The Research Assistant Application Program (RAAP) provides first-hand experience with serious psychological research in a host of exciting research projects. Students can research factors that influence human behavior at every point in the life span, from prenatal to old age. Students in good academic standing are encouraged to become involved in research as early as possible in their academic program, preferably during the sophomore year. This kind of opportunity will be invaluable for students who are thinking about pursuing graduate work in psychology or related areas. It will help them decide whether they have the interest and aptitude for research and will help them become competitive for admission to a graduate program.

Also, download the RAAP Application HERE!



There are 2 ways one can go about applying to become a research assistant: official and unofficial. You may choose to use both of these methods at the same time to increase your chances of being accepted into a lab, however this is not necessary. First you need to find a lab.

Finding a Lab: 2 Ways

• At the beginning of each semester, a list of open labs will be posted under “RAAP” on the Psych_homeroom found on Blackboard.
• On SDSU’s Psychology Department website, under Research, all the faculty areas of research are listed along with a description of their lab.
• You may want to consider applying to a lab of a professor that you already know from previous coursework, although this is not necessary.

1. Select 1-3 labs of interest. Applying to more than one lab will increase your likelihood of being accepted into a lab.
2. Download and fill out the RAAP application**
3. Save your application as: RAAP APP_Your Name.
For example: RAAP APP_Ashley Smith.
4. Tailor your application to fit the lab you are applying to. If you are applying to multiple labs you will need to submit individualized applications.
5. Make sure the application is saved saved as a .doc or a .docx, not anything else.
6. E-mail your application to and include which lab you are interested in (make sure to include the professor’s name and the name of the lab within your email and/or subject line).
7. RAAP administration will send your application to the professor.
8. They will notify you within 2 weeks of your application submission if you are accepted into the lab.
9. If we do not notify you within the first 2 weeks, it is because the professor has not responded yet. At this point, you will need to e-mail them with a brief reminder of your application.
**The RAAP application can be found:
• On Psych_homeroom under RAAP
• On the Psychology department’s website under Research-> Student Research Experience ->Become a Research Assistant
• You can find it on the Desktops on the computers found in the Resource Room in LS North 105.

Unofficial application
1. Select 1-3 labs of interest.
2. E-mail the professors. In these e-mails you will need to briefly introduce yourself and express your interest in their lab and why. You will need to ask if they have openings in the semester you are interested in. You will also need to ask them if they want you to fill out the RAAP application, provide a CV/resume, and/or provide an unofficial transcript.3. From this point, you will wait up to 2 weeks and if they don’t respond, you will want to send a follow up e-mail.
4. If they respond and sound interested, you will want to set up a meeting with the professor.

Helpful Hints:
• Many professors heavily weigh the grades you earned in Statistics, PSY280, PSY281, PSY301, and/or PSY410 when evaluating your application
• Peer advisors in LS105 can help you with CV/resume building

See more information regarding  specific research interests of the Psychology Department faculty.