Interested in joining our team at the UCSD Mind and Development Lab?


Dr. Schachner is open to accepting new graduate students in this coming cycle (that is: applications submitted in Fall 2023, to start the program in Fall 2024). Several of the lab's PhD students have recently graduated or are planning to graduate soon, so in fact this is a great time to apply -- Dr. Schachner will have the bandwidth to take on new mentees and new projects!

To be a good fit with the lab, you should be interested in using the kinds of methods and populations we typically use -- that is, behavioral / experimental methods with human adults and children. Of note, we don't currently use neuroscience methods (MRI, EEG), and don't currently plan to expand in that direction. Experience with developmental research, and engagement with current literature in social cognitive development and/or music cognition is a plus. You don't have to know exactly what you want to work on in grad school -- but you should be able to talk about some questions you're interested in, and what makes your interests and experiences a good fit with the lab.

To apply, you should send your application to the PhD program in Experimental Psychology at UCSD (not CogSci, that's a different department), and indicate Dr. Adena Schachner as your primary faculty mentor of interest. If the graduate admissions committee invites you for an interview, you can request to meet with Dr. Schachner during your visit to discuss your shared research interests and figure out whether the lab would be a good fit for you. Find more info here!


Undergraduate researchers play a crucial role in our research, and we typically have a team of 5-15 undergraduates in the lab in any given quarter. Undergraduate researchers often get course credit for their work in the lab (PYSC 99/199, COGS 199). If you'd like to do a senior thesis in the lab, we prefer you start as a 99/199 student or volunteer first, so you can experience the day-to-day of research in the lab before taking on your own project.

We require a three quarter minimum commitment of at least 12 hours a week. This includes attendance at our weekly lab meeting, as well as a smaller meeting with your mentor or research group. For most research projects in the lab, experience working with children and families is a big plus.

We typically interview new research assistants at the end or very beginning of each quarter. Look for these positions on the UCSD REAL portal or email our lab to inquire about openings. If you have filled out the UCSD Psychology Common Application and indicated interest in working with Dr. Adena Schachner Brady in the Mind and Development Lab, we may reach out to you after the deadline to submit further application materials (see "How to Apply" below). 

To apply, please complete the following and submit materials to


While we don't currently have funding to support a post-doc, Dr. Schachner may be open to writing a grant or fellowship application to fund a post-doc position in the lab. If you're interested, send her an email directly -- and (may we suggest) offer to give a virtual lab meeting talk! That's often a good way to find connections between interests & ideas, and maybe starting points for a future grant proposal to fund your work.