Hamilton Lab: Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Interested in participating in our research or learning more about what it is like to be a graduate student? We love working with motivated, creative, and thoughtful undergraduate students. See the guidelines below. Please note that we receive many applicants each semester who are interested in doing research or independent study in the lab. If you are not chosen, feel free to reach out again the following semester, or read the guidelines below that can help you to choose another research group! 

We sometimes put out specific calls for undergraduate researchers through Eureka

Interested in research as a graduate student? Visit our Graduate Research Opportunities page to read about the potential programs of study.

General Advice

The following are some suggestions for undergraduates who are interested in working in the lab. The following advice is paraphrased from Loren Frank's laboratory at UCSF:
  1. Read (or at least skim) papers from the laboratory before you apply. Make sure that the sort of work the lab does is exciting to you and that you will be willing to put in the time and the effort required to learn about the science done in the lab. You can find some of our papers here.
  2. Do not write a general application letter that you send to a number of research groups. Instead, explain why you think you are interested in the work being done in the specific laboratory to which you are applying.
  3. When you email a professor to ask about positions in their lab, always include your current CV/resume, which can have your major, relevant coursework, work or research experience, and general goals. If you have specific skills that you believe would be helpful in the lab, please point them out -- we love to know your strengths!

Ways to participate:

There are a few potential options for undergraduates, once accepted to the lab. You can discuss the possibility of receiving course credit for your participation in the lab.
  1. Participate as part of an Independent Study (e.g. CSD398K or NEU377) 
  2. Participate as part of the Moody College Intellectual Entrepreneurship program

What kind of things do undergraduates do in the lab?

If you are looking for a research experience, our past undergraduates have been involved in some or all of the following tasks/projects:

  1. Stimulus transcription and phonetic annotation in Praat for natural speech and language experiments
  2. 64-channel scalp EEG data collection
  3. EEG data analysis
  4. Participating in weekly lab meetings and journal clubs where we discuss current scientific literature and updates on student projects
  5. Write papers or scientific abstracts with graduate students
  6. Learn how to program in Python using jupyter notebooks

What are we looking for?

While we work with students from a variety of different backgrounds (see our People page!), we are always on the look out for people with the following traits/skills:

  1. Works well independently and as a team
  2. Great communication skills (with the team and with Dr. Hamilton)
  3. Detail-oriented
  4. Reliable
  5. Takes initiative
  6. Can give and receive constructive feedback
  7. Quantitative skills
  8. Coding skills (especially python, but also sometimes Swift and MATLAB)
  9. Knowledge of linguistics/phonetics/phonology
  10. Knowledge of cognitive/systems neuroscience
  11. Experience working with patient populations
  12. Experience working with children


Of course, many of these things are learned on the job, so please reach out and tell us what you're interested in and we will let you know of potential opportunities!