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Who our students are:

Our interns are Duke University undergraduates who are motivated to learn the process of conducting, evaluating, and engaging with scientific research.  Our interns start with little to no prior research experience and over the course of a semester, they (a) gain a basic understanding of behavioral science topics and concepts, (b) learn how to read scientific articles, (c) receive an introduction to coding in Python and other programs relevant for behavioral science experiments (e.g., PsychoPy, Qualtrics), and (d) become part of a supportive community with a track record of helping undergraduates grow as scholars and researchers.

Our students are mostly freshman and sophomores from a variety of majors including Psychology, Neuroscience, Economics, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Political Science, Sociology, and more. 

Who we are:

We are graduate students and post-doctoral fellows associated with Duke’s Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. We are passionate about understanding human behavior and the cognitive processes underlying it, and we are eager to help others explore these ideas with us and learn the skills to find answers for themselves.

Our graduate student mentors study diverse topics including decision making, curiosity, learning, emotion, memory, executive function, and eating behavior. We use behavioral methods (e.g., computer-based tasks and games, eye-tracking, virtual reality), neuroscience methods (fMRI, EEG, TMS), and advanced statistical methods (e.g., machine learning, computational modeling) to study human behavior and cognition. Graduate students from the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience most commonly move on to careers as professors and post-doctoral fellows in psychology & neuroscience, applied behavioral scientists, user researchers, and data scientists

Why we started CNRI:

CNRI started in the Fall of 2020 as a way to promote equitable access to undergraduate research opportunities in psychology and neuroscience; our goal is to successfully train and retain diverse students. Our structured internship program addresses students’ needs by providing 1) an accessible introduction to applied research methodologies, 2) practical training in programming, 3) cohort activities for community-building, 4) mentorship in focused project teams, 5) professional development information, and 6) full financial compensation.

The program started off as a collaboration between graduate students in two labs and graciously sponsored by Drs. Scott Huettel and Alison Adock. In our first year, we had almost 100 applicants each semester. The program has since expanded to multiple labs in the Duke Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and is fully funded by the Charles Lafitte Foundation Program for Research in Psychology & Neuroscience, a generous donation from Beth and Ron Ostrow, and a co-sponsorship with Duke’s Center for Computational Thinking.

Check out this recent media coverage of our program by the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences!