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Research

Research Assistant Opportunities

For additional research opportunities beyond those listed below, please see the AURA (Access to Undergraduate Research Activities) webpage.

Autism Spectrum Disorder - Research on Language

Supervisor: Loisa Bennetto, PhD
Recruiting for Fall 2021

The Developmental Neuropsychology Lab https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/labs/bennetto.aspx, directed by Dr. Loisa Bennetto, is seeking undergraduates to assist with a new research study on communication (specifically pragmatic language) in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Research assistants will be integral to many aspects of the study, including working with participants and families (both in person and through experimenter-directed remote testing sessions) and project coordination. This is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable clinical experience with adolescents with ASD, and valuable research experience in conducting cognitive science studies. RAs will also participate in team meetings, and have opportunities to learn about and observe diagnostic, cognitive, and language evaluations.

We are currently recruiting RAs for fall 2021 through spring 2022 (for course credit), and we expect to be able to continue this as a paid position in summer 2022. We are specifically seeking students who are motivated, self-directed, reliable, and have strong communication and interpersonal skills. We are especially interested in students who have prior experience working with children and adolescents, including those with ASD or other developmental disorders.

We would love to have you join our lab! To apply, please email us the following information:

  • Why you are interested in this position, any relevant prior experience with children and adolescents and/or individuals with ASD
  • Your general availability for fall 2021 (and whether you would be able to continue in spring 2022)
  • Resume or CV (or list of your key experiences/positions)
  • Unofficial transcript

Contact: Rachel Rivera, Rachel.Rivera@rochester.edu (or) Loisa.Bennetto@rochester.edu

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. A two-semester commitment is required. Apply 3 months in advance minimum.

Contact: Dr. Diane Morse, diane_morse@urmc.rochester.edu, (585) 275-6484

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.

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 psych.rochester.edu/research/starrlab. To apply, click on the "Join Us!" tab on our website and fill out an online application. Questions can be directed to starr.lab@rochester.edu.

Contact:

Mt. Hope Family Center

Supervisors: Liz Handley, PhD; Sheree Toth, PhD
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, stephanie_capobianco@urmc.rochester.edu

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 www.RochesterFamilyResearch.org.

Contact: Melissa Sturge-Apple, PhD, bridge@psych.rochester.edu

Project FLIGHT

Supervisor: Melissa Sturge-Apple, PhD
Recruitment is ongoing

Project FLIGHT is a multidisciplinary study that examines how interparental conflict influences interactions within the parent-child relationship. We are currently seeking research assistants to conduct observational coding of child assessments. Students can earn up to four credits by enrolling in PSY 391 during academic semesters. In addition, 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: https://www.psych.rochester.edu/MHFC/researchers/current-studies/flight/.

Contact: Elisa de la Fuente, Elisa_Delafuente@URMC.Rochester.edu

Project PROMISE

Supervisors: Sheree Toth, PhD; Jody Todd Manly, PhD
Recruitment is ongoing

Project PROMISE is a study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development led by Dr. Sheree Toth and Dr. Jody Todd Manly. PROMISE is a Community Partnered Participatory Research project with a clinical intervention that will follow pregnant moms and their infants until their child is 15 months old. PROMISE partners with community health programs that work with pregnant women and their babies in under-served populations to address barriers to care and social determinates of health. Some PROMISE families receive Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) through PROMISE. CPP is an evidence-based preventative therapy that is shown to improve parent-child relationships, prevent child maltreatment, and result in more sensitive parenting and healthier child development. Project PROMISE uses self-report measures, research interviews, observational paradigms, biological measures of stress, and birth outcomes to better understand who can benefit from CPP, when CPP is most effective, and, if under resource constraints, if a shorter therapeutic window can be helpful.

Interested undergraduate research assistants will be responsible for assisting with visits, entering and checking data, childcare, and transcription, with opportunities for remote work. Interns will commit to at least 8 hours per week, and at least 2 semesters, with the possibility to continue in subsequent semesters.

Internship opportunities with Project PROMISE focus on interns gaining applicable skills to their future interests and professional development. This internship is fit for students interested in child development, infancy and pregnancy, maternal and infant health, clinical psychology, and/or developmental psychology, who wish to gain research experience, and hope to grow under a Research Assistant mentor system.

Students can earn up to 4 credit hours per semester for their work on this project by enrolling in PSYC 391.

Contact: Project PROMISE, promise@urmc.rochester.edu, (585) 275-2991 x233

Project THRIVE

Supervisor: Patrick Davies, PhD
Recruitment is ongoing

Project THRIVE is a study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development led by Dr. Patrick Davies. We are interested in understanding how and why constructive family relationships and forms of conflict increase children's mental health and well-being during the preschool and early elementary school years. Through questionnaires, interaction tasks with family members, interviews, games with children, and physiological measures (eyetracking, EKG, and cortisol analysis), we hope to better understand the mechanisms and pathways linking interparental and parent-child relationships with children's psychological adjustment.

Interested undergraduate research assistants will be responsible for assisting with visits recording tasks, data uploading, coding, childcare, and recruitment. There will also be opportunities for professional development and research presentations. Interns will be required to dedicate up to 10 hours a week to their internship, which includes time at Mount Hope as well as related outside work, such as assigned readings.

The commitment to our project has a two semester minimum, with a possibility to continue in subsequent semesters. The internship opportunity with Project THRIVE focuses on the intern gaining applicable skills to their future interests and developing as a professional. This internship is fit for students who have interests in child development, family interactions, and/or developmental psychopathology, wish to gain research experience, and hope to grow as a professional under a Research Assistant mentor system.

Students can earn up to 4 credit hours per semester for their work on this project by enrolling in either PSY377 or PSY391.

Contact: Meera Patel, meera_patel@urmc.rochester.edu, (585) 275-2991 x 195

Research in Multiple Areas of Social Psychology

Supervisor: Miron Zuckerman, PhD
Recruitment is ongoing

Research assistants are needed for research on psychology of religion and social cognition. 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, miron@psych.rochester.edu

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: Andrew Elliot, andrew.elliot@rochester.edu

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, reis@psych.rochester.edu

School and Community Based Prevention Program

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

Our research group focuses on developing and testing preventive interventions that prepare members of a population as ‘change agents’ to disseminate health in their social networks. We are currently testing interventions for in secondary schools for suicide prevention (Sources of Strength), substance use prevention (Above the Influence) and in military populations (Wingman-Connect). . These programs leverage the power of peer group social networks to strengthen skills for healthy coping, rising above negative influences, and building positive friendships and social connections. Our work is at the intersection of behavioral science, social network methods, training, and use of technology (e.g., text messaging) to extend the impact of intervention activities delivered in person.

Opportunities for undergraduate interns include working on a large New York State-funded project to disseminate the Sources of Strength suicide prevention program to schools in several regions. This project includes collecting data from each school on students’ participation and engagement in the program and preparing valuable school reports for each site to inform their work. 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. Our group is also launching a new NIH funded study to evaluate Above the Influence with a focus on reducing vaping. We are completing evaluation of a peer-led mental health promotion program we created for the USAF for airmen in training, with hopes to expand to other sites in the AF. We are looking to adapt this program possibly in other branches of the military or in a law enforcement environment.

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 trainings 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; not available in summer)
  • 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 www.Sourcesofstrength.org.

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

Contact: Karen Schmeelk-Cone, karen_schmeelkcone@urmc.rochester.edu, (585) 275-6428

Social Cognitive Development Lab

Supervisor: Laura Elenbaas, PhD
Recruitment is ongoing

In the Social Cognitive Development Lab, we study how children think about people, groups, and society. Our RAs collect data by working directly with children and parents, participate in weekly lab group meetings, and manage and code quantitative and qualitative data. We work on-campus in Meliora Hall and off-campus at partner sites in the Rochester community.

Fall and spring RAs can earn 2, 3, or 4 academic credits in PSYC 395. Summer RAs should check the Discover Grant page for information about funding. We have a strong preference for RAs who are able to commit to 4 credits per semester for more than one semester.

Please visit our website to learn more about our work and apply for an RA position: http://scdlab.digitalscholar.rochester.edu

Contact: Laura Elenbaas, laura.elenbaas@rochester.edu

Social Development and Family Processes Lab

Supervisor: Judith Smetana, PhD
Recruiting for spring 2022

Social Development and Family Processes Lab is looking for psychology majors who want to gain research experience in our lab. Students will assist with several ongoing research projects studying social and moral development with young children and adolescents.

RA opportunities include:

  • Assisting with data collection in research with children and adolescents
  • Participating in data preparation, coding, and/or analysis
  • Learning about different research methods and becoming familiar with the research literature

During the spring semester, students participating in the lab will enroll in Psyc 357. They will earn four credits for the academic semester, requiring 12 hours/week of responsibilities, incluiding attending weekly lab meetings. Students with flexible schedules with some daytime availability for data collection, a strong work ethic, and experience working with young children are preferred.

Contact: Esther Li, yuejiao.li@rochester.edu

The Laboratory for Innovations in Child Mental Health Care Delivery

Supervisor: Linda Alpert-Gillis, PhD and Melissa Heatly, PhD
Positions available for Summer and Fall 2022

Description: The Laboratory for Innovations in Child Mental Health Care Delivery is based in the Childand 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: UR Supporting Our Students: Strengthening School Mental Health Staff Response to the Mental Health needs of Teens; Needs-based assessment for integrated behavioral health within Specialty Pediatrics; Evaluation of a school-based mental health program; Evaluation of an Evidence-Based and Assessment Treatment Seminar attended by mental health providers; Ongoing evaluation of progress monitoring tools in the Child and Adolescent Outpatient Service.

Undergraduates also have the opportunity to participate in clinically oriented activities, including shadowing psychologists for individual or group therapy, observing diagnostic clinic, 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: linda_alpertgillis@urmc.rochester.edu and melissa_heatly@urmc.rochester.edu.

Contact: Dr. Linda Alpert-Gillis, linda_alpertgillis@urmc.rochester.edu and Dr. Melissa Heatly, melissa_heatly@urmc.rochester.edu

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 www.yr2lab.com. 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: John Kellerman, john.kellerman@rochester.edu, (585) 276-7886