Prospective Doctoral Students

I am interested in reviewing applications for the Clinical Science program for the 2022-2023 academic year with the hopes of recommending a candidate for admission. 

You can find out more about our Clinical Science program by visiting the departmental website: https://psychology.fas.harvard.edu/clinical-psychology. Due to the sheer number of applications we receive, I am unfortunately unable to speak individually with applicants before the interview stage. However, you can familiarize yourself with many of the current projects in our lab by clicking on the “Research” tab on our lab website.

Because the work of our lab incorporates diverse disciplinary perspectives, I am also periodically available to mentor students outside of the Psychology department. Interested doctoral students in other disciplines should contact me directly at markhatzenbuehler@fas.harvard.edu to inquire about my availability for mentoring.

What does the lab look for in prospective graduate students?

We seek students who want to significantly advance the psychological study of stigma, prejudice, and discrimination, and their effects on mental health and biopsychosocial outcomes. While our work is always grounded in psychological science, our projects integrate diverse interdisciplinary perspectives from numerous fields, including sociology, social epidemiology, public policy, and law, each of which can provide important insights into our understanding of how stigma operates to produce disadvantage. Similarly, we bring a “cells to society” approach to the study of stigma, and we incorporate numerous methodological approaches, including traditional psychological methods (e.g., laboratory experiments, experience sampling studies) as well as those from other disciplines (e.g., quasi-experiments). And finally, our lab does not focus on any one particular stigmatized group; instead, we are interested in studying a range of stigmatized identities, statuses, and conditions that differ on important dimensions (e.g., concealability), which affords the opportunity to more robustly evaluate the generality and boundary conditions of stigma theories.

Given this interdisciplinary, multi-level, multi-group approach, students who are most successful in our lab are those who seek to integrate psychological science with allied disciplines, who are willing to expand their methodological toolkit (as needed) to explore their research questions, and who are interested in exploring stigma across a range of dimensions. Being very strong in quantitative methods is, of course, necessary for success in this field; I have found that those who can combine these tangible skills with more intangible ones—creativity, curiosity, drive, and empathy—are the best fits for our lab.

My mentorship follows the junior colleague model, in which doctoral students are actively encouraged to develop their own independent, programmatic line of work. While this model requires a certain amount of independence and maturity of thought, I have found that students who are open to this approach are the happiest because they are pursuing research about which they are most passionate. Finally, I have found in my own experience and in those of my colleagues that it is rare to obtain everything from one mentor. Thus, I actively encourage doctoral students to explore other labs and work with other mentors; this will expose them to new ideas and approaches, ultimately enriching their research program.