Click here for the application.

The Language and Development Lab at UC San Diego seeks dedicated, mature individuals to join our research team during the summer. Using the methods of psychology and linguistics, we investigate language acquisition in a variety of domains such as color, time, number, and social cognition. Undergraduate and graduate students, as well as recent graduates from all institutions are welcome.

When is the internship?
Interns and their mentors agree upon specific work schedule depending on project needs and other scheduling constraints. Interns are expected to volunteer for at least 8 weeks between June 19th - September 9th, with 20-40 hours per week on average.

What will interns do?
Interns will work closely with a senior lab member and take an intellectual role in conducting an original research project. Interns will learn all aspects of experimental linguistics research, including experimental design, participant recruitment and testing, and data coding, analysis, and interpretation. Interns will participate in weekly meetings to discuss ongoing projects, research articles and books, etc.

Where will interns work?
Interns will work primarily in our lab on the campus of UC San Diego in La Jolla, California, and at testing sites off campus (e.g. preschools, museums, summer camps).

Who should apply?
Successful candidates will be interested in such topics as semantics, pragmatics, language acquisition or cognitive development. Previous research experience is not required, although relevant coursework in Psychology, Cognitive Science, Linguistics, Computer Science, Philosophy, or related fields are helpful. Experience working with children is preferred.

Will I be paid?
No; this is a volunteer position. Interns are expected to apply for funding from their home institutions or external sources. Some interns might be eligible for course credit. Housing is not provided. 

For UCSD students, some funding opportunities include the AIP or the UC Scholars Program.
For non-UCSD students, options include STARS, or any program offered by your home institution.

What type of projects will I work on?
Each intern will work closely with one senior lab member on an original research project. Visit our publications page for examples of previous projects.

The specifics of each summer project will take into consideration the intern's skills, interest, and prior experience. Some ideas include:

  • Corpus analysis of child conversations in English or other languages. How frequently do words for abstract concepts such as time appear? Is their occurrence related to other linguistic phenomena?
  • When children acquire the meanings of logical words (e.g. "or", "not")? What representations can these logical operations interface with?
  • Using eye-tracking to investigate cognitive processes underlying word learning
  • Investigating children's representation of time. How does language contribute to acquiring such an abstract concept?