For Students

The Living Environments Lab (LEL) of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery welcomes students, trainees, and fellows for short-term and longer-term projects, including course projects, paid positions, and fellowships. The WID is a public transdisciplinary research institute at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, focusing on the interfaces of computation, laboratory science, healthcare, the humanities, and entrepreneurship. If you are interested in working with our lab or seeking more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Undergraduate Students

The LEL encourages current undergraduate students to consider joining the LEL. Students may participate for a semester, a year, or longer.  Most work is done either for course credit (independent study, research credits) or as a volunteer.

The LEL actively engages undergraduates in research projects. These research projects are supervised by LEL faculty, a graduate student, or a postdoctoral fellow. Job duties would vary depending on the research project that is undertaken. Please see the LEL People page and the LEL Projects page for more information about our faculty and student research interests and current research projects. Open positions will be posted on our Job Opportunities page.

Another opportunity for undergraduates to join the LEL is as a volunteer tour docent, who can assist in public and private CAVE tours. The projected volunteering hours for the docents is five hours per month. Duties at the tours include escorting guests to and from the Town Center Welcome Desk and the LEL CAVE, informing guests about new and ongoing research conducted at the LEL, and assisting LEL researchers manage the flow of the tours. Other duties include attending a weekly LEL staff meeting.

Graduate Students

The LEL welcomes current graduate students with interests whose training and research focus align with our laboratory goals. Graduate students spend at least one academic semester with the LEL; longer appointments are preferred.

Prospective graduate students should first speak with their advisors and then contact the identified LEL faculty member or Discovery Fellow they would like to work with. Opportunities for funded research assistance positions or traineeships, when available, are listed on our Job Opportunities page.

Postdoctoral Fellows

The LEL welcomes postdoctoral fellows whose research training aligns with the goals of the lab and the WID faculty and Discovery Fellows. Trainees with interests in virtual reality, visualization, humanities, health informatics, home healthcare, psychology, mobile health, and human factors are invited to join our research lab in WID.

Professors in the LEL that are interested in collaborating with a postdoctoral fellow include Dr. Karen Schloss and  Dr. Kevin Ponto. Dr. Schloss’s research investigates how observers make predictions about objects and entities based on their cognitive and emotional responses to perceptual information. Dr. Ponto focuses on advancing the field of virtual reality, ranging from creating novel and natural interfaces for immersive virtual environments to developing methods, techniques and tools to better understand, evaluate, and develop interactive virtual experiences. His interests are also in visualization, where he has created innovative ways to visualize, explore, and analyze data.

Funding opportunities that support post-doctoral training in the LEL can be found at CIBM and AHRQ. Candidates proposing individual applications should identify and talk with a faculty member they wish to collaborate with at least three months before the application is due.