Open Positions

Graduate Student: Starting Fall 2020

Dr. Padilla is seeking motivated students to join the SPACE lab starting in the Fall of 2020. Interested students should email Dr. Padilla at to discuss their research interests before formally applying.

Don't wait!

It is appropriate to email Dr. Padilla today to inquire about applying for the Fall of 2020


Graduate students will enter into a 5 year Ph.D. program at UC Merced in the Cognitive and Information Science Department. Accepted students will be provided with an annual salary and free tuition. Students will either be expected to TA during the Fall and Spring or work on grant-funded projects. Additionally, students will be provided $1000 per year for conference travel support.

Application feedback option:

Students from historically minoritized groups have the option to send Dr. Padilla their application materials before the official due date to receive feedback on their materials. If you are interested in participating in the early application feedback, please indicate so in your email.

What to expect:

Once you contact Dr. Padilla, she will correspond with you to find a time to speak online (via Skype, Google Chat or Zoom). While this will be a casual conversation about your research interests, it is good to prepare short (2-3 minute) answers to the following questions:

  1. Please describe your research interests
  2. Please tell me about your research background (include any lab experiences, research projects, papers, presentations, awards or honors you may have received)
  3. Why are you interested in the SPACE lab?

Additionally, we highly recommend that you are familiar with the SPACE lab's research. All of our publications are available for free at: Publications

***Recommended reading: Decision Making with Visualizations: A Cognitive Framework Across Disciplines

Undergraduate Research Assistant (on-going)

Interested in learning more about cognitive science research? Want to gain lab experience? Join the SPACE lab as an undergraduate research assistant.

  • Course credit available and volunteer options
  • Minimum 6 hrs per week
  • Minimum GPA 3.4
  • No prior lab experience required
Apply Now!

***Recommended reading: Decision Making with Visualizations: A Cognitive Framework Across Disciplines