If you are interested in advancing your research capability, the School of Psychology offers a number of great opportunities.

UQ Summer and Winter Research Programs

Coordinated by the UQ Student Employability Centre, these programs provide an opportunity for scholars to work with a researcher in a formal research environment in their area of interest.

person participating in researchBy participating in a program students will gain valuable academic and professional opportunities, develop analytical, critical thinking, and communication skills, and have an opportunity to cultivate links with industry and academic contacts. 

It is also a chance to ‘test drive’ research before embarking on further research studies or higher degree research projects.

Participation is open to undergraduate students (BPsySc, BA, BSc), including honours and Masters by coursework students.

Successful applicants are likely to have studied psychology for at least two years, or can demonstrate an equivalent level of knowledge and skills in the discipline.

All students participating in the summer and winter programs will receive a scholarship.

Please note that no course credit is offered in the summer and winter research programs.

Summer Research Program

View the list of Summer Research Program projects and supervisors.

Research projects are available for between 6-10 weeks over the summer vacation period (from mid-November to mid-February).

Apply for the Summer Research Program

Winter Research Program

View the list of Winter Research Program projects and supervisors.

Research projects are available for 4 weeks over the winter vacation period (from mid-June to mid-July).

Apply for the Winter Research Program

Please direct all other queries to psyresearch@psy.uq.edu.au.


School of Psychology research experience courses

The School of Psychology offers two one-unit research experience courses as second-year electives: PSYC2991 and PSYC2992.

The goal of these courses is to provide a structured opportunity for undergraduate students to gain experience working on a research project.

Eligibility criteria

Please carefully read the information relating to your program.

Students in all programs are strongly encouraged to complete all first-year core courses (PSYC1020, PSYC1030, and PSYC1040) and second-year statistics (PSYC2010) before seeking to enrol in the research experience courses.

Bachelor of Psychological Science (BPsySc)

  • Students can undertake both research experience courses and count this as one of their two-unit 2nd year electives.
  • If students have already completed all the second-year elective courses needed to meet program requirements, they are not eligible to enrol in PSYC2991 or PSYC2992.

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

  • PSYC2991 and PSYC2992 can only be taken as general electives within the single degree.
  • Students must be enrolled in the extended major in Psychology.
  • Students must confirm with the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences that they have room in their program to complete these courses.

Bachelor of Science (BSc)

  • PSYC2991 and PSYC2992 can be taken as general electives.
  • Students must be enrolled in the extended major in Psychology as part of the BSc.
  • Students must confirm with the Faculty of Science that they have room in their program to complete these courses.

Obtaining permission to enrol

In order to be permitted to enrol, you need to complete the following steps:

  1. Make sure that you are eligible to enrol in these courses (see eligibility criteria below)
  2. Obtain agreement from a supervisor for each course.
  3. Send an email to Psychology Student Administration via py-undergrad@psy.uq.edu.au  with the following information:
  • Full name
  • Student number
  • Program you are enrolled in: 
    • Bachelor of Psychological Science (BPsySc)
    • Bachelor of Arts (BA) Extended Major in Psychology
    • Bachelor of Science (BSc) Extended Major in Psychology
  • Semester you wish to enrol in PSYC2991 and/or PSYC2992
  • Supervisor for PSYC2991 and/or PSYC2992

Supervisors & projects

Associate Professor Derek Arnold My research is primarily concerned with links between neural processing and conscious perceptual experience. Precisely what neural operations result in us 'seeing'? One of my specific research themes is time perception. Different sensory experiences can be mediated by relatively independent systems, like vision and audition. So what processes allow us to judge the relative timing of different types of event? Another line of research concerns face perception - what operations allow you to distinguish a male from a female face, or a familiar from an unfamiliar face. Another major theme relates to sensory integration. Neural analyses can be relatively independent, like those for colour and movement. Yet we have apparently unified experiences. What processes are responsible for this sensory binding?

Professor Ross Cunnington Research in my lab focuses on the brain processes crucial for planning and representing actions prior to initiation, for imitating actions, and for perceiving and understanding the actions of others.

Associate Professor Paul E. Dux Studies of attention, training, cognitive control, theory of mind and task performance using behavioural and neuroimaging techniques. With a special interest in the capacity limits of human information processing.

Dr Philip Grove Binocular vision and stereopsis: I have a number of ongoing experiments looking at binocular vision and 3D perception. Some examples are listed below. The details of these projects can be worked out in consultation with the student. Multisensory perception: I am interested in how the perceptual system integrates signals from two or more sensory inputs. I have ongoing experiments exploring the relationships between vision and hearing, vision and the vestibular senses, and vision and proprioception.

Dr Matthew Gullo This NHMRC-funded research project aims to test the efficacy of different psychological interventions by utilising a new laboratory model of youth impulsivity and alcohol use. The project will provide a great opportunity for students wanting to gain experience in translational clinical research examining mechanisms of change. It will provide students with an opportunity to observe (and possibly take part in) the administration of different psychotherapeutic techniques adapted for a laboratory setting, including factors that increase and decrease their effectiveness. It will also provide experience in state-of-the-art assessment techniques commonly employed by psychologists working clinically in this field.

Associate Professor Stephanie Hanrahan Sport and exercise psychology: psychological skills training for performance enhancement, motivation. Cultural sport psychology. Positive youth development through sport.

Professor Catherine Haslam My research investigates the cognitive and social consequences of trauma and disease in neurological populations, and also on identity-cognition relationships in ageing.

Associate Professor Mark Horswill We developed a hazard perception training package for young drivers in conjunction with Queensland Transport - and preliminary data indicates that it has a huge beneficial effect on drivers' hazard perception response times and actually changes what people are looking at in our driving simulator. However, many unanswered questions remain, for example, how long the training effect lasts for, do people need booster training sessions, which components of the training work the best, and how to persuade drivers to take the training in the first place. Help us find out the answers to these questions and save lives!

Dr Kana Imuta My research area is in developmental psychology and, in particular, examines bilingualism and language acquisition, as well as the development of social competence in young children.

Professor Justin Kenardy I am currently working on studies of the psychological impact of whiplash in adults, and traumatic physical injury in children including traumatic brain injury, burns, and intensive care admission.

Professor Andrew Neal My research examines the factors that enhance the performance, safety and effectiveness of people at work, and the mechanisms by which people manage competing demands in complex, dynamic environments.

Dr Nicole Nelson I am happy to supervise motivated students interested in working any of the following projects: (1) Children’s expression recognition (particularly this expression) and whether it is related to experiences of relational aggression/bullying in school-aged children; (2) Does the way we exaggerate expressions for children help them identify that movement as an expression? [eye-tracking study]; (3) Can visual attention tell us how children integrate facial and postural expression cues? [eye-tracking study]; (4) How do parents talk to children about concepts like ‘surprise’?; (5) What information do spontaneous expressions of fear convey to others?

Emeritus Professor Roger Remington Human attention, multitasking, eye movements, the control of cognitive processing, as well as computational modelling of human performance.

Professor Matt Sanders Triple P - Positive Parenting Program.

Professor Penelope Sanderson Cognitive engineering and human factors.

Associate Professor Kate Sofronoff Research interests centre on interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders and their families, and parenting programs for parents of children with a disability.

Dr Nik Steffens Research projects in the broad areas of leadership, citizenship, creativity, charisma, and health and well-being.

Associate Professor Jason Tangen We have a new research program called The Forensic Reasoning Project. Our aim is to study the nature of expertise in forensic identification to improve training and the value of expert testimony. What sets an expert apart from a novice? Can training time be reduced without compromising performance? What can examiners reasonably claim when testifying in court?

Dr Eric Vanman In the UQ Social Neuroscience Lab, we use various psychophysiological measures to examine emotional and cognitive process involved in social interactions. Although informed by recent findings in neuroimaging, the research in our laboratory is typically done without people being put into a scanner. To heighten experimental realism, the laboratory has available both interactive software programs and immersive virtual reality equipment so that participants become highly involved in the experimental procedures. Some topics we will be working on include: perceptions of expressions of crying, how people respond to others who are obese, and intergroup schadenfreude.

Professor Bill von Hippel I am interested in evolutionary social cognition. Currently we are exploring a variety of topics, such as innovation, boredom, and self-deception.

Dr Courtney von Hippel My research focuses primarily on intergroup relations, feelings of stigmatisation, implicit attitudes, stereotype threat, and executive functioning. My work tends to examine social psychological theories in more applied settings (e.g., the workplace).

Dr Brendan Zietsch Evolutionary psychology - mate preferences and choices, mate value, physical attractiveness, intelligence, personality, sexual orientation, masculinity-femininity, sexual behaviour, and how these relate to sexual selection and the evolution of the human mind.

Units of credit & workload

  • Each course (PSYC2991, PSYC2992) counts as one unit of credit. Students must complete both courses if they wish to have the research experience count as a two-unit elective in their program.
  • Students can enrol in both courses with the same supervisor, or can do each with a different supervisor.
  • Students can enrol in both courses in the same semester, or in different semesters.
  • Each course carries a workload of 65 hours for the semester (5 hours a week for 13 weeks of classes). This includes all research activities and assessment tasks. Enrolling in both courses in one semester carries a total workload of 130 hours (10 hours a week for 13 weeks of classes).

Activities & assessment

  • Students may participate in a range of research activities, such as attending lab group meetings, conducting literature reviews, developing study materials, data collection, data analysis, and preparing written reports.
  • Assessment tasks will vary, depending on the specific research activities. Example assessment tasks include written reports, oral presentations, and reflective diaries.
  • Students must meet with their supervisor at the commencement of the semester and agree to research activities to be undertaken and written assessment to be submitted.  Students MUST complete the required activities and submit written assessment to be awarded a passing grade.
  • Each course is graded pass/fail.