Tips for Your Application

  1. You don’t have to have prior lab experiences. The DAS Lab offers learning opportunities for students wanting to get into research. 
  2. Show your eagerness to learn. Revealing your achievements, goals, and expectations is a way to show your eagerness to learn. 
  3. We take a holistic approach when hiring. We value applicants with work, volunteer, and or life experience that show dedication and leadership. GPA is a very small part of what we look for in a candidate’s application. We know you have much much more to offer than just the numbers on your transcript. 
  4. Show that you are a responsible, hardworking, and conscientious person. You may elaborate on this, or anything else, at the end of the application form to list examples from various aspects of your life. 
  5. Look into multiple labs to take the time to find the lab that is right for you. We are looking for candidates who are eager to learn more about our research!

Tips From Within Our Lab on How to Prepare to Be an RA

Sarah, Senior Research Assistant 

  • Experience in Collaboration
    • Any lab is an extremely collaborative environment, with many moving parts. As such, they desire RAs who are eager to work with others and have demonstrated that in their past work or volunteer experience. Successful examples include: extracurricular clubs and community volunteer work
  • Experience Working with Vulnerable Populations
    • Due to the nature of topics covered in psychological research, study participants often experience a wide range of emotions whilst in the lab. RAs should be prepared to follow suicide assessment protocols, as well as take the necessary steps to protect populations with increased vulnerability, such as children. Successful examples include: experience with a crisis line and tutoring
  • Experience in Research Methods & Analysis
    • As a place of learning, it is not expected that RAs have expertise in the methods of research and statistical analysis. However, a familiarity or understanding of these, such as that gained through psychology courses such as UBC’s PSYC 217 (Research Methods) and PSYC 218 (Analysis of Behavioural Data), is extremely beneficial

Davin, Research Assistant 

  • Take PSYC 217/218 and have a good foundation/understanding of how research is conducted
  • Familiarity with academic literature is helpful for when you become an RA
  • Any type of volunteer or work experience can demonstrate responsibility and time management skills. Try to think of what transferable skills you have developed through your past work/volunteer positions. E.g., 
    • Customer service → People skills for interacting with a wide range of individuals can be very useful when running studies with different participants
    • Working in a fast-paced/high-stress environment → ability to work efficiently, prioritizing important tasks
    • Work/volunteer with vulnerable populations → being sensitive and empathic when working with clinical populations during research 
    • Working on a team → collaboration and teamwork, communication skills 
  • Having any type of research experience (even outside of psychology) is an asset but of course not needed 
  • Being comfortable with programs/websites that are commonly used in research can be a big help (e.g., Excel, R, SPSS, Qualtrics, photoshop…) 

Jimmy, Research Assistant 

  • Any experience can provide skills a successful RA should have
    • Diverse work/volunteer experiences will assist you in becoming a successful RA. However, it is important to ask yourself: What are the skills that I have learned from this specific job that will help me become a successful RA? 
      • Being an executive of UBC clubs taught me about being responsible and accountable for my actions, management skills and teamwork skills.
      • Volunteering at a nursing home taught me about being empathetic and joyful.
      • Working as a peer notetaker provided me with writing skills and organizational skills for documenting.
      • Volunteering at an NGO organization as a translator improved my language skill, interpersonal skill and research skills as I had to ensure that my translated documents contained accurate and reliable information with backup resources. 
      • Working as an accountant assistant taught me about the importance of being accurate and sharp with data entry. 
  • Authenticity
    • Show your passions and what you can bring to the table.