Participate in research as part of your plan of study or find out what research is like by serving as a volunteer.

Learn about research from both sides of the process. 
The information you read in your textbooks and learn about in courses comes from studies just like those being conducted at UMKC. Because you attend a research-intensive university, you have the unique opportunity to collaborate with faculty and also volunteer as research participants. 

Mentored Research

Mentored research experiences with nationally known scholars advance our knowledge of human behavior and help our students develop research and analysis skills. Every year approximately 60 undergraduate students work with faculty mentors on research projects. Many present their work at UMKC, and some have even presented their findings overseas.

Students in PSYCH 490/491 work independently under the supervision of a research mentor and participate as research assistants on research projects. These courses can be taken for one to three credit hours during the 16-week semester. Generally, students are expected to work three hours per week for each credit in which they are enrolled.

  • PSYCH 490 students work with a faculty mentor in one of the research laboratories or on a field-based project.
  • PSYCH 491 students work on research projects at one of our community partner sites such as Children’s Mercy Hospital and KU Medical Center. They are directly supervised by  Ph.D- or M.D.-level researchers at those locations.

Students who participate in a faculty research project may have the opportunity to present the outcome of their work at local, regional or national conferences. All PSYCH 490/491 students are encouraged to present their projects at the annual UMKC Symposium of Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship held each spring.

How to Apply

  1. Complete the Psychology 490/491 application (PDF). Include a clear explanation of your research interest in relation to the research mentor’s area of expertise. The faculty mentor must approve your enrollment before you can add the course in Pathway.
  2. Leave your application in the mailbox of the faculty mentor with whom you would like to work. Faculty mentor mailboxes are located on the third floor of Cherry Hall, Room 356.  Or, if you complete the application electronically, you can email it to your prospective faculty mentor. 

Undergraduate Research Office

Psych Pool - Research Participation

Many faculty members offer extra credit for research participation and some of the studies offer to compensate you for your time. Some projects require you to come to one of the faculty labs at 5030 Cherry Hall, while some can be completed online. Some of the studies require your time for a very short period and others are more involved.

Some projects require you to come to one of the faculty labs at 5030 Cherry Hall, while some can be completed online. Some of the studies require your time for a very short period and others are more involved.

How do I sign up?

  1. Read the Participant Policies and Procedures
  2. Log in to Psych Pool. First time users should select “Request Account” and fill out the form. You will receive an email with your user ID and an automatically generated password you may change after logging in.
  3. Use the Study Sign-Up to view and enroll in studies.
  4. View the list of course for which the instructor is allowing research participation credit. You may select one or more of the courses in which you are enrolled or “Participate for no credit” if you are not enrolled in a courses. 

Please make a note of the building and room number, date and time of appointment, and name of experimenter. After you participate, the experimenter should assess credit (unless this is a paid study) within 24 hours. If you have not received credit after 24 hourrs, contact the experimenter. The use of factoring these credits into your class grade is at the discretion of the instructor. 

Faculty Research

Our faculty have a wide range of research interests and enjoy mentoring both doctoral and undergraduate students who are interested in working with their team!

At UMKC, our faculty come from clinical and experimental traditions, including social psychology, cognitive science and quantitative psychology. They have active programs of research and invite student participation in their projects. Research areas range from understanding basic cognitive and emotional processes to more applied questions related to the impact of crime and victimization, the adaptation of refugees in Kansas City and the promotion of better food choices by children. 

Psychology Research Faculty

Kymberly Bennett

Professor, Director, Undergraduate Psychology Program and Mentoring Office
Phone Number: 816-235-1321

Area of Research: The impact of social cognition on health — how causal attributions shape physical and psychological health

Lab: Social Cognition and Social Health

Diane Filion

Professor and Vice Provost
Phone Number: 816-235-1249

Area of Research: Physiological measures of attention and emotion, attentional function and dysfunction, aging and psychopathology

Lab: Cognitive Psychophysiology Research Group

Oh-Ryeong Ha

Assistant Professor
Phone Number: 816-235-1321

Area of Research: Infant and child development using behavioral and physiological techniques — eye-tracking, mouse-tracking, economic games — with a particular focus on eating decisions, self-control, resilience to advertising effects in children with and without obesity, identifying risk factors for developing obesity in infant-parent dyads, prosocial decision-making in parent-child dyads, as well as impacts of stress, rejection, inequity contexts on adults’ prosocial and eating decisions.

Lab: Child Lab

Erin Hambrick

Assistant Professor
Phone Number: 816-235-1321

Area of Research: Children who have been exposed to trauma or adversity. Specific lines of research include identifying risk and protective factors following exposure to trauma or adversity, identifying helpful ways for caregivers to talk to children about disasters, and evaluating the effectiveness of available trauma treatments in community-based settings.

Lab: lab PANDA

Seung-Lark Lim

Associate Professor
Phone Number: 816-235-1321

Area of Research: Using computational, behavioral and functional neuroimaging — EEG and fMRI — techniques to understand the neural mechanisms of cognitive-affective interactions and decision-making in the brain and their implications for affective-behavioral dysregulation in normal and clinical populations

Lab: Lim Lab for Affective Neuroscience and Neuroeconomics

Jennifer Lundgren

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Phone Number: 816-235-1107

Area of Research: Eating disorders, body image and obesity, including the impact of circadian rhythm and sleep disturbance on eating behavior and obesity

Lab: Eating, Sleep and Circadian Rhythm Research Lab

Jacob Marszalek

Professor, Director of Applied Cognitive Brain and Brain Sciences Ph.D. Option
Phone Number: 816-235-2638

Area of Research: Translational methodology, motivational theories — flow, anxiety, reactance — measurement, social justice advocacy, evaluation of institutional/educational programs for minority outreach and support

Ricardo Marte

Associate Teaching Professor
Phone Number: 816-235-1321

Area of Research: Risk and protective factors surrounding adolescent problem behaviors — delinquency, aggression, and drug use

Currently not accepting student applications


Joan McDowd

Professor and Chair, Psychology, Minor and Graduate Certificate Advisor
Phone Number: 816-235-1321

Area of Research: Cognitive aging, particularly in attention and memory processes. Also applies methods from cognitive psychology to understanding cognition in stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, as well as in severe mental illness.

Lab: SilverRoo Lab

Johanna Nilsson

Phone Number: 816-235-2484

Area of Research: International issues and populations — international students, refugees, and immigrants — supervision, and social justice advocacy

Lab: Global Immigrant Wellbeing and Equity Lab

Melissa Rempfer

Associate Professor, Clinical Training Director
Phone Number: 816-235-8850

Area of Research: Serious mental illness, disability and rehabilitation, neurocognition and community outcomes for individuals with psychiatric disabilities, and community-based participatory research

Lab: Serious Mental Illness and Community Functioning Research Lab

Joah Williams

Associate Professor
Phone Number: 816-235-1321

Area of Research: Psychosocial and health consequences of trauma exposure across the lifespan, in particular, the development and evaluation of traumatic stress prevention and early intervention programs

Lab: Stress and Trauma Evaluation and Prevention Science Lab