Thanks for your interest in working with the POPMEM lab. Research experience is a great way to:
Our lab enjoys close collaborations with other labs in the Department of Psychology and Centre for Neuroscience Studies. Weekly lab meetings and department seminars such as The Cognitive Revolution, QBCC, Friday Fights, and others provide for regular stimulation as well as interaction with others in an emerging cohort of research leaders. Unique research assets, such as the Queen's fMRI Centre and QBCC Holostation, create unusual opportunities for research.
Our group's success relies on the contributions of intelligent, creative, and passionate students. Opportunities are competitive, and we select students with a strong academic record (typically, with a GPA > 3.65) who have goals and interests that fit well with those of our lab. Computational experience is not required, however, completing an introductory programming course (at Queen's, CISC101 or COGS300 are good choices; the latter requires PSYC100) or an online certificate course (like the free one here) will strengthen your application, and expand the types of research opportunities available to you (these courses are also valued by most other cognitive, neuroscience, and industry labs).
Students and post-docs who can bring independent funding from a host country or institution are especially encouraged to apply.
The POPMEM lab operates out of historical Kingston, Ontario, quite possibly the smallest community in Canada to feature a Doctoral research university of Queen's calibre. This setting offers high quality of life, low cost of living, and a rich intellectual environment. We also enjoy collaborations with many colleagues in nearby Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. For more about campus life at Queen's, click here; for more about life in Kingston, click here.
Queen's undergraduate students can gain experience in the POPMEM lab in three ways: a special directed studies course (for course credit), an honours thesis, or a research assistant position. For these positions, we generally select students who are willing to commit ten hours per week for four months, a period during which you will become familiar with the theoretical objectives and methods of our lab, and we mutually evaluate your "fit" with the lab. We suggest you aim to join us for at least an additional four months, which will allow you to take advantage of your new knowledge, and make significant headway into your own research project. To apply for any undergraduate position, please email Jordan with a CV, informal copy of your academic transcript, and short statement of interest (1-2 paragraphs). Please see the general notes at the top of this page about what makes a competitive applications.
In a special directed studies course, you are able to work one-on-one with a graduate student, post-doc, or Jordan to pursue common research goals. Students select the lab project of greatest interest to them and serve as apprentices, while receiving guidance on theoretical and research skills. The term concludes with a written, journal-style research report. Students typically enroll through Psychology (PSYC570 or PSYC575), but directed studies course codes from other disciplines (e.g., biology, computer science) are sometimes appropriate, depending on the subject material and availability of area co-supervisors.
The undergraduate honours thesis program offers the highest intellectual training available to undergraduates. In our lab, thesis students formulate, run, analyze, and report on a study or series of studies. They then present their work to faculty and can present their findings at a local scientific conference. A thesis is usually required for admission to graduate and professional schools. As with the special directed studies course, most theses in our lab are arranged through PSYC501, with a competitive student-faculty matching process. However, we can also supervise theses from other departments as topic material and co-supervisor availability permits.
Students are encouraged to apply for the NSERC Undergraduate Summer Research Award (URSA), a prestigious academic prize that will provide full-time salary support for research activities with the lab over the summer months. Our lab is eligible to host URSA students. Paid positions sometimes arise through the Summer Work Experience Program (SWEP), the work-study program, and the lab itself. When available, these opportunities will be noted at the top of this page. Out of fairness to students, our lab does not participate in unfunded research internships.
Graduate students at Queen's first enter an M.A. program in which they complete courses, perform their own original research project, sample the institutional culture of a research group, and increase their qualifications for academic and industry positions. After the M.A. degree is awarded, students and the program reassess the fit, and mutually decide about whether to proceed with Ph.D. training (strong students with an M.A. from another institution are also eligible for direct entry into the Ph.D. program).
Students with an undergraduate degree in Psychology or Cognitive Science should apply through the Psychology department. While students hoping to join my lab are welcome to apply to any of the non-clinical Psychology streams that best represents their interests, please note my affiliation is with the Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Science (BBCS) program. Successful psychology applicants will likely either be working on or have completed an honours thesis. Please note that General GRE scores are required by Psychology.
Students with an undergraduate degree in other quantitative fields (including, but not limited to Computer Science, Engineering, Physics, Statistics, or Mathematics) are also welcome in the lab, and encouraged to submit an application through Queens' Centre for Neuroscience. Due to different practices in these fields, a thesis is not required, but any evidence of research experience and/or interest in cognition or neuroscience will be an asset. General GRE scores are also not required, though strong scores will support your candidacy.
Fellowships are required to support international students, and are available on a very limited basis. However, they are sometimes available. If you are an international student interested in joining the lab, please inquire as to their availability.
If you are interested in graduate training with our lab, you are encouraged to email Jordan with your application materials (e.g., CV, informal academic transcript, GRE scores, brief statement of interest) prior to submitting a formal application to Psychology or CNS (to assess your potential fit with the lab).
If you are interested in working as a Post-Doctoral Fellow or Visiting scholar in the POPMEM lab, please contact Jordan directly to discuss this possibility. Unless an opportunity is noted at the top of this page, you will require external funds to do so. However, if you are a strong applicant and research match to the lab, we will gladly support your application for an NSERC, SSHRC or Mitacs post-doctoral fellowship (2 years of salary support), other international fellowship, or the Queen's Post-Doctoral Fund (1 year of salary support) to be held in our lab.