Research Assistant Opportunities

Autism Research

Supervisor: Loisa Bennetto
Recruiting for Summer and Fall 2015, as well as Spring 2016

Join the Developmental Neuropsychology Lab!

  • Gain clinical experience working with children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and their families
  • Gain valuable research experience in a collaborative lab environment, including:
    • Working directly with families
    • Conducting research visits
    • Managing data and scoring assessment measures
  • Learn about aspects of autism spectrum disorder and how they impact families, including:
    • Sensory functioning
    • Neurocognitive processing
    • Social communication
  • Earn 4 credits (PSY 351/352)

We are looking for undergraduate research assistants who are:

  • Highly motivated
  • Available on evenings and weekends when visits are scheduled
  • Able to commit 8-10 hours per week

If interested in this opportunity to work in Autism Research, please email Carol Metzger at

Contact: Carol Metzger,, 585-276-5587

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

Supervisor: Diane Morse, M.D. (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

Project BRIDGE: Parents & Teens

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

Project BRIDGE is a multidisciplinary study that examines parent-child relationships in early adolescence. Research assistants who join our lab will have the opportunity to work directly with families as well as gain a better appreciation of all the work that is done “behind the scenes” to ensure a smoothly-running large research study. An optional seminar component is available for students who wish to learn more about the implications and general theories of the project.

As part of the data collection team, research assistants will be trained on how to conduct semi-structured interviews, administer cognitive assessments, and collect saliva samples. A highlight of our project is our innovative attachment and problem-solving tasks in which physiological reactivity is measured through EKG (heart rate), continuous emotion reporting, and voice analysis. Research assistants will also be trained on how to operate synchronized audio-visual equipment and biofeedback software.

Students can receive up to 4 credits during academic semesters and some paid summer positions may be available. Due to families’ work/school demands, some weekend and late afternoon-early evening (e.g., 4-10pm) availability is required.

Contact: For more information, or to receive an application, please visit,


Supervisor: Melissa Sturge-Apple, Ph.D.
Recruiting for Spring and Summer 2015

Project CONNECT is an ongoing study of early child development including executive functioning, emotion regulation, stress physiology, and parent-child relationships. We are searching for undergraduate RAs for the Spring 2015 semester and Summer 2015 to assist with observational coding of  paradigms assessing domains of child development and data management activities. RAs will not  have direct experience with children and mothers but will be coding videos of child temperament and problem-solving tasks as well as parent-child interaction tasks.  If you are interested in working on this project, please contact Jennifer Suor for an application and to set up an interview.

Contact: Jennifer Suor,

Project STEP

Supervisor: Patrick Davies, Ph.D., & Melissa Sturge-Apple, Ph.D.
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: Mike Ripple,

Research in Multiple Areas of Social Psychology

Supervisor: Miron Zuckerman, Ph.D.
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, Ph.D.,

Research on Achievement and Social Motivation

Supervisor: Andrew J. Elliot, Ph.D.
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: Chris Thorstenson,

Research on Social Interaction and Close Relationships

Supervisor: Harry Reis, Ph.D.
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, Ph.D.
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 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 underduate 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

The Laboratory for Innovations in Child Mental Health Care Delivery

Supervisor: Linda Alpert-Gillis, Ph.D.
Recruiting for Spring 2015 through Spring 2016

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 and Head Start centers; Evaluation of evidenced-based depression treatment for teens; and Development and evaluation of mindfulness interventions for patients and their families in inpatient and outpatient settings. 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 credit independent study course that requires 10 hours/week of responsibilities. Non-credit summer opportunities are also available.

We currently have one-two openings for the Spring 2015 semester. Priority will be given to sophomores and juniors with potential for longer term involvement. Please send a letter of interest and a resume to: or

Contact: Dr. Linda Alpert-Gillis, mailto:

Alternate contact person: Dr. Kenya Malcolm,