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Research Projects Seeking Undergraduate Assistants

The research opportunities described here are provided by faculty who are currently seeking  research assistants. These will be updated periodically as we become aware of additional opportunities, but you are encouraged to also talk with your course instructors and teaching assistants about research projects that they are conducting as well as visit faculty members’ individual web pages. Once you have identified laboratories of interest, contact the person listed as the Contact to find out about the availability of research assistant positions as well as the specific laboratory’s application procedures. You are encouraged to do this as early as possible, as some laboratories have a limited number of available positions and fill them before the semester begins.

Project Title

Youth Asthma Research Lab

Project Description

Our lab focuses on pediatric psychology, specifically in children, adolescents, and families coping with asthma. We are currently starting a project addressing sleep, cognition, and quality of life in youth with asthma.

Research Assistant Duties

Recruiting participants and collecting data in the UF pediatric pulmonary specialty clinic, administering questionnaires to subjects, running participants through a brief, computer-based task, scoring questionnaires, entering data, and helping to maintain the study database.

Contact Info

Principle Investigator: Dr. David Fedele (dfedele@phhp.ufl.edu)

Requirements

Students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and be able to devote at least 4 hours per week for each credit signed up for.  Research assistants must be organized, dependable, and able to act professionally in a medical setting.

Course Credits

1-3 credits (minimum of 4 hours per week)

Willing to Supervise Senior Thesis

Discussed on an individual basis.
 

 

Project Title

Pediatric Psychology Research Lab

Project Description

Our research is primarily in the area of pediatric obesity. Currently, several research studies are ongoing including a group-based weight management program for children in underserved rural settings funded by a 4.5 year $2.7 million grant from NIH. We also have an additional study that is examining disordered eating behaviors in youth and a study focusing on pediatric epilepsy.

Research Assistant Duties

Recruiting participants and collecting data in Shands-affiliated primary care clinics, assisting with design and preparation of treatment materials, data entry, and attending weekly laboratory meetings focused on discussing ongoing projects, critiquing journal articles, and discussing topics related to professional development

Contact Info

Project Director: Crystal Lim, Ph.D. (cms528@phhp.ufl.edu)Faculty Sponsor: David Janicke, Ph.D.

Requirements

Applicants should be motivated, dependable, and responsible students who are able to work well with others in medical settings and communicate effectively with patients, medical professionals, and graduate and undergraduate students. High attention to detail is a must. Students must be able to think critically, participate in lab discussions, work independently, and behave and dress professionally.

Course Credits

2-3 credits (6-9 hours per week) for a minimum of two semesters

Willing to Supervise Senior Thesis

Students may be able to conduct a senior thesis related to ongoing lab projects or an existing dataset. A 2+ semester commitment is required to be considered for a senior thesis.

 

 Project Title

VITAL (Village Interactive Training and Learning) Study

Project Description

This is a Clinical and Health Psychology study focused on boosting older adults’ cognitive performance (visuo-spatial processing).In VITAL we test the combined use of two of the most powerful cognitive interventions for older adults: mental training (computer game-like interface) and physical exercise. Individually, these two interventions have a wealth of pre-clinical and clinical data supporting their effectiveness as interventions to increase brain plasticity and enhance cognition. What is unknown, at present, is whether there is synergistic benefit that derives from combining these interventions, and if so the extent of this benefit.                                                                                                                                                  We specifically want to learn whether pre-dosing with physical exercise “primes” or augments the positive effects of cognitive training and whether this benefit occurs relatively quickly or more gradually over time. We also examine whether the expected cognitive benefits are associated with biological markers such as BDNF(Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor) changes in overall physical fitness, mood, or other factors (i.e., self-efficacy). Finally, we want to learn whether the popular Wii-Fit exercise program exerts similar benefits on cognitive training as more traditional aerobic exercise. To address these aims, are conducting a randomized, parallel-group study of cognitive training (Posit Science Insight Program) combined with either a standard physical exercise or a video-based exercise program (Nintendo Wii Fit Plus).

Research Assistant Duties

Several roles are possible: (A) Tester (receive training and certification in neuropsychological, cognitive, and sensory/physical assessment with older adults); (B) Interventionist (Coach and supervise aerobic, WiiFit, or computer-based cognitive training sessions); (C) Data management (Coding, scoring, entry, quality assurance)

Contact Info

Principal Investigators: Michael Marsiske (marsiske@phhp.ufl.edu) or Dawn Bowers (dawnbowers@phhp.ufl.edu)

Requirements

Email your interest to Dr. Marsiske or Bowers; followup screening questionnaire and in-person interview may be scheduled.If accepted, students will have to complete (a) UF HIPAA training (b) Confidentiality Statement (c) UF Volunteer Record of Service (d) registration form (if applicable); See http://marsiskelab.phhp.ufl.edu/lab/ugrad.html#HIPAAfor details.Students are expected to devote at least 4 hours/week (one morning or one afternoon) for each credit signed up for.Most activities will take place at The Village retirement community, which is located across from Santa Fe College.Students should have a minimum GPA of 3.0, and be willing to commit for at least two consecutive semesters. Experience with Nintendo Wii, aerobic/endurance fitness (especially treadmills, recumbent bikes, and heart rate/blood pressure monitoring) are valued. We will ask students to get CPR certified before beginning participant contact.

Course Credits

CLP 3911, 1-3 credits (counts the same as PSY 3912 for undergraduate major)

Willing to Supervise Senior Thesis

Occasionally possible for dedicated research assistants who have worked for VITAL for at least a year, and who have demonstrated excellent writing and conceptual skills

 

Project Title

Insomnia and Adult Medical Populations

Project Description

Our research focuses on sleep disorders in various medical populations. Current research explores the types of sleep disorders common in chronic pain patients and cognitive-behavioral treatment in individuals with both chronic pain and sleep problems.

Research Assistant Duties 

May include: administering questionnaires to subjects, scheduling subjects for treatment, preparing treatment materials, scoring questionnaires, entering data into the study database, helping to design the subject database, assisting with polysomnography. This position requires evening hours (6pm – 9pm) at least one night per week.Specific requirements will vary.

Contact Info

Christina S. McCrae, PhD, C.BSM.Send resume with GPA to: Christine Towler (project manager), chris36@phhp.ufl.edu

Requirements

Introductory Psychology (PSY2012) or its equivalent experience interviewing patients and experience working in a medical setting would be helpful but not required

Course Credits

2-3

Willing to Supervise Senior Thesis

Possible, but only students who have worked in my lab at least two semesters.

 

Project Title

White Matter and Cognition in Parkinson’s Disease

Project Description

Our laboratory investigates the role of white matter and gray matter regions on cognition in Parkinson’s disease. We examine brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans and hypothesized relationships to specific cognitive functions.

Research Assistant Duties

Research roles include: 1) Assisting with cleaning of specific MRI brain structures, 2) Assisting with cognitive test data entry and analysis, 3) Assisting with entry and analysis of blood markers for vascular disease and blood pressure.

Contact Info

Principal Investigator: Catherine Price, Ph.D. (cep23@phhp.ufl.edu)Graduate student: Jared Tanner (jjtanner@phhp.ufl.edu

Requirements

GPA of 3.2 or better, able to devote at least 4 hours a week as needed for appropriate course credit. Student must be willing to work for at least 2 semesters.

Course Credits

CLP 3911, 1-3 credits (counts the same as PSY 3912 for undergraduate major)

Willing to Supervise Senior Thesis

Discussed on an individual basis.