Graduate Students

The MCN Lab will be considering applications to the University of Chicago Department of Psychology Ph.D. program for the current application cycle (deadline: 12/1). If you are considering applying, you may also find these FAQs and this Sample Preparation Timeline useful. We also encourage you to read through this Applying to Graduate School Guide written by the Sokol-Hessner Lab at University of Denver. Competitive applicants will likely have strong statistical and computational skills, including proficiency in one or more programming languages, and an interest in interdisciplinary research. If you are interested in joining our lab as a Ph.D. student, you can get in touch with Dr. Leong to let him know that you are applying so that he can look out for your application. 

Postdoctoral Fellows

If you are interested in joining the lab as a postdoctoral fellow, you are welcome to reach out to Dr. Leong to discuss potential projects and funding options. Please include your CV and a cover letter describing your interest in the lab. 

Undergraduate RAs

Undergraduate research assistants in our lab may be involved in all aspects of research on motivation and cognition, including designing research projects, running subjects, analyzing data, presenting at academic conferences, and preparing manuscripts for publication. RAs typically devote 10 or more hours a week to research in the lab (30-40 hours/week in the summer). Ideally, an RA in our lab would: (1) be excited about motivation and cognition, as well as psychology and neuroscience more broadly; (2) have some basic familiarity with research methods (previous experience in a lab is not required); and (3) be interested in computational approaches.

We are currently not actively recruiting undergraduate RAs. If you would like to indicate interest in joining, please submit an application here and we will reach out to you as positions become available.

Linked below is information about full-time, funded summer research opportunities, which undergraduates might be interested in applying for.

DSI Summer Lab

SISRM RA Program

UChicago Neuroscience Institute



Additional Resources

To learn more about the lab’s work, you can: 

  • check out the Publications page on our website. Particularly, we recommend reading the two papers below:

    • Leong, Y. C., Chen, J., Willer, R., & Zaki, J. (2020). Conservative and liberal attitudes drive polarized neural responses to political content. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(44), 27731-27739. 
    • Leong, Y. C., Hughes, B. L., Wang, Y., & Zaki, J. (2019). Neurocomputational mechanisms underlying motivated seeing. Nature human behaviour, 3(9), 962-973.