Join Us!

The Stress and Development Lab values diversity of all kinds.

We strive to provide enriching opportunities for all trainees (volunteer research assistants, study staff, graduate students, and post-doctoral trainees), including those from marginalized and historically disadvantaged backgrounds. We are committed to increasing the representation of trainees from diverse backgrounds into clinical science settings and ensuring that our field represents the values, perspectives, and experiences of a wider range of students and trainees. As such, we welcome and encourage applications from trainees who identify as members of marginalized or historically disadvantaged groups and work to provide a training environment that supports the needs of all students.

As a scientific community, the Stress and Development Lab aims to provide supportive space for scientific dialogue and development. To this end, we are committed to fostering a safe and supportive community in which all members are able to contribute fully regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, or any other applicable basis. We expect all of our members to behave in ways that promote the supportive and productive exchange of ideas, treating all individuals equitably and with respect.

The Stress and Development Lab is hopeful to be admitting a graduate student to begin in the fall of 2022. 

When reviewing applications, we focus on whether applicants have research interests that are a good fit for the questions we study in the lab as well as prior research experience.  Prior research experience with children and adolescents and a track record of independent research (e.g., a thesis project as an undergraduate, a poster presentation at a research conference, or involvement in a research publication) are the types of research experience that are weighed most heavily in the review process.
For a description of our ongoing research studies, please click on the Projects tab of our lab website.  You can read more about each of our ongoing studies on the this page. If you have additional questions about the application process, please feel free to contact the Lab Director, Katie McLaughlin, at



Why Volunteer?

The SDL is an excellent place to be a research assistant because our undergraduates and volunteers are directly involved with all aspect of our research, including running children and adolescents in studies. This means that you get to to be directly involved in the clinical research process in a very hands-on environment. Research assistants are also encouraged to pursue their own projects by collaborating with graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in the lab. Previous undergraduate research assistants have taken on coding projects, designed and carried out original studies, and presented research in university as well as professional conferences. You will also gain valuable skills and experience that will prepare you for graduate school or whatever your next career steps might be. 

For most of the studies in the SDL, we rely on undergraduate research assistants to help us with all research-related processes. Research assistants help administer tasks and questionnaires to participants, organize, enter, and check data, recruit study participants, and process psychophysiological and neuroimaging data. Most of our participants attend school, so we typically run studies in the late afternoon/early evenings on weekdays (2-7 pm) and as needed on Saturday afternoons.  Saturday availability is strongly preferred. We prefer that research assistants have experience working with children and adolescents and have taken relevant courses such as Abnormal Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Psychological Statistics, or Fundamentals of Psychological Research. You may receive class credit for working at the SDL.