Thank you for your interest in joining the CAN Lab. We have opportunities for individuals to join the lab as graduate or undergraduate students. The work being conducted in our lab is multi-disciplinary in nature and requires exposure to a range of methods used to study psychopathology and emotion. Students receive hands-on training in all aspects of this research. The sections below provide information about these opportunities, as well as how to apply to join the lab.
The CAN Lab is committed to fostering a safe, welcoming, supportive, and inclusive environment for all students, faculty and staff. Attention to issues of cultural competence, diversity, and inclusion are represented in the Lab's training and research missions. Diversity and inclusive practice greatly enhance the learning environment, the quality of our research, and the culture of the lab. We recognize that we are enriched and strengthened by multiple views, perspectives, and backgrounds. We encourage individuals from underrepresented minority backgrounds to apply to the lab.
The CAN Lab aims to attract grad students with interests in schizophrenia research. Strong consideration will be given to individuals with prior experience in affective neuroscience and/or schizophrenia research who have been exposed to methods used in our lab. However, exposure to these methods is not a prerequisite. Our research uses fMRI, EEG, eye-tracking, and psychophysiological recording (e.g., EMG, ECG, EDA) to study various aspects of reward, cognition, and emotion. Computer programming and general skill with software packages that we use for data processing (e.g., Matlab) is also valuable, although not a prerequisite. Out of the pool of applicants, approximately 10 will receive an initial phone interview and around half of those individuals will be invited for an in-person interview at the University of Georgia. We are looking for graduate students who can contribute to specific projects. Our research can be broadly divided into two areas: 1) affective neuroscience in schizophrenia; 2) affective neuroscience in adolescents at risk for psychosis (i.e., prodromal phase). Work in our lab has been supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Science Foundation, and American Psychological Foundation. The studies use EEG/ERPs, fMRI, eye-tracking, ecological momentary assessment, and computerized behavioral measures to examine affective or cognitive processes in schizophrenia and their association with symptoms of anhedonia and avolition. Clinical Ph.D. students can work on either or both of these research areas. Individuals who plan to pursue a career in research will be a strong fit for this lab. Individuals interested in clinical careers will not be a good fit for this lab. *Note: Dr. Strauss will not be recruiting for a graduate student to apply during the fall 2022 cycle/fall 2023 start date*.
The University of Georgia is an excellent choice for graduate studies. The University was the first public university in the US, has approximately 36,000 students, and is ranked #16 among public universities by US News and World Report. UGA's Clinical Psychology PhD program was ranked 43rd by US News and World Report. More information on UGA is available here and more information about the psychology department for prospective students can be found here.
The city of Athens is located in the northeastern region of the state, about an hour and a half from Atlanta. Widely known for its eclecticism, Athens has everything from fine art to football covered. The music scene is legendary, boasting bands like R.E.M., The B-52’s, Widespread Panic, Drive-By Truckers, and of Montreal, not to mention the abundance of budding musicians soon to take the scene by storm. The venues, such as the 40 Watt and the Georgia Theatre, are just as notable, bringing in artists from around the world. Athens’s food and beverage scene is nothing to overlook either. Whether it be the perfect southern brunch at 5&10 with Top Chef’s Hugh Acheson or happy hour at Creature Comforts Brewery, your taste buds will be satisfied. Politically, Athens is a pocket of blue in a state of red.
Additionally, Athens offers a plethora of natural trails, rivers and creeks to enjoy. Jogging through the trails behind UGA’s intramural fields or through the Botanical Gardens, or spending your Saturday floating down the Oconee River with a few friends allows for rejuvenation and relaxation. Even still, if you feel like getting out of town for the day, the North Georgia Mountains offer exceptional hiking trails and waterfalls with only a couple hours’ drive.
Athens is one of the best places to be a sports fan. Football dominates the fall, creating an energy that lasts from September through the new year. On Saturdays, tailgating starts early and ends late, and Sanford Stadium roars with the sound of 92,000 fans cheering on the Dawgs. Further, with only an hour and a half drive, it is easy to catch a Braves game or check out Atlanta’s new major league soccer team Atlanta United FC. With such diversity and accessibility, culture and community, Athens is a remarkable city to experience.
We are currently recruiting undergraduate students who are interested in gaining research experience in clinical psychology. If you are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology the future, it is important to gain lab experience as an undergraduate. This experience will help prepare you for graduate school and make you more competitive during the application process. Research assistants who work in the CAN lab will be given the types of opportunities that can make them stand out to potential graduate programs, including: training in the administration of computerized affective neuroscience tasks using eye-tracking and psychophysiological recording methods, experience at programming computerized tasks, techniques for processing data from computerized experiments, training in statistical analysis, and opportunities for presenting research at scientific conferences. Exceptional students may also complete an undergraduate honors thesis. Undergraduates also benefit from professional development workshops held in the lab, which focus on topics relevant to gaining admission to graduate school and pursuing various careers in the field of Psychology. Typical duties for undergraduate research assistants include: 1) recruiting healthy control and clinical participants for studies; 2) coding, entering, and scoring data; 3) administering behavioral, eye-tracking, or psychophysiological recording experiments to healthy participants from the Psychology Department subject pool; 4) attending regular lab meetings. Undergraduate students working in the lab for multiple years will assist with schizophrenia and psychosis risk studies. Students who are motivated, possess good time management skills, and have the ability to commit effort in blocks of 2-4 hrs will be a strong fit for the lab. We require a 2 semester commitment and encourage students to apply as early in their undergraduate careers as possible and absolutely prior to the start of their senior year. Students may receive course credit for their work in the lab. If you are interested in applying to work in the CAN Lab as an undergraduate research assistant, please complete this application form (see button below). We encourage persons from diverse backgrounds to apply!