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Research Opportunities

One of the hallmarks of the psychology program is the collaborative research that happens between faculty and students. Students gain initial research experience in each of the research methods classes that are required for the major. Many students choose to expand that knowledge through the numerous opportunities to get involved in research both during the academic year and over the summer.

Senior Thesis

Psychology students have the opportunity to participate in more in-depth research by conducting a senior thesis.

Research Labs

Many students work directly with department faculty as part of our lab research teams. Students often present as co-authors at professional conferences and co-author publications. The fastest way to get involved is to reach out to a faculty member directly. Faculty are happy to discuss their latest projects and opportunities for participation.

Summer Research Opportunities

There are a number of programs that provide monetary support for students conducting collaborative research with faculty in a summer research fellowship/scholarship between the spring and fall semesters each year.

Psychology Department Summer Research Fellowship

Thanks to an anonymous benefactor, the Psychology Department offers annually a Summer Research Fellowship for conducting research in residence at Davidson College for ten weeks during the summer (sometime between Commencement and First Year Orientation). Interested applicants will develop a research project and form an agreement for supervision and support with a Psychology Department faculty mentor. The applicant and faculty mentor will negotiate the summer research plan together. The student will receive a stipend in the amount of $4,000.

The Summer Research Fellowship announcement is generally sent to eligible psychology students toward the beginning of the spring semester. Interested prospective applicants should meet with a Psychology Department faculty mentor as soon as possible. While proposals are judged on merits of research ideas, quality of expression, and feasibility of the proposed work, the proposal is not intended to be highly labor intensive. For more information, contact Prof. Mark Smith at


The Abernethy Endowment supports students who wish to pursue independent research and cross-cultural study in the humanities or social sciences, either in the United States or abroad. Grant support is available through application for both academic year and summer experiences.


Research in Science Experience (RISE) is a program for rising sophomores at Davidson who are interested in careers in science or medicine. RISE is designed for students from groups historically underrepresented in science, including minority, first-generation, and low-wealth students.


The grant-funded Davidson Research Initiative (DRI) allows first-year, sophomore and junior students to design a research topic, engage with a faculty mentor for guidance and collaboration, and present and publish their findings.