College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychology

Annual Undergraduate Research Grants and Research Symposium


The 2002-2003 academic year marked the inception of our Undergraduate Research Initiative.The goal of this program is to recognize and reward outstanding undergraduate research within the Psychology Department.  Each year, undergraduate students are invited to submit proposals for original research projects.  Students design these projects with the assistance of psychology faculty. To date, twenty projects have been honored with grants.  These projects reflect the diverse interests of our students and faculty, and include both basic and applied research.  Each spring, the results of these projects are presented at Department of Psychology Undergraduate Research Symposium, an event that is open to the entire university and Pullman/Moscow community.Joining the grant recipients are other undergraduate presenters who are conducting psychological research under the direction of faculty mentors.  This event has steady grown in size over the last three years. 

In conjunction with the symposium’s poster session, a guest speaker gives an invited presentation on his/her research within the field of psychology.  Past guest speakers have included Dr. Robert Horner, WSU alumnus and University of Oregon full professor, who spoke on “Conducting behavioral science to improve our schools and communities”; Dr. Carl Swander, WSU alumnus and co-owner of Ergometrics and Applied Personnel Research, Inc., who spoke on “The Future of Hiring: Research Drives Exciting Advances in Job Simulation” ; and Dr. Gregory Belenky, research professor and director of the Sleep and Performance Research Center at WSU Spokane, who spoke on “Sleep and Human Performance.”

Quotes From Past Grant Recipients About Their Research Experience

“My experience in research goes onto my resume as well as my transcript.  I feel that it gives me an edge over other applications and shows my responsibility and determination to potential employers and graduate programs.” (Kristie-Lea Kelley, ’04 Zoology BS)

“This experience strengthened my knowledge about psychology and I hope that the knowledge and experience gained will benefit my future goal of graduate school.  I hope this experience, along with my previous experience with neuroscience research, makes me a first choice candidate.” (Summer Sweet, ’04 Psych BS & Neuroscience BS) 

“Being encouraged to produce and develop research proposals at the undergraduate level is very motivating and inspiring.  It gives a student the chance to test out areas of interest in research and further helps to decide post-graduation plans.” (Kelby L. Holtfreter, ’05 Psych BS & Neuroscience BS)

“My experiences involving research will aid me in my future goals of becoming a valued researcher in the field of behavior analysis.  The opportunity to perform my own research will contribute to better performance and acclimation in any type of scientific environment.  It promotes flexibility in problem-solving and critical analysis of theoretical concepts.” (Shea Colleen Bower, ’04 Psych BS)

“I now feel that medicine without understanding the foundations of research is rather pointless.  I hope to combine my knowledge of medicine and clinical psychology,” (James Bales, ’04 Psych BS & Neuroscience BS)

“[Research] helped me to improve many skills such as time management, verbal and written communication and collaborative skills.  Although my current research is not directly related to the field [I eventually hope to enter], it taught me many skills that will enable me to pursue my goals.  Graduate school and Ph.D. programs require a lot of research and with this background, completing such projects should be a lot easier.” (Emily Verbon, ’04 Psych BS)

“The best part about doing research is the extended interactions I have had with people I work with, both professors and graduate students.” (Jeremiah Brown, ’03 Psych BS)

“The best part about undergraduate research is the chance to gain practical experience in your chosen field (or a related one) that can help you determine if you actually enjoy doing that type of work.  It is also a great opportunity to make contact with researchers in the field and expand your knowledge of career possibilities.” (Victoria Cussen, ’03 Psych BS)

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