Prospective Research Assistants

Volunteering as an RA is a great way to get hands-on experience with research, and is especially important for students who are considering graduate school. Generally speaking, this is how students progress through the lab:

PHASE 1: Lab librarian

We maintain a growing list of recent journal articles on topics of interest to the lab. Newly-minted RAs are often tasked with reading these articles, and providing brief (2-3 sentences) summaries. This will give you experience with academic writing, and help you learn more about the kinds of psychology we’re interested in!

PHASE 2: Experimenter

Once RAs have proven their diligence through library duties, they can become experimenters. Typically this means you will be recruiting and scheduling participants, overseeing their visits to the lab, and debriefing them about the purpose of research studies. You may also be asked to enter or code data.

PHASE 3: Project manager

RAs who have spent several months in the lab are sometimes promoted to Project Manager positions. This role typically combines the duties of an experimenter with some additional responsibilities. You will manage a team of experimenters, training them, acting as the liaison between them and the graduate student in charge of the project.

PHASE 4: Directed studies, honours, and paid positions

The most advanced RAs in the lab often do directed studies or honours projects with the lab, or have the opportunity to earn paid positions. These RAs get the added benefit of helping to analyze data, attending and even presenting at our lab meetings, and in some cases can become co-authors on posters, talks or papers.



If you are enthusiastic about the kinds of questions that we are investigating in our research, think about applying to join our lab! To apply for a volunteer RA position, please send the following to the email address listed here; make the subject line “MAGIC lab RA application”:

  • (1) Application form
  • (2) Current CV or resume
  • (3) Transcript (screenshot of SSC grades is sufficient)

If you are interested in Directed Studies, please click here for more information.


  • registered UBC student (usually)
  • have taken PSYC101, 102, and 217, or equivalent courses
  • B+ (or above) average overall in UBC courses
  • able to commit to a regular number of hours per week for several consecutive months

We occasionally make exceptions for individuals who do not fulfill all of the requirements listed above, so don’t hesitate to inquire! Working in our lab involves a lot of teamwork and requires good communication skills, high conscientiousness, and flexibility. If this sounds like you, we would love to hear from you.