Career Opportunities in Research Psychology Department

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COR: Career Opportunities in Research

COR is a NIMH-funded program with the major goal of helping students from underrepresented and ethnic backgrounds become competitive applicants to doctoral programs in mental health related fields. Our SFSU COR program offers a two-year mentoring and educational experience to undergraduate students in their junior or senior year. The program provides opportunities for these students to develop their research skills and to explore the professional identity issues involved in pursuing advanced education in mental health. COR provides financial support in the form of stipends, tuition and books, and travel to professional conferences. The COR program emphasizes six components of training: financial support for academic activities, mentoring experience, research skills development, professional development, summer research internship, and application to doctoral studies.

cor members

Financial support

Students receive financial support in the form of:

  • monthly stipends
  • tuition and books
  • travel to professional conferences
  • GRE preparation workshops
  • application fees to doctoral programs

Mentoring experience

Each student is paired with a faculty mentor who is actively involved in conducting a research program. Students will be expected to work up to fifteen hours a week on their faculty mentor’s research. Students will receive guidance and training from their faculty mentor to design and conduct their own study.

Research skills development

Students design and conduct their own study in their first year of the program. In the Fall of their second year, students present their research at the annual national COR conference. Students will be expected to complete the introductory statistics (Psy 371) and research design (Psy 400) courses as well as the intermediate statistics course (Psy 571) during their first year in the program. Students are expected to complete the introductory and advanced computing and data management workshops offered by Computing Services and the Library, covering library searches, Word, Excel, SPSS, and Power Point.

Professional development

Professional development is addressed in a variety of ways. Students attend a weekly meeting with the COR Director for research training, academic advising, self-exploration, career guidance, and peer support. Regular colloquia address professional development issues. Students are encouraged to attend professional meetings once a year and to participate in local and national professional organizations.

Summer research internship

In January of their first year students apply to summer research internship programs nation wide. Many universities offer two-month summer programs designed to help underrepresented students prepare for graduate studies in a wide range of areas of study, including mental health research. Internships offer stipends for the two months of training.

Application to doctoral studies

Students receive extensive guidance in preparing their applications for doctoral programs, including GRE training. Typically students apply to about ten doctoral programs in a variety of mental health related fields, including clinical psychology, social work, counseling, school psychology, educational psychology, and neuroscience.

COR eligibility criteria

To be eligible, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Underrepresented background in mental health research, i.e., African-American, Native American, Asian-American, Latino/ Hispanic, low income
  • Sophomore, junior or senior standing
  • GPA at 3.0 or higher
  • completed at least Psy 200, several additional psychology courses, preferably PSY 371 and PSY 400
  • expressed interest in and motivation to explore a career in mental health research
  • another connection with mental health and/or psychology (e.g., relevant experience, additional psychology courses, etc.)
Contact Names Email Phone
Dr. Sacha Bunge
Program Director (415) 338-1846
Lann K. Chan
Program Coordinator  

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