Current Research Projects

The Child and Family Policy Center

Dr. LaRue Allen, Director of the Child and Family Policy Center, is currently searching for research support in the following labs: Civic Engagement, and Supporting Quality in Early Care and Education Settings.

The Civic Engagement Lab: Consists of applied research on the effects of context and attitude on how adolescents and adults in the US and France work for the greater good of their communities.
Surveys of Civic Engagement in Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood: These projects explore how diverse populations of adolescents and young adults (high school and college students) in New York and Paris think of citizenship, voting, and volunteering. All projects explore gender, ethnic, and socioeconomic differences. Topics include the effects of context, the importance of various political issues, the effect of multiethnic identity, and how system justification, evaluation of women's and immigrants' rights, political orientation, and parents’ education affect whether and how civic engagement is expressed. Intermediate-level French is a plus if you want to work with the data from France!

Qualitative Studies of Civic Engagement in Adults: Currently more active, these projects are based on interviews with adults. One project explores how parents in France socialize their children into civic engagement and how good citizenship relates to national identity, immigrants’ rights, religious expression, and education. Another explores the experiences of Muslim women who teach in New York City: family and cultural backgrounds, religious values and expression, teacher training, whether they see teaching as a form of civic engagement, and the role of teachers in fostering students' civic engagement. Finally, there is a study of NYC public school teachers conducted in connection with Dr. Jennifer Astuto’s lab: whether they feel their teaching is connected to children’s citizenship skills and, in follow-up interviews, whether they consider teaching itself a form of civic engagement. Intermediate-level in French is required to work with the interview data from France. Department of Education fingerprinting and background check clearance is a plus for teacher interviews.

Supporting Quality in Early Care and Education Settings Lab: Consists of applied research on promoting children's healthy development and school success through work with early educators. Depending on the project, interns will be involved with coaching educators, facilitating workshops, performing interviews, and more hands-on experiences. In addition, there will be opportunities for assisting with the creation of interview protocols, evaluations, surveys, etc.

Authentic Assessment & Reading Readiness: Through the use of authentic assessments, educators are able to observe children during their daily classroom activities, use the information they record to reflect on how children are learning and developing, and make informed decisions about individualizing instruction and adjusting curriculum. This project is a means of providing support to prekindergarten educators throughout the five boroughs of New York City as they implement authentic assessment in their programs and classrooms. Team members staff the Authentic Assessment Hotline, where educators can call for on-the-spot assistance with their practice. Additionally, as part of the project, the team holds bimonthly in-person labs focusing on using authentic assessment data to inform reading readiness instruction – helping pre-k teachers assess and instruct in domains such as language, literacy, and social emotional development - which are essential to a child’s future success with reading and school readiness. A Teacher Leadership training program is also in development.

To apply for these projects or to learn more about new ones taking place, please email If you are interested in a particular lab, specify which one in the subject or body of your email.

The Mindful Education Lab looks at the psychological and neurological effects of mindfulness on student learning, teacher effectiveness, and school and classroom climate. We work closely with leading neuroscience laboratories and collaborate with schools to design creative, research-based approaches to suit their unique circumstances and challenges.
You might be a good fit if:

  • You have a minimum 3.5 GPA
  • You are interested in working with diverse ethnic and cultural communities
  • You can speak Spanish (CEFRL: B1+)
  • You have leadership skills (or an interest in developing them)
  • You really want to work with children of all ages
  • Experience with meditation or Yoga is a plus, but not mandatory.

Contact information: Dr. Joshua Aronson (

playLabNYU is housed within the Child & Family Policy Center in Steinhardt. The lab’s focus is designed to engage in the rigorous and socially responsible scientific examination of play in young children’s lives. We utilize randomized control designs, multilevel modeling, interviews and ethnographic methods to explore the unique context of play in promoting school readiness, learning and civic engagement for children who are growing up in poverty and/or are from immigrant families. By cultivating strong partnerships with the communities we work in, we generate empirically driven knowledge that is culturally relevant and socially just. The playLab strives to produce actionable research and develop collaborations, which are used to empower and strengthen the lives of young children through education and policy. Students have the opportunity to work across multiple projects: Currently we are searching for research support for the following projects.

Exploring the Efficacy of a Home-Based School-readiness Intervention during the Elementary Years, are two RCT longitudinal studies examining the mid- and long-term impacts of a play-based home-visitation intervention on young children’s school readiness skills, learning and social-emotional development from preschool through 3rd grade. We are currently analyzing student-level data from the NYC Department of Education to determine long-term impacts of an early intervention program on children’s attendance records, grade retention/promotion, reduction of special education services, and performance on state test scores. This project has opportunity for students to learn how to explore longitudinal data to answer program efficacy questions.

Evaluating Inquiry-Based Professional Development Initiative in an Urban Context: playLabNYU partnered with faculty from the Teacher Education Department at the Borough of Manhattan Community College to lead the evaluation of an innovative three-year professional development initiative aimed to support educators in implementing child-centered and inquiry-based practices across pre-k through fifth grade in a public school in West Harlem. We are currently in year 2 of this work. If students are finger printed by the NYC DOE there are opportunities to support classroom observations and focus group interviews at the school with PI’s.

Civic Engagement and Development during the Early Years. Social studies frameworks aim to prepare students for citizenship and civic engagement, yet there is no empirical evidence suggesting that such investments are a worthy goal. Kindergarten teachers in NYC public schools were asked guiding questions to explore the implementation of a civic-focused curriculum, document teacher’s views of children as developing citizens, and develop a Measure of Early Childhood Civic Engagement (MECCE). This project is in the transcription and analysis phase.

Randomized Control Trial of a Play-Based Professional Development Model for Family Child Care Providers: This is a multi-stage project, which is currently in the preliminary process of planning and development. In this initial phase we are currently seeking funding and will begin recruitment of providers to participate in a 2 year RCT study evaluating the impact of a play-based professional development model on caregiver, child, and parent outcomes. In the second phase, we anticipate having students conduct (in-home) assessments in the home language of the child, native Spanish speakers encouraged to apply.

Contact: If you are interested in a particular project, specify which one in the subject or body of your email.

Social Inequality and Intergroup Relations Lab

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  • Psychology of Inequality
  • Beliefs about the American system and youth’s well-being
  • Perspective-taking and attributions for poverty
  • Reducing inequality in settings of care (RISC)
  • Confronting History Project
  • Acknowledging responsibility for past injustices

Description: Our lab has multiple on-going projects that examine how people think about social inequality and navigate intergroup relations, and how these beliefs influence well-being and intergroup attitudes. We study these issues in a variety of settings, including large contexts like the U.S. and other countries as well as smaller contexts like juvenile justice settings and social-worker client interactions. We use multiple methods, including analyzing data from already existing sources, and collecting data ourselves.

Duties: Research activities will take place on campus during regular weekday hours. Some tasks can also be completed off campus on students’ schedules. The doctoral students and faculty investigators will oversee research trainings and tasks. Students will engage in data-related and literature review activities including:

  • Reviewing and summarizing literature
  • Piloting study procedures
  • Learning MTurk, Qualtrics or other online data collection software
  • Collecting data
  • Cleaning data
  • Conducting data analyses
  • Drafting brief summaries of results

Responsibilities: Students will be required to commit to:

  • 8-10 hours/week in research activities
  • Completion of relevant readings and assignments
  • Participation in trainings in MTurk, Qualtrics or other online data collection software
  • Active participation in team/lab meetings

Qualifications: Specific qualifications include

  • Interest in issues of inequality and intergroup relations
  • The ability to work independently and as a team
  • Motivation and perseverance to complete assigned tasks
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • High level of professionalism (dependable, responsible and appropriate)


The Neuroscience and Education Lab in the Institute of Human Development and Social Change at New York University is seeking volunteers for a project relating the development of infant self-regulatory skills and parent-child relationships. This is a great opportunity for students to gain research experience.

Project description: Since October 2014, we have been working with first time parents in and around the New York City area from the prenatal period through infancy and toddlerhood. Volunteers will be part of a collaborative team and will receive specialized research training in infant developmental psychology.

Volunteer responsibilities may include:

  • Collecting data with members of the research team at homes in and around the NYC area
  • Coding infant looking-time behaviors for qualities of attention
  • Coding parent-child interactions for qualities of parental sensitivity and attachment
  • Transcribing and coding parental speech samples for parenting characteristics
  • Maintaining coding agreement (inter-rater reliability) with members of the research team
  • Assisting with manuscript preparation

We are seeking applicants who can commit to volunteering for 8–10 hours/week beginning ASAP. A 2 semester commitment is required to ensure sufficient training. *SPANISH-FLUENCY required.

Contact: Please include “NewFAMS Volunteering” in the subject line.

For more information about the Neuroscience and Education Lab, visit

Dr. Mary Brabeck (Professor of Developmental Psychology) seeks an undergraduate student who can assist with the editorial work of the Psychology of Women Quarterly and help to develop social networks to expand outreach for the journal.

This position is for an Undergraduate Assistant and there is no remuneration available. The candidate for this position must be admitted to an undergraduate program in the Department of Applied Psychology at the Steinhardt School. The work expectation is about 10 hours a week on average.


  • Mature, self-motivated NYU Applied Psychology undergraduate student.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong academic background in psychology.
  • Knowledge of and facility with social media.
  • Attention to detail and accuracy are required.
  • Excel at prioritizing and following through on tasks in a timely manner.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Knowledge of APA Style is desirable 
  • Attend weekly meeting with team (potentially on Thursdays)
  • Work on outreach and marketing for the Journal
  • Assist with proofreading
  • Help organize files and produce materials for subscribers.

Technical and Language Skills:

  • Microsoft Office –Word, Power Point, Excel, Outlook
  • Knowledge of Google apps, Drive, etc.
  • Skill with using social media, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

Requested Documents:

  • Please enclose a CV and cover letter
  • In your cover letter please:
  1. Explain your interest in the position: Why would you like to work for PWQ?
  2. Describe any relevant work experience
  3. Highlight how the position will contribute to your academic and professional goals

Position begins on/around the first weeks of September and ends in early May, at the end of the academic year.


The Infant Studies of Language and Neurocognitive Development (ISLAND) Lab at New York University is seeking volunteers to work on studies investigating the development of language and memory during infancy and early childhood.

Project Description: We will be recruiting monolingual and bilingual families from various socioeconomic backgrounds to examine the independent and interacting effects of socioeconomic status and exposure to multiple languages on early brain-behavior relations during the first two years of life.


  • Recruiting families (e.g., hospitals, daycare centers, community events, social media)
  • Collecting data (e.g., behavioral paradigms, surveys, EEG, ECG, eye-tracking)
  • Entering, cleaning, and coding data
  • Assisting with literature reviews and manuscript preparation


  • 8-10 hours/week in research activities
  • Active participation in lab meetings, recruitment events, and data collection


  • Ability to work independently and as a team
  • Keen attention to detail
  • Very responsible and dependable
  • Experience with young children
  • Can commit to a minimum of 2 semesters
  • Spanish fluency is not required but highly desired

Contact: Karina Kozak (

Families and Children Experiencing Success (FACES) Lab


The Families and Children Experiencing Success (FACES) Lab focuses on the development of accessible, engaging, effective, and sustainable prevention, intervention and service delivery models for youth at-risk for or affected with disruptive behavior disorders (e.g., attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; oppositional defiant disorder; conduct disorder) and their families. Students have the opportunity to work on the following projects:

  1. Mental Health in Pediatric Care Project: This projects aims to support primary care pediatric settings in providing evidence-informed assessment and treatment of disruptive behavior disorders through the use of technology and through utilizing novel personnel to increase service capacity.
  2. My MFG Project: This project aims to develop/evaluate mobile health technology (My MFG) as an adjunctive intervention to a family-focused intervention (i.e., Multiple Family Groups; MFG) for youth with disruptive behavior disorders and their families within outpatient mental health settings.
  3. Improving ADHD System of Care: This project aims to collaborate with mental health clinicians and administrators on improving evidence-based systems of care to improve engagement in and maintain longer-term benefits of treatment for youth with ADHD in outpatient mental health settings.
  4. Novel ADHD Treatment Project: This project aims to develop novel neurocognitive and skills-based interventions for the treatment of academic, social, and emotional deficits in youth with ADHD in specialized ADHD clinics at NYU School of Medicine and at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
  5. Improving Family Engagement and Child Competencies in Head Start Project: This project aims to help support family service providers in engaging families in preventive and treatment-focused care for their preschool child in the context of Head Start. Additionally, the project will explore the preliminary efficacy of novel neurocognitive trainings to improve academic readiness in preschool children.

Research activities will take place on and off campus, primarily during regular weekday hours and occasionally weekends. Dr. Chacko and doctoral students will oversee research trainings and tasks. Students will engage in research and intervention activities including:

  • Data entry and basic data analysis
  • Assisting in the recruitment of youth and parents
  • Developing interview/survey protocols
  • Engaging in literature searches and summarizing current literature
  • Assisting in the delivery of training of professional staff in various service settings
  • Potential involvement in delivering services to youth and families


  • Two consecutive semesters
  • 8 - 10 hours per week
  • Active participation in weekly meetings
  • Completion of readings and assignments
  • Completion of trainings


  • Interest in prevention and treatment of youth mental health difficulties
  • Working independently and as a team
  • Motivation and perseverance to complete assigned tasks
  • Professionalism (dependability, detail orientation, responsibility)
  • Ability to communicate clearly in oral and written language
  • Flexibility and commitment to work on a variety of tasks

Contact Information:
Dr. Anil Chacko (

Dr. Lixian Cui, director of the Affect Dynamics in Relationships lab at NYU Shanghai, is seeking volunteers for multiple research projects. This is great opportunity for students to gain research experience.

Stress, Coping, and Wellbeing
This study is designed to study Chinese young adults’ stress, coping and regulating skills, social support, and their physical and mental health. Stress coping and emotion regulation skills are assessed in the lab using physiological measures including functioning of both sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Gay and bisexual Males are recruited particularly to examine whether being sexual minority is an extra stressor to them. The purpose of this study is to advance our understanding of risk and resilience factors in relation to Chinese young adults’ wellbeing.

Social Exclusion and Adolescent Adjustment
This project aims to examine early adolescents’ emotional and physiological reactivity while they are being socially excluded, how their responses to social exclusion are linked to academic, behavioral, and psychological adjustment, and physical health one year later. The second goal of this project is to study how adolescents’ emotion regulation abilities protect them from the adverse influences of social exclusion. This project will ultimately contribute to our understanding of youth’s abilities of handling social exclusion and help improve strategies and policies to enhance youth mental health.

Nanjing Families Project
This 10-year longitudinal project of Nanjing urban families aims to examine socialization processes and child development across a dramatic socioeconomic transition in China, particularly focusing on the impacts of contextual change and parents’ beliefs and practices on child cognitive, social, and emotional development. This project is led by Dr. Niobe Way and Dr. Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Dr. Xinyin Chen from the University of Pennsylvania, and researchers from Southeast University in Nanjing. Dr. Cui’s team is particularly focusing on culture values and Chinese parenting, emotion socialization and emotion dynamics during parent-child interactions, and child emotion regulation and social skills.

Social and Emotional Development in US Families
Dr. Cui’s team is working with Dr. Amanda Sheffield Morris and Dr. Michael M. Criss on data collected in the US, which are focusing on predictors and outcomes of adolescent emotion regulation and parent emotional socialization. We have observational (parent-youth, youth-peer interactions), psychophysiological (ECG, respiration), genetic and cortisol (through saliva samples), and survey and interview data. Dr. Cui’s team is focusing on children and adolescents’ emotion regulation skills, physiological regulation, and parenting. We are looking for students with a strong interest in child and adolescent social and emotional development to join us as volunteers. Students should at least commit to work a minimum of 10 hours per week. Students will be supervised by me through online meetings or by colleagues in New York, or even come to Shanghai during summer and/or J-term


The Community and Oppression Research Engagement Lab 

Our team focuses on examining and taking social action to address health disparities in youth, including violence, substance use, and sexual risk taking. We have a variety of projects that focus on intervention research. Specifically, students have opportunities to provide direct services to youth involved in the juvenile justice system, collect data by interviewing youth and families who are at risk for juvenile justice system involvement, and learn about and develop ideas for how to better serve families living in urban poverty.

Fieldwork students will have the opportunity to work on one or several related projects, depending on interest and availability. The overall fieldwork experience will center upon learning applied research and intervention science skills, and applying them directly to implement and evaluate programs for youth involved in the justice system.

Research activities will take place on and off campus, primarily during regular weekday hours. Doctoral students and the faculty investigator will oversee research trainings and tasks. Students will engage in research and intervention activities including:

  • Obtaining training in social justice advocacy
  • Engaging in advocacy with juvenile justice-involved adolescent girls
  • Data entry
  • Recruitment of youth and parents
  • Learning basic analysis, including quantitative and qualitative coding.
  • Developing interview/survey protocols
  • Transcribing qualitative interviews
  • Engaging in literature searches
  • Summarizing current literature
  • Preparing and presenting reports to collaborators


  • Two consecutive semesters
  • 8 - 10 hours per week
  • Active participation in weekly meetings
  • Completion of readings and assignments
  • Completion of trainings


  • Interest in youth and social justice
  • Working independently and as a team
  • Motivation and perseverance to complete assigned tasks
  • Professionalism (dependability, detail orientation, responsibility)
  • Willingness to learn and work on a variety of tasks
  • Ability to communicate clearly in oral and written language
  • Flexibility and commitment to work on a variety of tasks

Contact Information:
Dr. Shabnam Javdani (
Megan Granski (


Please complete the application linked here:

Latino Family Engagement and Language Development (NYU-L-FELD)

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Broadly speaking, all of our projects address the socio-cultural context of Latino child development. Specifically, our research explores the ways culture, as transmitted in daily adult-child interactions both at home and school, shapes Latino preschoolers’ development of school readiness skills, as well as the relation between Latino family engagement in children’s development. Currently, our work is focused on scaling-up, implementing, and testing the efficacy of a classroom-based oral storytelling intervention for preschool and kindergarten classrooms serving low-income Latino & African heritage children.

Research Duties:
Students will engage in various activities related to developmental research and testing the efficacy of a quasi-experimental intervention to which they will be blind. Duties include: data collection in home and school settings, direct child assessments, language data transcription and verification, coding of narrative data, as well as assisting in other research-related tasks, such as data entry and data management. As part of their volunteer commitment, students also will have the opportunity to interact directly with preschool and kindergarten students, volunteering for a minimum of 3 hours a day, once a week, at schools across New York City.

All students will be required to commit to 10 hours per week, must complete training sessions, and attend monthly research & bi-weekly supervision meetings. Classroom volunteering requires one free morning or afternoon a week (a minimum of 3 hours), background checks, medical clearance, and fingerprinting.

We welcome students who are motivated, detail-oriented, and committed to participating in multiple aspects of research and developing partnerships with the Latino & African-Heritage communities. Specific qualifications include:

  • A strong interest in early childhood, language, and education
  • The ability to work both collaboratively and independently
  • The willingness to make at least a full year commitment
  • The highest level of professionalism (getting to meetings on time, being detail-oriented, competent, reliable, kind, and mature)
  • We are particularly interested in students who are fluent speakers of Spanish, and can write in Spanish, as much of our work is conducted in Spanish (but this is not required).

Independent Projects: Undergraduate students on our team are encouraged to develop independent research ideas and are allowed to use some of our data for their independent or honors’ projects.

Supplemental Hours Option: Students who are not interested in pursuing honors or completing an independent research project, and would simply like to supplement their fieldwork hours can apply to be a classroom volunteer, without any other research responsibilities. Students choosing this option are required to volunteer for a minimum for 4-5 hours a week for a full year.

Contact Information:
Dr. Gigliana Melzi (
Dr. Adina Schick (
Lauren Scarola (

Dr. Pamela Morris and Dr. Elizabeth Miller are searching for students to help with the SMART Beginnings project.

Description: SMART Beginnings (PIs Dr. Pamela Morris – NYU, Dr. Alan Mendelsohn – NYU School of Medicine, & Dr. Danny Shaw – University of Pittsburgh) tests the novel integration of two strategies previously shown to enhance early development and school readiness of children in poverty through support of positive parenting practices and reduction of the impact of psychosocial stressors: 1) a universal primary prevention strategy (Video Interaction Project [VIP]) provided for all low income families; and 2) a targeted secondary/tertiary prevention strategy (Family Check-up [FCU]) for families identified as having additional risks.

Duties and responsibilities: Students engaged in fieldwork placements will gain experience using data collection systems including REDCap and Qualtrics, and data management software including SAS and Excel. Students may have the opportunity to work with field staff including interventionists and research assistants conducting sessions at Bellevue Hospital and at in-home visits.

You might be a great fit if:

  • You have a standing interest in early childhood interventions with low-income families.
  • You are looking for experience in data management: data cleaning, organization & running reports of longitudinal data from a large, randomized control trial intervention.
  • You are interested in coordinating visits and supporting the completion of assessments.

Contact: Dr. Liz Miller (

Research Project: Research on universal Pre-Kindergarten for All in NYC

In the fall of 2014, New York City’s Department of Education began the roll out of Pre-K For All, an education initiative spearheaded by Mayor Bill de Blasio. In AY 2015-2016, nearly 69,000 children were registered to attend free, full-day, high quality pre-K. The different projects aim to provide city leaders involved in the roll-out with data that facilitates decision-making regarding the expansion of new pre-K seats and the quality of instruction in pre-K. Using existing data sources as well as newly collected data, we inform city leaders on topics such as children’s academic achievement at pre-K entry and pre-K exit, classroom quality, and teacher’s professional development. We are looking for students interested in child development and educational policy!

Research Projects:

  • Strengthening School Readiness through Pre-K for All: A University-District Partnership
  • Pre-K For All: Strengthening the Research Architecture for NYC
  • NYC Pre-K THRIVE Assessment and Quality Control
  • Using Data to Improve Quality: Formal and Informal Mechanisms Supporting Professional Development in NYC’s Pre-K for All

Duties: Research activities will take place on NYU’s campus as well as at NYC schools during regular weekday hours. Graduate students and the faculty investigators will oversee research trainings and activities. Undergraduate students could engage in data-related activities and writing activities including:

  • Entering quantitative data into a database
  • Site visits to NYC schools
  • Helping in the piloting of various child assessments
  • Cleaning and managing datasets
  • Helping in the production of memos

Responsibilities: Undergraduate students will be required to commit to:

  • Completion of relevant readings, assignments, and trainings
  • Active participation in weekly team meetings
  • 8-10 hours/week in the research lab and in NYC schools, as needed

Qualifications: Specific qualifications include:

  • Experience and interest in children and education policy
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Motivation and perseverance to complete assigned tasks
  • Ability to communicate clearly in oral and written language
  • High levels of professionalism (detail-oriented, dependable, flexible, and responsible)
  • Minimum 3.5 GPA

Contact information: Damaris Rothe, Project Coordinator ( Please send a note indicating your interest and your resume or CV.

INSIGHTS Follow-Up Team
INSIGHTS is a comprehensive, universal school-based social-emotional learning intervention that includes teacher, parent and child programs. The INSIGHTS intervention provides parents and teachers with strategies to reduce the behavior problems of school-age children, support their learning competencies, and enhance their ability to self-regulate. Participating children and classmates learn related content intended to enhance their empathy skills, facilitate their appreciation of uniqueness of friends, family members, and teachers, and employ problem-solving techniques when they encounter daily dilemmas. Results of a randomized control trial completed in 2012 showed that students in INSIGHTS demonstrated faster gains in reading and math achievement than children in the comparison group.

The purpose of the current project is to conduct an efficacy follow-up of the INSIGHTS intervention. The children who participated in the original study will all be in middle or high school during the 2017-2018 academic year. The research team has received a grant from the Institute of Education Sciences to collect follow-up data on these children so we can examine the long-term effects of early exposure to INSIGHTS on adolescents’ academic, social-emotional, and behavioral skills. As a research assistant on this project, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Be trained on conducting individual assessments with youth in a variety of settings
  • Be responsible for building relationships and acting as liaisons between the NYU INSIGHTS Team and participating NYC schools and families
  • Acquire data analysis and management skills, using SPSS, Stata, and Qualtrics
  • Assist with dissemination of study findings


  • Interest and/or experience in education, psychology, or related field
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • High level of attention to detail
  • Ability to carry out research protocols
  • Interest in learning to administer assessments
  • Ability to work with a team
  • Efficiently manage information and time required
  • Comfortable traveling by public transportation to classroom sites throughout the five boroughs (Metrocards provided)
  • Willing to commit at least 8 hours per week to the team, availability during school hours (9am-2pm) a plus

Contact: Email Project Coordinators Hope White ( and Samantha Harding ( with a cover letter and resume/CV.

The following research projects are currently ongoing in the Legal and Investigative Psychology Lab (lipLAB) at NYU Shanghai:

Improving the quality of investigative interviews of children
In suspected cases of child sexual abuse, children’s statements are usually the most important piece of evidence. However, children’s limited cognitive abilities make them susceptible to suggestive interviewing techniques. In this project methods of improving the quality of investigative interviews of children through effective feedback and experiential learning are developed.

Improving the quality of decision-making processes in child sexual abuse investigations
Mental health professionals are often asked to give expert opinions on the likelihood of sexual abuse having taken place. This requires them integrating information from child interview, physical findings, psychiatric symptoms and sociodemographic information. Research shows that different experts do not always arrive at the same conclusion based on the same information suggesting that the task is quite challenging. In the project, we try to understand how decision-making processes in these cases can be improved through decision-support.

Effects of distance and lighting on the reliability of eyewitness identifications
Eyewitness identification of alleged suspects features prominently within the judicial system and can have a powerful effect on both judges and jurors. However, modern DNA analyses have, to date, resulted in the post-conviction exonerations of 330 innocent people; in 236 of these cases mistaken eyewitness identifications contributed to the wrongful convictions. In this project the effects of distance and luminosity on later correct identification is explored. Preliminary results from the first data collection with 1640 participants show that correct identifications were at 55% at short distances of 5-10 meters and at chance level at distances beyond 90 meters.

Developing implicit measures for the assessment of violent radicalization
Violent radicalization refers to individuals adopting a belief system that is extremist and facilitates ideologically based violence to advance goals that may be political or religious. Currently, a series of different instruments for measuring this construct have been proposed. However, only two measures have minimal validation research to back them up. In this project, the aim is to explore the possibility of creating an implicit measure (using, for example, the Implicit Association Test) for identifying radicalized individuals.

I am looking for students with a strong interest in one of these themes or in the area of legal and investigative psychology in general. The supervision will mostly happen from a distance with regular Skype meetings. The actual research tasks will be tailored to the student’s interests and may involve, for example, running a pilot study on site in New York while being closely supervised by me. A minimum commitment of 8 hours per week is required.


Dr. Selcuk Sirin's Lab

The New York City Academic and Social Engagement Study (NYCASES) 


The goal of this mixed methods longitudinal study is to understand adolescents' academic engagement and psychological well-being. The study is designed to identify the degree to which individual, family, and school characteristics predict the changes in psychological and educational outcomes of youth throughout their high school years, from 10th grade to 12th grade. We have already completed data gathering phase of this project. This year we will be focusing on qualitative and quantitative data analysis so we are looking for advanced undergraduate students for this study.


Preliminary data analysis using both qualitative interview data and quantitative survey data. Preparing and presenting short reports to the research team.

Meta-Analysis of the Paradox (MAP): 


Why do new immigrants tend to have more positive developmental and educational outcomes than those who are more acculturated to the United States? We have designed a meta-analysis to answer this much debated question of immigrant paradox.

Coding peer-reviewed research articles, data entry using SPSS, and important administrative tasks such as filing, copying. Additional opportunities can also be discussed, based on the RA's individual interests.

Project Hope

Project Hope is to support Syrian refugee children in Turkey by providing them with digital game-based education opportunities to improve Turkish language proficiency, executive functions, and coding skills while decreasing their sense of despair and increasing hope.

Grant writing. Preparing and presenting short reports to the research team

Lab Opportunities: 

Structured training for data analysis. Opportunity to co-author empirical manuscripts and presentations (especially important for those applying graduate school). Develop an expertise on immigrant minority youth development. 

Minimum time commitment: 

We request a minimum of an 8-hour commitment a week for at least one academic year. This level of involvement will help students gain the most from this experience. 


Dr. Selcuk Sirin --

The Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education

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Description: The CRCDE focuses on examining the intersection between culture and developmental processes as they influence children’s transitions to school (preschool and high school) in children and youth from diverse ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds. We have many ongoing projects, as well as data from a longitudinal birth cohort study for analysis.

General Research Responsibilities: Students will be required to commit to:

  • 10-12 hours/week, flexibility with schedule, and a commitment to participating for the entire academic year.
  • Completion of trainings and attendance at weekly team meetings
  • Presenting their work at least once at team meetings
  • Entering and managing data

Qualifications: We welcome students who are motivated, detail-oriented, and committed to participating in multiple aspects of research. Bilingual students (Korean, Spanish) are especially needed. Specific qualifications include:

  • A strong interest in child development, psychology, education, and the social sciences.
  • The ability to work both collaboratively and independently.
  • The willingness to make a full year commitment.
  • The highest level of professionalism (getting to meetings on time, being detail-oriented, competent, reliable, kind, and mature).

Current Projects:
Routine Language Intervention

We are working with low-income, Spanish-speaking families and their 1-year-olds on an intervention designed to help parents infused language throughout their everyday routines. In this intervention, parents learn how to increase their use of routine specific words over the course of 1 year.

This position involves:

  • Assisting in video recording home visits
  • Volunteering at community agency in East Harlem (Little Sisters of the Assumption)
  • Data entry, transcription, and coding using SPSS and Datavyu (in Spanish)
  • The opportunity to work closely with staff mentors and to gain research experience in developmental research
  • Experience with applied intervention work as it stems from developmental research
  • Potential for involvement in data analysis and preparation of papers, reports, and conference abstracts.
  • Fluency in Spanish is necessary.

Development of Spatial Skills in Korean & U.S. Children

This ongoing study compares the development of early spatial skills in Korean and U.S. children. Data has been collected in Korea, and will now be collected in the United States.

Team members will

  • be trained on experimental protocol
  • Learn coding schemes and use them on videos
  • be trained to transcribe and code on Datavyu.
  • Fluency in Korean is not necessary, although preferred.

Latino Fathers and Mothers

This ongoing study looks at shared engagement and emotional attunement in Latino mother-child and father-child dyads. Parents are asked to engage in structured tasks with their 3-year-olds, and visits are conducted at home or at partnering agency.

This position involves:

  • Assisting in videorecording and conducting home visits
  • Data entry, transcription, and coding using SPSS and Datavyu (in Spanish).
  • Fluency in Spanish is preferred, but not necessary.


Dr. Catherine Tamis-LeMonda --

Girls’ Resistance Project

The Girls’ Resistance Project is an offshoot of the Resistance among Youth (RAY) group that examines cultural and contextual influences on adolescent girls’ resistance to stereotypes. We examine trajectories of girls’ resistance or accommodation to stereotypes of gender and race, as well as how these stereotypes and girls’ negotiation of them affects their identities and friendships. Currently we are examining 6th, 8th, and 11th grade interview collected from adolescent girls in New York City schools. Interested students will assist in building literature reviews, coding interviews, and analyzing data.

Contact Information: Dr. Niobe Way

The Chinese Families Research team does longitudinal mix-method studies with Chinese children and parents’ in both China and U.S. We collaborate closely with NYU-Shanghai and NYU-Abu Dhabi psychology faculty. We are interested in how the changing social, economic and cultural context is influencing Chinese children’s development and parenting practices. We have just finished 10th year follow-up data collection in Nanjing, China in 2017. Current research topics include parental gender socialization, adolescents’ friendship values, student-teacher relationship, attachment narrative assessment and so on. We are in need of students who could help with quantitative data cleaning and organizing as well as qualitative interview translation and coding.

Contact Information: Dr. Niobe Way (