Collaborate with us!
If you're here, you're probably an eager researcher motivated to discover, publish, have fun, and change the world.
If this sounds like you, we'd like to collaborate with you. We are always looking for new researchers to partner with on projects and studies aligned with our mission.
Many graduate students, post-docs, and current professors have spent 3-12 months at the Food and Brand Lab, working on three or more projects of mutual interest and learning about the Food and Brand Lab's innovative research approach. Past participants found their visits tremendously beneficial, and most have co-authored multiple peer-reviewed papers.
Duration and topic are flexible; just send us an email to discuss how you can schedule a visit.
Collaborate With Us
Join the Lab as a Visiting Scholar
The Food and Brand Lab hosts an average of three Visiting Scholars from around the globe at any given time. These scholars can be graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, or visiting faculty on sabbatical, and they visit for any time period from 3 to 12 months.
We typically aim on working on three different projects of mutual interest: 1) A project or dataset which they are “stuck” on but would like to publish, 2) a data set which we have already collected and which they can analyze and we publish, and 3) a new project we jointly develop when they arrive. The projects usually involve the major topics of interest to the lab: healthy eating, food, shopping, exercise, happiness, and workplace wellness.
Visiting Scholars immediately integrate into the work and social life of the Lab. On the day they arrive, they are provided with a work space at the Food and Brand Lab, direct research assistance from Professor Brian Wansink and the lab's other researchers, access to Cornell's extensive library facilities, weekly exposure to the Food and Brand Lab's most up-and-coming research, and social life. The Food and Brand Lab is unfortunately unable to fund Visiting Scholars, but previous Visiting Scholars have been able to successfully find funding from government or institutional scholarships or financing themselves.
Program Requirements for Applicants
- Must have finished or be currently enrolled in a PhD program
- Must have background that establishes their ability to conduct high-level, peer-reviewed scholarly research
Applying is relatively simple:
- Send an email to us at FoodandBrandLab@cornell.edu! Briefly explain who you are, note 1-3 research areas you are most interested in, and include anything else you feel is relevant (CV, project outputs, why you're interested in the Food and Brand Lab, etc.). You do not need to have a specific project in mind to apply; many of our Visiting Scholars find a project by simply learning about some of the Lab's ongoing initiatives.
- We'll respond to you shortly after getting your first email, and set up a call with Dr. Brian Wansink to explore the fit between your interests and those of the Lab.
Decisions are made on a rolling basis and in order to provide adequate timeline buffer, we generally encourage applicants to contact us at least 6 months before their target start date.
Check Out Our Research Categories
We do research that fits into 6 main categories:
Beating Mindless Eating
Most of us don't overeat because we're hungry. We overeat because of family and friends, packages and plates, names and numbers, labels and lights, colors and candles, and other environmental factors. We investigate how these factors influence us and how to make them work for us rather than against us.
Check out Beating Mindless Eating studies here.
Grocery Shopping Psychology
Do grocery stores manipulate us, or are we our own worst enemy? These original findings show some of the secrets as to why we overbuy and how to better control ourselves.
Check out Grocery Store Psychology studies here.
Restaurants are filled with booby–traps that cause us to overeat. These original findings show how glasses, plates, and menu descriptions can unknowingly cause us to eat too much.
Check out Restaurant Confidential studies here.
What makes food desirable or undesirable to consumers? We have investigated the impact of labeling, packaging, and marketing different products to determine how best to promote healthy eating.
Check out Marketing Nutrition studies here.
Using behavioral economics we explore how small low–cost changes in the lunchroom can encourage individuals to choose healthier foods. Check out SmarterLunchrooms.org and the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs to find out more about what we are doing to improve school lunchrooms.
Check out Smarter Lunchrooms studies here.
Unusual New Ideas
To help people eat better, we need to understand the "whys" behind their behavior. This section explains research methods we use that help answer the "why's" behind food psychology.
Check out Unusual New Ideas studies here.
Read Testimonials from Previous Researchers
Gustavo Porpino De Araujo
“My experience at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab was enriching, and life in Ithaca was peaceful and an opportunity to interact with people with distinct cultural backgrounds. Professor Brian Wansink and his team were welcoming and supportive, and I was able to collect data for my PhD dissertation and get a paper published. The first study published got quite a lot of media attention, both in the US and in Brazil. Overall a visiting scholar program in Ithaca is an unforgettable experience likely to positively impact one’s future career.”
“The FBL is full of inspiration, possibilities, and drive to make things happen. It only takes eagerness and a desire to explore the world of food and eating for the FBL to make the research world your oyster. A great lesson in what can be done if you just want to!”
“Brian and the whole Food and Brad Lab team took me in as one of theirs from day one. Without hesitation I was able to work as a researcher and as a result several papers were submitted to scientific journals. My stay will have a long lasting effect on my career and my life.”
"I really enjoyed my stay at the FBL! Brian and his team are just great....the lab offers you the opportunity to work in a creative, collegial, and collaborative atmosphere."
My visit to the FBL was an outstanding experience. In 6 months, I conducted more than 10 experiments, all with real behavioral measures! With Brian I learned how to find interesting research ideas by simply observing consumers in their daily lives, how to operationalize these ideas into cool experiments, how to make projects move forward, and how to look for grants to fund research (I got a grant from France while still at Cornell and a 2015 grant from the National Cancer Institute in France).”
“During my stay as a visiting scholar I received a lot of inspiration and developed new ideas for my research. Brian Wansink and the people associated with the FBL are top in making research look simple and exciting!”
“In 2009, while I was in the middle of my PhD, I spent 6 months at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab. I can confidently say that this has been the best possible experience of my research career. Even though a young student, I was made part of research planning, data collection, data analysis and writing articles, and my input was valued and appreciated. The Lab taught me many key skills and I have grown a lot as a researcher and as a human being. Dr Brian Wansink remains today one of the most influential figures in my career, a mentor and a friend. His teachings were invaluable and something I still apply to my current practice.”
Ellen van Kleef
“Brian and everyone else of the dedicated FBL team definitely influenced my views on what excellent research is. My year at the lab was one of the best experiences ever: it further pushed me to think creatively about which research questions to ask and how to set up novel studies.”
“The Cornell Food and Brand Lab is a creative place with ample opportunities to develop your skills. Being at the Lab is a special combination of hard work and loads of fun, which will reward you with new experiences and exciting research. “
“I worked at Food and Brand Lab as a visiting scholar for nearly eight months which was a tremendous experience. Our research got accepted from very prestigious SSCI journals in a very short period of time and moreover they got great attention from media such as LA Times, Times, The Huffington Post.”