Research Opportunities

Extra Credit Research Participation

Many undergraduate CS&D courses offer students extra credit in exchange for research participation. Opportunities change throughout the year, so check back often for new experiences.

We value inclusion in all areas, but studies sometimes limit participation to specific groups of participants (e.g., bilingual adults, adults with normal hearing, etc.). If you are interested in research participation for extra credit but do not qualify for any active studies, please contact your instructor for alternatives.

Learn more about current extra credit research participation opportunities.

Undergraduate Research Group Contacts

Hearing Research

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Carlos Benítez-Barrera, Ph.D. | Pediatric Auditory Experience and Brain Laboratory

Research Focus: Relationship between auditory environments and language development.

Lab Website:

Lab Contact: Carlos Benítez-Barrera, Ph.D. (

Preferred Qualifications: Interest in research and learning

How to Apply: Email Carlos Benítez-Barrera, Ph.D. (

Ruth Litovsky, Ph.D. | Binaural Hearing & Speech Laboratory

Research Focus: Hearing in noise, Cochlear Implants, Sound localization, Auditory development

Lab Website:

Lab Contact: Shelly Godar (

Preferred Qualifications: No minimum GPA required, above 3.0 preferred; some coursework in Communication Sciences & Disorders or experience with individuals who have hearing loss preferred

How to Apply: Send resume, unofficial student record, and a brief statement of interest to the lab contact.

Language Research

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Rebecca Alper, Ph.D., CCC-SLP | Language, Literacy, and Learning Laboratory

Research Focus: Early Intervention; Language Delay and Disorders; Caregiver Coaching; Health Disparities; Cultural Variation; English-Spanish Bilingualism; Early Language and Literacy Development

Lab Website:

Lab Contact: Rebecca Alper, Ph.D., CCC-SLP (

Preferred Qualifications: Spanish proficiency

How to Apply: Email Rebecca Alper, Ph.D., CCC-SLP (

Susan Ellis Weismer, Ph.D., CCC-SLP | Language Processes Laboratory

Research Focus: language processing, late talkers, specific language impairment (SLI), autism spectrum disorders (ASD)

Lab Website:

Lab Contact: Susan Ellis Weismer, Ph.D., CCC-SLP (

How to Apply: Email Susan Ellis Weismer, Ph.D., CCC-SLP (

Susan Ellis Weismer, Ph.D., CCC-SLP | Little Listeners Laboratory

Research Focus: autism spectrum disorder (ASD), learning language

Lab Website:

Lab Contact: Email Susan Ellis Weismer, Ph.D., CCC-SLP (

How to Apply: Email with your resume and availability for the current or upcoming semester.

Rita Kaushanskaya, Ph.D. | Language Acquisition & Bilingualism Laboratory

Research Focus: bilingualism, language development, language disorders

Lab Website:

Lab Contact: Rita Kaushanskaya, Ph.D. (

Preferred Qualifications: interest in language acquisition and bilingualism

How to Apply: Email Rita Kaushanskaya, Ph.D. (

Kimberly Mueller, Ph.D., CCC-SLP | Cognitive-Communication in Aging and Neurogenic Disorders Laboratory (CCANDL)

Research Focus: speech, language, cognition, Alzheimer’s disease; Mild Cognitive Impairment; aging; dementia

Lab Website:

Lab Contact: Leah Sanson-Miles (

Preferred Qualifications: strong interest in research; detail-oriented; commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; familiarity with Microsoft Office, excel, Teams; experience with SPSS or R a plus; CSD coursework a plus but not required

How to Apply: Email Leah Sanson-Miles (

Audra Sterling, Ph.D. | Research in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Laboratory

Research Focus: language development, cognitive skills, neurodevelopmental disabilities, fragile X syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome

Lab Website:

Lab Contact: Audra Sterling, Ph.D. (

How to Apply: Email Audra Sterling, Ph.D. (

Speech Research

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Katie Hustad, Ph.D., CCC-SLP | Wisconsin Intelligibility, Speech, and Communication Laboratory

Research Focus: speech production, speech intelligibility, language, cognition, and functional communication abilities among children with cerebral palsy (CP)

Lab Website:

Lab Contact: Katie Hustad, Ph.D., CCC-SLP (

How to Apply: Interested candidates should send a resume and letter of interest to

Ben Parrell, Ph.D. | Speech Motor Action + Control Laboratory

Research Focus: speech motor control, motor control and learning, neuroscience

Lab Website:

Lab Contact: Ben Parrell, Ph.D. (

Preferred Qualifications: Some coursework in speech production and/or neuroscience is helpful but not required. Preference will be given to students with an interest in pursuing basic scientific research.

How to Apply: Apply Online; You must be logged on to your UW-Madison Google account to access the form.

Carrie Niziolek, Ph.D. | Brain, Language, & Acoustic Behavior (BLAB) Laboratory

Research Focus: neural basis of speech production, brain imaging

Lab Website:

Lab Contact: Carrie Niziolek, Ph.D. (

Preferred Qualifications: Interest in our lab’s research projects (see, interest in computer programming (no prior experience required)

How to Apply: Email lab contact with your resume and a few sentences explaining your interest in the lab.

Swallowing and Voice Research

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Michelle Ciucci, Ph.D., CCC-SLP | Ciucci Laboratory

Research Focus: Improvement of treatments for communication and swallowing disorders in progressive neurologic disease.

Lab Website:

Lab Contact: Michelle Ciucci, Ph.D., CCC-SLP (

How to Apply: Email Michelle Ciucci, Ph.D., CCC-SLP (

Nadine Connor, Ph.D., CCC-SLP | Connor Laboratory

Research Focus: Understanding how physiological and structural properties of muscles and the central and peripheral nervous systems change with aging, surgery, diseases and disorders, and how these changes may influence properties of voice production, speech, and swallowing.
Lab Website:

Lab Contact: Nadine Connor, Ph.D., CCC-SLP (

How to Apply: Email Nadine Connor, Ph.D., CCC-SLP (

Nicole Rogus-Pulia, Ph.D., CCC-SLP | Swallowing and Salivary Bioscience Laboratory

Research Focus: dysphagia, or swallowing dysfunction, in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD)
Lab Website:

Lab Contact: Nicole Rogus-Pulia, Ph.D., CCC-SLP (

How to Apply: Email Nicole Rogus-Pulia, Ph.D., CCC-SLP (

Susan Thibeault, Ph.D., CCC-SLP | Thibeault Research Group

Research Focus: vocal fold mucosa biology encompassing regenerative medicine, immunology and development

Lab Contact: Susan Thibeault, Ph.D., CCC-SLP (

How to Apply: Email Susan Thibeault, Ph.D., CCC-SLP (


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