Research Assistant and Directed Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Research assistants can be involved in any of the program's
research assistant roles include collecting data (e.g., running
experiments involving collection of behavioral, physiological and
functional neuroimaging data as well as self-report measures), screening
subjects for research eligibility, clinical interviews, data management,
preparing data for analysis (e.g., tracing brain structures on MRI's),
helping to analyze collected data (if you want to... you don't have to),
and helping to prepare lab research for publication. Research assistants
are welcome to suggest new insights into experiments and modifications
to experimental designs; these are taken very seriously and often lead
to new directions in the research we are conducting.
Useful Skills and Qualities
We're particularly looking for people who have a BA or BS in psychology, neuroscience, computer science, or a related field, or are in their third or fourth year of a relevant undergraduate program. People who are usually a good fit in the lab are people who aren't afraid of computers, who have good interpersonal skills, and who are willing to learn new tasks. Research assistants who are most successful in this environment enjoy teamwork, are detail-oriented, responsible, flexible, and interested in research.
Opportunities for Undergraduates
Undergraduates doing directed research in the lab will spend their time participating in and supporting any of the activities above and are also helped to pursue a new research question for their directed research project. Their project can involve re-analyzing already collected data to answer a new question of interest to them, or can involve creating a new manageable project (e.g., involving pilot physiological data collection or self-report measures).
The time you commit will depend on your department, and the number of credits you have signed up for. For 3 credits, undergraduates are requested to commit to at least 12-15 hours per week of time spent assisting lab personnel with various tasks. You will largely set your own hours, but we will ask that you attend the weekly lab meeting which is every Friday from 2:00-3:00. You will also be asked to be present at least once a week during lab rounds on Mondays and Wednesdays. Participation in the lab for at least two full semesters is requested.
Useful skills and qualities
Undergraduates who are most successful working in this environment are working towards a degree in psychology, neuroscience, computer science, or a related field, aren't afraid of computers, are willing to learn new tasks, enjoy teamwork, and are responsible and interested in research.
Our Commitment to Training
While this all may sound very advanced, DON'T WORRY! We put a lot of time into training and will make sure you're comfortable, competent, and supported in any procedure before you try it alone! We have biweekly administrative/planning/project-review lab meetings and weekly scientific lab meetings which all RA's and undergraduate research assistants should attend.
If you're interested in being a research assistant or completing directed undergraduate research, please send us the following information: A statement of why you're interested in being involved in the lab, a summary of your academic/professional background (a resume or vita would be perfect but not necessary), your GPA in your major, contact info, and when would be best to contact you.
Also, please fill out the Previous Experience Questionnaire and include it with the above information.
Information can be sent by e-mail to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by US-mail to: Greg Siegle, Ph.D., Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, 3811 O'Hara St, Pittsburgh, PA 15213