A program to encourage and support original student research
If you are an undergraduate or a graduate student at a school in the United States and are planning an original research project or an experiment in the fields of study outlined below, we invite you to apply to our Research ExperiMentorship program.
What you get
- A grant of up to $1,000 towards:
- recruiting participants for experiments, interviews, or online surveys
- outsourcing tasks to Amazon’s Mechanical Turks
- purchasing or renting software or hardware necessary for the project
- purchasing data from third-party data vendors
- Help from our own researchers if you need to discuss your ideas or need help setting things up.
- Access to our facilities in downtown Boston and to the video/audio recording equipment if you need a place to conduct interviews
In return, we ask that you
- Complete your project within three months from the start of your ExperiMentorship
- Write up your hypothesis, your methodology, and your findings
- Keep us updated on your progress and present your findings to us when the project is completed
- Acknowledge your participation in the program when your work is published or presented
Fields of study
Currently, we are interested in funding works that explore the following areas: implicit motives, affective priming, automatic activation of associated evaluations, incentive salience. Generally, original research projects in these areas could also make good candidates for the program:
Social networks and computer-mediated communication: structural analysis, diffusion, influence on tastes and behavior, text and image analysis, predictive power, analysis of geolocation data, discerning emotions in posts, discerning motivations in posts.
Advertising psychology, consumer behavior, and behavioral economics: factors affecting recall of advertising stimuli, memory content, identity construction, construals, unconscious motivations, decision-making and cognitive strategies, prospect theory.
These narrower areas are of particular interest to us because of the work we do for our clients: long-term decisions (planning for careers, education, retirement, vacations, healthcare), maintaining desirable behaviors (dieting, medicine regimen, exercise, saving money), dynamics of group shopping behavior, time-constrained choices (picking items from a menu, deciding between two pairs of shoes, etc)
Our goal for the ExperiMentorships is to learn from you and with you. We are interested in funding research projects that can inform our own work as researchers at an ad agency. At the same time, we don’t know what we don’t know so don’t hesitate to propose projects from other fields.
How to apply
Write a one-page proposal that describes your research idea and contains the following:
- The hypothesis you want to test or the question you want to answer
- The research methodology
- Project’s start and completion dates
- Your experience in this particular field of study
- A budget: what things you will need for the project (participants, software, third-party data, etc), how many, and approximately how much you think they will cost.
- Whether you need to receive an approval for your research from your school’s supervisory bodies, such as your academic advisor or the IRB.
- Your name, school, and contact information
Email the proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will hear back from us within a few days. If we have questions, we will ask you to schedule a phone call with us or to visit our office in downtown Boston.
We will be evaluating two things:
- The extent to which what we can learn from your project can help us in our own work.
- The likelihood that the project will be completed on time.
The entire selection process shouldn’t take more than a couple of weeks.
When is the application deadline?
There is no deadline. We evaluate proposals as we get them. Apply when you are ready. Only two projects can participate in the program at a time.
How many projects do you select?
Right now, up to two projects can be part of the ExperiMentorship program simultaneously. When one of them is completed, we will select a new one.
How many slots are open right now?
As of today, there is 1 slot open.
Are teams eligible?
Each project can include one or more researchers. The funding is per project, not per person.
What if my research project will have to run longer than 3 months?
Don’t hesitate to apply. This alone is not a deal-breaker.
Do I have to be a student?
This program is designed for undergraduate, graduate, or post-doc students, but projects don’t have to take place during the academic year. Summers are a perfect time for science.
Do I have to be in the Boston area?
No, but you have to be a student at a university or college in the US.
Do I need to be a specific major?
No, but you do need to have a background in the same area as the project you propose.
I don’t know how much it costs to recruit participants or buy data, what do I do?
Take your best guess, and we’ll work with you on fine-tuning things. We have a pretty robust network of suppliers and a good idea of what things usually cost.
How do I get the resources I need for the project?
Where it makes sense, we will use our suppliers and procurement channels to equip you with the things you have listed in your proposal to simplify accounting and logistics and to take advantage of the bulk rates we have with some suppliers.
Can the grant cover my travel costs?
We cannot reimburse your travel costs at this time. You can use the money to reimburse your participants for parking expenses associated with your project.
Why are you doing this?
Over the course of our work, we have met many brilliant students with fascinating research ideas. From them, we have learned that when these ideas fail to come to life, it’s often because the students either find it difficult to recruit a good panel of participants or collect a solid data sample, or don’t have access to the right tools and resources, or are not sure how their ideas could be applied in an industry setting.
We want to do something about it.
Last updated: January 2015