Research Assistant Pool

The Marshall Behavioral Research Lab offers student assistants for your research needs. You came to the right place if you are looking for a USC undergraduate or master's student to support your research. This service is available to all Full-time Marshall appointed Faculty and Doctoral students.

If you are interested in a student assistant, please initiate your request by completing this online form: The form takes about 5-10 min. to complete. Once a request is made, the lab manager will match the task with a student based on their availability and skills. Most requests are answered within the next business day.

Please note that each new project or task must be formally requested. In other words, any new work not listed in your request form must be submitted separately. Below is a list of skills the current RAs have.


RA Pool Skills available for current term:

-Coding paper surveys

-Mining data from websites

-Library and database research

-Administering experiments

-PHP and Python

-Designing Qualtrics and SurveyMonkey surveys


Before making a request, please take a moment to review the following commonly asked questions.


1. What types of tasks can I assign?

Some tasks that are typically requested include help with coding, collecting data from websites, and library/database research. These tasks should be for short-term, temporary needs lasting no more than 1 to 2 months. Since the assistants are both undergraduates and master's students, they come with a variety of skills. If you are looking for something specific or technical, we may have someone for you.

Small administrative requests such as exam proctoring or grading may be requested pending student availability. Work may be handed directly to the student or the lab manager. If you require someone for more consistent, regular needs, please recruit and hire your student through your home department.


2. What funding sources can I use?

We make it convenient by taking requests using your STARS account. These accounts begin with 11-xxxx-xxxx or 12-xxxx-xxxx. Unfortunately, others such as grant accounts are not supported at this time. For grant-funded accounts, you must recruit and hire assistants through your home department.


3. When is my STARS account charged?

Hours are allocated on a monthly basis. Payroll for students will not immediately appear in your STARS accounts. It may take up to 1 month after the student has been paid for the charges to appear in your account. Please refer back to the budget you entered in the request form to estimate the funds. You may also contact the lab manager to receive an estimate of any pending charges.


4. How many hours can the student work?

Students are allowed to work up to the maximum number of hours approved by the funding researcher and lab manager. The students may work on an as-needed basis and are available both weekdays and weeknights. If necessary, students may work up to 20 hours per week (regardless of how many job assignments they have. USC is one employer). At this time, we are unable to take requests for longer-term assignments that may carry over into the next academic term. Students are required to report to the researcher (via email with lab manager CC’d) the number of hours submitted on their Workday timesheets.


5. Can I assign the students projects/tasks not listed in the request form?

In order to properly budget funds, all new assignments must be formally requested for every new project or task. In other words, any new work not listed in your request form must be submitted separately.


6. When can they start working?

Existing students in the pool may begin to work after they receive email approval from the lab manager.

Students brand new to the pool may begin to work after they receive written approval from Marshall HR. Although this can take anywhere from a few days or up to a week to process, we can set you up with a student to begin discussing your research needs to reduce any lag time.


7. What is the pay structure for students working over breaks?

When students work during official school breaks (spring, winter, and summer) and are not enrolled, the University charges a fringe benefit cost. Please note that the university will take a 33.5% overhead for any student worker who logs hours during breaks and is not enrolled in a class. For example, if the normal wage is $12/hour, then $16 would be charged from your STARS account as $4 is overhead.


8. I’m having issues with my student. What should I do? Please contact the lab manager as soon as possible to follow-up with potential performance issues. Students should be reporting to you, at minimum, on a weekly basis