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Summer Training Academy for Research Success (STARS) Program

The UC San Diego Department of Psychology is excited to partner with Spelman College Psychology and Neuroscience students to participate in an eight-week mentored summer research program.

This mid-summer training program is designed to increase your preparedness for doctoral study in the University of California System.

Students will:

  • Gain research experience with a UC San Diego faculty member
  • Attend a GRE preparation course
  • Attend graduate school preparation work-shops
  • Present at the annual UC San Diego Summer Research Conference
  • Receive a stipend of $4,000
  • Entirely virtual for Summer 2021


Apply Now!
Deadline: March 26, 2021
To Apply:


Participating Faculty Mentors

Lindsey Powell, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology

Summer projects in the Social Cognition and Learning Lab will investigate how infants and children think about others' minds, social interactions, and relationships. Students will work on the collection, coding, and statistical analysis of behavioral data that test hypotheses regarding the development of social cognition and motivation.

Victor Ferreira, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology

Professor Ferreira’s research focuses on language production and communication. Specific research questions center on how speakers form sentences, how speakers retrieve and produce individual words, and how the knowledge that speakers and listeners have of one another affects language production behavior. 

David Barner, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology & Linguistics

Professor Barner's lab investigates how children learn about language, concepts (space, time, number), and about other people's minds. This summer he hopes to create a project focused on how children from different cultures learn to count, including virtual testing of children in multiple regions of the US and countries including India, China, and Europe.

Adam Aron, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology |

What are the psychological factors relevant to people joining collective action on the climate crisis?

Judith Fan, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology

Aligning teaching and research in psychological science: Current approaches to teaching scientific literacy in psychology have not kept pace with the changing reality of scientific practice in psychology research. The goal of this project is to develop an undergraduate statistics and research methods curriculum that is better aligned with these modern practices and to rigorously evaluate the impact of these pedagogical changes on student outcomes. Our overarching hypothesis is that increased alignment between the way scientific methods are taught and the way scientific research is conducted in psychology will positively impact student learning, motivation, and achievement. The summer intern involved in this project will be invited to be involved in various aspects of the project, including by developing inclusive and engaging learning materials, designing instruments to measure student outcomes, analyzing data, and communicating findings in both oral presentations and written form.

Edward Vul, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology

Research projects in the Vul lab lab develop computational models of human cognition and run behavioral experiments, or naturalistic data analyses, to compare human behavior to these models.  Remote research projects would involve learning to program to develop either the online behavioral experiments, models, or data analyses used in the research.

Gail Heyman, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology

Our lab focuses on how children reason about the social world, such as addressing questions about school motivation, social learning, and understanding gender and racial biases. An intern working with us would help review prior literature and design studies on one or more of these topics, test child participants, and be involved in coding and analyzing data.

Leslie Carver, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology

The Developmental and Social Neuroscience Lab (DNLab) investigates early social and cognitive development in typically developing infants, and those with a family history of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In our current studies, we are primarily focusing on how infants form expectations in their social interactions, and how they learn from those expectations and from contingent interactions with their caregivers.  Our studies use brain activity (EEG), behavior, and eye tracking to address these questions.