Internship Program Information

Our undergraduate student research internship program consists of a 300-hour commitment over the course of nine months during which students are trained to work directly with our families and assist our PhD level psychologists throughout the assessment process. Their role includes guiding the family through room changes, directing the family as to what activity will come next, implementing experimental assessments and delivering instructions for those experiments, data entry, and participation in discussions regarding the theories and methods behind the studies that they help collect data for. Discussion topics often include use of MRI and fMRI to understand autism and language development, using eye tracking in infants, standardized assessments used in evaluating young children, gene expression, brain development in autism, and the grieving process of parents who have children with special needs.

These discussions, combined with the direct observation of a wide range of developmental abilities experienced in the clinic, formulate an exceptional learning experience for our students interested in neuroscience, child development, psychology, and other relevant disciplines. The program consists of three increasing levels of responsibility. In the initial phase, new students are paired with experienced students during a period of directly supervised training. During the second phase, students will become more independent and begin thinking more critically and scientifically about their own observations and curiosities. In the final phase, the now-experienced student "teaches" all that he or she has learned to new incoming students as a trainer. This model follows the "Learn, Do, Teach" approach that is a popular model for learning progression. Students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. Many program graduates have gone on to complete Master's, PhD, and MD programs or have begun careers as ABA therapists!

If you are enthusiastic about doing research and would like to be considered for a volunteer position at our lab, please send your resume, cover letter, current transcript, and schedule of availability to info-ace@ucsd.edu or digoel@ucsd.edu