Student opportunities

Getting involved in research

Most students' first hands-on experiences with psychological research come from participating as research subjects in studies. Learn about the research participant pool.

Once you’ve completed our basic undergraduate background courses, there are many ways to get involved in research:

Research assistantships

Many faculty members have undergraduate research assistants (RAs) working in their labs. Some positions are supported by the Work Study program. 

NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) offers some undergraduate student research awards. These awards financially support students for a semester of full-time work in a lab.

Independent study courses

Independent Study courses PSYC 390 and 490 are "pro forma" courses that usually involve hands-on research. The content and criteria of these customized courses are determined between you and the instructor. To learn more, contact our undergraduate adviser.

Research seminar for psychology majors

Research Seminar in Psychology (PSYC 492) is a seminar and laboratory research course available to psychology majors. You’ll work in a small group setting and gain hands-on research experience from a faculty member with an active research program.

Note: PSYC 492 is not offered every year. Admittance to the course requires permission of the instructor.

PSYC 499 (Honours)

A key part of our honours program is conducting a research project under the supervision of a faculty member in your final year of study. Honours students also take two higher-level statistics courses and participate in the honours seminar throughout the winter session.

Research as co-op placement

Students in the psychology co-op program are sometimes able to land a paid research assistant job as a co-op placement.

Each spring, UVic Psychology honours students present their research at the Psychology Students of Vancouver Island Poster Session (PSOVIPS).

Students also often present their work at other conferences, such as NorthWest Cognition And Memory (NOWCAM).

Here are a few recent examples of research publications (student's name in bold) to which UVic undergrads contributed:

  • Garrett, D.D., Tuokko, H., Stajduhar, K., Lindsay, J., & Buehler, S. (2008). Planning for end-of-life-care: Findings from the Canadian Study of Health and Aging. Canadian Journal on Aging, 27, 11-22.
  • Masson, M. E. J., Bub, D. N., & Newton-Taylor, M. (2008). Language-based access to gestural components of conceptual knowledge. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 71, 869-882.
  • Krigolson, O. E., Pierce, L. J., Holroyd, C.B. & Tanaka, J.W. (2009). Learning to become an expert: Reinforcement learning and the acquisition of perceptual expertise. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 21, 1834-1841.