More students should get involved with psychology studies conducted at Texas State, in light of increased campus research initiatives and the creation of a new master’s program in the discipline.
Texas State was awarded Tier Two Emerging Research status Jan. 12, 2012, which made the institution eligible for multiple pools of additional funding, according to a Dec. 5, 2012 University Star article. University officials have announced and implemented more master’s and doctoral programs, with the goal to remain competitive with other tier-one and -two institutions.
A new master’s program in psychological research is slated to become available to students in the fall, according to a Jan. 29 University Star article. Campus psychology studies requiring student volunteers will likely become more prevalent in the coming months, given the recent status change and program addition.
Psychology department officials in particular are often actively looking for student volunteers, posting openings on monitors in the Undergraduate Academic Center. Individuals operating the studies often request students with particular traits in categories such as race, gender and family background. In addition, students can participate in some of the studies without being enrolled in the psychology department.
However, students who are interested in psychology may find participating in a department study particularly rewarding. Often, psychology professors will offer extra credit for participation. Additionally, some study conductors look for undergraduates to assist with research projects, which give students a great opportunity to build experience in the discipline early.
Some studies offer other perks for students who may not be participating to earn extra credit points or research experience. Free snacks and drinks are a common incentive for research participation, and other studies offer pay as an added bonus. Simply devoting a few minutes or hours of time to an important research project can help students potentially score a free lunch and cash in their pockets.
Furthermore, participating in research studies and initiatives on campus helps the university. Texas State must spend at least $14 million on studies every year in order to maintain its status as an Emerging Research Institution, according to the same Dec. 5, 2012 article. Texas State will need to increase yearly expenditures even further when working toward achieving the tier-one status of national research institutions such as the University of Texas or Texas A&M University.
Research efforts will need to increase rapidly by millions of dollars over the next decade, especially if Texas State officials hope to achieve the goal of advancing to Tier One within 10 years. The Science, Technology and Advanced Research Park opened this past semester. S.T.A.R. Park will help significantly increase research efforts at the university. Another way students can help the university with its goal is to participate in research projects around campus as subjects or assistants in psychology and biology studies.
Participation in campus research efforts is an outlet for students to gain experience, eat free snacks and make a little extra cash. Likewise, these projects are also a great way to express pride in Texas State as it works toward becoming a top-tier National Research University.