On Campus -  Research Opportunities with USF Faculty

Elizabeth Schotter, Ph.D. - Eye Tracking and/or Electroencephalography Research Assistant in the Eye Movements and Cognition Laboratory (Psychology Department)

We study human cognition using eye tracking experiments, electroencephalography (i.e., “brain wave”) experiments, advanced statistical techniques, and cognitive models. We ask questions like:

  • How do people read? How do readers fit together the sequence of visual "snapshots" of the text that they obtain on each eye fixation to understand what the words and sentences mean... all in the matter of seconds? How do a reader’s expectations about words affect the visual processing of the text? How is visual processing of text related to processing of speech-based language?
  • How do deaf people process text? If hearing people usually access speech sounds when reading silently, what do deaf people do if they have never heard the language? Do they use peripheral visual information like they do when processing sign language?
  • How does musical training affect cognition? Is musical information processed similarly to language information? Do people who have experience processing music receive benefits that make it easier for them to process language?

Research Assistants in our lab engage in the following activities:

  • Use state-of-the-art eye-tracking and EEG (electroencephalogram) equipment to study how people process information when reading and performing other cognitive tasks.
  • Develop stimuli (e.g., find or compose words, pictures, sentences, musical phrases)
  • Collect data from human subjects (e.g., schedule appointments, give instructions, set up the eye tracker or EEG equipment, monitor data collection), process data, and engage in theoretical development of projects (conduct background research and present original research findings).
  • Learn/apply experimental design, statistical analysis, and related computer programming skills
  • Attend weekly lab meetings, which involve reading, presenting, and discussing recent journal articles related to lab projects and participating in workshops on writing, presenting, experimental methods, and computer programming.


  • 2nd or 3rd year Psychology or Linguistics major with at least a 3.5 GPA (1st & 4th years, and other majors may also be considered).
  • Interest in Cognitive Science/Linguistics and has taken Cognitive Psychology, Linguistics, or related courses.
  • Experimental research or coding experience preferred but not required.

Research Assistants in the lab must be able to commit to working in the lab at least 10 hours/week for at least two semesters (can include summer).

The Eye Movements and Cognition Lab is located in the Psychology Building on the Tampa campus. Research assistants must commit to at least two semesters in the lab (including summer). New research assistants generally start at the beginning of a semester and should apply to the lab before the end of the preceding semester. The position is not paid, but course credit is available (PSY 4913 or IDS 4914).

Research assistants who have spent at least one semester in the lab may have the opportunity to conduct an honors thesis or independent project.

For more information about the lab, and to submit an application, visit If you have questions about the position, email us at

Elizabeth Hadley, Ph.D. -  Head Start Literacy & Language Research Project

Discipline: Education

The goal of this research project is to understand the current state of literacy instruction in Head Start classrooms and identify shared goals for improving literacy teaching and learning. As part of this goal, we will investigate the policies, curricula and standards in place in Head Start, learn about current teacher practices and classroom instruction, and assess Head Start children on their language and literacy skills.

The undergraduate research assistant would perform the following duties:

  • Assess preschool children on language and literacy skills
  • Video-record preschool classroom instruction
  • Organize consent forms and other data
  • Enter data into spreadsheets

Required skills and training:

  • Experience working with young children
  • Familiarity with Excel and Qualtrics
  • Transportation to school sites
  • Students will need to complete IRB Human Subjects training and fingerprinting/background check before working with children

Students are required to commit 5-10 hours a week

USF Tampa campus
Project time frame: October 2021-June 2022

Contact Elizabeth Hadley at

Marie Byrd, Ed.D. -  Social and Emotional Learning of Underserved Students

Discipline: Education

Data was collected of underserved students participating in a placed-based after school program that was located in a low-income housing community during the 2020-2021 academic year. The program emphasized non-cognitive factors such as social and emotional learning and whole child development, which are critical for the academic success of underserved school-aged children.

The undergraduate student will participate in the organization of data obtained during the program. The data collected involves both qualitative and quantitative de-identified data. The undergraduate student will also provide brief summaries of current research on the topic.

Required Skills:

  1. Microsoft Excel
  2. Microsoft Word
  3. Review of research/literature
  4. Writing Skills
  5. Organizational Skills

Time Commitment: 2 Hours per week

Opportunity is located on the USF SM Campus. However, the assistance may be provided virtually

Time Frame: Fall 2021 Semester

Due Dates: October 1st, November 1st and December 1st.

Contact Marie Byrd to apply
Phone: (941) 359-4534

Ji Li, Ph.D. - Cardiovascular Medicine and Pharmacology Research Opportunity

Dr. Ji Li, Professor in the Department of Surgery at USF and his team of postdoc fellows and technicians are interested in training undergraduate students in all aspects of heart research (research design, animal experiments and biochemical analysis).  Dr. Li’s group seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms of coronary artery disease, the most common cause of age-related cardiovascular disease. 

Dr. Li’s lab welcomes all hard-working and conscientious students, but those with an interest in in cardiovascular medicine and pharmacology are best suited for this opportunity. You need to be up-to-date on your CITI requirements for MCOM’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) - having done the related training for animal facility and biosafety operations as required. The research projects can be done concurrently with other school obligations, utilizing weekends, and school breaks with flexible hours per week.

Interested individuals should forward their resume or CV, Statement of research Interest, and contact information to Dr. Ji Li at

Haitao (Mark) Ji, Ph.D. - Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology Research Opportunity 

Dr. Ji’s research is Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology. The research efforts of this laboratory are mainly focused on the rational design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of drug-like small molecules that can modulate cellular signaling pathways with an emphasis on protein–protein interactions (PPIs) and target specificity. Four critical lab components include protein structure-based drug design, multiple-step synthesis, and molecular and cellular biology. Ji laboratory is located in H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute.

Undergraduate students in the Ji laboratory are involved in synthetic organic chemistry, synthetic medicinal chemistry, chemical biology, and molecular and cell biology studies. Undergraduate students who wish to join Ji laboratory should have completed Organic Chemistry I and II, and related laboratory courses

Interested individuals should send their resume with a list of completed coursework to Selected applicants might be asked to submit transcripts.

Lindsey Rodriguez, Ph.D. -  USF HEART (Healthy Emotions and Relationship Theories) Laboratory Opportunity 

*Psychology & Public Health Majors Only*

Dr. Lindsey Rodriguez is the Director of the USF HEART (Healthy Emotions and Relationship Theories) Laboratory at USF St. Petersburg. In the HEART Lab, we study close relationship processes from a social and health psychology perspective. We also study how alcohol and other addictive behaviors intersect with close relationships. Undergraduate research assistants in the lab are asked to perform various duties, including literature searches, running participants for in-lab studies, and programming surveys. We also are an active lab in professional development for students, creating CVs and presentations at conferences to increase the likelihood of attending graduate school in psychology.

Students must have a 3.0 GPA to apply. Please email Dr. Rodriguez at with any questions or for an application.

Omotayo Jolaosho, Ph.D. - Healing Justice Research Opportunity

Dr. Jolaosho, a faculty member in the School for Interdisciplinary Global Studies, is building a research team for a project focused on the connections among the healing justice movement, the movement for black lives, the movement for abolition, and the disability justice movement particularly in the Tampa Bay region as well as in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa. Research assistants will be involved in all aspects of the research process, including designing studies, collecting data from individuals and businesses, data analysis, and dissemination. Research assistants will be mentored through a research development process and will have opportunity to present their work at research conferences and other academic events.

Research assistants are required to attend weekly planning meetings online. Desired commitment is a minimum of 5 hours per week.

Research assistance is currently on a volunteer basis in exchange for training, experience, and credit hours (internship, directed study, independent research). This opportunity is open to students in any USF campus.

Desired Qualifications:
Coursework and/or Majors in: Anthropology, Sociology, Public Health, Africana Studies, Journalism, Communications, Business, and Legal Studies

Students fluent in Southern African languages, including isiZulu, seSotho, and isiXhosa are especially invited to apply.

To apply, please email your cover letter and resume/CV to Dr. Jolaosho at with the subject line: “Healing Justice research query.”

Jason Lazarus - Studio Art Research & Project Opportunities

Jason Lazarus, who received his MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago, is an Assistant Professor of Art and Art History whose research and art practice focuses on vision and visibility. Lazarus' projects often culminate in gallery and museum installations both nationally and internationally. His work and research can be found at

Lazarus' studio welcomes ambitious, well-organized, and forward-thinking students searching for meaning beyond the classroom that is certain to newly inform their curricular studies. Students with both experience in the arts and those without are invited to inquire about studio projects work that may align with their own fluid interests. Tasks will be wide-ranging per project--the studio strives to provide real mentorship, dialogue, and training to future visionaries.

The research projects can be done concurrently with other school obligations, utilizing weekends, and school breaks with flexible hours per week.

Students are welcome to contact the studio at with a CV and cover letter.

Jennifer Collins, Ph.D. - USF Weather Lab Research Opportunity

Would you be interested in being a tester on evacuation surveys. The USF Hurricane team have surveys which need pre-testing this semester before they are disseminated to the public.

Some will be available for pre-testing as early as October 12th 2020. Testers needed for English, Spanish, and Creole surveys. 

Are you interested in creating an annotated bibliography on California Wildfires and evacuation.  This work will  then be used by the Weather Lab towards new evacuation studies. 

Please contact Jennifer Collins and copy Amy Polen if interested. If you are fluent in Spanish or Creole, please let us know (but not required).

Please let us know if interested in both opportunities or just one.

We look forward to welcoming you to our team.

Jennifer Collins

Micah E. Johnson, Ph.D. - Paid Research Training Program for BIPOC Undergraduates

Are you currently a rising sophomore interested in gaining research experience in substance misuse? Are you planning to attend graduate school or open to earning a Ph.D.?

This research training program is called the Substance Misuse and Addiction Research Traineeship (SMART) for students who identify with an underrepresented minority population as defined by NIH. We welcome applications from rising sophomores who identify as BIPOC or have unique social disadvantages. 


  • Stipend paid bi-weekly during the program
  • Letter of recommendation/Support from Dr. Johnson
  • Opportunity to network with students and faculty
  • Learn research methods and prepare for graduate school

Please use the subject heading "SMART App" and email the following to Dr. Micah E. Johnson at by August 15, 2021: 

  • CV/resume 
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Cover letter outlining your qualifications and interests 
  • The deadline for submissions for the 2022 cohort is August 15th, 2021. 

Ilene Berson, Ph.D. -  Community-Based Historical Inquiry Project with Preschoolers

Discipline: Education

The research team will curate collections of community-based primary sources from the Library of Congress and the Tampa Bay History Center into interdisciplinary activity sets that focus on common nonfiction themes that support Florida’s Early Learning and Developmental Standards. These project-based inquiry experiences will incorporate children’s literature and hands-on exploration that foster problem-solving, critical thinking, and visual literacy skills. The project goals also focus on the creation of home-school linkages that promote inclusive family-friendly experiences that connect stories of the past and children’s lives today.

The undergraduate research assistant will:

  1. Collaborate with staff at the Tampa Bay History Center to identify community-based archival resources that are developmentally appropriate for preschool
  2. Organize curated collections into interdisciplinary activity kits that include interactive stories, music, games, and creative art.
  3. Design handouts for family-friendly experiences that connect to the classroom activities

Required Skills:

  • Familiarity with Excel
  • Writing Skills
  • Organizational Skills
  • Transportation to Tampa Bay History Center

Desired commitment is a minimum of 4 hours per week. Research assistants are required to attend virtual monthly planning meetings.

Location: USF Tampa campus and Tampa Bay History Center
Project time frame: October 2021-September 2022

Please use the subject heading "SHIPSHAPE RA" and email the following to Dr. Ilene Berson at by September 25, 2021:

  • Resume
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Cover letter outlining your qualifications and interests

Lei Wang, Ph.D. - Molecular mechanism of acute kidney injury and transplanted graft failure 

Dr. Wang is assistant professor at the department of molecular pharmacology and physiology. Dr. Wang is willing to give hand-on training undergraduate students in research design, molecular biology experiments and animal surgeries. The research efforts of this laboratory are focused on two principal areas: 1) the mechanisms of the renal graft dysfunction and fibrosis induced by ischemia reperfusion injury following kidney transplantation; 2) renal hemodynamics, salt-water balance and blood pressure regulation under physiological and pathophysiological conditions.

Dr. Wang’s lab welcomes all hard-working and conscientious students.
Students will be involved the project design, molecular biology experiments, animal surgeries, specimen collection, literature searching and data analysis.

Interested students would require MCOM’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) required training for working with animals and laboratory bio-safety operations.

Students are expected to commit at least 8 hours a week.

Dr. Wang's lab located at MDC on the USF Tampa campus. Compensation varies.

Interested individuals should forward their resume or CV and contact information to Dr. Lei Wang at

Ruby Joseph, MPA -  Strengths-Based Approach to Addressing Racial and Educational Challenges Impacting Black students

Conducting three virtual focus groups with Black graduate students enrolled in classes at USF. This qualitative study is focused on identifying and documenting challenges experienced by Black graduate students at USF. The study involves recruiting, coding and analyzing focus group transcripts and report writing.

Students may perform the following duties:

  • Assist with recruitment.
  • Assist in co-facilitating virtual focus groups.
  • Code focus group transcripts, analyze data and assist in final report.

Training available for inexperienced but interested and highly motivated students.

Required skills, training, or educational background:

  • Complete the IRB CITI training.
  • Background in social science field including but not limited to education, psychology, behavioral and community sciences.
  • Interest in developing or enhancing qualitative skills and ability to show initiative and working collaboratively in a small team environment.

Time commitment varies depending on activity but on average 3-4 hours a week.

Most work done virtually. Volunteers only. Fall 2021, Spring and Summer 2022.

Interested students should contact Ruby Joseph at:

Ruby Joseph, MPA

Natalie Scenters-Zapico, Assistant Professor, Director of the Michael Kuperman Memorial Poetry Library -  Michael Kuperman Memorial Poetry Library Internship in Literary Activism

The Department of English’s Creative Writing Program is home to the Michael Kuperman Memorial Poetry Library. We are offering an undergraduate internship with a focus on literary activism. The Undergraduate Student Intern (USI) will work closely with the MKMP Library’s Director to help organize programming that brings poetry to the greater Tampa Bay area. This internship will begin Spring 2022.

The MKMP Library’s USI will be involved in organizing and advertising workshops, readings, and other events. They will also curate their own exhibit in the library using our poetry resources.

Student interested in applying will need to be interested in literary programming, activism, and the study of poetry. Preferred qualifications include: experience advertising events and working in a library atmosphere, as well as excellent organizational skills.

Students will be asked to commit 3-6 hours a week.

Students will be required to work on the Tampa campus starting Spring 2022 with the opportunity for renewal of appointment each year after that. There is no pay for this position.

Interested students can contact: 
Natalie Scenters-Zapico, Assistant Professor

Jennifer O'Brien, Ph.D. - Cognitive Aging Research Opportunity (*Application Review will Begin Spring 2022*)

Open volunteer RA positions are available in the lab of Dr. Jennifer O'Brien in the Psychology department on the St. Petersburg campus to assist with the Preventing Alzheimer's with Cognitive Training (PACT) trial. RAs are responsible for telephone recruitment, participant screening, and data entry.

This position requires a minimum of 10 hours per week with a mandatory 1.5-hour lab meeting; minimum 2-year commitment.

Students require a 3.0 GPA, CITI training in Social-Behavioral-Educational (SBE - can be completed once you begin), Good Clinical Practice (GCP- can be completed once you begin) training, good communication skills, willingness to speak over the phone to participants.

Preferred qualifications include, bilingual English/Spanish, undergraduate coursework in Research Methods, familiarity with REDCap.

Please send CV including expected graduation date, short personal statement, CITI training certificate (if you have it), and GCP certificate (if you have it) to Dr. O'Brien

Christine Ruva, Ph.D. – Psychology and Law Lab Opportunity (*Accepting Applications for Spring 2022*)

The Psychology and Law Lab studies legal decision making. The lab is currently conducting multiple projects focusing on jury decision making and legal decision making in general. Research Assistants are involved in various research-related tasks including designing studies, creating measures and stimuli, creating online surveys and experiments, collecting data, analyzing data, and summarizing results. Students have the opportunity to present their work at undergraduate research conferences and events (e.g., USFs Undergraduate Conference and Psych Expo), and may also work with Dr. Ruva as co-authors on national/international conference presentations. Exceptional students who work with Dr. Ruva over multiple semesters can earn authorship on a publication. Visit my website for more information:

Compensation: Students can earn 3 credits per semester (PSY4913).

Students must have a 3.0 GPA. For more information or to request an application contact Dr. Christine Ruva at with subject line: Psychology and Law RA Query. Applicants will be required to complete an application, provide a resume/CV, and be interviewed.

On Campus - Research Opportunities with Office of Undergraduate Research 

The staff here at the Office of Undergraduate Research can assist you with your research projects. Our staff can mentor and guide students through their projects if the research falls within the following, specific research subjects:

  • African American Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Educational Technology
  • Environmental Policy
  • Higher Education Administration
  • International Relations/Studies
  • Labor History
  • Literature
  • Oral History
  • Parenting Education
  • Pedagogy
  • Political Science
  • Resilience
  • Spoken-Word as Curriculum
  • Student Engagement
  • Sustainability
  • US History
  • World History

If you have a research project in mind matching any of the research interests above, you can get started by emailing our office:


If you are having trouble finding a research position or faculty mentor for your research project, you can visit our Challenges Finding a Faculty Mentor page for help, tips, and suggestions.


On Campus - Global citizens award / research

Globally Engaged Mentored Undergraduate Research Students pursuing the Global Citizens Award may choose to complete a globally engaged, mentored undergraduate research project. Students pursuing this option must have their research projects pre-approved by the Office for Undergraduate Research and the Global Citizens Project office.


  • Direct relevance to one or more of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Incorporate at least two GCP student learning outcomes
  • Conducted under the mentorship of a USF faculty member (tenure track or instructor)
  • Registration for 0-credit course (IDS4914) each semester while engaged in the research project.
  • If needed, IRB approval should be obtained.

How the Process Works

  • Obtain Project Approval from Office for Undergraduate Research by submitting this application.
  • Once your application has been submitted and approved through OUR, please complete the Undergraduate Research Pre-Approval assignment in the Global Citizen Awards Canvas organization, which will include uploading your Global Research Project Prospectus and confirmation of your registration for 0-credit undergraduate research course.
  • Submit Required Summary Report to Office for Undergraduate Research
  • ​Submit Undergraduate Research Reflection assignment to Global Citizens Project

Apply here for to have your research approved for GCP.