The Department of Psychology
Oklahoma State University

Increasing Science Education through the Study of Scientific Psychology

A National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates
















We unfortunately were not funded for summer 2010. If you are interested in a possible 2011 program, please contact Dr. Shelia Kennison at We also encourage you to check out OSU for graduate school, we have  clinical and lifespan developmental psychology programs.


Undergraduate Portal (for those seeking REU and other Summer Programs)



The Program

· Spend 8 weeks this summer (May 17 to July 13, 2008) working on research teams in the areas of children's social and cognitive development, adolescent and parent relationships, language development, and successful aging.

· Learn all aspects of the research process, including formulating hypotheses, integrating and analyzing scientific literature, study design, data collection, data analysis, and oral and written presentation of findings

· Start the program by attending an opening picnic

· Interact with students from the American Indians into Psychology Program

· Attend weekly seminars focused on advanced statistics and research methods

· Participate in the Orientation To Science Program (OTSP): Prior to beginning your actual research experience, there will be a 2 day program designed to introduce and orient you to the scientific research process

· Attend weekly research seminars in which the faculty mentors present their programs of research.

· Be paired with a current OSU graduate student to learn more about graduate school life

· Attend workshops on how to apply to graduate school, how to write a successful resume or vita, how to write a personal statement, and how to study for the general tests on the GRE.

· Participate in a team building experience at the OSU Challenge Course

· Cap off the experience with a trip to a regional or national conference (in the spring or summer) to present posters or presentations of your work.

· Benefits include a $3200 stipend in addition to on-campus housing in renovated dorms, a travel stipend, and a research stipend to cover such costs as photocopying, computer disks, paying subjects


· The Department of Psychology at Oklahoma State University was established in 1958. The department teaches undergraduate and graduate courses with a faculty of 18 full-time members. There are over 400 undergraduates students majoring in psychology and approximately 50 graduate students in the department. Mentors are also from the Department of Family Relations and Child Development. The department offers degrees in child development, family relations, marriage and family therapy, and gerontology.

· Located in North Murray Hall, the Psychology Department is near the center of the OSU campus. Laboratories are equipped with personal computers for automatic presentation of stimuli, to control experiments, and establish data files. Well-equipped laboratories for comparative work are available as well. PsychInfo and MedLine are available over the Internet through the University Library.

Faculty Mentors (List is complete)

· Melanie C. Page, Ph.D. Lifespan Developmental Psychology: Melanie's research interests are diverse. One line of research focuses on body image in young women. In addition to looking at correlates of body image, I am looking at ways to better assess this construct, especially in diverse populations. I also have the ECLS data sets – this is a national sample designed to look at children’s health, development, care, and education from birth through third grade. I also have a data set of young children’s conflicts (ages 3-5, detailed descriptions of about 400 conflicts). Project Director. Dr. Page will work with several students this summer.


· Shelia Kennison, Ph.D. Lifespan Developmental Psychology: Shelia's research focuses on the cognitive processes involved in adult language processing, specifically processes involved in recognizing individual words and in comprehending sentences and short narratives. Readers and listeners demonstrate an amazing capacity to comprehend language rapidly and usually without excessive conscious effort. The lab is now equipped with a dual purkinje eye tracker that will enable students to record eye movements as reading occurs.  Measuring eye movements during reading provides the most precise measurement of processing difficulty occurring during reading.


· Mike Criss, Ph.D. Human Development and Family Science. The students will be doing research in social development. Specifically, they will be examining predictors and outcomes of parental monitoring and other types of parenting practices for middle school children and adolescents. In addition, they would be examining the interplay between family and peer relationships. Also, most of my research focuses on antisocial behavior as the outcome variable. Students can use existing data or potentially collect new data.


· Whitney Brosi, Ph.D. Human Development and Family Science. The students will have the opportunity to transcribe/enter data as well as analyze both quantitative and qualitative data from 400+ older, rural citizens, their health care providers, and family members. These data are focused on the constructs of barriers and resources related to positive nutrition and health among older, rural Oklahomans. I also have a project on mother-daughter relationships and care negotiation in late life. This would include the same kind of opportunities.


· David Thomas, Ph.D. Lifespan Developmental Psychology. Dr. Thomas and his collaborators in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences have collected anthropometric and cognitive task data on 100 Ethiopian infants and their mothers. This team has also received funding for a larger project in Ethiopia that involves supplementing the diets of mothers with zinc and measuring its impact on the psychological functioning of these mothers and their infants. A recent grant submission has also been funded to be carried out in Oklahoma which will investigate the relationships among iron, zinc, lead, and cadmium to cognitive development in infants.

· James Grice, Ph.D. Lifespan Developmental Psychology. Dr. Grice will be working on several projects involving personality, self-concept, and identity. Work in Dr. Grice’s lab revolves around techniques that place focus on the psychological life of the individual. In other words, what are the implicit, personal ‘theories’ that inform the ways individuals view the world, themselves and other people? Moreover, how do we tap into or measure these implicit theories? Students working with Dr. Grice will learn to employ the techniques for addressing these types of questions.



· Qualifications and Application

· Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. or possessions entering their junior or senior year in college in Fall 2008. You are not eligible if you will graduate in May or Aug of 2008. We will consider applications for students who are going to be sophomores, but priority will go to juniors or seniors. International students can apply, but they would have to pay all of their own direct costs. Thus, you would have to pay your own travel and housing (last year this ran $308 per month) and would not receive a stipend. You would also have to pay for the Challenge Course, which is about $25. If you are an international application, please identify this on your application.


You must have taken Statistics (the class can be a combination of statistics and research methods; basically what we are assuming is that you recognize the terms t-test, ANOVA, correlation, and hopefully regression).


· Applicants should possess a strong desire and motivation to learn about one or more of the above research areas

· Applicants must submit an application form with all required material

· Applicants should submit transcripts (unofficial is fine and is preferred so it can come with your application packet).

· Applicants should submit a sealed signed letter of recommendation from a professor with their application packet.


Submit questions to Dr. Page at or 405-744-7334. Email is the fastest way to reach me. If I have not responded within 48 hours, please resend the email.

Submit completed applications to:
Dr. Melanie Page
Department of Psychology
Oklahoma State university
116 N. Murray
Stillwater, OK 74078-3064

(Please do not ask for exceptions)


Applicants will be notified by email of their status, so please include a legible email address on your application.