For prospective PhD students applying in the 2017-2018 cycle [UPDATED]

I will be reviewing graduate student applications in the fall and winter of 2017, for students interested in enrolling in the PhD program in Psychology at Princeton in fall 2018. 

If you are interested in applying, please note that this website is updated as of August 2017, and you can get a very good sense of what I am currently working on with colleagues and students by clicking on my cv and research page. I update this page with working manuscripts as soon as we are ready to share, and otherwise I list projects in progress.

If you would like more information about me beyond this website, here are a few articles about my research approach, and my work with my colleagues. 

APS Rising Star article

Macarthur Foundation website about me and our lab's work

Recent coverage of one study

I often receive emails from prospective Ph.D. applicants with requests to talk about my work and what it would be like to do research with me. As of 9-8-13, I decided to refrain from having these personal conversations in advance of reading all applications, because I do not wish to favor students who received advice about how to connect with prospective advisors or who have connections to me through my current colleagues. Before we make final admissions decisions in our department, we fly out our top candidates to visit the campus and to have one-on-one discussions with their desired mentors, graduate students, and researchers in the department. I view this as the time when the candidates and prospective mentors can have these types of conversations, to figure out whether Princeton (and my research group) would be a good fit.

Advice on applying (all advice is just my own two cents and comes from my experience of what makes a successful application): In our department at Princeton, we are especially interested in admitting students who could work with at least two members of our faculty. It's great when students bring faculty members together -- this cross-fertilization of our labs is good for social science and it's also healthy for students who are exposed to multiple research styles. In your application, be sure to specifically note which faculty members you'd like to work with and why. Many successful candidates mention 2 or 3 faculty and say why specifically they are interested in each faculty member's research. So if you are interested in what I'm up to with my lab group and would like to apply, take time to look through the websites of my wonderful colleagues as well (you won't have a hard time finding many other interesting labs!). 

Advice on writing application essays: Your "personal statement" is a chance to tell the fuller story of your resume -- what your research and intellectual background has been like so far. What kinds of research and intellectual experiences have you had? What did you learn and what did that motivate you to learn next? Your "research statement" should then focus on the big ideas and questions that bring you to graduate school. These could be very different from the questions you have researched so far. This essay is where you can talk about which faculty you'd like to work with on these questions.

You can let your personality shine through as you write these essays. You can also use the personal statement as a place to mention that you've faced some challenging life circumstances, so we can get a fuller appreciation of you as a candidate. There is no one type of person or background that we're looking for; by contrast, we are explicitly seeking to build a diverse PhD class. So please do mention information about yourself that you think we should know, and make sure that the essays address the intellectual and research topics I've mentioned above. 

Outside of the application process, I'm always open to requests for conversations about the topics and methods of the research we are involved with here in my lab. Please do feel free to get in touch with those types of questions.  

Thank you for your interest in our research! 

For prospective PhD students applying in the 2016-2017 cycle

I will be reviewing graduate student applications in the fall and winter of 2016, for students interested in enrolling in the PhD program in Psychology at Princeton in fall 2017. 

If you are interested in applying, please note that this website is updated as of August 2016, and you can get a very good sense of what I am currently working on with colleagues and students by clicking on my research page. I update this page with working manuscripts as soon as we are ready to share, and otherwise I list projects in progress.

If you would like more information about me beyond this website, here are a few articles about my research approach, and my work with my colleagues. 

APS Rising Star article

Princeton University website article 

Recent coverage of one study

I often receive emails from prospective Ph.D. applicants with requests to talk about my work and what it would be like to do research with me. As of 9-8-13, I decided to refrain from having these personal conversations in advance of reading all applications, because I do not wish to favor students who received advice about how to connect with prospective advisors or who have connections to me through my current colleagues. Before we make final admissions decisions in our department, we fly out our top candidates to visit the campus and to have one-on-one discussions with their desired mentors, graduate students, and researchers in the department. I view this as the time when the candidates and prospective mentors can have these types of conversations, to figure out whether Princeton (and my research group) would be a good fit.

Advice on applying (all advice is just my own two cents and comes from my experience of what makes a successful application here): In our department at Princeton, we are especially interested in admitting students who could work with at least two members of our faculty. It's great when students bring faculty members together -- this cross-fertilization of our labs is good for social science and it's also healthy for students who are exposed to multiple research styles. In your application, be sure to specifically note which faculty members you'd like to work with and why. Many successful candidates mention 2 or 3 faculty and say why specifically they are interested in each faculty member's research. So if you are interested in what I'm up to with my lab group and would like to apply, take time to look through the websites of my wonderful colleagues as well (you won't have a hard time finding many other interesting labs!). 

Advice on writing application essays: Your "personal statement" is a chance to tell the fuller story of your resume -- what your research and intellectual background has been like so far. What kinds of research and intellectual experiences have you had? What did you learn and what did that motivate you to learn next? Your "research statement" should then focus on the big ideas and questions that bring you to graduate school. These could be very different from the questions you have researched so far. This essay is where you can talk about which faculty you'd like to work with on these questions. You can let your personality shine through as you write these essays. You can also use the personal statement as a place to mention that you've faced some challenging life circumstances, so we can get a fuller appreciation of you as a candidate. There is no one type of person or background that we're looking for; by contrast, we are explicitly seeking to build a diverse PhD class. So please do mention information about yourself that you think we should know, and make sure that the essays address the intellectual and research topics I've mentioned above. 

Outside of the application process, I'm always open to requests for conversations about the topics and methods of the research we are involved with here in my lab. Please do feel free to get in touch with those types of questions.  

Thank you for your interest in our research! 

Professor Levy Paluck will not be accepting PhD applicants in the 2015 cycle

Thank you for your interest in Princeton's PhD program. Please note that when applying to our program, it is best to mention at least two faculty with whom you would like to work during your time as a PhD student. While I am not currently looking to accept "primary" advisees, I could be available as a "secondary" advisor, and so you should feel free to mention that in your application. Best wishes with your application process! 

Please do also note my policy on speaking with prospective students (copied from below, my notes from 2013 and 2014): 

I often receive emails from prospective Ph.D. applicants with requests to talk about my work and what it would be like to do research with me. As of 9-8-13, I decided to refrain from having these personal conversations in advance of reading all applications, because I do not wish to favor students who received advice about how to connect with prospective advisors or who have connections to me through my current colleagues. Before we make final admissions decisions in our department, we fly out our top candidates to visit the campus, and to have one-on-one discussions with their desired mentors and with graduate students and researchers in the department. I view this as the time when the candidates and prospective mentors can have these types of conversations, to figure out whether Princeton (and my research group) would be a good fit.

Outside of the application process, I'm always open to requests for conversations about the topics and methods of the research we are involved with here in my lab. Please do feel free to get in touch with those types of questions.  

Thank you for your interest in our research! 

For prospective PhD students thinking of applying to Princeton

I will be accepting graduate student applications in the fall and winter of 2016, for students interested in enrolling in the PhD program in Psychology at Princeton in fall 2017. 

If you are interested in applying, please note that this website is updated as of August 2016, and you can get a very good sense of what I am currently working on with colleagues and students by clicking on my research page. I update this page with working manuscripts as soon as we are ready to share, and otherwise I list projects in progress.

If you would like more information about me beyond this website, here are a few articles about my research approach, and my work with my colleagues. 

APS Rising Star article

Princeton Writing Program interview

Princeton University website article 

I often receive emails from prospective Ph.D. applicants with requests to talk about my work and what it would be like to do research with me. As of 9-8-13, I decided to refrain from having these personal conversations in advance of reading all applications, because I do not wish to favor students who received advice about how to connect with prospective advisors or who have connections to me through my current colleagues. Before we make final admissions decisions in our department, we fly out our top candidates to visit the campus and to have one-on-one discussions with their desired mentors, graduate students, and researchers in the department. I view this as the time when the candidates and prospective mentors can have these types of conversations, to figure out whether Princeton (and my research group) would be a good fit.

Outside of the application process, I'm always open to requests for conversations about the topics and methods of the research we are involved with here in my lab. Please do feel free to get in touch with those types of questions.  

Thank you for your interest in our research! 

 

 

 

 

For Woodrow Wilson School advisees

You can make an appointment with me to discuss your schedule for the spring 2014 term here: wass.princeton.edu . I've reserved blocks of time at the end of November and early December.

 

Please note that I'll be holding my office hours in my new office, Peretsman Scully Hall, room 423 (fourth floor on the Washington Road side of the building). 

 

 Looking forward to meeting you in the new building! If you have trouble getting into the front door of the building at a time we're scheduled to meet, send me an email and I'll come down to unlock the door. 


Recommendation letter policy and advice

Here is my policy, and advice, on recommendation letters. Please review this carefully before asking me for a recommendation. I enjoy writing letters for students, and following all of these guidelines will ensure that I can write you a strong letter.

My policy:  

I cannot write you a letter if you ask me less than 2 weeks before the deadline. This is very standard practice (many of my colleagues require this kind of notice as well). Be vigilant about deadlines! Give me more than 2 weeks notice. 

Some advice now:  

Make sure I know you well: The best letters come from professors who know you well, either from a small seminar or from research or thesis experience you have had with the professor. If you don't know me in this way, you should not ask me, because my letter will be unavoidably more superficial than what you need. A letter from someone who really knows you is better than a letter from someone who you think would be a good person to have as a reference. If you're applying to graduate school, try to have two professors as references and a third from someone else who knows you well (like an employer, or a third prof if that is possible). 

Send supporting materials: When you send me your request, please send me supporting materials. This includes:

  1. Your updated CV (resume)
  2. Grades and GRE scores (if applicable)
  3. As polished-as-possible application essay drafts, or cover letter
  4. Some suggestions (in a document or in the body of the email) for what you would like me to highlight in your application.

The essays help me learn more about your goals for the position or school. In your suggestions, you can include information about specific requirements or attributes of the job or school of which I should be aware while I'm writing the letter. Draw my attention to things that you've done or skills that you have that make you well suited for the place. Help me to help you.

Send everything in one email: It is very easy to lose track of many different pieces sent at different times--remember I write letters for over a dozen people every fall, and then more throughout the year.

Use a dossier service if you're applying to more than 2 placesFor Princeton students, Princeton has a dossier service you can use, so that if you are applying to 12 jobs, I send the dossier my recommendation letter and the dossier sends it out to all 12 places. If you are not coming from Princeton, look into your own school's service or use a company like  Interfoliowhich many of my colleagues recommend. 

 Fill out online information for me: Most graduate school applications are online, but every school has a different custom form. It takes hours for me to fill out these forms, and this time is lengthened when I have to fill out my name, position, address, phone, etc., on each form. Please fill out the maximum amount of information about me so that I don't have to keep doing this. 

Thanks!

 

For prospective graduate students thinking of applying to Princeton

I will be accepting graduate student applications in the fall of 2013, for students interested in enrolling in the PhD program in Psychology at Princeton in fall 2014. 

If you are interested in applying, please note that this website is updated as of September 2013, and you can get a very good sense of what I am currently working on with colleagues and students by clicking on my research page. I update this page with working manuscripts as soon as we are ready to share, and otherwise I list projects in progress.

If you would like more information about me beyond this website, here are a few articles about my research approach, and my work with my colleagues. 

APS Rising Star article

Princeton Writing Program interview

Princeton University website article 

I often receive emails from prospective Ph.D. applicants with requests to talk about my work and what it would be like to do research with me. As of 9-8-13, I have decided to refrain from having these personal conversations in advance of reading all applications, because I do not wish to favor students who received advice about how to connect with prospective advisors or who have connections to me through my current colleagues. Before we make final admissions decisions in our department, we fly out our top candidates to visit the campus, and to have one-on-one discussions with their desired mentors and with graduate students and researchers in the department. I view this as the time when the candidates and prospective mentors can have these types of conversations, to figure out whether Princeton (and my research group) would be a good fit.

Outside of the application process, I'm always open to requests for conversations about the topics and methods of the research we are involved with here in my lab. Please do feel free to get in touch with those types of questions.  

Thank you for your interest in our research! 

 

final papers still available

For all students from PSY 400 / WWS 341, The Social Psychology of Social Change, your final papers will be available in my office throughout the summer, or I can scan and send them to you, if you have already graduated.