The University of South Carolina Summer Research Institute in Experimental Psychology has provided and will continue to provide a mechanism for educating undergraduate students about the field of experimental psychology. Many students, including students from underrepresented minorities, are drawn to applied psychology programs. The intent of the Institute, in contrast, is to focus student interest and enthusiasm on the basic science areas of psychology. The eight-week USC Summer Research Institute will permit well-qualified minority and non-minority undergraduate students majoring in a behavioral science an experience in graduate-level research, including an opportunity to formulate and conduct an experiment with individual guidance from an energetic and supportive research faculty mentor. The student will participate in major phases of experimental research, including literature review, hypothesis generation, data collection, data organization, statistical analysis and report writing in the style of American Psychological Association journals. Student experiences will be enriched by weekly research seminars, in which assigned readings will be discussed, and by weekly sessions on problems of research design and statistics in experimental psychology. Students will receive gratis course credit for their work. This program emphasis is much needed, as the U.S. is perceived to be the leader in the field of experimental psychology, and our universities must be able to motivate and train the best students for future careers in vital areas of behavioral science. This Summer Institute will continue to provide one vehicle to enhance these goals.
This award contributes to the Foundation's continuing efforts to attract talented students into careers in science through active undergraduate research experiences.