely communication, respect for others, punctuality, attention to detail, maintaining a positive attitude, and enthusiastic participation in lab events).

                 I understand that this research position demands a level of dedication that requires me to prioritize my lab commitment over other extra-curricular activities and may limit my availability outside of the lab.

                 In many instances, other lab members will be relying on my ability to follow through with my commitments. I plan to respect the trust of my fellow lab members by fulfilling my responsibilities within the lab in a careful and timely manner.

                 I understand that continuation of this research position is dependent on satisfactory compliance with the commitments listed above, and will be subject to periodic review by Dr. Bukach.

 

If you are interested in joining the lab as a volunteer, please complete this application.

 

Volunteer Expectations

 

If you join the lab as a volunteer, you will be expected sign a contract laying out the following expectations:

                 I am committing to at least 6 hours a week to research during the semester.

                 I understand that this commitment requires setting a regular weekly schedule to be in the lab, and attendance at the lab meetings. If my schedule needs to be revised, or if I am unable to attend a meeting, I will contact the lab manager see about making the necessary adjustments to my schedule.

                 I understand that as a volunteer in the lab, I will be expected to act with integrity (e.g., promptly reporting errors, helping fellow lab members when available) and follow the professional standards set for the lab (responsive and timely communication, respect for others, punctuality, attention to detail, maintaining a positive attitude, and enthusiastic participation in lab events).

                 I understand that this research position demands a level of dedication that requires me to prioritize my lab commitment over other extra-curricular activities and may limit my availability outside of the lab.

                 In many instances, other lab members will be relying on my ability to follow through with my commitments. I plan to respect the trust of my fellow lab members by fulfilling my responsibilities within the lab in a careful and timely manner.

                 I understand that continuation of this research position is dependent on satisfactory compliance with the commitments listed above, and will be subject to periodic review by Dr. Bukach.

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