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Post-Bac Jobs in Research

Pursuing research as a position or post-bac (a degree after your undergraduate experience that allows you go deeper or broader in your studies) is an excellent method to prepare for:

  • a full-time career in research
  • professional school
  • academia, or
  • any number of industries or the government. 

Types of Positions

There are a number of areas and programs specializing in research, and with a degree or experience in Psychology, understanding the mind is critical and valuable when collecting and assessing the impact of data. Note that often these positions are often term-limited and may only be guaranteed for a year or two.

How to Be a Competitive Applicant

  • Have a bachelor’s degree
  • A year or more of research experience
  • Good references and recommendation letters
  • Professionalism and attention to detail
  • Being able to design, run, analyze, and write up your own research
  • Experiences in leadership and managing within the context of research
  • Interest/experience in data management and using Excel or other computer programs
  • Contribution to publications

Tips from Graduate Students and Lab Managers

  • "Take a gap year or three. Get some practical experience before you make the commitment of grad school."   
  • "Lab positions don't need to be in the exact area you want to apply to, though it can be helpful. Lab positions give you a chance to learn the research process more thoroughly and you can learn skills that can be applied across topics."
  • "Learn how to function independently but cohesively in a group. Asking questions and getting clarification is a great, but learn to tackle things you’ve been trained on without being coddled."

Where to Find Positions