Social Learning Lab

Stanford University

Information for prospective PhD students

* NOTE: I am on sabbatical Fall 2022 and may be unable to respond to emails from prospective students. Please rest assured that your application will receive full attention. Thanks for your understanding!

General Info

I often receive questions about whether I am accepting new PhD students in the upcoming admissions cycle.

The answer is ALWAYS YES! Every year, I am on the lookout for new PhD students to join our lab.

There is no need to send me a separate email to ask about PhD openings. You can still contact me to express your intention to apply or ask specific questions, but please understand that I do not schedule meetings or calls to discuss research interests prior to the admissions process.

If you are applying to work with me as your primary advisor, please indicate my name in your application, and list Developmental as your primary area of interest (unless you are looking to be jointly advised with another faculty member whose primiary affiliation is in a different area). While the area distinction matters very little in our lives, it helps streamline our admissions process.

Admissions Process

Our admissions process is holistic; in addition to the candidate's academic readiness and fit to potential advisors and labs, we carefully consider how the candidate’s research and life experiences mesh with different areas in the department and our PhD program as a whole. The incoming class size for the entire department varies each year (7 to 15 for the last several years) and depends on several factors. The number of new students in the Developmental area and our lab also varies. Please understand that even though I am always looking for new students, whether or not I accept a new student in a given cycle depends on many different factors that become clear only after the admissions process starts.

Once admitted, students will be fully funded for 5 years. For more information about our PhD program, please refer to the FAQ page on our department website. In addition, our department hosts a “Paths to PhD” program every year in the Fall, dedicated to providing information about the general mechanics of applying to psychology research programs (not specifically about Stanford).

Final Notes

Pursuing a career in science, including pursuing a PhD, is not an easy path. I personally think it is wise to approach it as a way of life, rather than a means to an end. We are in a discipline where researchers try to address some of the oldest, hardest questions about the human mind by developing new methods and approaches, and by constantly evaluating our theories against empirical data.

Being a PhD student in this field involves a lot of learning, hard work, and commitment to the highest standards for scientific rigor and conscientiousness. If you are curious about how the mind works and are excited to face these challenges, please consider joining our team! I will look forward to reading your application.