Training and Prospective Students | Department of Psychology

Training and Prospective Students

**I will be recruiting graduate students for the Fall 2024 admissions cycle, through both the Behavioral Science and Clinical Psychology Ph.D. programs. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about our programs!**

We are committed to training our students to become rigorous researchers who adhere to the highest principles of research ethics and transparent science. Students in our lab receive interdisciplinary training in the fields of health psychology, psychoneuroimmunology, behavioral sleep medicine, and advanced statistical methods. All students work closely with Dr. Slavish and have the opportunity to engage in independent research and disseminate their work to the larger scientific community. Students are treated as colleagues, and training opportunities are tailored to students' developmental stage and specific career goals.

In general, we take a scaffolded approach to mentoring, where junior students receive more intensive oversight and training at the onset, but gradually transition to greater levels of independence over time. To engage in the transfer and solidification of knowledge, more experienced students are encouraged to provide training to more junior students.

We also strive to be an inclusive, feminist lab. This means that our research program and lab ethos attempt to dismantle barriers related to patriarchy, sex/gender, race/ethnicity, social class or status, nationality, or sexual orientation. In doing so, we hope to create an accepting scientific environment where individuals from all backgrounds can thrive.

In general, our lab strives to adhere to the philosophy outlined by Maestre, 2019:

  1. Promote the well-being of your lab members
  2. Let people set their own schedules
  3. Gratitude is the sign of noble souls
  4. Treat your lab members as your teammates
  5. Create a collaborative environment within your lab
  6. Remember that every lab member is unique
  7. Respect working hours, public holidays, and vacations
  8. Give credit where credit is due
  9. Destigmatize failure and celebrate success
  10. Promote the professional development of your lab members

Prospective Graduate Students

Prospective graduate students interested in applying to the Ph.D. programs at UNT are encouraged to reach out to Dr. Slavish directly:

Students from historically underrepresented backgrounds and first generation college students are strongly encouraged to apply.

For more information about UNT's Ph.D. programs in psychology, please see the link here:

FAQs for prospective graduate applicants:

How do I know if I am a "good fit" for the SHEL Lab?

You might be a good fit in our lab if:

1) You are interested in researching some aspect of sleep and health, broadly speaking.

2) You are interested in a career primarily focused on research (either in or outside of academia). Although I am affiliated with the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program and our lab's research is clinically relevant, I am not a clinician by training. Students in our lab primarily focus on teaching and research (e.g., writing academic papers, writing grants, conducting studies, and analyzing data).

3) You are self-motivated and willing to learn!

Should I mention that I want to work with you in my personal statement?

Yes, I find this helpful and would encourage you to do so. We do read all personal statements of applicants.

Do I need prior experience in sleep research?

No, just an enthusiasm and interest in learning about it! We provide training in sleep measurement and conducting sleep research studies.

Do I need prior experience in statistics?

No, we provide training in this as well. It is also a part of your required coursework for the program.

What sort of projects can you envision me working on?

This will depend in large part on your interests and career goals. For a list of some ongoing lab projects, see the link here: Much of our current work focuses on analyzing secondary (existing) data to answer novel research questions. However, I also think students benefit from primary data collection. Typically grad students in our lab work on leading 1-2 first-author papers at any given time, and also contribute to several co-authored papers each semester. I also encourage students to work with our lab's internal and external collaborators and foster research partnerships beyond just our lab.

What is the funding package provided by UNT?

In general, UNT provides a stipend and some tuition coverage through 10 or 20 hour TA, TF, or RA positions. We also support and encourage graduate students in our lab to apply for internal and external fellowships to cover funding and tuition (e.g., NIH NRSA, NSF GRFP, Ford Fellowship, UNT Voertman-Ardoin Graduate Fellowship, UNT G-RISE program). For more specific information on our department's funding package, please contact our graduate coordinator at:

What are your former students up to now?

For a list of lab alumni and current or recent positions see the link here:

Can I contact you or your students prior to submitting my application?

While it is not required to be considered for our programs, prior to submitting your application, you are more than welcome to email me with any specific questions about our lab, current students, UNT, the Ph.D. programs, or anything else. I will try to respond to the best of my ability. If you do not hear back, please do not take this as a sign of disinterest. Given the volume of emails I receive, I may have accidentally overlooked your email or not have time to respond at that moment. All applications will get equal consideration, and if you are invited for an interview, we will have a chance to talk in person or over Zoom at length. You are also more than welcome to contact my current graduate students to learn more about their experiences working with me.

Prospective Undergraduate Research Assistants

The lab is often looking for undergraduate research assistants who are given course credit in exchange for working on a variety of research projects. Students are typically expected to work a minimum of 10 hours a week in the lab in exchange for 3 credit hours of 4900 or 4910. If you are interested and are not working in another research lab for more than 10 hours a week, please email Dr. Slavish or complete the undergraduate RA application at the link here: