There is plenty of research going on at the Uni all year round that you can get involved in. Why get involved in other people’s research, you ask? First of all, getting participants for a research study can be mighty difficult, so it helps out the researcher a great deal. Second of all, you get your own benefits, whether that’s getting exposure to how research is run to help you figure out how to run your own research, to learning something new about the research if you find that topic interesting, to making some extra $$ or lab tokens, to getting a willing participant for your own study!
There’s a website, SONA, that you can check out to find research on campus you’d like to participate in, primarily regarding psychology research. There are also flyers about studies posted up all around campus. I’ve participated in several studies since being here and it’s a good motivator to get to campus and experience something new. The most recent study I was in measured self-reported mood before and after 15 minutes of music led or silent meditation. You’d be surprised how much time you feel like you gain when you spend 15 minutes clearing your head from all the school clutter and winding down!
If you’re planning to be an MSc student like me, you might eventually need to find participants for your own dissertation. This can be a daunting task, especially as most of the undergrad students leave during the summer, which is when you’d realistically be collecting data for your study. However, there’s a good chance that PhD students and some of your fellow MSc classmates will be around and willing to participate in your study if you participate in their studies, as a pay-it-forward or trade of sorts. PhD students are great people to get to participate in your study because, if they’re in a similar field, they have expertise on how to run a study and can give you personal advice that you can’t get anywhere else. Then again, this is coming from an Environmental Psychology student getting involved in psychology studies.
You can also read up on the unique research going on at the Uni here and specify what research you want to read up on based on the department. If you feel so inclined, you can contact professors to see if you can get involved in research they’re conducting or if they can connect you to any other research opportunities.