Participate in the laboratory
Become an undergraduate research assistant
Each semester, undergraduates help conduct research in our laboratory. Psychology students can receive course credit for assisting in research by registering for Psychology 290. After working on ongoing projects in our lab, some students transition to working on their own independent research projects, and a few eventually work on an undergraduate honors thesis. Our usual time to recruit new undergraduate researchers is at the start of the fall semester, although we sometimes take on new researchers at the start of the spring too. We have limited space in the lab, so the number of new research assistants we can bring on board depends on the number of current students continuing in the lab.

If you are interested in working in our lab, the best time to reach out is at the beginning of August. You can do that by sending email to Prof. Simons ( and attach a completed version of this information form: link

The form requests information about your prior experience, coursework, and skills. No prior research experience or technical skills are required, but if you do have any, please include them in the form.
Become a graduate student in the laboratory
If you are interested in pursuing a psychology Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, please email Prof. Simons directly ( Our lab regularly collaborates with students from many laboratories at the university, and students in our lab work with other faculty as well. So, even if our lab is not taking students in a given year, there might still be opportunities to work in our laboratory if you came to the University of Illinois. Prof. Simons maintains a small lab with only a few graduate students. Consequently, he is highly selective in accepting graduate students. Successful applicants typically maintain at least a 3.7 GPA while taking challenging classes, score higher than the 75th percentile on all sections of the GRE, have research experience in psychology or related disciplines, and have some programming proficiency (i.e., in Matlab, Python, R, and/or other languages).