Psychology 196A: Research in Psychology

Course Description

Psych 196A (Assistantship in Psychology) offers undergraduate students the opportunity to assist Psychology Department faculty members and graduate students who are conducting research in the area of Psychology. Psych 196A is often taken in preparation for Psych 199, Directed Individual Research and Study. To receive credit for the course, students are required to work a minimum of 7 hours per week for the 10-week quarter and attend a one-hour weekly seminar, arranged by the faculty sponsor (Summer enrollees are required to work a minimum of 74 hours over the 6-week session). A five to eight page typed research paper is also required. A satisfactory paper demonstrates that you have researched the topic, organized and integrated the information, and linked the research activities to the topic. You must turn in a copy of the paper to your faculty sponsor by Friday of Finals Week.

This course is most successful when both students and faculty benefit from the arrangement. This generally occurs when these two conditions are met: students contribute in a meaningful way to faculty members’ research and faculty members provide students with opportunities to learn specific research skills and reflect on all aspects of research.

Course Forms and Deadlines:

  1. Review the Course Guidelines. If you do not meet these guidelines, you will be unable to enroll in the course.
  2. Find a research position. Four to five weeks prior to the start of the quarter, begin the process of securing a research placement.
    • Option 1: Contact a Psychology faculty member from the APPROVED PSYCHOLOGY RESEARCH POSITIONS LIST 🔗
    • Option 2: Contact UCLA PSYCHOLOGY FACULTY 🔗 or graduate students to find other research assistant positions. Note: Any research assistant position with a UCLA Psychology faculty member is pre-approved for use with this course.
    • Option 3: Contact a UCLA non-Psychology faculty member who conducts Psychology research. To work with a non-Psychology faculty member (who is not already on the approved list), the faculty member you request to work with will need to complete the LAB POSITION PLACEMENT FORM FOR FACULTY 🔗 by Friday, June 14th at 11:59pm for Summer Session A 2024. Position Placement Forms received after the deadline will not be reviewed.
  3. Create a Psych 196A course contract. Instructions can be found below under “how to enroll.” Obtain your faculty mentor’s signature on the course contract. This is the only signature that you need on this form, despite the form indicating otherwise. ENSURE YOU CREATE THE CONTRACT FOR 241. IF YOUR CONTRACT IS CREATED FOR THE WRONG TERM, THEN YOUR CONTRACT WILL NOT BE PROCESSED.
  4. Submit your forms. Signed course contracts must be submitted to the Psychology Advising Office via MyUCLA’s Message Center by Friday, June 28th at 11:59pm for Summer Session A 2024 in order to be enrolled in the course. Course Contracts submitted after the deadline will not be reviewed.

Please note that enrollment in your contract course may take up to 10 business days. All contracts submitted by the deadline will be processed by the end of Week 2, pending there are no issues with your course contract. Do not send multiple messages to the Psychology Undergraduate Advising office checking in on the progress of your course contract, as this slows down processing for all students.

UCLA Psychology Faculty and Graduate Students:

All your undergraduate research assistants are eligible to enroll in this course (given they meet the course guidelines). Your student will need to generate a course contract with the faculty advisor (i.e. Principal Investigator) listed on the contract. Once the student generates that course contract, the faculty member should sign it (virtual signatures are okay). The student will need to submit the course contract to the Psychology Undergraduate Advising Office via MyUCLA Message Center in order for an Advisor to enroll them in the course. Detailed instructions are listed above.

If you wish to recruit new undergraduate research assistants, please fill out this FORM 🔗. An advisor will reach out to you to confirm your form submission and post your research opportunity to our website. When you finish your recruitment of research assistants, please let the advisor who reached out to you know and they will remove your listing.

Faculty Sponsor’s Responsiblities

The faculty sponsor must be a regular faculty member in the Psychology Department. Post Docs and Graduate Students may guide the Research in Psychology students in research projects only under the supervision of a regular faculty member. Sponsors should lead the one-hour weekly seminar or lab meeting, provide written feedback to the student on their research paper, and evaluate the student at the end of the quarter. Sponsors are also responsible for disseminating departmental information and regulations regarding running subjects, otherwise they risk their project being banned from the use of the subject pool.

How to Enroll