The Education & Cognitive Science Lab: Language, Literacy, and Cognitive Development

Required Availability
Spring 2018 | Fall 2017
Course Credit?
Paid Position?

The newly founded Education & Cognitive Science Lab (ECS Lab: Principal Investigator, Lisa Hsin) is seeking undergraduates to support a variety of research activities investigating, broadly, linguistic and social-cognitive development in children ages 3 to 14. We focus on questions around how language and cognition shape students’ academic and social development: How do children use multiple perspectives on a topic to support the expression of their beliefs about it? What role does being bilingual / speaking multiple languages play in students’ ability to construct written arguments? How do students grasp and engage with multiple linguistic genres of academic text? What is the structure of the underlying mental system that gives rise to a diversity of linguistic and cognitive abilities? We are seeking undergraduate Research Assistants to support our ongoing studies on these questions. As an RA you may gain experience in transcribing and analyzing student writing using specialized software, collecting and coding experimental data, and preparing psycholinguistic / qualitative research materials, among other activities. Accommodation of RAs’ requests for specific activity assignments will be made whenever possible. This fall will be the ECS Lab's first active semester, so lab members will have the opportunity to contribute to its early days of participant recruitment and community outreach, as well as primary data collection. The position is open to undergraduates of all concentrations, and would be of special interest to students of the cognitive sciences (e.g., psychology, linguistics, human development, computer science). The minimum weekly commitment for this position is 3 hours, and it can be pursued as a volunteer or a credited opportunity, if the student is in a program capable of granting interdisciplinary research credit. For any student involved it may be possible to extend the position into the spring and later semesters if desired, and monetary compensation may be possible in future semesters, pending outstanding research funding solicitations. Participating RAs will also have the opportunity to analyze project data for their own purposes, e.g. as the basis of an Honors thesis, over the longer term, with the guidance of the senior research team.

Special Directions

To apply, please attach a CV and a brief statement of interest in the position (150-250 words). You may write Prof. Hsin directly to pose specific questions before submitting your CV and statement of interest.

Special Skills

Desired qualifications (not required): - Experience working with children and families in a research setting - Training in research methods (experimental/computational) - Ability to speak multiple languages - Facility with language transcription, website maintenance, and/or research database management

Contact Phone #
(205) 348-0906
Contact Email
Research Website

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