BEATS Internships

There are internship opportunities in the Biology Emotions & Transitions (BEATS) Lab each year. Projects and opportunities are usually advertised on the School of Applied Psychology Facebook page and the UCCWorks sites.

You will receive training in a range of research skills, including running BioAssays (e.g. testing saliva for hormones), using the BioSignals Lab (e.e.g testing galvanic skin response), interviewing participants, running experiments and data extraction and analysis.  BEATS Lab meetings are weekly, and provide further opportunity to develop knowledge of ‘’real-world ‘research practice.

The time commitment expectation is negotiable, but interns are usually expected to commit two months, part time to the position.  In past years interns have been credited in subsequent scientific communications (publications , conference presentations) and several have presented data (drawn from projects they interned on) as first author at conferences .  You can read about the experience past BEATS interns had here:

In 2016 There were three projects, all led by Samantha Dockray, The projects are described below.

Body weight, inflammation and behaviour.

This project is part of a larger study that examines how obesity might influence behaviour via changes in the inflammatory system, stress reactivity and executive function.  The project will focus on understanding these in relation to externalising behaviour such as aggression.

Interns will be involved in

  • recruitment of teenage participants
  • running laboratory sessions with teenage participants, including administering and scoring psychometric measures, interviewing teenagers and parents, collecting biological samples, administering executive function tasks/tests
  • data cleaning, processing and scoring


This project addresses a pressing question in psychobiological research: when we ask people to collect a sample in their daily life, how can we be certain they collected it on time?

Interns will be involved in :

  • recruitment and training of participants
  • setting up and reviewing social media account to serve as data caches
  • data cleaning, processing and scoring
  • collaborative work with UK and USA research partners

This project will run in partnership with two other universities, one in the UK and one in the USA

Positive Puberty

This project examines how people in late childhood anticipate puberty.  The project examines research questions such as :

Is it possible that changes in the body that happen at puberty are seen as positive and might increase feelings of competence and social capital?

Do boys and girls describe the anticipation and experiment of puberty differently?

Do changes in the body positively associate with changes in self-perceived competencies and self esteem?

What do pre-pubertal boys and girls think puberty is?   What do they think happens?