Information for Prospective Graduate Students from Dr. Chen


November 2021 UPDATE: I am considering applicants to our MA/PhD program this year, but on a very limited basis. I am specifically looking for a new grad student who has relevant background experience and interest to take on a substantial role in the ongoing project described on my lab website under “Research–Ongoing Projects” under the title “Hormones and Emotions in Adolescence.” The most relevant publications from my lab stemming from this line of work so far are Anderl et al. (2020) and Anderl et al. (in press), listed on my lab website under “Research–Publications“. If you feel qualified for and interested in a role in this project, I will be happy to consider your full application. However, please be aware that funding is quite limited right now; thus, successfully securing external funding will substantially boost the competitiveness of your application. If you are eligible, you are strongly encouraged to apply for a Canada Graduate ScholarshipI unfortunately do not have enough availability to schedule Zoom/phone meetings with individual applicants prior to the application deadline, but I will notify you in December if you are on the short list of applicants whom I would like to interview.


1. Is this lab a good fit for me?

I am looking for enthusiastic and dedicated graduate students with a strong interest in Health and Social Psychology. Prospective graduate students should:

  • Have past research experience in a psychology or health-related lab
  • Have strong letters of recommendations from past professors and research advisors who can speak about your past experience, performance, and abilities
  • Be interested in pursuing a research-focused academic career. A good “fit” between an advisor and a student’s research interests is essential for a productive and successful experience in graduate school. I am best able to supervise students who are broadly interested in the kind of research that is currently being conducted in the lab (see Ongoing Projects).

2. What can I expect as a graduate student?
Graduate students are responsible for the logistics of designing, conducting, and publishing their own research projects. Graduate students are also closely involved in the training of undergraduate research assistants, grant writing, and presentation of research at departmental meetings as well as national and international conferences.

  • I meet regularly with each of my graduate students  to discuss progress on research projects and career goals. In addition, our lab meets regularly as a group to discuss our ongoing projects and recent relevant publications in the field. Graduate students in the health area also attend regular health psychology meetings and seminars in our department.
  • I am always open to discussing new ideas with my students, and several current ongoing projects in the lab were brainstormed together with, and designed on the initiative of, graduate students. I also encourage students to explore collaborations with other faculty members; many exciting and creative interdisciplinary projects get started this way.

3. What should I know before I apply?
Important links include:

Applying for external funding can substantially boost the competitiveness of your application to graduate school. Eligible students are strongly encouraged to apply for Canada Graduate Scholarships. Details can be found here.

All applicants will receive full and careful consideration from me regardless of whether they submit GRE scores. If you choose to submit GRE scores, I will consider them as part of my holistic assessment of your application. Especially if you feel that the other aspects of your application do not provide a complete or accurate picture of your capabilities, you should consider taking the GRE. For example, if you received grades in a statistics class that you feel do not reflect your underlying abilities, an alternative way to demonstrate your capabilities would be through a strong score on the quantitative section of the GRE.

Typically, I conduct a round of phone interviews shortly after the department’s application deadline, after which a small number of candidates will be invited for in-person interviews.

I strive for a lab that reflects the larger community that we serve. I believe that diverse representation in gender, ethnicity, cultural background, sexual orientation, age, physical capabilities, and perspectives, makes our lab and department stronger. I am committed to creating an inclusive and supportive environment for all members of the lab. If you have a background or identity that is traditionally underrepresented in psychology or academia more broadly, I invite you to note in your application how this identity or background has shaped your experiences and adds strength to the perspectives that you will bring to graduate school.

I look forward to hearing from you!




Photo Credit: Laura Roy