UConn psychological sciences students can gain research experience through faculty labs and independent study. These experiences can help you explore career paths and prepare for graduate school. You’ll also build relationships with your peers and professors—and learn more about yourself in the process.

By enrolling in our PSYC 3889. Undergraduate Research course, psychological sciences majors can gain hands-on research experience alongside faculty and graduate students actively engaged in research. Students in this course typically assist faculty members with an established research project.

UConn also offers a variety of programs and awards that support undergraduate researchers. In most cases, students gain funding for their work and are guided by faculty mentors. They also get practice presenting their research through events on campus and at conferences across the country.

Psychological sciences students are strongly encouraged to incorporate research into their academic plan. The sophomore/junior year is a great time to think about getting involved with research on campus.

Finding Research Opportunities

Students are expected to find their own research opportunities.  But here are a few tips for students for finding research opportunities:

  1. Contact their professors directly to ask about opportunities as early as possible in their undergraduate careers
    1. This can be after class or by browsing the faculty on our website (use red buttons below to browse the faculty and their research interests)
  2.  Read the Research section of the Psych Digest, which is emailed to all Psych majors and minors every Thursday at 11am
  3. Check the Research bulletin board in the Bousfield Psychology building
  4. Utilize the Office of Undergraduate Research.

Once the research position has been secured, students can plan to enroll.  See credit and enrollment steps below.

Earning Course Credit for Research

Psych students interested in participating in research for credit can enroll in PSYC 3889. Undergraduate Research or PSYC 3899 (honors students only) with permission from the instructor.

PSYC 3889/3899 Credits

Students can earn anywhere from 1-3 credits for their work in a faculty member's research lab. The number of credits is determined by the number of hours worked per week per specific term. Use the grid below to determine how many credits you should register for. Typically, students will register for 3 credits of research during a regular (fall or spring) semester.  This is ultimately decided by the faculty member and the student.


Credits Hours Per 14 Week Term (Fall & Spring) Hours Per 10 Week Term (Summer 3) Hours Per 5 Week Term (Summer 1 & 2) Hours Per 3 Week Term (Winter & May Intersession) Total Required Hours Per Term
1 3 4 8 14 42
2 6 8.5 17 28 84
3 9 12.5 25 42 126
4 12 17 34 - 168
5 15 21 42 - 210
6 18 25 - - 252

How to Enroll in PSYC 3889/3899

Enrolling in psych research requires that students reach out and coordinate with faculty members.  All PSYC 3889/3899 sections require permission of the instructor to enroll, so students are not able to enroll themselves.  See the above section on how to find research positions.

After securing a research position with a faculty member and discussing the appropriate credits (see above), students can enroll into PSYC 3889/3899 by taking one of the following steps depending on the time of the semester:

  1. Before the end of add/drop: Use a permission number for the faculty member's section of PSYC 3889/3899. Coordinate with your faculty member to obtain the permission number and the appropriate questions.
  2. After add/drop: Complete the Student Enrollment Request Form. Students can list Jessica Groves/Chelsea Zabel as the psychological sciences department head for this form.

Funding Opportunities

Undergraduate students engaged in research are encouraged to apply for funding to support their endeavors.

Internal Opportunities

OUR Supply Award

Administered by the Office of Undergraduate Research

OUR Supply Awards fund the consumable supplies students need to complete their research or creative projects. Awards of up to $500 may cover laboratory consumables, art supplies, research participant incentives, and fees for time on shared equipment; this award may not be used for the purchase of durable equipment.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, and awards are made until funds are exhausted.

Please note: Students eligible to apply for the PCLB Psychological Sciences Undergraduate Research Grant Program are typically not awarded OUR Supply Awards.

The SHARE Virtual Summer Research Apprenticeship program provides early career undergraduates majoring in social sciences, humanities, and arts fields with an opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor on a research project over the summer. These meaningful learning experiences allow students to develop foundational research skills that they can build on as they progress through their academic career, as well as to establish mentoring relationships with faculty in their discipline.

Research apprentices commit to working on a faculty mentor’s project over the course of the summer, with project weeks and hours per week to be determined by the faculty mentor. All project work will be conducted remotely. Research apprentices earn up to $1,400, paid as hourly wages, and faculty mentors receive a $500 professional development award in recognition of their mentorship. To earn the full $1,400 award, apprentices will need to work 92 hours over the course of the summer.

Examples of SHARE apprentice duties may include, but are not limited to: conducting literature reviews, assisting in designing a study or experiment, coding and/or analyzing data, and conducting and/or transcribing interviews.


Summer Undergraduate Research Fund (SURF) Awards

Administered by the Office of Undergraduate Research

SURF awards support students engaged in summer research or creative projects under the supervision of a UConn faculty member. The maximum total amount awarded for SURF awards is $4,500 ($4,000 stipend for the student researcher and up to $500 for consumables associated with the project).

Applications are due early in the spring semester; awards are made for the summer.

UConn IDEA Grant

Administered by the Office of Undergraduate Research

UConn IDEA Grants support self-designed individual and small group projects. Grants of $5,000 may fund artistic products, community service initiatives, entrepreneurial ventures, creative endeavors and research projects.

Applications are due in the fall semester for summer funding and in the spring semester for academic year funding.

OUR Travel Award

Administered by the Office of Undergraduate Research

OUR Conference Presentation Awards - Conference Presentation Awards support students who have had research or creative work accepted for presentation at a professional conference or meeting, covering registration costs (and travel where permissible). Applications are reviewed beginning in July, with a maximum of $500/student awarded until program funds are exhausted.

OUR Research Travel Awards - Research Travel Awards support students who must travel away from campus to execute their research projects (e.g., to consult materials in an archive). Applications are reviewed regularly during the academic year, with a maximum of $500/student awarded until program funds are exhausted.

External Opportunities

Psi Chi Undergraduate Research Grants

Administered by the Psi Chi, The International Honor Society in Psychology

Psi Chi Undergraduate Research Grants are for members conducting an original research project in psychology or a related field under the supervision of a faculty member. Awards of up to $1,500 may be used to cover equipment, consumable supplies, travel to conduct research, and participant incentives; this award may not be used for travel to present research or salary.

Applications are due on November 1 and February 1, or the closest weekday.

Undergraduate Research Excellence Fellowships

Administered by the American Psychological Society

The UGREF from the American Physiological Society is open to full-time undergraduate students who are looking to continue working in the lab of an established investigator. This Fellowship is awarded to up to 6 students and includes a $4,000 stipend, $1,300 experimental biology travel support, and a $300 grant to the research host. Both students and research hosts much be members of the APS in good standing.

Applications are due on February 1st.

Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowships

Administered by the American Psychological Society

The UGSEF from the American Physiological Society is open to full-time undergraduate students who are looking to begin work in the lab of an established investigator over the summer. This Fellowship is awarded to up to 24 students and includes a $4,000 stipend, $1,300 experimental biology travel support, and a $300 grant to the research host. Research hosts much be members of the APS in good standing.

Applications are due on February 1.

Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid

Administered by the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society

The Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research programs is available to undergraduate and graduate students from all areas of science and engineering. Grants are awarded up to $1,000 and are used for travel or purchase of non-standard laboratory equipment necessary for a specific research project. Students are not required to be a member of Sigma Xi, although about 75% of the funds will go to dues paying student members. Students from any country are eligible for these grants.

Applications are due March 15 for fall funding or October 15 for spring funding.


Administered by UConn Libraries

Pivot is a UConn run search engine for grant funding opportunities. It allows researchers in the sciences, social sciences and humanities to identify potential funding resources, share opportunities with other researchers, and identify potential collaborators within UConn and at other universities.