PhD Training in the Language Learning Lab

I will be accepting one or more graduate students this cycle. My research interests are broad, and I am happy to hear from students who are interested in topics that I am not already working on. That said, I am particularly looking for students who are interested in critical periods and/or semantic and syntactic bootstrapping. In addition, several other faculty and I are looking for potential joint students. Stefano Anzellotti and I are looking for a student who is interested in applying machine learning and computational modeling to the neuroimaging of language. Katie McAuliffe and I are looking for a student interested in the acquisition of abstract, morally-relevant words like 'fair' and 'unfair'.

An interest in computational modeling is a plus, but not necessary. The same is true of massive online experiments.

The graduate program at BC is 5 years. There is guaranteed departmental funding for 9 months of the year (currently \$23,000), with an additional \$6,000 in summer funding from your advisor(s). Although our program is relatively young, recent graduates from our department have done extremely well on the job market, landing prestigious post-doctoral positions or faculty positions.

Information about applying can be found on the department website.

You can learn more about my research and about the lab by looking through the different pages of the lab website.


  • Do I need to be a psych major? No. Language research is highly interdisciplinary. I've known excellent language researchers who had majored in psych or linguistics but also in math, computer science, philosophy, and physics. I wasn't a psych major myself.
  • Do I need research experience Yes.
  • Do I need to be Catholic to attend BC? No. It is a Jesuit institution, but many of the students and faculty are not Catholic, including me.
  • Can I apply to work with both you and another professor in the department? Absolutely! Be sure to explain in your essay why you think this combination of advisors would make sense, given your research interests.
  • Do you collaborate with other researchers? Yes, both at BC and elsewhere. See our mostly up-to-date list of collaborators here. I believe the best work comes from collaborations.
  • Could I collaborate with other researchers? Yes. I think that is an important part of graduate education.
  • Can I contact you prior to applying? Yes, particularly if you feel it would be helpful in putting together your application.