Research Opportunities

One of the hallmarks of the psychology program is the collaborative research that happens between faculty and students. Students gain initial research experience in each of the research methods classes that are required for the major. Many students choose to expand that knowledge through the numerous opportunities to get involved in research both during the academic year and over the summer.

Senior Thesis

Psychology students have the opportunity to participate in more in-depth research by conducting a senior thesis. Visit our Senior Thesis page for more information.

Research Labs

Many students work directly with department faculty as part of our lab research teams. Students often present as co-authors at professional conferences and co-author publications. The fastest way to get involved is to reach out to a faculty member directly. Faculty are happy to discuss their latest projects and opportunities for participation.

Summer Research Opportunities

There are a number of programs that provide monetary support for students conducting collaborative research with faculty in a summer research fellowship/scholarship between the spring and fall semesters each year.

2016 Summer Research Program in Psychology

Department Award

A recently awarded grant from the American Psychological Association (APA) has made possible an 8-week summer research opportunity within the Davidson College Psychology Department during summer 2016. Funds are available for four research assistants. Each research assistant will have a primary research mentor (see below for description of available labs), although some students may split their time across labs. All research assistants will learn lab-specific skills, as well as general research methodology. We anticipate that this program will prepare students for later upper-level, independent research in psychology.

This program is available to rising sophomores and juniors, including those outside the Davidson College community, that have little or no prior research experience. Applicants must have completed Introductory Psychology (PSY 101) or received AP Credit in Psychology. We especially encourage applications from students who are members of underrepresented groups in psychology (including but not limited to racial/ethnic minority students, sexual minority students, students with physical disability, etc.).

Interested students may download the program information and application form and should submit a completed application to Prof. Jessica Good at via email. Applications are due March 7, 2016. 

UPDATE: The application form was updated on February 23, 2016.  Students submitting applications on or after February 23, 2016 should use this updated application form.

Psychology Department Summer Research Fellowship

Department Award

Thanks to an anonymous benefactor, the Psychology Department offers annually a Summer Research Fellowship for conducting research in residence at Davidson College for ten weeks during the summer (sometime between Commencement and First Year Orientation). Interested applicants will develop a research project and form an agreement for supervision and support with a Psychology Department faculty mentor. The applicant and faculty mentor will negotiate the summer research plan together. The student will receive a stipend in the amount of $ 4,000.

The Summer Research Fellowship announcement is generally sent to eligible psychology students toward the beginning of the spring semester. Interested prospective applicants should bpport with a Psychology Department faculty mentor. The applicant and faculty mentor will negotiate the summer research plan together. Theegin dialogue with a prospective Psychology Faculty mentor immediately upon receiving the announcement. While proposals are judged on merits of research ideas, quality of expression, and feasibility of the proposed work, the proposal is not intended to be highly labor intensive. For more information, contact Prof. Mark Smith at


College Award

The Abernethy Endowment supports students who wish to pursue independent research and cross-cultural study in the humanities or social sciences, either in the United States or abroad. Grant support is available through application for both academic year and summer experiences. For more information, visit the Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Opportunities page.


College Award
Research in Science Experience (RISE) is a program for rising sophomores at Davidson who are interested in careers in science or medicine. RISE is designed for students from groups historically underrepresented in science, including minority, first-generation, and low-wealth students. For more information, visit the Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Opportunities page.


College Award
The grant-funded Davidson Research Initiative (DRI) allows first-year, sophomore and junior students to design a research topic, engage with a faculty mentor for guidance and collaboration, and present and publish their findings.  Visit the Davidson Research Initiative page for more information about the program.


Many students who conduct research in the psychology department here and at Furman University share their research findings at the end of the summer research programs at these institutions. Hosting of the event is alternated between Davidson and Furman during the month of July. Students have the opportunity to present posters on their summer research experiences as well as to give oral presentations.