Get Involved

Are you an undergraduate, postbac, or Master’s student interested in joining the lab?

There are many ways to get involved!

Positions are competitive and interviews are conducted on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are interested in applying, the best time to submit an application is prior to the start (a few weeks before) of the semester. For summer internships, please contact the laboratory 3-6 months in advance.

Volunteer: LIRSM accepts volunteers to assist with research most semesters. Volunteers are not restricted to Columbia University students. Volunteers usually work from 6-20 hours/week and, if a good fit, are given priority for work-study and paid positions when they become available.

Work-study: Students who are eligible for work-study positions can work as research assistants, usually for 8-10 hours/week. We require that you volunteer for at least one semester at LIRSM before requesting work-study.

Credit: Undergraduates and postbacs with excellent academic records can work as research assistants for credit (either supervised individual research or honors research). Our credit-to-hours ratio is three hours in the lab per credit. With few exceptions, we require research assistants receiving credit to work a minimum of 9-12 hours/week (3-4 credits), plus attendance at lab meetings. We require that you volunteer for at least one semester at LIRSM before requesting credit.

Undergraduate Research Fellowship: We are able to fund a limited number of dedicated undergraduates for 15 hours of rigorous research per week during the semester, and 20 hours of research per week during the summer. Preference is given to students who have already volunteered in the lab for at least a semester and who intend to work in the lab long term (a year or longer). Please visit our Undergraduate Research Fellowship page for more information.

Employment: For certain projects that require advanced skills, research assistants are employed as casual employees.

Summer Internship: If you wish to work in the lab during the summer, we ask that you secure funding via external fellowships or do so on a volunteer/credit basis. Part-time and full-time summer internships are available.

Interested in the above opportunities? Complete an application and email it to the lab at

Are you applying to work with Dr. Purdie-Vaughns as a doctoral student or post-doctoral fellow?

Doctoral students: If you are interested in applying to Columbia as a doctoral student under the supervision of Dr. Purdie-Vaughns, please visit the psychology department website. You do not need to contact Dr. Purdie-Vaughns to apply but many students do send personal emails. Please realize that we do our best to respond but, due to the high volume of emails we receive each day, we may not be able to respond to every inquiry. Dr. Purdie-Vaughns is accepting doctoral students for matriculation in 2016.

Post-doctoral fellows: If you are interested in a post-doctoral position in the lab, please contact Dr. Purdie-Vaughns directly.