NSF Summer REU Program

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The Department of Psychological Sciences
Northern Arizona University 

National Science Foundation*
Research Experiences for Undergraduates 

Summer 2018 - 2020 Research Internships in
Hojooba’ bee la’ hooniil,
Undergraduate Research into the Social Psychophysiology of Compassion
Dates for Summer 2018: May 21 to July 16
Application Deadline: March 30, 2018, 11:59pm PST 

The link to the online application can be found at the bottom of this page.

The Department of Psychological Sciences at Northern Arizona University offers an exciting and intellectually stimulating Summer Research Internship in Hojooba’ bee la’ hooniil, Undergraduate Research into the Social Psychophysiology of Compassion (SPC) in Flagstaff the summer of 2018. This summer REU experience is designed to offer qualified undergraduates the opportunity to collaborate with Department doctoral faculty in all stages of psychological research, including generation of individualized research hypotheses related to faculty/student intern research interests, creation of an appropriate research methodology, configuration of research procedures and protocols, collection, analysis, and interpretation of data, professional presentation of outcomes at local and regional/national conferences, and possible participation in publication manuscript preparation and submission. Interns will not only enjoy these direct, closely supervised, hands-on original research experiences in individual faculty laboratories provided by an experienced, productive, and stimulating faculty research mentor, but will also participate in educational seminars on various aspects of scientific research, professional educational and career development seminars, weekly noon science symposia, a variety of educational, cultural, environmental, and social activities, and co-participation of Psychology REU students with REU students from other programs in seminars, lectures, and local research presentations. Students will thus participate in a collegial manner in original, creative, and pioneering psychological research. Click on the links below for a more detailed description of the summer activities.

Possible Research Topics 

General research areas for the summer internship experiences are likely to include studies of (1) social goals, friendship, and happiness across cultures, (2) the psychophysiology of compassion, anxiety, and stress, (3) Instructional techniques and compassionate teaching, (4) anxiety, depression, compassion, and cardiovascular health, (5) functional analysis of compassionate parenting and child-rearing, (6) the role of compassionate behaviors in sexual health practices across cultures, (7) the role of compassionate behaviors and diversity in the work-life interface, (8) cross-cultural compassion, perceived similarity, identification, and The Quiet Ego, (9) electrocortical (EEG) and psychophysiological correlates of compassion, and (10) mirror neurons, empathic resonance, and electrocortical (EEG) manifestations of compassion and cruelty.  

Potential Mentors  

Melissa Birkett, PhD - Anxiety disorders and their treatment
Ann Collier, PhD - Health psychology and cross-cultural psychology
Melikşah Demir, PhD - Cooperative problem solving and well-being, friendship and happiness
Dana Donohue, PhD - Culture, risk, and resilience factors and their influences on developmental outcomes
Robert Goodman, PhD - Neurological, behavioral, and psychosocial consequences of mindfulness
Larry Stevens, PhD - Psychophysiology of altered states of consciousness, of compassion, of psychotherapy techniques, and clinical hypnosis
Dan Weidler, PhD - Close relationships and their effects on the self-concept and the cognitive structure of the self
C. Chad Woodruff, PhD - Brain processes underlying empathy, sympathy and compassion


Support for this NAU Psychological Sciences Department Summer Research Internship experience has been generously provided by the National Science Foundation Research Experience for   Undergraduates program, by the Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and the Department of Psychological Sciences. Each student intern receives a $4000 stipend for the 8-week summer research internship, a room and board allowance in an NAU dormitory, a $550 laboratory allowance for purchasing of research supplies, equipment, travel, etc., a travel allowance to Flagstaff at the beginning of the internship and back home at the end, partial conference travel support, and occasional picnics, lunches, and cultural expeditions around Northern Arizona. And, each summer, two (2) interns will be invited to continue their research program at NAU and to enroll at NAU for the following academic year and to receive a Research Fellowship of $2000. Of course, with Flagstaff, Arizona being a highly desired national vacation spot and a cool summer paradise with 9 national monuments and parks (including, of course, the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River) within 75 miles, hundreds of miles of hiking, running, and mountain biking trails immediately available on the outskirts of town, and the tallest peak in Arizona (Mt. Humphreys at 12,633’) serving as a backdrop for the summer research experience, one of the most enjoyable benefits is simply spending the summer in beautiful Flagstaff, Arizona!

Who Should Apply? 

If you are a sophomore, junior, or senior undergraduate student enrolled as a U.S. citizen in a U.S. college or university, are potentially interested in continuing your education into graduate school, are interested in social, developmental, health, or cognitive neuroscience research into the social psychophysiology of compassion, and would like to spend the summer conducting research at a beautiful mountain university, then this program is for you. We invite all interested undergraduates who meet these characteristics to apply, but we are especially interested in individuals who would not otherwise have the opportunity to actively participate in psychological research, who are first generation college students, or who are a member of an under-represented (in the sciences) minority group, such as Native American, Hispanic, African American, Native Alaskan, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and disabled students.

Link to Online Application 

Please following the following link to apply for the program online. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/REUapplication2018 

*This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1659888. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.