Lab Onboarding

Lab Orientation Information

Welcome to the Blaisdell Lab of Comparative Cognition

These are the bureaucratic hoops you’ll have to jump through to join the lab:

  • To participate in the Student Research Program (SRP, and get units for working in the lab you’ll have to enroll in Honors 99.  Sign in to MyUCLA and click on the link for SRP. Click on “Submit a new contract.” In the text box asking what your duties will be you can enter “I will assist with behavioral research involving rats, pigeons, and hermit crabs.” When you’ve completed the contract, click on “submit form.”  Print out your contract, have Dr. Blaisdell sign it and turn it in to the Undergraduate Research Center in the Life Science building by 5pm of Friday of second week of the quarter. Note, the SRP program is only for UCLA undergraduate researchers, not volunteers or interns from outside UCLA.

  • You must fill out the Animal Questionnaire at the Medical History Questionnaire (MHQ). The Occupational Health staff at UCLA want to make sure you’ve had certain necessary vaccines.
  • The (ARC) certifies researchers to be able to work with animals in research and instruction contexts. The certification program has two parts: a written exam and species-specific training (the Rodent User’s Wetlab).  You will need the following to work with pigeons in Dr. Blaisdell’s lab:
    • Go to the following link and follow the steps below: CITI Program Training
    • 1. “log-in” in the top right corner. On the next page, select “Log-in through my organization” in the top center.
    • 2. Search for “UCLA” in the search bar, select it, then press the “continue to SSO” button.
    • 3. Log in through the UCLA portal.
    • 4. Adjacent to the “University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)” text, click the “Active Courses” button. Navigate to “Add a Course” at the bottom of the page. Note that you shouldn’t have to pay for anything throughout this process.
    • 5. Answer the questions as follows: 1 – only “I conduct animal research (RSAWA) [SECTION THREE]”, 2 – both “I work with Animals (ARC General Certification Test)” and “I work with Rats. Genus: Rattus,” then “no” to the next few questions.
    • 6. This should add “Animal Research (ARC General Certification Test),” “Investigators, Staff and Students,” and “Working with Rats in Research Settings” to your active courses. Those are the three courses you need to start working in the lab. Note that this may look a little different on your end, given that you haven’t logged in before or completed any courses.
    • If you also will be working with rats in the Blaisdell lab, complete all of the above steps and then complete the following:
    • Schedule to attend a Rodent user’s wet lab through the following instructions: To complete species-specific training for mice or rats visit Worksafe ( to schedule your in-person session. For further information, please visit the Worksafe website or email the DLAM Training Inbox (
  • Ask Dr. Blaisdell to invite you to join the lab Slack group which we used to communicate to the lab.

Note, if you are a volunteer or visitor not currently affiliated with UCLA, you must first fill out a volunteer packet supplied by the Psychology Department. Once you submit your volunteer packet, you will be given a UID.

Next you will obtain a UCLA BruinCard and a UCLA Login ID.


  • Request access to the lab by emailing Dr. Blaisdell your name and UID.
  • Ask Dr. Blaisdell to invite you to the lab Slack account.
  • When you have completed all of the items marked with an ‘X’ in the new member check list below, print it out and return to Dr. Blaisdell.