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 Posted (07/04/2018), Relationships between Dietary Changes, Weight Loss, and Food Addiction
Project Description Food addiction is the compulsive consumption of high-sugar/high-fat foods despite adverse consequences. The current study aims to analyze the effects of a behavioral weight-loss program on changes in food addiction symptoms, identifying the relationships between changes in eating patterns, weight, and food addiction symptoms. We hope our findings will aid the future development of evidence-based treatments for food addiction.
Research Assistant Duties Research assistants will code hand-written food records for statistical data analyses of participants’ dietary patterns starting in Fall 2018.
Contact Person & Info Graduate Student Co-Investigator: Eliza Gordon, MS (elwarren.22@phhp.ufl.edu); Faculty Principal Investigator: Michael Perri, PhD (mperri@phhp.ufl.edu)
Requirements Applicants should be motivated, dependable, and responsible students who are willing to ask questions. High attention to detail is a must. Students must be able to think critically and work independently. Students must be able to commit to at least one semester. Minimum weekly time commitment is 5 hours per week. Schedule will be determined on an individual basis.
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 Posted (10/16/2017), Feasibility and Acceptability of a Yoga Intervention for Emotional Distress in Women with Gynecologic Cancers
Project Description This study is a pilot project to examine the feasibility and acceptability of a novel yoga program to address emotional distress (e.g., depression, anxiety, insomnia) in women diagnosed with gynecologic cancers. Participants will complete questionnaires and attend a 10-week yoga program. Recruitment will begin in Fall 2017.
Research Assistant Duties Depending on RA interest and experience tasks may include: assisting with data and survey collection, completing medical record reviews, assisting with yoga intervention classes, assisting with data entry and database management. Other roles may be possible as the study progresses.
Contact Person & Info Student PI: Beth Kacel, ekacel@ufl.edu; Faculty Mentor: Deidre Pereira, PhD, dpereira@phhp.ufl.edu
Requirements RAs must be detail-oriented, reliable, and highly motivated. Experience in research, working with medical patients, and/or exposure to yoga are not required, but would be very beneficial. Students must be able to commit to at least one full semester with approximately 4 hours commitment each week.
Course Credits? Volunteering and/or working for credit are possible options.
Willing to Supervise a Senior Thesis?  Opportunities for a senior honors thesis will be determined on a case-by-case basis for RAs who have shown commitment and appropriate contributions to the study and who are interested in pursuing a career in a health service profession.

Project Title (Confirmed 10/16/2017) 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 Updated (10/13/2017), 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 UF clinics, attending study assessments 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 Students must be willing to make at least a three semester commitment. Summer availability is preferred but not required. Please email Andrew McConville if interested. Applicants will be sent an application and an in-person interview may be scheduled. 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? Course credit will be discussed on an individual basis for qualified research assistants who have been engaged in the lab and demonstrate a strong commitment to research.
Willing to Supervise a Senior Thesis? Senior theses will be discussed on an individual basis for qualified research assistants who have been engaged in the lab for at least a year and demonstrate a strong commitment to research.

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 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.