Hopkins is known as a research university, a characteristic that made it incredibly appealing to me when I was applying to college many moons ago.

I know people who are doing research into a broad range of topics- from Spanish architecture to the neuroscience behind behavior disorders and computational chemistry. There is a plethora of opportunities for undergrads here, and it’s surprisingly easy to get a research position, even if you’re coming to college with no research experience (like me).

I am one of the many undergrads who participate in research at Hopkins, though since coming back for Intersession last week, I’ve been participating in research in a very different way. Sure, I’ve gone into lab (okay only once so far), but I’ve also been participating in various psychology research studies as a test subject.

No, it’s not like many of you are imagining. There is no bell ringing or salivating a-la Pavlov’s dogs (though my Intersession professor did bring her dog to class yesterday). Rather, most of the studies involve sitting in a small room (think Harry’s closet under the stairs but one-third the size) and performing mundane tasks on a computer.

Creepy picture of my prof and her dog

Creepy picture of my prof and her dog

You may find yourself thinking, “Why is JHU_Emily, my favorite sophomore BME and hummus enthusiast, doing all of this?”

The fake answer is because I want to contribute to the bank of scientific knowledge/ help out fellow researchers/ take part in the goings-on at the Homewood campus.

In reality, it’s because the participants in these studies are fairly well compensated, either with extra credit for Psych courses or with dollars. Seeing as I am not taking any psych courses and don’t have much income (or any income), I opted for the monetary reimbursement.

There are postings all over campus seeking participants, as well as ads in the school’s Daily Announcements email.

Like this one

Like this one

Also this one

Also this one

Okay you probably get the point

Okay you probably get the point

Since most of us are only taking one or two classes during Intersession and have a more flexible schedule/ more free time than during the semester, some of my friends and I are doing three or four of these studies over the next few weeks. What could be better than actually getting paid to sit in front of a computer for a few hours?

(Okay maybe getting paid to sit in front of a computer and watch Friends on Netflix for hours at a time, which is something else that I’ve been doing a lot of, but until that research study comes along, I’ll be content with what’s available. )

The last few weeks have looked a lot like this

The last few weeks have looked a lot like this