My time completed the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship is time I am very grateful to have had. At the same time, conducting research this semester came with its own challenges. One specific challenge posed by this semester was that my lab, the Kids’ Thinking Lab, operates virtually. Therefore, I had to independently execute several stages of the research process, such as literature review, training other students in my behavioral coding scheme, data analysis, and oral and written scientific communication. Most communication was done via email with the occasional Zoom to make sure I was on the same page as my mentor. This challenge meant that I had to put in extra effort to stay on top of my work, and it also meant that I had to self-teach for many components of the research process. I imagine that as a graduate researcher or professor, I will also have to take on a very independent role and teach myself how to perform different analyses and carry out different study designs. Therefore, I believe that this semester effectively prepared me for what is to come in my future.
Now that the CURF is over, I hope to continue working in my lab next semester to finish out my undergraduate career strong and continue developing my research skills and my relationships with the other researchers working in the lab. I have just submitted all of my applications for grad school, so I will spend next semester (hopefully) doing interviews, and if not, I will look for a post-baccalaureate research position that I can work in before applying again to grad schools. I am looking forward to my future, as it will allow me to continue honing my skills as an academic researcher and will set me up on the right path to become a clinical psychologist.
My mentor and I are not yet at the stage of our research to have the results and discussion written up, but I would like to include my original thesis, as it is the foundational work that this project was based on. The project that I have worked on this semester as a result of receiving the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship is an expansion of the thesis, as we were able to include more participants, which would address a prior limitation that threatened our statistical power. I loved reading about everyone else’s research and experience with CURF, and I wish you all a great end to your semester!