About the Summer Internship Program

The Early Development Lab will not have a summer internship program in 2017, please check back in 2018!

This internship experience has been designed to provide exceptional undergraduate students an opportunity to gain experience conducting psychological research in a child development lab. Students do not need to have previous research experience to be competitive applicants; in fact, students from liberal arts colleges and smaller universities are strongly encouraged to apply.

The Early Development Lab is a research lab in the psychology department at the University of Virginia led by Dr. Angeline Lillard, a leading expert in pretend play and theory of mind research. Generally, our research focuses on the cognitive development of children from about 2 to 8 years of age. Our lab is interested in how children interact with pretend, fantasy, imagination, and media, and how this interaction influences their cognitive and social development.

The program is open to rising juniors and seniors. Successful applicants typically have at least a 3.3 GPA in psychology, and have completed or are currently taking courses in developmental psychology, statistics, and research methods.

What to Expect

The Early Development Lab Summer Internship is built upon a mentorship model, with each intern being paired with one graduate student mentor in the lab. Graduate student mentors and interns will work closely on at least one ongoing study. Moreover, interns will have the opportunity to be involved in several steps of the research process, including study design, participant recruitment, and data analysis. Interns will also attend weekly lab meetings, journal article clubs, and a series of professional development talks, such as navigating the graduate school admission process.

Summer interns and graduate students recruit new families at the Community Health Fair in Charlottesville.

Apply Now!

The Early Development Lab will not have a summer internship program in 2017, please check back in 2018!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the dates of the program?

The program will begin June 6th, 2016 and continue through August 5th, 2016 with July 4th off for Independence Day.

What time commitment is expected?

Interns are expected to work approximately 40 hours per week in the lab.

What is the deadline to apply?

All application materials must be received by March 4th, 2016.

Who is eligible to apply?

To apply for this internship, you must be currently enrolled as an undergraduate student at a 4 year institution. The program is only open to rising juniors and seniors; recent graduates are not eligible.

Is there a minimum GPA required?

No. However, successful applicants typically have a psychology GPA of at least 3.3, and have taken or are currently enrolled in courses on statistics, research methods, and developmental psychology.

When will I find out if I've been accepted?

We will review applications as quickly as possible after the application deadline of March 4th, and expect to send out decisions by early April.

Is there funding available?

We cannot guarantee financial support for this program. Applicants should seek out opportunities for outside funding. Your college or university might have a program to support students doing summer research at other institutions. Talk to your department head or university research office about potential funding opportunities.

Where can I live in Charlottesville?

Charlottesville has an abundance of reasonably priced student housing options. Many students attending the University of Virginia sublease apartments for the summer. We are happy to provide you with resources upon acceptance to the program.