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 Updated (8/11/2017), Psycho-Oncology Lab
Project Description Our lab’s primary goal is to improve health outcomes and promote the well-being of individuals with chronic and/or life-limiting illnesses, with an emphasis on malignancies that occur commonly or exclusively among women. Grounded in the biobehavioral model of tumor growth and development, we seek to understand the psychoneuroimmunologic (PNI) influences on cancer initiation, recurrence, progression, and mortality, as well as on cancer-related quality of life.
Research Assistant Duties Research assistant responsibilities include: data entry, manuscript preparation, and other study-related duties as needed.
Contact Person & Info Janae Kirsch, Graduate Student janaekirsch@ufl.edu; Faculty Advisor: Dr. Deidre Pereira
Requirements Ideal candidates are highly motivated, conscientious, reliable, and responsible students who are able to communicate effectively. High attention to detail is required and students must be able to think critically, work independently, and conduct themselves professionally. We prefer applicants who can make at least a two semester commitment. A 4-hour weekly commitment is required.
Course Credits? Volunteering and/or working for credit are options.
Willing to Supervise a Senior Thesis? No

Project Title (Posted 6/7/2017), MCI and Dementia Prevention Lab
Project Description Behavioral treatment programs currently provide the most useful approach to addressing the behavioral and social needs of those with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), also called Mild Neurocognitive Disorder (MND), due to Alzheimer’s or other diseases.
We are conducting a multisite study called PEACEOFMND: Physical Exercise And Cognitive Engagement Outcomes For Mild Neurocognitive Disorder. The purpose of this study is to evaluate individual behavioral intervention components in terms of their impact on brain plasticity, cognitive functioning and mental health.
Research Assistant Duties Research duties may consist of the following: helping to test and screen our older adult research subjects, helping with study treatments, assisting with preparation of assessment and treatment materials, and data entry.
Contact Person & Info If you’re interested, please send an email with your motivation and Vita to gsmithlab@phhp.ufl.edu.
Faculty advisor: Glenn Smith, Ph.D., ABPP-CN, Chair of the Department of Clinical and Health PsychologyYou can find more information on http://gesmithlab.phhp.ufl.edu/
Requirements Applicants must make a minimum of a two-semester commitment. Applicants should be highly motivated, dependable, and responsible students who are able to communicate effectively and professionally with undergraduate and graduate student colleagues, and older adult research participants.
Course Credits? Can be discussed and considered on an individual basis.
Willing to Supervise a Senior Thesis? Opportunities for a senior honors thesis are available for responsible, highly motivated students who demonstrated commitment to lab work for at least 2 semesters. Options will be discussed and considered on an individual basis.

Project Title Updated (1/26/2017), Pediatric Behavioral Health Lab
Project Description Projects focus on psychosocial aspects of pediatric chronic illnesses including how health behaviors, adherence to treatment regimens, and the child-caregiver relationship impact adjustment and morbidity. Current projects predominantly focus on youth diagnosed with asthma and their families. Examples include developing and evaluating family-based interventions for youth diagnosed with asthma that may improve weight status, disease management, and asthma control.
Research Assistant Duties Recruiting participants in pulmonary clinic, attending study assessment and treatment meetings for projects, assisting with preparation of assessment and treatment materials, and data entry.
Contact Person & Info Andrew McConville, Lab Coordinator, andrew270@phhp.ufl.edu; Faculty advisor: Dr. David Fedele
Requirements Applicants must make a minimum of a three semester commitment. Applicants should be highly motivated, dependable, and responsible students who are able to communicate effectively with undergraduate and graduate student colleagues, children, parents, and medical professionals, as well as work well with others in medical settings. High attention to detail is a must. Students must be able to think critically, participate in lab discussions, work independently, and conduct themselves professionally.
Course Credits? Can be discussed and considered on an individual basis.
Willing to Supervise a Senior Thesis? NA

Project Title Updated (10/2016), The MACS Study: Mindfulness and Attentional Control in Seniors
Project Description The MACS study investigates relationships between mindfulness, attention, and emotion in adults aged 65 and older, with a focus on change in these areas during 8 weeks of mindfulness education and training. Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. The study is supported by a National Institute on Aging grant to Jacqueline Maye MS; Michael Marsiske (Associate Professor, Clinical and Health Psychology) is her mentor.
Research Assistant Duties Research assistants will provide support to weekly mindfulness group training sessions, and/or administer attentional and emotional assessments to older adult participants, and/or assist with data management (coding, scoring, entry, quality assurance).
Contact Person & Info To inquire about this research opportunity, please contact Jacqueline Maye, MS (jmaye@phhp.ufl.edu); Faculty advisor: Dr. Michael Marsiske
Requirements Please email your interest to Jacqueline Maye. 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://vitalitymind.phhp.ufl.edu/for-students/ for details. Students are expected to devote at least 4 hours/week (one morning or one afternoon) for each credit signed up for.
Course Credits? CLP 3911, 1-3 credits (counts the same as PSY 4911 for undergraduate major).
Willing to Supervise a Senior Thesis? Senior theses are occasionally possible for qualified research assistants who have been engaged in the lab for at least a year and who have demonstrated excellent writing and conceptual skills. This will be discussed on an individual basis.

Project Title Updated (10/2016), Project Yoga
Project Description Our research is looking at whether practicing yoga is an effective strategy for improving young women’s body image. The project will offer 12 weeks of free classes to college-age women (ages 18-30) who meet the eligibility requirements on the UF campus in 2017. Recruitment and screening begins in Fall 2016.
Research Assistant Duties Recruiting participants on the UF campus and collecting data at screening/assessment appointments located within the Health Professions, Nursing, and Pharmacy (HPNP) Building during the Fall 2016 semester. Assisting with data entry, attending weekly yoga classes to track attendance, and other study-related duties as needed during the Spring 2017 semester.
Contact Person & Info Graduate Student Co-Investigator ahariel@phhp.ufl.edu; Faculty Principal Investigator: Michael Perri, PhD (mperri@phhp.ufl.edu)
Requirements Applicants should be motivated, dependable, and responsible students who are able to work well with others. High attention to detail is a must. Students must be able to think critically, work independently, and dress professionally. Interest in women’s issues and yoga are not necessary, but may be beneficial. Students must be able to commit to at least one semester. Weekly time commitment will be approximately 4 hours per week.
Course Credits? N/A
Willing to Supervise a Senior Thesis? N/A However, I am happy to provide professional development guidance for students interested in psychology and/or public health.

Project Title Parent Training – Feeding (PT-F) in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (posted 3/22/15)
Project Description The aim of this study is to determine the effects of a parent training program targeting feeding problems in young children with autism.Other projects with young children diagnosed with autism will also soon be conducted.
Research Assistant Duties Research assistants will assist with recruitment efforts, the assessment of young children, and assist with the treatment sessions. Other roles will be with the data collection and entry and manuscript preparation.
Contact Person & Info Please contact Cynthia Johnson, PhD (352 273-6734); johnsoncr@phhp.ufl.edu
Requirements Research assistants are expected to be punctual, professional, and comfortable with young children.
Course Credits? Can be discussed and considered on an individual basis
Willing to Supervise a Senior Thesis? This may be discussed and will be considered if RA has been working on the research for 2 semesters.

Project Title Knee Surgery and Memory/Thinking Changes in Older Adults
Project Description NIH funded study looking at memory and thinking changes in older adults having total knee replacement surgery.
Research Assistant Duties Assisting with cognitive test data entry and scoring, and participant recruitment. There may be an opportunity to assist with brain image measurement. Depending on performance and grades, there is a possibility for an independent or honors based research project.
Contact Person & Info Donna Weber, Research Laboratory Coordinator (DHWeber@phhp.ufl.edu).
Requirements Applicants should be motivated, dependable, and responsible students who are able to communicate effectively with undergraduate and graduate student colleagues, and medical professionals, as well as work well with others in medical settings. High attention to detail is a must. Students must be able to think critically, participate in lab discussions, work independently, and conduct themselves professionally.
Course Credits? 2 credits or volunteer (8 hours per week) for a minimum of two semesters.
Willing to Supervise a Senior Thesis? Students may be able to conduct a senior thesis related to ongoing lab projects or an existing dataset. More than a 2 semester commitment is required to be considered for a senior thesis.

Project Title Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory
Project Description Our lab has multiple research opportunities: (a) A Department of Defense funded study to dissociate mild traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans using functional MRI techniques; (b) A VA pilot study that involves attentional rehabilitation in Veterans who have suffered from moderate to severe traumatic brain injury; (c) A behavioral and cognitive study of memory and movement in Parkinson’s disease.
Research Assistant Duties Assist with participant recruitment (e.g., post fliers, talk about study to interested groups, etc.); data scoring & input; administrative support (photocopies, filing, etc.) for studies; highly motivated and skilled research assistants may administer neurocognitive tests to participants; attend and participate in lab meetings; other duties as necessary.
Contact Person & Info Send resume to Dr. William Perlstein, (wmp@phhp.ufl.edu)and please CC Zachary Houck (jzhouck@phhp.ufl.edu)
Requirements Ideal candidates are highly motivated, conscientious, reliable, and achievement oriented. We prefer applicants who can make at least a two semester commitment, and have graduate school aspirations. Students must be able to think critically, be professional, and eager/willing to help in recruiting effort.
Course Credits? Ideal candidates are highly motivated, conscientious, reliable, and achievement oriented. We prefer applicants who can make at least a two semester commitment, and have graduate school aspirations. Students must be able to think critically, be professional, and eager/willing to help in recruiting effort.
Willing to Supervise a Senior Thesis? Opportunities for a senior honors thesis are available for responsible, highly motivated students who demonstrate a commitment to research.

Project Title An examination of Patient Narratives as a Decision Making Tool for Early Stage Breast Cancer Surgery
Project Description This study explores how patient narratives (stories from other patients) affect medical decision making and how individual factors (numeracy, anxiety) affect understanding of decision-relevant information among women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer.
Research Assistant Duties Assist with patient recruitment from UF Hematology/Oncology clinic; administrative support (filing, scheduling assessments); assist with data management (scoring, entry, quality assurance).
Contact Person & Info Please send resume to Lauren Hearn, MS (lehearn@phhp.ufl.edu); Faculty advisor: Dr. Nicole Whitehead
Requirements strong organization skills; detail-oriented and efficient with minimal supervision; reliable; strong oral communication skills; sensitivity to issues of patient confidentiality and safety; and ability to work in a shared workspace with a diverse team of health professionals. Training will be provided for all study-related activities. Please email your resume to Lauren Hearn. An in-person interview may be scheduled.
Course Credits? Will be considered on an individual basis.
Willing to Supervise a Senior Thesis? May be possible for highly motivated students. This will be discussed on an individual basis.