For Students

Prospective Graduate Students

Dr. Saffran will be considering applications for doctoral students to begin Fall ’24.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Starting with Spring 2024, the Infant Learning Lab generally has several openings for new undergraduate students to join the lab.  We encourage undergraduates to be actively involved in the intellectual life of the lab, and to that end, we have a weekly lab meeting during fall and spring semesters in which we review data, plan experiments, and provide suggestions for procedural revisions. Once a semester, undergraduates present a research article of their choice to the lab members and discuss how it relates to their personal research interests.

To apply for summer 2024 and/or Fall 2024 position, please contact the lab manager at by Friday, February 16th 2024. In your email, please include your resume, unofficial transcript, and a brief letter of interest.

If you have any questions, or would like to come see the lab, feel free to contact us to set up an appointment.

The Infant Learning Lab supports and encourages students of all backgrounds, including on dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, religious affiliation, socioeconomic status, nationality, and culture, to apply.

Undergraduate FAQ's

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Who is qualified to work in the lab?

We require at least a 3.0 GPA and a two semester commitment. Applicants should be able to work well with both adults and children, be able to collaborate with peers and juggle multiple daily tasks, and have well-developed problem solving abilities.

Do I have to be a Psychology major to work in this lab?

No! Many of our lab members are interested in psychology; however, we welcome any student who has a keen interest in the research process or in the fields of linguistics, speech therapy, child development, etc. We also occasionally hire Computer Science students to help with coding experiments and statistical analyses.

How do I apply to work in the lab?

To apply, please contact the lab manager at in early November to apply for the following spring, or around spring break to apply for summer or fall. You will be asked to provide a brief letter of interest, an unofficial transcript (your UW Student Record or DARS report works fine), and a rough resume highlighting any experience you have had with children, linguistics, research, computers, phones, AV equipment, and/or anything else you think would make you a competitive applicant for working in the lab. It is a good idea to read about our current research and check out our recent publications before applying to see if our lab would be a good fit for your research interests.

Can I work for pay?

Typically, students receive course credit for their work in the lab (usually 2 or 3 credits, which translates to 6 or 9 hours a week). Occasionally, paid positions are available for experienced staff.

Does lab participation count as a Psychology capstone course?


What are the responsibilities of a Research Assistant?

Research assistants participate in all aspects of the lab, including running experiments, coding infant behavior with eye-tracking and head-turn technology, and recruiting new research participants by letter and phone.

What's the most challenging part about working in the lab?

Undergraduate students are responsible for all our scheduling details and must prevent any appointment conflicts. There’s a lot of information, and it’s important to stay organized in order to work efficiently.

What do undergraduates enjoy most about working in the lab?

Our students enjoy learning about our current studies and helping our researchers run them. Favorite daily tasks include organizing thank-you emails with screenshots from experiments to families, entertaining children while their sibling is participating in a study, and helping families schedule their appointments.

I am graduating soon, can I still apply to work over the summer/next semester?

We only accept students who can make a 2-semester commitment to the lab, not including summers or terms after graduation. On rare occasions, we accept students for volunteer positions over the summer.