University of Wisconsin–Madison

For Students

Prospective Graduate Students

Dr. Saffran will be accepting a new graduate student for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

The Infant Learning Lab generally has several openings every semester 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, please contact the lab manager at babies@waisman.wisc.edu by mid-October to apply for the following spring, or around spring break to apply for summer or fall.

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

Undergraduate FAQ's

  • 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 be able to juggle multiple daily tasks.

  • 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.

  • How do I apply to work in the lab?

    To apply, please contact the lab manager at babies@waisman.wisc.edu in mid-October to apply for the following spring, or around spring break to apply for summer or fall. You will be asked to provide 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?

    No.

  • 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.