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Research Assistant Opportunities


Domestic Violence, Motivation, and Addiction Research Among Women in the Court Setting

Supervisor: Diane Morse, MD (Department of Psychiatry)
Recruitment is ongoing

We currently have a series of research projects available for ambitious undergraduate students that involve qualitative analysis, data entry, grant writing, participant recruitment, and physical and mental health in underserved female populations. Subsequently, there will be some quantitative data analysis and intervention fidelity assessment as well. Most of our research relates to domestic violence, motivation, and addiction in the court and clinical settings among justice-involved women.

Interns will engage with research staff, healthcare providers, community health workers, and research subjects to assist the efforts of the Women’s Initiative Supporting Health (W.I.S.H.) program, which is directed by Diane S. Morse, MD and housed within the Department of Psychiatry. Ideally, the internship would be 10-15 hours weekly, which could be flexible during exam or school break times. There is also the option of working with us for 4-hour course credit or during the summer. Opportunities for authorship on presentations and clinical experience are available to highly motivated individuals.

Educational benefits include: relevant training, weekly literature reviews, and mentorship for graduate school/medical school applications. Students able to make a two-semester commitment will be given preference. Apply 3 months in advance minimum.

Contact: Dr. Diane Morse,, (585) 275-6484

Experiences of Hispanics in Rochester - Experience with a qualitative interview study

Supervisor: Caroline Silva, PhD
Fall 2017, Spring 2018

Research assistants are needed to assist with a qualitative study investigating the social experiences of Spanish-speaking Hispanics living in Rochester.  The primary job responsibility will be transcribing audio-recordings of interviews completed by study subjects. These transcriptions will be used for coding and thematic analysis. Most interviews will have been conducted in Spanish and transcriptions will need to be completed in the same language. Thus, students must be bilingual in English and Spanish. Shadowing research interviews is also possible, as well as learning about conducting qualitative analyses. This experience provides hands on experience with clinical research with minority populations. Readings will be assigned and discussed with Dr. Caroline Silva, with meetings at least every other week. Opportunities for student research projects are available.

Contact: Caroline Silva, PhD,

Timeline: One-semester commitment needed, although two is preferred as project will be run all year (and later involve quantitative survey data collection).

Skills/requirements: Student must be bilingual in Spanish/English. Availability to work during weekdays/weekends. Academic credit is available, as well as mentorship in applying to graduate school.

Procedure for applying: Send CV/resume and cover letter describing your academic interest in the project to Caroline Silva, PhD.

Internalizing Disorder and Emotional Adjustment Lab

Supervisor: Lisa R. Starr, PhD
Recruitment is ongoing for this project

Come join a fun, friendly, collaborative research lab!

Research assistants are wanted for research examining the etiology and consequences of depression and anxiety disorders in adolescence and adulthood in the Starr Lab. RAs will gain valuable research and clinical experience and will have the opportunity to be involved in the lab in a variety of ways: we ask our RAs to do everything from administrative tasks to performing literature reviews to conducting participant visits. Some RAs may have the opportunity to be trained on and conduct semi-structured interviews with adolescent participants, an experience that fosters both research and clinical skills.

We are looking for highly motivated, conscientious students with strong interpersonal skills and plenty of excitement about research on depression and related topics. This experience is particularly well-suited for students interested in eventually pursuing graduate studies in clinical psychology or a related field.

You can learn more about our labs interests and projects at our website To apply, click on the "Join Us!" tab on our website and fill out an online application. Questions can be directed to


Mt. Hope Family Center

Supervisors: Liz Handley, Ph.D.; Sheree Toth, Ph.D.
Recruitment is ongoing

The Mt. Hope Family Center is an internationally recognized Center for leading edge research on child maltreatment. Our team of psychologists, researchers, and clinicians work together to help improve the lives of children and families who have experienced violence, abuse, neglect, or trauma. Our work includes a number of large-scale federally funded research projects, as well as federally and locally funded clinical service. As such we are seeking hard-working and conscientious undergraduate students to join our team.

Research Assistant (RA) responsibilities may include participating in research meetings, and assisting with data collection, entry, and organization. We are looking for undergraduate RAs who can commit approximately 10-15 hours per week and can make a 2 semester commitment either for course credit or as a volunteer. Interested students should contact Stephanie Capobianco.

Contact: Stephanie Capobianco,

Project BRIDGE: Parents & Teens

Supervisors: Melissa Sturge-Apple, PhD; Patrick Davies, PhD
Recruitment is ongoing for this project

Project BRIDGE is a multidisciplinary study that examines parent-child relationships in early adolescence. Data collection has ended, but we are currently seeking research assistants to conduct coding in either observational or narrative systems. Students can receive up to four credits during academic semesters and an optional seminar component is available for students who wish to learn more about the implications and general theories of the project.

For more information, or to receive an application, please visit our web site at

Contact: Melissa Sturge-Apple, PhD,


Supervisor: Melissa Sturge-Apple, PhD
Recruitment is ongoing for this project

Project CONNECT is a multidisciplinary study that examines the influence of mother-child relationships on children's socio-emotional and cognitive development in early childhood. Data collection has ended, but we are currently seeking research assistants to conduct observational coding of child assessments. Students can receive up to four credits during academic semesters and an optional seminar component is available for students who wish to learn more about the implications and general theories of the project.

For more information, please visit our website at

Contact: Jennifer Suor, MA,

Project FUTURE

Supervisors: Patrick T. Davies, PhD; Melissa L. Sturge-Apple, PhD
Recruitment is ongoing for this project

Project FUTURE is a multi-dimensional study designed to examine how children handle and adjust to an array of conflict between their parents, ranging from constructive conflict characterized by cooperation and resolution to destructive conflict characterized by violence and hostility. This project assessed multiple domains of functioning, including:

  • Parenting abilities, adjustment, and psychopathology
  • Family characteristics and overall functioning
  • Children's coping and adaptation to specific family relationships
  • Children's biological, psychological, and social and emotional characteristics

Data collection has ended, but we are currently seeking research assistants to conduct observational coding of several types of parent-child interactions with the focus on identifying specific parenting behaviors in different parenting contexts. Students have the option to receive up to four credits during the academic year (coding opportunities are also available during the summer semesters) and an optional seminar component is available for students who wish to learn more about the implications and general theories central to parenting and family-oriented research. Students who are available to begin in the Summer of 2018 and Fall 2018 semesters are especially encouraged to apply. We are particularly interested in students who can make a 1-year commitment to the project.

For more information, please visit the project's page on our website at

Contact: Debrielle Jacques,, 585-275-0757

Project STEP

Supervisor: Patrick Davies, PhD, & Melissa Sturge-Apple, PhD
Recruitment is ongoing

Project STEP is a study that examines the coping and adjustment of preschoolers who have experienced different levels of interparental discord.

Undergraduate research assistants who join our lab will have the opportunity to evaluate interviews or observations and learn to implement systems for evaluating family adversity, family support, and children's coping with family stress. An optional seminar component is available for students who wish to learn more about the implications and general theories of the project.

Students can earn up to 4 credit hours per semester for their work on this project by enrolling in either CSP377 or CSP391.

Contact: Morgan Thompson,

Research in Multiple Areas of Social Psychology

Supervisor: Miron Zuckerman, PhD
Recruitment is ongoing

Research assistants are needed for research on religiosity, self-esteem, self-enhancement, health, and other topics within and related to the field of social psychology. Assistants help with a wide variety of tasks, and are encouraged to get involved at every level of the research process.

Contact: Miron Zuckerman, PhD,

Research on Achievement and Social Motivation

Supervisor: Andrew J. Elliot, PhD
Recruitment is ongoing

We conduct research on why people behave the way they do in achievement situations (e.g., school, sports, work) and social situations. Our lab is quite diverse, usually comprising visiting professors and post-doctoral students from around the globe, as well as graduate students and undergraduate research assistants from the UR. 

We are always looking for interested, hard-working undergraduates to participate in all phases of the research process, beginning with data collection (subject running) and moving toward more full collaboration (including honor's theses and other writing projects).

Contact: Aleza Wallace,

Research on Social Interaction and Close Relationships

Supervisor: Harry Reis, PhD
Recruitment is ongoing

We conduct research on social interaction and close relationships. We welcome participation by students as research assistants.

Typically, students may expect to conduct any or all of several activities, including running experimental sessions, supervising Internet-based protocols, interviewing participants, coding open-ended responses, and data entry.

Contact: Harry Reis,

School and Community Based Prevention Program

Supervisor: Peter A. Wyman, PhD
Recruiting is ongoing for this project.

Our research group focuses on using peer-led prevention programs for suicide prevention, substance use prevention and mental health promotion. We are involved in evaluating the Sources of Strength Peer Leadership Project (data collection ending in Spring 2015) and multiple sites in North Dakota, New Jersey, California and Georgia. The program uses the power of peer social networks to strengthen students' skills for handling life crisis and using adult help. Our team supports student teams and adults in the schools to implement messaging activities aimed at changing the norms that young people hold about getting through hard times and connecting with trusted adults for help. We use some of the most innovative approaches to data collecting and data analysis.

Our group is also involved in creating and evaluating curriculum with the Partnership for Drug Free, combining Above the Influence messaging in a peer-led prevention model with 8th and 9th grade students. Finally, in the near future, we will begin working with the USAF to create and evaluate peer-led mental health promotion programs for airmen returning to base.

Our team is excited to welcome an undergraduate intern who is enthusiastic about learning about conducting community-based research. Our interns are essential in helping us with the everyday tasks of conducting multi-site studies. They are welcome to join us during school meetings and school assessment periods when they have a full day open in their schedule. We welcome initiative, independence and inquisitiveness, while taking the responsibility to orient you and familiarize you with our work even through the small everyday support tasks.

Intern responsibilities:

  • Survey and program implementation preparation - gathering and organizing supplies needed for school assessments or training; preparing mailings to schools/parents; improving program materials
  • Data entry and analysis - gaining familiarity with online databases and survey tools
  • Community involvement - opportunities to be involved in the field with trainings and surveys (your schedule permitting)
  • Scholarly work support - preparing literature reviews; summarizing articles
  • Accountability, accuracy and enthusiasm - our interns are responsible to arrive in a timely fashion, give us advanced notice regarding schedule changes and be focused while at internship
  • Effective communication - interns are encouraged to inform us of their talents and goals and to communicate their struggles and needs.

If you are interested in learning more about the Sources of Strength program, please visit

Flexible schedule (4-8 hours per week). Close location (UR Medical Center). Learn about intervention research. Generally conducts interviews for internships in April (for summer and fall positions), November, and sometimes August.

Contact: Karen Schmeelk-Cone,, (585) 275-6428

Social Cognitive Development Lab

Supervisor: Laura Elenbaas, PhD
Recruitment is ongoing

The Social Cognitive Development Lab is looking for motivated and conscientious undergraduates who are interested in gaining experience in developmental psychology to join us as research assistants. Our lab examines social development, including children’s peer relationships, perceptions of social groups, and reasoning about fairness. For example, we study children's perceptions of social inequalities, experiences of social exclusion, and the development of stereotypes. 

Our RAs participate in all aspects of the research process, including collecting data by working with children at community sites in the Rochester area, participating in weekly lab meetings, transcribing interviews, and recruiting participants. RAs can earn 2 (CSP 330) or 4 (CSP 396) academic credits.

Time commitments range from 5 to 10 hours per week. We are particularly interested in RAs who are able to participate in the lab for more than one semester. 

To learn more about our research and to receive an RA application, please visit the lab website

Contact: Aya Bukres,

The Laboratory for Innovations in Child Mental Health Care Delivery

Supervisor: Linda Alpert-Gillis, PhD
Recruiting for Spring, Summer, and Fall 2019

Description: The Laboratory for Innovations in Child Mental Health Care Delivery is based in the Child and Adolescent Division of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center. The research group has active research projects that focus on the development and evaluation of services within all settings in which intervention services are provided.

Current projects include: Emotional wellness screening of children enrolled in Primary Care Pediatrics; Evaluation of evidenced-based depression treatment for teens; Evaluation of a school-based mental health program; Evaluation of a Multi-Family Group Model implemented at the child and adolescents clinic; Evaluation of an Evidence-Based and Assessment Treatment Seminar attended by mental health providers.

Undergraduates also have the opportunity to participate in clinically oriented activities, including shadowing psychologists and conducting phone interviews with potential patients. Selected research assistants participate in a 4 credits independent study course that requires 10 hours/week of responsibilities. Non-credit summer opportunities are also available.

Please send a letter of interest and a resume to: or

Contact: Dr. Linda Alpert-Gillis,

Alternate contact person: Dr. Fabienne Bain,

Youth Risk and Resilience Lab

Supervisor: Catherine Glenn, PhD
Recruitment is ongoing

The Youth Risk and Resilience Lab seeks highly motivated, conscientious individuals who are interested in gaining experience in clinical psychological science to join us as research assistants. Our research focuses on a range of self-harming behaviors in youth, including suicidal and nonsuicidal self-injury. With a foundation in clinical psychological science, our lab is specifically interested in understanding the psychological processes that lead to suicidal and self-injurious behaviors, improving identification and prediction of these behaviors, and identifying modifiable targets for intervention and prevention.

RA duties include: participating in weekly lab meetings, conducting literature reviews, assisting with data entry and analysis, and helping to develop measures and collect data for several ongoing projects. As RAs gain more experience in the lab, they will have the opportunity to observe clinical interviews, assist with manuscripts and conference presentations, and potentially complete more intensive work in the lab, such as a senior honors thesis. We are looking for RAs who can devote 10-12 hours per week for course credit (UR undergraduates: 4 credits per academic semester) or as volunteers for at least 2 semesters. We are particularly interested in recruiting RAs who are able to make a longer-term commitment to the lab.

To learn more about our research and to apply for a position, visit our website at To be considered, applicants must submit the RA application found under the “Join Us” section of our website and send a current CV or resume via email.

Contact: Angela Santee,, 585-276-7886