"We don't need a neuroscientist to tell us that our brains are calling the shots, but we do need one to explain how it is done. How unique are we, and how are we unique?"
Michael S. Gazzaniga
"Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique"
The Cambridge Cognitive Science Research Assistantship Scheme was founded by Dr Leor Zmigrod in order to encourage young people to get involved in scientific research and learn about experimental psychology, neuroscience, and cognitive science.
It is aimed specifically at young people who have an interest in the human brain and cognition, or more generally in STEM. Students are typically aged 16-21 and this is often their first experience with scientific research. Students apply to the scheme and successful candidates are invited to participate in a 1-3 months research scheme, whereby they learn how to analyse psychological data and gain in-depth experience of cognitive research at the University of Cambridge.
Research projects in 2020 included: the genetics of cognitive flexibility, the psychology of creativity, the cognitive underpinnings of COVID-related attitudes, and more!
Between March to August 2020, over 45 students have successfully completed the scheme. Students receive one-on-one mentoring with Dr Leor Zmigrod and continuous feedback throughout the programme. Many of them are now planning to pursue careers in cognitive science or neuroscience.
The research assistantship work is online-only and so aims to be accessible regardless of geographical location, college, or background. Traditionally underrepresented groups in STEM are particularly encouraged to reach out.
No previous experience is necessary to apply - only enthusiasm and a willingness to learn about the human mind and the research process!
Passion for learning and STEM
Engaged critical thinking
Interest in a scientific approach to the human mind
The next round will take place in 2022. Applications currently on pause but general expressions of interest are welcome.
“The RA provided me with transferable skills that are not only limited to psychology but are useful in a range of disciplines. I specifically enjoyed developing skills such as perspective-taking and critical thinking. I would recommend this assistantship to anyone, as it can not only provide a great insight into psychology but will also be beneficial in your future studies.”