Regardless of your professional career goals, research department internships provide an invaluable professional experience. Whether you choose I/O psychology or wish to work in a treatment facility, research will always play some part in your career. The internship may hone your clinical research and application skills, fine-tune your knowledge of statistics, or help you finalize your dissertation. With the many areas flourishing in psychology research, choosing this internship can complement both your academic and professional goals.
Research is the backbone of psychology as a science and has myriad real life applications that range from formulation of behavioral treatment modalities to improving organizational function. All psychology theory is based on scientific research. Whether you tend to align more with cognitive or behavioral theory, there is a science behind the hypothesis. This internship choice may help you hone your scientific method skills, which you will use for the rest of your professional career.
An internship in research may be found in your university’s psychology department or in a state hospital’s psychology department. The locations of these internships are as diverse as their topics. However, few spaces are allotted to students, and doctoral students may take priority over B.A. or M.A. students as hours in research are a prerequisite to obtaining a PhD or PsyD. It is never too early to start exploring the research internships available. If you locate a topic that interests you, you may start applying as early as your third year of baccalaureate study.
Three common areas of research in psychology are organizational psychology, behavioral psychology, and organic brain functions. Organizational research internships are extremely diverse and could support a career in industrial psychology, counseling, or business management. This research assesses the impact of behavior on performance and workplace stressors such as mergers. Behavioral research is another widely diverse topic that can include the study of both healthy and diseased persons. This research may delve into the intricacies of personality disorders or explore the facets of personality in development. Organic brain-function research is vital to pursuing a career in biological psychology such as neuropsychology. These researchers study the physiology of the brain and its impact on behavior. Traumatic brain injury research is one area widely popularized today for organic studies.
As a research department intern, you might exclusively design experiment structures, collect or analyze data, or work in experimental projects. This provides an excellent opportunity to flex your research skills while performing under the scrutiny of a licensed mentor. This internship can complement a variety of psychology professions and will enhance your CV while possibly opening the door to a permanent position in research.
Last Updated: 08/16/2012