Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Brain Science is a rapidly changing field, driven largely by exciting new research findings. In the Psychological and Brain Sciences Department, undergraduates have the opportunity to directly contribute to new discoveries by engaging in research under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Indeed, many faculty in the PBS Department are conducting state of the art research and there are several mechanisms available to involve undergraduate researchers including volunteer work, carrying out research for independent study credit, or engaging in a seniors honors thesis. In addition, funding support is available through a wide range of grants and research programs sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research. One of the best ways to get started is to explore the faculty profiles to find out what sort of research is being conducted, and then contacting that faculty member to find out if you can get involved.

Undergraduate Research Fellowship Programs

The Lincoln Filene Undergraduate Fellowship in Human Relations

The Benjamin J Benner '69 Undergraduate Research Fellowship

These Fellowships pay a stipend of $3,500 to support a psychology or neuroscience major during an off-term (three months) of engagement in full-time research. The Fellowships may be used during any leave term available to the recipient of the award. However, it would seem most suitable that the award be made to a student during a term that could serve as a foundation for Honors Research. Most often this would be in the spring or summer preceding one's senior year.

The awards will be made as a result of an application process. If you wish to apply, you should submit a proposal describing the research area in which you are interested. In this statement:

  1. Indicate the origin of your interest in this area
  2. Describe how the research opportunity would fit into the structure of your undergraduate major
  3. Indicate any post-graduate plans you might have and how the term of research could facilitate these

In addition to supplying this statement, you must identify a faculty sponsor who is willing to collaborate in developing the research plan and serve as adviser for your research. The faculty sponsor should submit a letter in support of your application. Applications and all supporting material should be submitted in one package to Julia Abraham, Moore Hall, Room 104 or via email to [email protected]. The applications will be evaluated by the faculty members on the Undergraduate Committee.

The application package must be submitted by the following deadlines:

  • Spring, 2019: Monday, February 11, 2019
  • Summer, 2019: Monday, April 16, 2019


  • For the Filene award, preference will be given to research on topics related to human relations, broadly defined.
  • For the Benner award, preference will be give to research in physiological psychology or the neurosciences, in accordance with the wishes of Dr. Benner.
  • Although you must apply for one or the other of these awards, both awards have been used to support research in various areas, and the department will fund the most meritorious proposals.
  • No more than one Filene award and one Benner award will be made each year.