Volunteer Information

Overview
The IDEA lab is currently recruiting volunteers for lab assistant positions for the Summer 2018 semester.  If you volunteer to help in the IDEA lab, you will be assisting in the testing of undergraduate participants in this research, but these data are frequently compared to responses from monkeys that are tested on similar tests in Dr. Washburn’s laboratory at the Language Research Center. Before submitting an application, please take the time to consider the opportunities and expectations outlined below.

Opportunities
If selected as an IDEA Lab Research Assistant (RA), you will have the opportunity to:
• Receive training on the ethical conduct of research
• Test participants for ongoing studies and assist in other lab work 
• Assist in organizing, entering, and potentially analyzing data
• Present a poster at PURC (Fall) and/or GSURC (Spring)

For RAs who demonstrate reliability in the lab for at least one semester, there may be opportunities to:
• Request letters of recommendation from Dr. Washburn or collaborators
• Receive academic credit (Psychology Research Practicum) for time spent in the lab
• Acquire technical skills with experimental apparatus and techniques
• Present research findings at local or regional professional conferences
• Co-author papers for submission to undergraduate/professional journals

Expectations
Critically, researchers and participants depend on RAs to be in the IDEA lab at the assigned time. We recognize that you are a volunteer, and that you have many responsibilities outside the lab that take priority. Please be realistic about your ability to commit to the IDEA Lab as we rely on our RAs to be responsible and trustworthy!  Failure to be at the lab as scheduled is grounds for immediate termination of a volunteer assistantship.

Scheduling. RAs typically have a regularly scheduled commitment of at least 6 hours each week for the entire term. The schedule is set for the duration of the semester, but can change from semester to semester to accommodate changing class and work schedules. If truly necessary, we can accommodate changes to availability mid-semester.

Training. Once accepted, RAs will need to complete a series of online training modules in order to be approved by GSU’s Institutional Review Board.  Incoming RAs will be provided with details regarding this mandatory training, which should be completed in a timely manner.

Lab Safety and Security.   The IDEA lab is located in Kell Hall, rooms 209 – 215. Incoming RAs will be provided with the information necessary to access and secure the lab space. Data, including paperwork associated with participant testing, must remain within the lab. Participant-testing information is privileged information, and RAs should not discuss, write about, photograph, or otherwise distribute information about IDEA lab activities. This is to protect the rights and anonymity of research participants. If at any point you feel unsafe in the lab, inform Dr. Washburn or a primary collaborator immediately and take measures to ensure your safety.

To Volunteer
Email a completed IDEA Lab Application to Melany Love (mlove11@student.gsu.edu). Once Melany confirms that your application was received, please wait to be contacted for an interview. Note that applications will be reviewed and interviews will be scheduled according to the following:

-Applications for summer will be reviewed in the final week of April
-Applications for fall will be reviewed in the final week of July
-Applications for spring be reviewed in the final week of November

We are pleased that you are considering assisting with the research in the IDEA lab. Across the years, dozens of undergraduate students have helped with this research. Many have gone on to develop their own noteworthy research programs as graduate students and as professors. Many published articles have acknowledged the contributions of volunteer assistants in the IDEA lab. Whatever your goals, we are confident that you will find the work in the IDEA lab to be interesting and rewarding. Your assistance is very important, and we welcome this opportunity to discuss this possibility with you!