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NSF REU Site: Advancing Psychological Research with Technology

The WKU National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program took place from 2015-2017. The program has now ended. Applications are no longer being accepted.

REU Program Activities

Over a span of ten weeks, eight program participants developed their research skills via three major REU program components:

  1. Active participation in one or more research projects closely supervised by a faculty mentor
  2. Participation in weekly workshops, brown bag presentations, and field trips
  3. A presentation of research findings in a mini research conference at the conclusion of the program

More information on each of these program components is provided below.

Research Projects

The faculty mentors who participated in this program span various psychological sub-disciplines and examined a variety of different research questions, thereby providing projects encompassing numerous contexts of interest to undergraduate researchers. To ensure that each student was able to meet project goals and was prepared to submit his/her research findings to a national or international conference upon the conclusion of the program, faculty mentors provided continual assistance and support to students.

Workshops, Brown Bag Presentations, and Field Trips

The focus of the workshops was enhancing students’ technical skills related to conducting and reporting on psychological research, as well as providing professional development opportunities (e.g., graduate school preparation). Brown bag presentations provided students with a stronger understanding of both the diversity of research topics within the field of psychology and how research questions can be investigated scientifically. Several carefully selected field trips highlighted culturally and historically significant regional sites.

WorkshopsTwelve workshops (approximately two hours each) were structured to coincide with the timeline of the research projects so as to help students feel comfortable working independently to complete project tasks. Workshop topics included scientific writing in psychology, ethics in conducting psychological research, experimental design and statistical analysis, presentation skills, and professional development.

Brown Bag Presentations. Nine one-hour research presentations were given by faculty and graduate student researchers. Brown bag presentations alllowed students to not only gain a better understanding of the diversity of research conducted by psychological researchers, but also to see examples of ways to effectively deliver a research presentation.

Field Trips. Participants had the opportunity to attend several carefully selected field trips to local and regional sites of cultural and historical significance. When possible, the technological advances used to discover, research, and/or maintain these sites were highlighted.

Mini Research Conference

At the end of the 10-week program, students presented their research findings in an interactive poster format at a mini conference. Interactive poster sessions included a brief oral poster overview by each student, followed by a traditional poster session. Posters were included in a bound volume disseminated to REU participants and faculty. 

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 Last Modified 3/29/18