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Our lab is accepting new undergraduate Research Assistants (RAs) at Purdue, to begin the summer 2024 or fall 2024 semester. Our RAs learn about theories and methods in developmental science by working directly with children and families, managing and coding data, and participating in weekly lab and project meetings. More advanced RAs may be invited to contribute to presentations and publications with the lab.


RAs earn academic credits by registering for HDFS 390. One academic credit = three hours of lab time per week. We have a strong preference for new RAs who can work for nine hours per week (i.e., three credits) and can commit to at least two semesters of involvement. Regardless of hourly commitment, we require that new RAs have availability to be scheduled for lab activities on at least two weekday afternoons (Monday - Friday, 2:30 pm - 5:00 pm) and at least one weekend day (Saturday or Sunday), because this is when children are typically available to participate in our research.

To apply, first fill out the RA application form. We will review your application and contact you for an interview.


Dr. Elenbaas is reviewing applications to Purdue's HDFS PhD program this cycle (to being fall 2025). Our graduate program trains research scientists in basic and applied methods, places a strong emphasis on culture and diversity across the lifespan, and supports original empirical research through an apprenticeship mentorship model.


Please visit the program website to find out more about Purdue’s PhD program in HDFS including an overview of research in the department, FAQs about the program, info on funding (current nine-month stipend is $21,913), graduate certificates including Advanced Methods, research centers including the Center for Families and the Center for Early Learning, the lab preschool, departmental DEI initiatives, and application requirements.

FAQs for PhD applicants:

  • What does Dr. Elenbaas look for when reviewing applications? A degree in psychology, HDFS, or similar. Substantive research experience in the form of an honors thesis, fellowship project, post-bac position, or similar. Demonstrated interest in intergroup attitudes, moral development, or both.

  • How do I know if I am a good fit for this lab?  Review this website and read recent publications from the lab to determine whether the research questions that we pursue are aligned with your interests.

  • What is it like to be a PhD student in this lab? Grad students train in every aspect of the research process by collaborating on ongoing projects, and train undergraduates in turn. Simultaneously, students develop their independent areas of research that fall within the lab's focus. As a part of their professional development, students present at conferences, write papers, and submit grant proposals.

  • What is Dr. Elenbaas' mentorship style? Dr. Elenbaas is highly engaged in her students' development and success. Applicants invited to join the lab will receive a copy of her mentorship statement.

  • I'm applying! Should I reach out? Yes; email to introduce yourself. Include your CV.

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