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Helping Psychology Majors Understand Research:

Getting the most out of a Research Assistantship In PRDD

The Personality and Relationship Development/Dynamics (PRDD) research group conducts research primarily related to the personality traits and behavioral characteristics which influence relationship outcomes in romantic, dating, or marital relationships. When students join the PRDD team, the  research questions are generally in Dr. White's area of interest with student contributions to hypothesis development, literature searches, data collection, (limited) data analysis, and written reports or conference presentations.


Dr. White also serves as a faculty supervisor for students who are interested in conducting their own research separate from the specific goals of the research projects which are ongoing in the PRDD lab. The PRDD Research Group tries to provide students with a desire to apply to graduate school the much needed academic enhancement experiences which make their applications competitive.


Since 2011, PRDD students have presented over 13 different research projects at UCF's annual Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence (SURE) Conference and have presented at regional psychological conferences, like the Southeastern Social Psychologists (SSP) Conference held at the University of Florida, and Regional Psi Chi Research Conferences.


Students should remember it is never to early to start planning for the future. Take these opportunities while you can. If you are interested in an RA position with PRDD please review the requirements and benefits below.

Research Assistant Requirements


Regardless of whether or not students choose to work on a research team or work on a research project of their own creation, all students must meet the following requirements in each session for which they are a research assistant. Students must:


1. Have at least a 3.0 UCF gpa, and a major gpa of 3.2 or higher


2. Be able to register for 0 s.h. or 3 s.h. in Directed Independent Research Psy4912


3. Be available for the face-to-face, hour to hour and thirty minute lab meeting which occurs twice a month, on the UCF Cocoa Campus, depending upon student research team availability and Dr. White's availability.


4. Complete the IRB approved researcher training through citiprogram on the UCF IRB website. (Will also be completed as part of RA training after accepted into research group).


5. Have completed a research methods or statistical methods course. (Occasionally this requirement is waived if the student will not complete data analysis directly or if the student is available to participate in the statistical training which provided during the research team lab meetings.)


 6. Generally students are expected to commit up to 10 hours per week to the completion of RA duties or responsibilities (including the lab meeting) which are determined by the specific faculty supervisor for whose lab they are an RA.


 7. Students will receive an "S" or "U" designation on the permanent transcript for the satisfactory or unsatisfactory completion of the RA responsibilities. This does not contribute to the GPA but these lettered designations are placed on the transcript upon completion of the RA independent research course.


The benefits of RA position and/or independent research:


1. Get real-world training and experience in development and conduction of empirical human subjects research

2. Develop and master basic research methods and statistical analysis skills.

3. Earn credit while demonstrating independent learning and collaborative skills through directed independent research.

4. Develop faculty mentorship and advisory relationships for letters of recommendation.

5. Demonstrate to research based graduate programs that you have the skills and abilities necessary to complete a master's thesis or a doctoral dissertation.




How to Apply
1. Send an email to, Subject: PRDD Research Assistant.
2. Attach your curriculum vitae, degree audit and a 1-2 paragraph statment of research interest.
3. Make sure to indicate which PRDD project you would like to work with and/or if you are interested in an independent research project.
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