Dr. Crump has mentored students interested in cognition at all levels, including undergraduate, master’s, doctoral, and postdoctoral researchers. The lab is always looking for students interested in human cognition (how people think, learn, remember, attend, etc.), and who want to gain research experience by learning computational techniques for running experiments and analyzing data. This page describes current opportunities for prospective students at the undergraduate, master’s, doctoral levels. Interested students should also read some of the lab publications to learn more about the research questions we are asking.

Undergraduate students

It is possible to gain research experience as an undergraduate at Brooklyn College, and the skills gained through these experiences can open doors for career opportunities, including pursuing advanced degrees. Dr. Crump is especially interested in mentoring students through the process of completing an undergraduate honor’s thesis in their senior year (see here for departmental requirements). However, students interested in pursuing an honor’s thesis should get lab experience before their final year.

The honor’s thesis consists of two semesters of Independent Research (e.g., Psych 5001 and 5002) and culminates in writing a thesis covering the research conducted over the year. The honor’s thesis option is a great opportunity for students interested in pursuing research in a Ph.D. program following undergraduate studies. The honor’s thesis is a major commitment in time and effort for everyone involved, and interested students need to plan ahead.

Students who join the lab enroll in research classes so that they receive course credit as they gain research experience in the lab. If you are interested in taking one of the courses, please complete the entry assignment, and then email Dr. Crump about availability. The classes include:

  • Psych 2001-4 Laboratory Experience (3 credits each)
  • Psych 5001-4 Independent Research (3 credits each)

The Laboratory Experience courses are intended for students who are new to research, and the Independent Research courses are for more senior students (typically completing an honors thesis). They are each one semester long, and involve conducting research in the lab and writing a research report as a final project.

Recent undergraduate research projects completed in the lab.

Master’s Students

The Master’s of Arts in Experimental Psychology is a two-year research focused master’s program at Brooklyn College. The program website describes general information about the program. Students in the program conduct research with a faculty mentor over two years culminating in a thesis. Master’s students in the computational cognition lab will work with Dr. Crump over two years to complete a research project in cognition.

Students will learn advanced statistics, data-analysis, and computational modelling skills, and apply them to research questions in cognition. Students will also learn how to create, conduct, and analyze online behavioral experiments. The degree is typically completed in two years, by taking three courses per semester. Each semester one of the courses involves independent reading and research in the lab. In the first semester, students will acquire sub-domain expertise about a cognitive phenomena through an extensive literature review. The literature review will suggest new directions for empirical work. The second semester of independent research will involve proposals for experiments, and collection of pilot data. By, the second year students should have a well-developed research project that will form the basis for their thesis. Master’s student research projects can also be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals.

Doctoral students

Students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. should apply to the Cognitive and Comparative Psychology (CCP) training area in the Psychology Doctoral Program at the Graduate Center of CUNY. The deadline for applications is December 1st. You can apply directly here. Interested applicants should also email Matt Crump ( to introduce themselves, their research interests, and why they want to gain research skills in the lab

Entry Assignment

If you’re interested in becoming part of the lab (volunteering, taking a course etc.), the first thing to do is to complete this entry assignment. The assignment consists of writing a small computer program (no previous programming experience necessary, this is an invitation to start learning programming skills).

Why are we asking you to do this?

A lot of the activities in the lab involve computer programming: during experiments, the timing, stimulus presentation and key press registration are all controlled by programs we write ourselves. When we analyze the data from the experiments, we again do this in programs, written by us, which take the raw data, calculate things such as averages, display results in graphs, and perform statistical tests.

This assignment allows you to demonstrate your interest in this type of activity, and by investing some time in this assignment you can show your commitment to becoming part of the lab.


Here is your assignment. By following these steps you will make a website, and then attempt to solve a problem in R. It sounds complicated, but everything you need to get started is right here, by following these steps:

  1. Download R and R-studio for your computer.

  2. Make yourself a github account.

  3. General info about making websites with R Markdown is here, but see next point for downloading an example you can use straight away.

  4. Follow these steps to get started:

    1. the repository is here
    2. Follow the instructions in the read me file for how to compile the website in R-studio, and then host it on github
    3. You can see what the website will look like once you get it up and runnning here
    4. Follow the instructions inside the source for the website, and by reading the website to get started learning R. For example, in the example website, you can read the journal page, that explains the process. You will see there are some example problems to solve in R, and a link to more problems to solve. I solved the first three, you assignment is to attempt to solve one more problem.
  5. Assuming you got everything up and running, then you can send me an email ( introducing yourself. Link to your website that you made, and tell me a little bit about why you want to join the lab and we’ll set up a meeting.

Email your R-script to Dr. Crump ( and request a time to meet about gaining research experience in the lab.