January 2022: We are no longer accepting Research Assistant applications for the Winter quarter.

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.

Summer 2022 Internship Opportunity

NSF-REU 10-week Summer Internship: Development of Social Cognition Lab at University of California, Irvine
Dates: June 20 – August 26, 2022

The Development of Social Cognition Lab at UC Irvine is looking for motivated undergraduates to participate in a Summer 2022 NSF-REU program. We are offering three 10-week summer internships with a stipend of $4,000. Interns will work on NSF-funded projects relating to math cognition and cognitive predictors of inequality. We currently run studies with 3- to 9-year-olds in-person and online.

Funding is guaranteed for all accepted students. The internship will include – first and foremost, hands-on experience with cognitive development research; mentorship and guidance, including career planning, programming training, and mentorship on research presentation, research design, and data analysis. The dates for the internship will be June 20th – August 26th, 2022. We plan for these internships to be held in person at UC Irvine. This is subject to change due to COVID-19, in which case we plan on offering a fully remote internship.

Interns should apply to work on one of two projects (please indicate in the cover letter whether you would like to be considered for Project 1, Project 2, or both).
1. Social influences of math learning (2 interns): These projects investigate how to promote learning of math concepts in young children.
2. Cognitive influences of social inequality (1 intern): These projects investigate the development of young children’s abilities to reason about inequality.

Duties will include recruitment of participants, data collection, working with children, coding and analyzing data, and attending lab meetings. Interns will also engage in community outreach efforts (talk to parents about child development), read extant literature in cognitive development, and work directly with senior lab members and the PI; and present their projects to the lab community at the conclusion of their internship.



  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident

  • Be a full-time student

  • Ability to make a full-time commitment (40 hours/week) during the internship period

  • Proficiency in writing and communicating in English

  • Comfort interacting with children 3-9 years of age, as well as parents

  • Interest in cognitive development

  • Attention to detail

  • Basic computer skills

  • Some background in psychology coursework

  • Interest and passion for cognitive development, as well as for community outreach.


Preferred, but not mandatory:

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

  • Previous experience working with children

Positions are ideal for those interested in gaining research experience and an introduction to developmental cognitive psychology research in particular. We especially encourage people to apply who have not had opportunities to gain extensive research experience through their home institutions. If interested, please send:

  1. your resume (including relevant coursework and previous research experience)

  2. cover letter (including a brief description of academic and research interests)

  3. unofficial transcript, and

  4. the name of 1 person (ideally, faculty that may be contacted for a reference.


Please send all materials to dosc.ra.applications@gmail.com with “2022 Summer Internship” in the subject line. We will begin reviewing applications on March 1st so please plan to submit your application by then to guarantee that your materials are reviewed. If you have any questions regarding this internship or the application process, please direct your email to dosc.ra.applications@gmail.com.

For 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, Lucy Stowe, at lstowe@uci.edu. To apply, please fill out the Research Assistant Application here.

Summer Undergraduate Opportunities:

In addition to the requirements listed above, preference will be given to Summer Research Assistants who can commit at least 40 hours/week over a 10-week period (or an equivalent 400 hours over the summer). To learn more, please email lstowe@uci.edu. 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 lstowe@uci.edu.

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 interested in joining the lab should contact Dr. Chernyak (Nadia.chernyak@uci.edu) and CC Lab Manager Lucy Stowe (lstowe@uci.edu) 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 (nadia[dot]chernya[at]uci.edu) 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 we can apply for together, provided sufficient fit and mutual interest.