Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Becoming involved in a research project allows students to gain hands on experience working. Look over the research opportunities in Human Development and Family Studies that are available for students to participate in for research credit.

Research Opportunities

Biobehavioral Development Laboratory



The Biobehavioral Development Laboratory is dedicated to understanding how genetic influences, prenatal environments, hormones, and family environments together shape children’s and adolescents’ behavior. With Dr. Kristine Marceau (HDFS), students will become involved in research on human genetics, the stress response and neuroendocrine changes at puberty, and how the family environment both before and after birth can work together with and even change biological influences on child and adolescent development.  

As a student in the BDL, you can expect to read research articles and write summaries of findings, creating graphical descriptions of research findings or research-based information, and be trained in and conduct data management, statistical description of data, and data analysis. There may also be opportunities for data collection. You will gain research experience for your vita or resume, opportunities for student-led research (e.g., for the Purdue Undergraduate Research and Poster Symposium), graduate application mentoring, a letter of recommendation for graduate school, and opportunities for joining team presentations at national and international conferences (e.g., Society for Research in Child Development). 

Students may receive HDFS or PSY 390 or BIOL 294 or 494 research credits or may volunteer.  Preference will be given to students who can commit to at least one calendar year. Please send your current vita/resume and brief note on what you hope to learn in the BDL to Dr. Marceau at KristineMarceau@Purdue.edu by December 10 for consideration for joining lab starting in a Spring semester, and by April 10 for consideration for joining in the Summer or Fall.  


Child Temperament and Health Lab (CTHL)

Infant Vegetable Study

The Child Temperament and Health Lab (CTHL) at Purdue University is currently recruiting undergraduate research assistants to help with the Infant Vegetable Study. The goal of this research project is to understand how child temperament and parenting contribute to the acceptance of healthy, but sometimes disliked, foods in early childhood. Under the mentorship of Dr. Kameron Moding, students will gain experience in all aspects of the research process (planning, data collection, and analysis). A commitment of 10 hours per week is expected and students can earn HDFS 390 credits.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please email a cover letter and your current resume to Dr. Kameron Moding at kmoding@purdue.edu


Developmental Studies Laboratory

Developmental Studies Laboratory logo


The Developmental Studies Laboratory at Purdue University is recruiting undergraduate research assistants. With Dr. A. J. Schwichtenberg, students will become an integral component of a longitudinal study assessing early autism identification via early social, physiological, and emotion regulation.

Duties may include: reading research articles, writing experience reflections, coding videos, video-recording laboratory visits, learning and preparing materials for standardized developmental assessments (e.g., Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Mullen Scales of Early Learning), preparing physiological recording equipment, coding physiological data, etc.

Professional Development Opportunities may include: research experience for your vita or resume, data for the Purdue Undergraduate Research and Poster Symposium, graduate application mentoring, a letter of recommendation for graduate school, and joining team presentations at national and international conferences (e.g., Society for Research in Child Development).

The positions are available (10 hours per week) for a one calendar-year experience. Please send a cover letter and your current vita/resume to A.J. Schwichtenberg, PhD at ajschwichtenberg@purdue.edu.


Military Family Research Institute

MFRI-logoThe Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University is recruiting undergraduate research assistants for a new study titled Operation Military Experience (Operation ME). Operation ME is a nationwide study to learn about adolescents who, as young children, experienced parental deployment after 9/11. Either for credit or pay, students will conduct the following in small teams under the supervision of an experienced researcher:  

  • screening and consent calls with prospective research participants, and  
  • video and audio interviews with parents and adolescents. 

Requirements: Interviewers will be expected to work two shifts per week; there will be evening shifts starting at 4 pm seven days a week, and afternoon shifts starting at 12 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Interviewers must be able to work some weekends, have a clear telephone voice, and fluent mastery of English. We prefer individuals who can work with us for one year or longer, and we offer advancement opportunities to high performers. 

Please send a cover letter and CV/résumé to Research Director Dave Topp at dtopp@purdue.edu.



Preschool Math and Language Study


Are you looking to gain first-hand experience working with young children in preschool? Drs. Purpura (HDFS) and Hollich (PSY) are conducting a study to examine the connections between early language and math development in preschool children and are recruiting undergraduate students to be a part of this project for HDFS 390 or PSY 390 credit. This project will involve the assessment of preschool students’ math, language, and cognitive skills in the local West Lafayette and Lafayette school settings.

If interested, please send an email to Dr. David Purpura (purpura@purdue.edu) and include your CV/resume and an unofficial copy of your transcript.

Requirements: (1) minimum GPA of 3.0, (2) pass a background check, (3) access to reliable transportation, and (4) available at least two or three days per week from 9am-12am is preferred.


Purdue Puentes Project

Purdue Puentes Project


The Purdue Puentes Project (PPP) is a research study focused on Latinx youth in farmworker families in Indiana led by Dr. Zoe Taylor (HDFS) and Dr. Yumary Ruiz (Public Health). This longitudinal project is examining youth’s mental and physical health, adjustment, challenges, and resilience. Students will gain research experience working as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

We welcome undergraduate or graduate students who wish to work with us and receive either HDFS 390 or 590 credits. Students would take a minimum of 2 credits (6 hours per week), with students who wish to work with us for a minimum of 2 semesters and Spanish speakers prioritized.

Please send a cover letter and your current resume/vita to the Purdue Puentes Project, at puentes@purdue.edu. In the email subject line please state: Interested in a PPP RA position.


Resilient Families Lab

Strengths-in-Single-Mother-Families-logo.pngThe Resilient Families Lab is looking for research assistants for the Strengths in Single Mother Families led by Dr. Zoe Taylor (HDFS). This project is assessing the challenges, resilience, and strengths of single mothers and their children. Three waves of data have been collected (Fall 2019 to Fall 2021) including surveys and interviews. The lab welcomes undergraduate or graduate students who wish to be involved with research and receive either HDFS 390 or 590 credits (2 credits minimum required or 6 hours per week). We are seeking 1-2 research assistants to specifically learn about and assist with qualitative data (transcribe and code interviews). Please email Keisha Bailey (project manager) at baile167@purdue.edu for more information, or to apply please send your CV/resume. Priority will be given to those who can commit to 2 semesters.



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