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For Potential Graduate Students

The number of graduate students in the lab changes on a yearly basis as some students complete their degrees, new ones join, and extramural funding is acquired.  Historically, the lab has maintained 2-3 graduate students per year and we are always looking to have bright and energetic students join our group.

If you want to know the lab’s current status, whether we plan to recruit for this fall, or have any other questions, send an email to stress@binghamton.edu.  I am happy to answer any questions you may have about the lab, the Behavioral Neuroscience Program, or life in Binghamton more generally.

If you would like to formally apply to the graduate program in Behavioral Neuroscience, you must submit your application through the Graduate School homepage at http://gradschool.binghamton.edu/.

If you plan to apply to the program, we encourage you to also fill out a “pre-application” at http://www2.binghamton.edu/psychology/graduate/behavioral-neuroscience/admission-information.html.  This form will be forwarded around to the BNS faculty and gives us a chance to learn a little bit about you and your interests while we wait for your formal application to arrive from the graduate school. 

For Undergraduates

We usually have 3-5 undergraduates working in the lab who work to gain experience in Behavioral Neuroscience.  Undergraduate research assistants are involved in all aspects of experimentation;  some earn authorship on conference presentations, some on peer-reviewed publications.  Truly exceptional undergraduates travel with us to present work at conferences. 

If you think you may be interested in neuroscience as a career, you should fill out a research application and send it to stress@binghamton.edu.

Information on independent study for undergraduates: 

Undergraduate students who seek research experience in the laboratory can earn course credit by taking independent study.  Although there is a fair amount of flexibility in how these credits can be taken, I usually accept students into the laboratory with the expectation that they will participate for at least one year, though many students stick around for much longer.  In light of this, I have developed a systematic progression of titles for Independent Study so that your transcripts will reflect (to some extent) the depth of knowledge you are expected to acquire across multiple semesters.  The titles are as follows:

First Semester: Psyc 392:  Intro to Stress Research (4 cr)
Second Semester: Psyc 397:  Stress Research Practicum (2 cr)
Third Semester: Psyc 397:  Neural Mechanisms of Stress (2 cr)
Fourth Semester: Psyc 397:  Stress: Theory and Practice (2 cr)

Here are some other rules-of-thumb for independent study credit:

  1. Generally, the first semester is taken as Psyc 392 for 4 credits with a normal grading option because this course designation is explicitly an introduction to research in Psychology.  All subsequent semesters should be taken as Psyc 397 (independent study) for 2 credits each and a pass/fail grade option.  Though credit hours and grading options are evaluated on an individual basis, this general rubric seems to work well for most students.  Remember: independent study credit is available over the summer too!!
  2. For each credit hour of independent study taken, you are expected to work in the lab for at least 3 hours per week.  Thus, if you are taking 2 credit hours, I expect a minimum of 6 hours per week of scheduled laboratory time.  Due to the inherently cyclical nature of lab work, you can expect to work less during some weeks and more during others.  I ask that you remain flexible and accommodating, as research varies across the academic calendar.
  3. Though there are no formal writing requirements for Independent Study credit, scientific writing is a valuable part of the research experience.  As such, I often tap individuals to procure articles from the library, search a selected topic, or generate summaries from the literature.
  4. Attendance at weekly lab meetings is required for students taking Independent Study credit.  We meet twice per week, with the time & location for these meetings arranged at the beginning of each semester.
  5. More seasoned undergraduates (particularly in their second year of lab work) may be eligible to write a Dean’s Undergraduate Research Grant (see Harpur College homepage for requirements) with my endorsement.  I only allow one of these to be submitted from the lab per semester, so preference is given to undergraduates who have been most diligent and actively involved in research.

For Minorities and under-represented groups

We strongly encourage applications at all levels (graduate, undergraduate and post-doctoral) from women and minorities.  Our lab is a friendly and diverse place and Binghamton University has many funding opportunities available for under-represented groups in science, such as:

Clark Fellowship  -   http://gradschool.binghamton.edu/cs/clark.asp
Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program  -   http://bridges.clt.binghamton.edu/about.html

Last Updated: 6/22/15