Joining the Lab

The Attitudes and Group Identity Lab prioritizes inclusion and diversity in achieving and sustaining excellence in our research, training, and outreach. We are committed to an intellectual climate that is welcoming, nurturing, and challenging. We respect and value the full spectrum of human diversity in race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, body type, socio-economic background, age, disability, and national origin. Members of the lab work together to create an environment of inclusion, mutual respect, safety, and support (for example, we all worked together to craft this statement). We take an active stand against discrimination and bias.

To learn more about how to join our lab, read on.

As a research assistant: We are always on the lookout for motivated, responsible, and detail-oriented students who would like to be involved in our lab. No experience is required, but you must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, and you should be interested in psychological research, willing to commit a consistent number of hours each week for at least two academic quarters, and 100% reliable. Research assistants have the opportunity to become involved in all phases of the research process, including study design, data collection, data entry, and understanding the results. Our regular lab meeting, usually held every Friday, gives RAs the chance to interact with the graduate students in the lab, learn more about empirical research and emerging findings in psychological science, and acquire new skills in programs like MediaLab, Qualtrics, Excel, and SPSS.

These volunteer positions provide an excellent opportunity to acquire hands-on research experience and to potentially earn a letter of recommendation from a professor. If you would like to apply for a position, please download an RA Application Form and return the completed application to We are often looking to fill open positions at the end of a quarter (e.g., we often fill positions for the fall toward the end of the preceding spring quarter), but you are welcome to apply anytime.

As an undergraduate honors thesis student:

Students who conduct an honors thesis research project in our lab typically join the lab first as a research assistant to get basic research experience and learn first-hand about the type of research we conduct. If you are interested in completing an honors thesis in our lab, please plan to meet with Professor Ledgerwood to start formulating a research question that is interesting to you and that relates to our lab’s key topic areas during the spring quarter before you will start work on your thesis.

As a graduate student:

UC Davis has one of the top-ranked social psychology PhD programs in the nation, and our lab will be accepting new graduate students for Fall 2018. To learn more about the PhD program as a whole, click here.

As an incoming graduate student in our lab, you can jump on board an ongoing research project to get your feet wet, and/or start a new line of research that combines your own particular interests with one of the major research areas of the lab. As you progress through the program, you’ll move gradually toward more independent projects, culminating in a dissertation. Our lab combines a collaborative and supportive atmosphere with a stimulating and fast-paced research environment. We value intellectual curiosity, methodological rigor, and programmatic research. (We have also been known to have animated and lengthy conversations about building a lab cookie chute.) Students are encouraged to develop their own unique research interests within the broader framework of the lab, and also to work in multiple labs while at Davis to get exposure to different research areas and methodological approaches.


Alison Ledgerwood, Lab Director