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External Research Opportunities

MSU-Kessler Internship Program:

Exceptional students in any of the Psychology programs, including any of the MA programs, the Clinical PhD, BA/MA program, and Undergraduate BA, are eligible to be considered for a year-long, (unpaid) MSU-Kessler Internship. This is a valuable opportunity for individuals who are considering continuing onward to a PhD program, for anyone interested in Neuroscience, and for anyone interested in working with clinical populations.

The internship is an unpaid placement at one of the Kessler Foundation laboratories (See Here), located in either West Orange or East Hanover, based in part on availability and student interest. Past laboratories that have accepted Interns include the Traumatic Brain Injury Laboratory, Neuropsychology and Neuroscience Laboratory, the Human Performance and Engineering Laboratory, and the Neuroimaging Center.

Laboratory work done by former MSU-Kessler Interns has included neuropsychological and cognitive testing, participant recruitment, data entry and analyses, protocol development, ROI localization on brain images, computer programming using Linux, E-Prime, and SPM, as well as protocol testing using techniques such as electroencephalography, functional near-infrared spectrography, electromyography, diffusion tensor imaging and magnetic resonance imaging, and robotic exoskeleton use for stroke rehabilitation. Previous Interns have had the opportunity to work with clinical populations such as TBI, MS, and Stroke patients. Some previous Interns have completed their M.A. thesis (when applicable) with research conducted in the MSU-Kessler Internship program.

Only a limited number of Internships are available each year. Therefore, Internships are awarded on a competitive basis to exceptional Montclair State University undergraduate or graduate students, following review of qualifications and an interview.

More information on the Kessler Research Foundation is available here (link: Kessler).

Student Expectations:

Interns must be invited to enroll in, and must register for, PSYC659 for two semesters, for 3 credits each semester, and are expected to work at the Kessler Foundation 15-20 hours per week, with laboratories located in either West Orange or East Hanover. In addition, students have weekly program meetings at Montclair State, during which they present and discuss peer-reviewed scientific articles relevant to their research experiences, have questions answered, and discuss relevant neuroscience-related topics. Students are expected to commit to the laboratory to which they are assigned for a full academic year, and thus to take PSYC659 during both the Fall and Spring semesters of that academic year.


Develop your research skills:

MSU-Kessler Interns gain knowledge of the laboratory procedures and neuroscience techniques specific to the laboratory to which they are assigned. Depending on laboratory assignment, Interns have been involved in investigations with clinical populations (for example multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or stroke patients), with neuroscience techniques such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Functional Near-Infrared Spectography, Electroencephalography (EEG), Electromyography, and Diffusion Tensor Imaging, been trained in neuropsychological assessments, learned region of interest localization on brain images, and worked with robotic exoskeletons in stroke rehabilitation. Students have also recruited and tested research participants, been involved in data entry and statistical analysis, and learned computer programming languages such as Linux, SPM, and E-Prime.

Develop your Curriculum Vitae:

Previous MSU-Kessler Interns have had the opportunity to co-author and be acknowledged in peer-reviewed scientific articles and have attended or presented at scientific conferences. Interns have gained laboratory-transferrable and marketable skills, such as cognitive assessment, EEG localization, computer programming, participant recruitment and testing, general laboratory comportment, and MRI safety certification, to name just a few skills. Graduate students have used aspects of their work for Master’s theses. Working with leaders in the field of neuroscience has provided previous Interns with resources for their academic and professional future.

Past Interns:

Past MSU-Kessler Foundation Interns have been accepted into competitive Clinical and Neuroscience Ph.D. programs including those of Northeastern University, Tufts University, Temple University, University of Texas Medical Center, Boston College, Boston University, Cornell, and New York University. Other Interns have gone on to full and part-time positions in research laboratories.

How to get involved:

If you are interested in being considered for a position, email Dr. Ruth E. Propper at with your name, telephone contact information, your year and program at Montclair State (e.g. General, Clinical, Undergraduate, etc.), your undergraduate GPA, your GRE scores (if taken), a few sentences about your future goals, why this Internship would be particularly useful for reaching those goals, and how you could contribute as an Intern to the work being conducted at Kessler.