Faculty Research Assistance Program (FRAP) Directory

The FRAP Directory allows students to identify UCSB faculty who are looking for undergraduate students to participate in their research projects or creative activities. Please use the links below to find opportunities by discipline. Students, if your desired discipline is not listed, please contact the Undergraduate Research Initiatives office at 805-893-3090 or urca@ltsc.ucsb.edu for assistance. Faculty, if you would like to post your research or creative activity opportunity, please complete the online submission form.

Psychological and Brain Sciences

Karen Szumlinski

Psych East 2816

Research Project

Current research in the laboratory has 3 major foci. One line of work examines the neurobiological underpinnings of drug-craving, with an emphasis on how time-dependent anomalies within prefrontal cortex might promote persistent drug-craving in abstinent individuals. A second line of work examines alcohol-stress interactions, with projects aimed at understanding the psychobiological effects of a history of repeated stress upon subsequent behavioral sensitivity to alcohol, as well as understanding the developmental impact of histories of binge drinking upon affect. The third major line of work relates to the neurobiology of methamphetamine addiction with on-going studies focusing upon the relations between dopamine and glutamate in addiction vulnerability. Research in my laboratory is interdisciplinary and involves behavioral, neuropharmacology, neurochemical and immunological approaches.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduate research assistants help in all aspects of the research, pending proper training and completion of federal guidelines for working with laboratory rodents in a research setting. This can include assistance with behavioral analyses, histological and molecular techniques, data management, and routine laboratory upkeep. Assistants must be able to work safely in a laboratory environment and follow instructions in a meticulous fashion.


•Grade point average of 3.0 or better.
•Commitment to research activities of at least 8-10 hours per week for a minimum of three quarters. 

Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology, Psychological and Brain Sciences

Michael Goard

5131 Bio II

Research Project

For this project, we are training mice to perform specific cognitive tasks so that we can study neural activity during behavior. For example, in one task, we are teaching mice to navigate through a virtual maze using a joystick. We then measure neural activity before and after they learn a new maze route to better understand the neural basis of learning in the neocortex.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduate researchers will contribute to animal training sessions. There will also be an opportunity to participate in lab meetings and other lab activities.


3.5 GPA or higher

Have taken an introductory neuroscience course (MCDB 151, Psych 111 or equivalent)

Comfortable working with animals (no previous experience necessary)

Basic fluency with MATLAB program language