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If you are interested in joining our lab meetings, please take a look at our google doc linked here to see what we will be discussing and when we will be meeting.

For UCI Undergraduate Students:


The Development of Social Cognition Lab is looking for highly motivated undergraduates to join the lab as research assistants. If you are interested in learning more about our research interests, you can find them on the Research page hereNote: The best time to apply will be in July or August for the Fall quarter. The best time to apply for Winter and Spring quarters is midway through the previous quarter. Please note that we mainly accept RAs in the Fall.


RAs will be involved in all aspects of the research process, including recruiting families, scheduling participants, collecting and entering data both in lab and in the field, and attending weekly lab meetings.



  • Minimum commitment of 10 hours/week

  • Must be available for blocks of time during the weekend or weekday to collect data at preschools and/or museums.

  • Must be comfortable interacting with children 2-10 years of age, as well as parents

  • Interest in cognitive development

  • Attention to detail


Preferred, but not mandatory:

  • Minimum 3.0 G.P.A. in Psychology classes

  • Previous experience working with children


We are particularly interested in RAs who are able to participate in lab for two quarters or more. As RAs gain more experience in lab, there may be opportunities for more in-depth involvement.


RAs will be able to enroll in an independent study course under Dr. Nadia Chernyak for 4 credits.


To learn more, please email our lab manager, Kiana Gee, at To apply, please fill out the Research Assistant Application here.

Summer Undergraduate Opportunities for UCI Students:

In addition to the requirements listed above, preference will be given to Summer Research Assistants who can commit at least 20 hours/week over a 10-week period (or an equivalent 200 hours over the summer). Funding for this can be acquired by UCI students via applying for a SURP (details below). Otherwise, this opportunity is unpaid on a volunteer basis. Please note this opportunity is different from our Summer Internship Program offered to non-UCI undergraduates. To learn more, please email To apply, please fill out the Summer Research Assistant Application here

UC-Irvine Undergraduates who are interested in funding opportunities for summer research can find information about SURP funding here. For more information on how to apply for SURP through our lab, please email

Undergraduate Thesis Students:

Undergraduates looking to do a thesis should be part of the lab for least 2 quarters before starting thesis work. This is because students need to be thoroughly trained on lab procedures and methods before starting the process of doing independent work. Undergraduates interested in doing a thesis should speak with Dr. Chernyak about opportunities once they've joined the lab and worked for at least 1 quarter (you should make sure you like the work enough to do a thesis in it!).

For Post-Bac Students:

Post-Bac students enrolled at UCI interested in joining the lab should contact Dr. Chernyak ( and CC Lab Manager Kiana Gee ( to set up a meeting to discuss potential fit, interests, and available projects/opportunities.

Graduate Students:

The Development of Social Cognition Lab anticipates recruiting graduate students in the coming years. Ideal candidates will be highly independent and self-motivated, have research experience in cognitive development and/or social psychology, and be able to articulate research interests aligned with the lab's goals. Students should apply through the Cognitive Sciences PhD Program at UCI. Successful candidates are guaranteed 5 years of funding. Students are encouraged to contact Dr. Chernyak ( in advance of the application deadline to discuss potential fit.

Post-Doctoral Trainees:

Students interested in pursuing a post-doc should contact Dr. Chernyak to discuss research interests and fit. At this time, I don't have funding for a full-time post-doctoral position, but do have a list of opportunities that would provide such funding, that we can apply for together, provided sufficient fit and mutual interest.

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