The Cognitive Tools Lab is always on the lookout for outstanding graduate (and advanced undergraduate) students. This document will give you a sense for what we are looking for, and what the next steps to take are. Please read it in its entirety before contacting Dr. Fan to ask about doing research.
In addition to strong motivation and scientific curiosity, the research we do requires a variety of both technical and non-technical skills, though the needs of each project vary. Prospective students should have experience with several of the skills listed below, along with a positive attitude about and willingness to quickly/independently learn about others:
It is important to emphasize that even if you don’t currently have the skills above, that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t work in the lab. If you are seriously interested in joining us, you are encouraged to invest time and energy acquiring some or more of these skills through coursework and/or independently, and then reach out to me to see if it is a good fit.
If you are not currently a student at UCSD but are interested in joining the lab as a PhD student, please introduce yourself to Dr. Fan via email. While she cannot guarantee a reply, she will do her best to respond and discuss with you whether the lab might be a good fit. If following this discussion you continue to be interested in joining the lab, please submit an application to our PhD program in Psychology.
I’m happy to work with current UCSD students who meet the above criteria. I expect this to be mostly PhD and Masters students. Unusually well prepared undergraduate students are welcome, but they will be held to the same high standards. A good way for me to figure out whether you’d be a good fit is for you to take my graduate course. This gives you a chance to see how I work with students, and it lets me see your working style. If this isn’t feasible due to timing, please send me an email so we can arrange for an alternative way to evaluate fit. Scientific research is unpredictable and can take up a lot of time. You should expect to spend at minimum 15 hours a week working on a research project — so don’t do it in during a quarter when you’re swamped with other commitments (classes, TA’ing, job interviews, etc.).
If you think you might be a good fit after reading all of the above, send me an email with a current resume/CV and with answers to the following questions:
Please contact me during the quarter before the one in which you want to do research — this gives us time to define a project for you in advance so you can hit the ground running.