UC-HBCU Summer Program


*We are no longer accepting applications.

The Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at UCSB is proud to partner with Morehouse College for the 2023 Summer Undergraduate Research Internship Program. This 8-week program is designed to expose four undergraduates from Morehouse College to hands on research in a lab in our department at UCSB. Through this engagement with the research projects of faculty student mentors, interns will gain valuable exposure to and experience in a high impact social psychological, developmental, behavioral neuroscience, or cognitive neuroscience lab. Program activities will also include workshops and seminars on the tools and skills (e.g., R programming) essential for successful Ph.D. students, as well as networking events with UCSB faculty and graduate students.

This program will take place from June 17th until August 12th. Interns will have the opportunity to work in either one lab for the whole duration of the program (8 weeks), or work in two different labs (4 weeks each). All efforts will be made to place interns in their preferred lab(s).

All interns will receive a stipend of $4,000 and provided free housing on campus with a meal plan.

If you have any additional questions about the program, please contact the Graduate Student Coordinator, Elizabeth Quinn-Jensen at elizabethquinn@ucsb.edu.

Internship Activities

In addition to their research activities, interns will participate in the following activities:

  • Welcome reception
  • Weekly workshops on various topics, such as: research statement preparation, applying to graduate school, and professional development. These workshops will be organized by the UCSB Graduate Division in connection with its UC LEADS programming
  • R coding bootcamp (taught by Dr. Dan Conroy-Beam)
  • Weekly networking coffee hours held by faculty and graduate students in PBS to allow interns to learn about research across the department
  • Research presentations given by graduate student advisors
  • Weekly social events in Santa Barbara
  • Final farewell reception for interns and their mentors

Click here to view flyer.

Eligibility & How to Apply

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants must be a current sophomore, junior, or senior at Morehouse College
  • Applicants should be majoring in psychology or a related field (e.g., neuroscience) or have taken several courses in psychology or a related field
  • Applicants should have an interest in attending graduate school in psychology or neuroscience

Submission Criteria

  • A description of the candidate’s research interests, academic/career goals, and any prior research experience (if applicable; maximum two pages)
  • List of previous psychology courses taken
  • A rank preference of interest in the four PBS research labs
  • Letter(s) of recommendation. One letter is required, but 2 letters are permitted. We prefer at least one letter be from a faculty member. Please have your letter(s) of recommendation sent to elizabethquinn@ucsb.edu by November 14th, 2022.


All application materials, including letters of recommendation, are due by midnight PST on November 14th, 2022. Applicants will be notified of the status of their application by early December.

*please note that the application will require you to login using a gmail account since you will be uploading a document. If this is an issue, please reach out to Liz Quinn-Jensen at elizabethquinn@ucsb.edu.

Research Labs

Dr. Zoe Liberman’s Lab

Dr. Liberman is an Associate Professor in the Developmental and Evolutionary Psychology area. She investigates the origins and development of human social cognition. She is particularly interested in how infants and children begin to understand their complicated social world, as well as how this understanding changes across development and is shaped by experience. Some of the specific topics that students study in Dr. Liberman's lab are: Do children use people's food preferences to make social judgments? Do children understand that immigrants can hold dual national identities? Do children think that it is OK for biracial people to be fluid in their racial identity? In all cases, researchers are also interested in how exposure to diversity (linguistic, racial, geographical, etc.) impacts learning and development. Interns who work in the lab will gain experience with all parts of the research process, including in-person data collection with children at our local zoo or science museum!


Dr. Emily Jacob’s Lab

Dr. Jacobs is an Associate Professor in the Cognition, Perception, and Cognitive Neuroscience area. She explores the structural and functional changes in the human brain that occur in response to changing hormonal conditions. She pairs brain imaging tools with endocrine assessments to study how endogenous and exogenous hormonal factors (e.g., neuroendocrine aging during menopause, pharmacological manipulations of sex hormones) influence aspects of brain structure, function, and cognition in women and men. Major initiatives include the study of endocrine aging during the midlife transition to menopause, pharmacological studies of gonadal hormone suppression, and dense-sampling studies across the menstrual cycle. 


Dr. Karen Szumlinski’s Lab

Dr. Szumlinski is a Professor in the Neuroscience and Behavior area. Her research concerns the biochemical mechanisms underlying the changes in brain and behavior produced by chronic exposure to drugs of abuse, in particular psychomotor stimulants and alcohol. Her current research focuses on the role of postsynaptic scaffolding proteins regulating extracellular glutamate and glutamate receptor function in drug- and stressor-induced changes in brain and behavior.Current research focuses on the role of postsynaptic scaffolding proteins regulating extracellular glutamate and glutamate receptor function in drug- and stressor-induced changes in brain and behavior. Related research examines the role of glutamate signaling in neuropsychiatric disorders associated with addiction, such as psychosis and depression. Her research employs transgenic mice, adeno-associated viral vectors and neuropharmacological approaches to examine the consequences of manipulating forebrain glutamate upon on binge alcohol-drinking, the incubation of cocaine-craving, and methamphetamine preference and intake


Dr. Kyle Ratner’s Lab

Dr. Ratner is an Assistant Professor in the Social Psychology area. He investigates how biological systems interact with social contexts to influence human psychology and behavior. He investigates how biological systems interact with social contexts to influence human psychology and behavior. He is particularly interested in the processes that give rise to intergroup reactions (e.g., ingroup favoritism, prejudice, discrimination, stigma) and the consequences of these reactions for social relations and individual well-being. Current research focuses on the effects of group identities on face processing and the relationship between perceived stigmatization and health. To study these issues, he draws from theories and methods from a wide-range of disciplines, including social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, vision science, immunology, pharmacology, and genetics.