*Write a one paragraph description of why you want to join the Research Specialist program. This paragraph should describe what you hope to achieve as a research specialist and why this experience is important for your longer-term goals. We encourage you to be as specific as possible, for example laying out the research questions that you plan to address. You could also include ideas about how to test your questions if you are comfortable with research design. Alternatively, you could explain why these questions interest you if you believe that this would better demonstrate your preparation for the program. Please note that we are not concerned about how well your interests match those of potential supervisors. Instead, we use this content to evaluate how concretely and/or creatively you think about psychological research. We also recommend that you focus on your research objectives rather than professional development plans (e.g., networking with professors). Note that this and the following answer double as writing samples to evaluate your communication skills and we recommend consulting with strategies for effective scientific writing (e.g., https://sites.duke.edu/scientificwriting/) when drafting them.
*We recommend composing 2-3 paragraphs that summarize how you have acquired the skills necessary to thrive in this research-intensive program. If you have experience conducting psychological research, this should be emphasized, including an overview of the goals and methods of the projects that you have worked on, your contributions to the projects, and the skills you acquired. While research experience is beneficial, it is not required for admission to the program. If you do not have any research experience, you could instead identify skills (e.g., technical/quantitative, communication, organization, time-management) that you have demonstrated in your work, school, or volunteer experiences. Describe how you demonstrated these skills and how you will make use of them in psychological research to demonstrate that you are prepared for the program.
In this space, you can include any additional contextual information that you believe would help us to evaluate your application. For example, limited research opportunities during the pandemic or reasons why your scholastic potential may not be reflected in your academic performance during particular semesters. You could also include other information or experiences not otherwise included in the application, so far that you think it demonstrates your qualifications or suitability for the research specialist program.