Join the Lab!

We invite applications for 2 main types of position: undergraduates looking to gain research experience, and applications for graduate study (the MA and PhD programs). On occasion, we also advertise for paid Research Assistantships through the UBC careers page, but this page is not relevant to those positions.

We are mindful that undergraduate research opportunities and graduate admissions are both traditionally associated with various sources of privilege and inequities that affect academia more broadly. The Centre for Gambling Research is committed to improving diversity and inclusion in research. We strive to create a research environment that is inclusive to all trainees, regardless of family background, gender, race, sexual orientation, age, physical health or disability.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities:

The Centre typically hosts undergraduate Research Assistants working on projects for 1 or 2 terms, including PSYC 240 and COGS 402 research projects, Psychology Honours program projects, Directed Studies, and USRA/WLIURA/Quinn summer studentships. We also take on some students in a purely voluntary capacity, but the advantages of the more ‘formal’ positions is that the student receives course credit, and these projects have clearer expectations and endpoints (e.g. an end of term report).

If you are interested in joining the lab as an undergraduate RA, please consider the following:

  • We offer a range of projects that might involve working under the day-to-day supervision of a graduate student or post-doc, or that are supervised directly by Dr Clark. We typically expect a time commitment of 5-10 hours per week, and the research assistant should expect weekly or biweekly individual supervisions to check in on progress.
  • Most students joining the lab will have completed their second year, and taken courses including introductory psychology (Psyc 101 & 102) and research methods (Psyc 217 & 218 or equivalent). If you have taken (or are currently enrolled in) Dr Clark’s Psyc 335 class, do mention this in your contact message because this course provides an excellent foundation for a research placement.
  • Many projects will involve recruiting, screening, and testing of human participants, and some studies involve community participants. Strong interpersonal skills, and being punctual and reliable, are key requirements — but do not necessarily require prior research experience. We are mindful of the ‘Catch 22’ of obtaining a first placement for research experience; if you do not have prior research experience, there are plenty of other real-world skills that can be useful (e.g. coding or graphic design, or any jobs outside of your studies that involve ‘customer-facing’ roles). We also offer some projects involving data science, coding, or literature-based projects.
  • We try to match students to a project, based on a range of factors: their specific interests, any previous research experience, research techniques where they are looking to gain experience. Some of our projects involve psychophysiology measures like heart rate monitoring. In many instances, the student will join an existing project. We do take on some students who run experiments that they have designed themselves – these projects may start out on a voluntary basis – and these are mostly for higher-level students who may have taken Psyc 335 or worked in the lab in the past.
  • Students will need to complete TCPS2 training program in research ethics, before they can begin any research in the lab. If you already have a TCPS2 certificate, please email this to Dr Clark when you join the lab. Bear in mind that for new projects, the process of preparing and obtaining ethical (BREB) approval usually take at least 1 month, so this should be factored into the project timeline.
  • Students often contact the lab at the beginning of the Fall or Winter terms. By this point we have often already committed to our research assistants for that term. Plan ahead, and if you have flexibility in when you can start your project (e.g. Fall, Winter or Summer terms) then mention this in your email.

Directed Studies

A Directed Studies project is usually single term project that culminates in a 5,000 word report and are graded by the supervisor. The deadline for applying for a DS is the ‘course drop’ deadline for that term. We will agree on milestones through the term, e.g. dates for completion of the literature review and completion of data collection. Within CGR, a Directed Studies could be based on a collaborative project with a graduate student, if the undergraduate can forge their own research question. Students with a clear project idea of their own may also apply for Directed Studies, although such a project may often start out on a voluntary basis, and turn into a Directed Studies once feasibility and ethical permissions have been established.

Some recent example projects:

Psychology Directed Studies: “An investigation into the relationship between gambling stream consumption and gambling intentions”

Psychology Honours project: “Monetary Reward Uncertainty and Consumption Behaviours: A Direct Replication of Rauwolf et al. (2021)”

Psychology Honours project: “Prevalence of High-risk Design Features in Sports Betting Websites in Canada


For undergraduate students interested in PSYC 240, COGS 402, Directed Studies, and volunteer placements, you can apply through the PSYC 240 portal. The portal is currently closed and will be opened from early July to mid September. Students in the Psychology Honours program should contact Dr. Clark directly over the summer, or for USRA/Quinn summer placements, prior to the February deadlines. You can email including a copy of your CV and a short description of why you are interested in research on gambling, and what you hope to gain from the placement. See example contact letter here.

Graduate applicants:

Prospective graduate students are encouraged to consult the UBC Psychology webpage on how to apply, entry requirements, and opportunities for funding (see below). For 2022 admissions, Dr Clark will consider applications to the Psychology (Cognitive Science) program, and is not requiring GRE scores. The Centre is not considering applicants to the Clinical Psychology program at the current time. We will consider applicants to the UBC Neuroscience program, but do bear in mind that we typically accept a maximum of one student per year, and the Psychology program has earlier deadlines and adjudication dates.

To consider whether the Centre for Gambling Research is likely to be a good fit for you, please think about the following:

  • Our students are motivated, enthusiastic, and dedicated, with a strong interest in gambling behaviour seen through the lens of psychology. Graduate research involves team-work, and requires strong interpersonal skills and an ability to receive and respond to feedback.
  • Our successful applicants typically have undergraduate backgrounds in Psychology. Successful applicants will typically have research experience in areas of psychology such as judgment and decision-making, cognitive neuroscience, or addictions research. We recognize that gambling is a small field and many applicants will not have prior experience in gambling per se, but a basic familiarity with the (Canadian) gambling landscape is a requirement.
  • Research at the Centre cuts across many aspects of gambling behaviour, including psychological and clinical aspects, but also broadening into data science, behavioural economics, public health.
  • Applicants will be expected to have reasonably strong technical skills, including statistics and programming. Students will be expected to have some background in scientific writing as well as oral presentation of research.

If you are planning to apply to graduate school under my supervision, please send a CV and brief description of your research interests, to As a first step, I will typically arrange a short call or in-person meeting (for applicants based in Vancouver). Shortlisted applicants will be invited for in-person interviews (typically in February) which will include meetings with other Faculty members in Psychology as well as meetings with current Graduate students in the lab.