The Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program provides undergraduate students enrolled in colleges and universities where there are limited research opportunities with a unique opportunity to gain hands-on research experience on a topic related to the program theme, which focuses on the utilization or examination of technology as a means of advancing psychological research. During the WKU REU program, which ran from 2015-2017, students spent 10 weeks working closely with a faculty mentor on research utilizing technological advances in the areas of clinical, cognitive, developmental, educational, industrial/organizational, and/or social psychology. Students also participated in developmental workshops and activities related to topics such as ethics, research methods, statistics, computer software, and presentation skills. At the conclusion of the program, students presented their findings at a mini research conference to university faculty and staff. See the REU Activities page for more details.
This program provided students with the opportunity to gain hands-on research experience while furthering our understanding of human behavior and cognition. All students were expected to disseminate their research findings at a national or international conference following completion of the program, and were strongly encouraged to submit their research findings for publication. Our goal was to have participants develop strong skills as psychological researchers, thereby increasing the likelihood that program participants would pursue graduate degrees and/or careers in psychology.
The theme of the REU site, which focused on the integration of modern technology into psychological research, not only allowed students to gain exposure to working with cutting-edge technology not available in a number of psychology departments, but to also learn about research topics that are highly relevant to today’s society. As such, the program provided participants with both a strong set of research skills and a better understanding of modern issues being addressed in the field of psychology.