Welcome! Please read the application requirements, criteria, and project descriptions completely before applying. Once you know which project you would like to apply for (and it's ok if it's more than one), please fill out our application here.

2018 Summer Internship

This is an unpaid internship from approximately June 11 to August 3. Interns will be expected to work roughly 30 hours per week. UC Berkeley students are encouraged to apply. Research interns will work with graduate students on multiple ongoing research projects and with the lab manager on administrative tasks. Interns will be responsible for coding data, recruiting and testing child and/or adult participants, and reading and discussing relevant theoretical and empirical papers. There will be weekly reading groups and lab meetings. Research interns should be comfortable working independently and managing their time effectively. 

Application Requirements and Criteria

For UC Berkeley Undergraduate Students



Check back in the fall if you want to apply for URAP credit.

UC Berkeley students are encouraged to apply for 2018 summer internship.


This is not a paid position. 

Must be self-motivated and able to commit the same amount of hours as UC Berkeley undergraduate students.

Must be attending another school OR have a bachelors degree.

Accepting applications Friday, March 9, 2018 8:00 AM PST - Monday, April 16, 2018 8:00 AM PST.

Please only apply if you can commit:

* 30 hours per week for two months
* Having flexible availability

Requirements for
All Applicants

All research in the Gopnik Cognitive Development Lab is broadly focused on children's development of cause and effect reasoning and how they learn from and about other people. We are looking for dedicated and motivated undergraduate students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in developmental psychology or a related field. RAs will work closely with a graduate student assisting them on all aspects of the research process. RAs will help with experimental and stimuli design; recruiting participants 3 - 14 years old and adults; and collecting, organizing, coding, and analyzing data. RAs will meet regularly with their mentors to discuss the theoretical motivations of the studies they are working on as well as the findings of other empirical papers both related to the studies in the lab and important to the field in general.

What We Are Looking For in an Applicant

* Must be excited about Cognitive Development research
* Organized, self-motivated, independent, and hard working
* Prior experience with children (both formal and informal experience is great) 
* Comfort acting silly around children (a bit of acting or improv experience is helpful but not essential)
* Prior research experience is not required (though it is a plus) 
* Artistic, mechanical, electrical engineering or programming experience is not necessary, but would be great!


Please do not contact us about your application. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive an email.

Project Descriptions

Cognitive Development Research on Causal Reasoning, Relational Understanding, Imitation, and Imaginative Play

Project Description:
The first project is part of ongoing research on how children learn cause and effect relationships from observing others actions. How do they decide which actions lead to which outcomes? How do they decide which of those actions to imitate in order to bring about an effect?

The second project investigates how children use different types of evidence to form theories about causal relationships. How do children build theories about the world around them and what evidence causes them to revise these theories? How do children simultaneously form theories that explain the relationships between concepts and the concepts that make up those theories? 

Supervisor: Nadya Vasilyeva, Ph.D., Post-Doc

    Exploratory Decision-Making Across Development

    Project Description:
    This project is part of ongoing research on how children reason about information and reward when making the decision to explore. Do children integrate information about these two possible outcomes to make a decision? Are children sensitive to different qualities of potential information to be gained (e.g., how easy it is to learn, how useful it is), and how does this change their preference for this information?

    Supervisor: Emily Liquin, Graduate Student

    Causal Attribution 

    Project Description:
    In this study we are interested in understanding how children's knowledge of gender stereotypes influences their explanations for another person's behavior. In one task your child will sort various activities into bins based on gender. In a second task, they will be presented with different scenarios in which male and female dolls play on some toys and avoid other toys and your child will be asked to explain the dolls' behaviors. The game will take about 10-15 minutes and we can off your child a small prize to thank them for participating.

    Supervisor: Shaun O'Grady, Graduate Student