Joining the Lab

The success of the Belief System Lab depends on the work of kind, passionate, and intelligent people. Thank you for considering joining the lab. A living draft of our lab philosophy is here.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

  • Students at Michigan State University can work with the lab to learn new skills, gain experiences relevant for grad school, and earn course credit. PSY 491 is a pass/no pass option for people interested in work and gaining experiences. PSY 490 is a graded option for more experienced students who are able to do (some) independent work and complete a write-up of the project. Email Mark if you are interested in this option.

  • Summer Research Opportunities Program: This program provides summer research and professional development opportunities to undergraduates. It aims to to increase the number of underrepresented students in graduate education (including minority students, first-generation college students and students from low-income families) who pursue graduate study and research careers. This opportunity is open to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are enrolled in a degree-granting program at a college/university in the U.S. The SROP is part of the Big Ten Academic Alliance and so SROP can be found at other Big 10 universities.

PhD Research Opportunities

I am not accepting graduate students for the Fall 2023. I am keeping the information below for future reference. Highly motivated students interested in completing a PhD can apply to Michigan State University’s Psychology PhD program (area: Social / Personality). The deadline for applications is December 1st. Students in the program are supported by teaching/research/university fellowships for the first four years of the program. After the fourth year students often receive support by teaching their own classes. The support includes a stipend, tuition, and health care. It is also possible to earn a Concentration in Quantitative Methodology and Evaluation Science.

In addition to taking courses, students will be able to work in the Belief Systems Lab and with the other faculty in the program. The Belief Systems Lab is also associated with the Minority Politics Lab, which is a joint research group with people in both social psychology and political science. Lab members will also be able to take advantage of opportunities in the Minority Politics Lab.

In your application, please note which faculty members you’d like to work with and why (e.g., what interests you about their research?). This helps us evaluate how you are likely to fit into the department. If you are interested in what me and my colleagues in the department are working on, take a look at our lab websites and Google Scholar pages. Use your “statement of purpose” as an opportunity to tell the fuller story of your resume and where you’d like to go next. This might include things like: What is your research and intellectual background? What kinds of research and intellectual experiences have you had? What do you want to do and learn next? What big ideas or questions motivate you? What challenges did you overcome to reach this point? This blog post has a host of useful tips.

There is not an ideal person for the lab. Instead, I am looking for people who are motivated to study belief systems and political psychology (broadly speaking). I explicitly aim to build a lab with people from diverse backgrounds and with unique experiences and perspectives.

Postdoctoral Researchers & Visiting Scholars

  • If you are interested in working as a postdoc in the lab, please contact Mark to make arrangements. Unless otherwise specified, postdocs will need to obtain external funding to support their stay. For example, the NSF SBE Postdoctoral Fellowship or the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellowship.

  • If you are a PhD student, postdoc, or faculty at another institution and are interested in visiting the lab as a visiting scholar (i.e. hangout and work on some projects), please contact Mark.