UConn Research Opportunity

Research Assistant Positions in Child Language Lab

Opportunity Description
The UConn Child Language Lab (CLL) is seeking SEVERAL undergraduate research assistants (RAs) to join our team this fall. The CLL is headed by Dr. Letitia Naigles (Psychological Sciences), a foremost expert in child development, language acquisition, and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Students spend 9h/week in the lab for course credit (3 credits) in PSYC 3889 or COGS 3589, and participation in our lab is not limited to only the fall semester (many RAs continue indefinitely if they would like). Our RAs have the opportunity to collaborate with senior members of the team on research, contribute to our data analysis process, and even attend data collection visits at participants’ homes.

Research at the CLL primarily focuses on language acquisition, language use, and narrative story-telling in typically developing and autistic populations. If you are interested in autism, language acquisition, psychology, linguistics, developmental research, or cognitive science, you would be a great fit for one of our RA positions.

Student Qualifications
We do require that students have taken at least one course in Psychology, Linguistics, or SLHS; however, you do not need to be a major in one of these departments to be considered. Some experience with children is required. Experience with autistic populations is HELPFUL but not required.

How to Apply
To apply, please send an email to Grace Corrigan (grace.corrigan@uconn.edu), the CLL’s lab coordinator. In your email, please list any and all relevant courses you have taken, provide your availability and schedule for the fall semester, and include a brief explanation of why you are interested in joining our team and why you feel you would be a good fit (i.e., experience with children and/or autism, interest in developmental psychology, etc.).

We are looking to hire at least THREE undergraduate RAs this fall. Keep in mind as well that RAs are welcome to stay on indefinitely to continue working with us and earning PSYC 3889 or COGS 3589 course credit. Many of our past RAs worked with us for several semesters in a row and were extremely well-prepared to enter graduate school and other career paths.

There is not a hard deadline for application submission, but applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis and we are certainly hoping to have these positions filled by the start of the fall semester.

Mentor: Letitia Naigles, Professor
Department: Psychological Sciences
Email: letitia.naigles@uconn.edu
Timing: Fall 2022, Ongoing
Campus: Storrs

• Research Assistant in Lab Exploring Outcomes After Pediatric Critical Illness

Opportunity Description
Dr. Perry-Eaddy is focused on understanding outcomes in children after critical illness. Namely, she is interested in understanding the underlying biological mechanisms that may increase a child’s risk of poor recovery, such as hyper-inflammation. This position will include assisting in the start-up of a study of critically ill children who survive the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). The student research assistant will aid in conducting literature reviews, analyzing literature, preparing grants, IRB submissions etc. Additionally the student will aid in the development of research data collection tools, as well as preparation of sample collection kits. The student will learn the essentials of launching a clinical research study. There may be opportunities for the student to have unique opportunities such as writing/publishing a manuscript or poster presentation, answering a research question with existing data, and applying for internal grant funding.

There is a potential opportunity to receive honors course credit, which would be discussed with student and major advisor in advance.

A list of potential tasks the student may perform include the following:
-Conduct literature searches
-Extract information from sources
-Organize and classify data
-Proofread and edit data collection forms in REDcap
-Test data collection forms prior to going live with clinical subjects
-Create sample collection kits
-Assist in maintaining REDcap database
-Look up and check references
-Tabulate and analyze data

Student Qualifications
Required:
-Be an undergraduate student in the Honors Program
-Be able to operate computer, phone, and/or other research equipment
-Have strong communication skills (verbal and written)
-Be able to maintain confidentiality

Preferred:
-While not required, students with interest in clinical and/or translational research are best suited for this position. Especially those enrolled in health-related programs (i.e. nursing, pre-med, allied health, pharmacy, etc.).
-Prior research experience, including literature reviews and/or completion of W-level coursework is strongly encouraged.
-Knowledge of REDcap database is preferred, though not required.

How to Apply
If interested, please submit your resume and cover letter to Dr. Perry-Eaddy (mallory.perry@uconn.edu), addressing your interest in pediatric critical care clinical and/or translational research, and what you hope to gain from the experience.

Mentor: Dr. Mallory Perry-Eaddy, Assistant Professor
Department: Nursing
Email: mallory.perry@uconn.edu
Timing: Ongoing
Campus: Storrs

• Research Assistant in Transportation Engineering

Opportunity Description

Dr. Monika Filipovska’s research group seeks research assistants for a few research projects focusing on advancements in transportation research, including intelligent transportation systems and IoT, mobility on demand, and modeling of autonomous vehicles. Depending on the student’s skills, they may work on tasks involving data cleaning and pre-processing, database management, use of GIS software for pre-analysis, running numerical experiments using programming software, or assistance with the use of driving simulation equipment and software.

Through this experience, students will learn about new advancements in the field of transportation engineering, including new mobility services and vehicle or infrastructure technologies. Students will have the opportunity strengthen their coding and data analysis skills, and learn new skills related to the use of traffic and driving simulation software. Students will be expected to participate in research meetings and work collaboratively with other undergraduate or graduate assistants. The students will have the opportunity to receive additional mentoring from graduate students, postdoctoral associates, and other research staff they may work with.

Depending on the progress and skills of specific students, and for how long they are available to work in the research group, students may have the opportunity to also contribute to data analysis and writing, and build their research, analytical and writing skills.

This is a paid opportunity, at the Class II assistant level ($13.15/hour to $14.35/hour) according to JobX classification.

Students may have the opportunity to continue working on related topics through independent study or directed research credits in the upcoming semesters if they are interested.

Student Qualifications
At minimum the applicants should have:
· Interest in research related to transportation systems
· Ability to follow direction
· Ability to work independently and as part of a team
· Strong quantitative skills

Applicants should have some combination of the following:
· Proficiency in Excel
· Data cleaning, organizing, pre-processing, and formatting skills
· Programming using Python, MATLAB and/or R
· Strong background in statistical analysis, math, or computer science
· SQL server and database management experience
· Working knowledge or experience with ArcGIS Pro

Please note that each applicant need only have some of these skills. This list would be the combined set of skills of multiple hired students.

How to Apply
This opportunity is advertised via JobX with the Job ID 12861. Please submit your applications there. Applications should include: a short resume, a description of any experience related to this job, a brief summary of any unique skills, qualifications or interests relevant to this job.
Please also share your availability (summer / semester and hours), and what you hope to gain from this experience.

Mentor: Monika Filipovska, Assistant Professor
Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering
Email: monika.filipovska@uconn.edu
Timing: Summer 2022, Ongoing
Campus: Storrs

Research Assistant in the Hoeft BRAINLens Laboratory

Opportunity Description

Part-time research opportunity to contribute to the study of effects of toxicants and teratogens on perinatal neurodevelopment!

Seeking motivated undergraduate research assistants who are available to work an average of 9 hours per week (fully remote) to contribute to an exciting project on the effects of toxicants and teratogens on perinatal neurodevelopment and subsequent achievement in reading and mathematics. This is a project of the Hoeft BRAINLens Laboratory. The research group includes scientists from the University of Connecticut and the University of California San Francisco.

Responsibilities on this project will include working with Deborah Schneider (UCONN postdoc) and Florence Bouhali (UCSF postdoc) to complete a systematic search of research papers at the intersection of brain imaging and the effects of toxicants and teratogens on perinatal neurodevelopment. Thus, the work will involve:
• Filtering through abstracts and full text articles to select relevant papers
• Documenting reasons why articles are excluded
• Coding papers for key variables such as sample characteristics, brain imaging measures, study quality, etc.
• Conferencing with subgroup team to make decisions on articles
• Assembling tables and documents to keep track of the search process

Prior familiarity with neuroscience, cognitive science, and related fields is preferred but not required. Please contact deborah.schneider-richardson@uconn.edu if interested.

This is a volunteer position. Course credit (PSYC 3889 [Undergraduate Research]) will be offered in lieu of other compensation.

Student Qualifications
Applicants must be in their junior or senior year. Prior familiarity with neuroscience, cognitive science, and/or related fields is preferred but not required.

How to Apply
Please contact deborah.schneider-richardson@uconn.edu if interested.

Mentor: Deborah Schneider, Postdoctoral Researcher
Department: Hoeft BRAINLens Laboratory
Email: deborah.schneider-richardson@uconn.edu
Timing: Spring 2022
Campus: Full remote opportunity

Research Assistant in Global Environmental Remote Sensing in the GERS Lab

Opportunity Description

This research project investigates using satellite images for mapping global environmental change, climate change, and sustainability. We will use dense time series of satellite data acquired during day and night time to monitoring, assessment, and projecting landscape change at large scales. More information regarding the GERS Laboratory can be found at this link: https://gerslab.uconn.edu/

We work together with concepts from environmental science, machining learning, climate change, remote sensing, and image processing within a rich interdisciplinary field. We have several projects all focused on mapping and characterizing land change at a continental or global scale. Our lab works closely with scientists from USGS and NASA. As an undergraduate research assistant, you would aid primarily in image interpretation, as well as potentially develop algorithms for Earth observation.

You are expected to receive training to use a high-performance computing facility to process satellite data, aided by a graduate student/postdoc researcher mentor. Once you have gained the knowledge in using remote sensing data, you will be able to collect satellite data in your own interest area and apply remote sensing techniques to extract useful information. The time commitment is flexible and is minimal for a semester (renewal for the future semesters is possible and encouraged). The assistantship will start in the summer of 2021 and going forward. RAs will receive research course credits and authorship (if published) as compensation for the work.

Student Qualifications
Preferred Qualifications (but not limited to):
– Basic knowledge of remote sensing and use of satellite data (e.g., have taken the NRE Remote Sensing of Environment course)
– Experience with programming languages (Matlab, R, Python, or others).
– Strong interest in find answers to big science questions.

How to Apply
Please email zhe@uconn.edu and include a brief description of why you are applying for this position and a resume. Strong applicants will go through a virtual or face-to-face interview with the faculty.

Mentor: Zhe Zhu, Assistant Professor
Department: Natural Resources and the Environment
Email: zhe@uconn.edu
Timing: Summer 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Ongoing
Campus: Storrs

• Undergraduate Research in Cell Biology

Opportunity Description

Preclinical research in cancer therapeutics. Our lab in collaboration with with a small biotech company pioneered the use of high-Z nanoparticles to enhance radiation therapy of cancers–with a special emphasis on brain cancers–both primary gliomas and metastatic brain tumors. Our original work was done with gold nanoparticles. We are currently working with iodine nanoparticles. Full-time summer research and 9 hrs/week course research in fall and spring are available.

Please go to our Cell Biology web site to see a short description of our lab’s interests and most of our publications since 2000. The attached link is a virtual talk I gave at the most recent Society for NeuroOncology meeting. https://www.dropbox.com/s/hrxqzdsf3hqngno/Henery%2011.01.2020.mp4?dl=0

If you think you might have interest in our lab, e-mail smilowitz@uchc.edu and I can discuss specific projects. Many of the students who intern in our lab publish with us as co-authors.

Student Qualifications
Looking for responsible, very talented students with strong performance in STEM and strong work ethic.
Prefer students interested in a career in medicine (getting MD) or research (getting PhD)
Prefer rising seniors who wish to pursue a senior thesis, but open to rising juniors and sophomores.
Prefer previous lab experience, but open to students that have had course lab experience
Prefer students who are facile with instrumentation and have good computer skills.
Prefer students who are open to working with lab animals.

How to Apply
Please forward the following items to Dr. Smilowitz via email to smilowitz@uchc.edu.

1. Resume
2. Transcript
3. Personal letter with interests, motivations, long-term goals and availability for this research experience
4. At least one letter of recommendation from someone who knows you well

Mentor: Henry Smilowitz, Associate Professor
Department: Cell Biology
Email: smilowitz@uchc.edu
Timing: Ongoing – provisionally available for Spring 2021 (will depend on Covid situation)
Campus: UConn Health (Farmington)

• Research Opportunity – REINVENT-PT Lab

Opportunity Description

Join the REINVENT-PT lab (REhabilitation, INnoVations & Emerging Novel Technologies in Physical Therapy lab in Spring 2021! Our lab is interested in understanding developmental trajectories of individuals with developmental disabilities including Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome, etc., across the lifespan.

Specifically, our lab studies how infants and children with developmental disabilities explore their physical and social environment compared to typically developing infants and the cascading effects of motor difficulties on a child’s social communication and cognitive development. Our lab develops novel, movement-based interventions for school-age children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and assesses the effects of these play and creative movement-based interventions on children’s motor, social communication, behavioral, and cognitive skills. We are also interested in assessing health-related outcomes in adolescents and young adults with developmental disabilities including their physical activity and physical fitness levels. Based on our understanding of the developmental trajectories of individuals with disabilities, our goal is to develop multisystem, evidence-based, behavioural interventions and assistive technologies to empower the lives of people with disabilities.

At present, the lab has 2 ongoing research projects – (1) assessing the effects of 8-week, telehealth-based creative movement interventions on social communication, motor and cognitive skills of school-age children with ASD, and (2) assessing physical activity and physical fitness levels in adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities and development of novel, engaging group-based intervention programs to improve health-related outcomes in this population

Student Qualifications
We are looking for passionate, energetic, and empathetic undergraduate students interested in working on projects involving infants, children, and adults with disabilities. Students can pursue research at the lab for credit, for work study, and with the potential of converting a subset of the research into a thesis. Students are required to commit to pursuing research in the lab for at least 2 semesters in order for the experience to be meaningful for students. Students from diverse backgrounds including but not limited to psychology, physiology and neurobiology, biology, exercise science, communication sciences, allied health, and education are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply
To apply, please contact Dr. Sudha Srinivasan at sudha.srinivasan@uconn.edu. Please also feel free to email with questions!

Mentor: Sudha Srinivasan, Assistant Professor
Department: Kinesiology
Email: sudha.srinivasan@uconn.edu
Campus: Storrs

• Research Assistant in Lay Theories of Prejudice Lab – Psychology

Opportunity Description

Join the Lay Theories of Prejudice Lab led by Dr. Kim Chaney in the Psychology Department for the Fall 2020 semester! The lab is currently conducting research examining how people come to believe anti-White bias is present in our society, how effective confronting anti-Black prejudice is at reducing bias, and how cues in one’s environment shape expectations of experiencing prejudice (or not). Undergraduate research assistants will work directly with Dr. Chaney to develop new study questions, prepare and conduct research, and submit research for presentations and publications. Students will earn up to 3 course credits (PSYC 3889).

Student Qualifications
Students should be interested in the psychology of prejudice and majoring (or considering majoring) in psychology or a related field. Past research experience is not needed.

How to Apply
To apply, please complete an application (https://www.kimchaney.com/join-the-lab) and email to kim.chaney@uconn.edu. Review will begin immediately but opportunity is ongoing. Please also feel free to email with questions!

Mentor: Kim Chaney, Assistant Professor
Department: Psychological Sciences
Email: kim.chaney@uconn.edu
Timing: Ongoing
Campus: Storrs

Research Assistant for Thermodynamic Foundations of Biological Behavior

Opportunity Description

This research project investigates bio-like properties and behaviors of non-living, self-organizing, physical systems called dissipative structures. The project aims at identifying core physical principles which underwrite biological capabilities by studying non-living bio-analogues. The primary system we study is an electrically driven dissipative structure (as an example watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxoZ0hHN12I).

We braid together concepts from psychology, cognitive science, kinesiology, physics, chemistry, and thermodynamics for a rich interdisciplinary methodology. This project is thus well-suited for undergraduates studying either the life-sciences or the physical sciences, and ideally an interest in both. Our projects for the near future include topics of evolution, learning, and social coordination. As an undergraduate research assistant, you would aid primarily in conducting experiments, as well as potentially designing and building experimental apparatuses. Ideally you will also learn some rudimentary data analysis tools in Matlab, R, or both (programming facility in other languages is also very welcome).

You would receive training to use the experimental systems, aided by a graduate student mentor, as well as a short survey of relevant research articles for conceptual background. Once you have developed some facility with the system, you would begin to run assigned experiments and collect data on your own. You would be expected to coordinate primarily with your graduate student mentor, and secondarily with your faculty mentor. The time-commitment is flexible and negotiable, likely not exceeding 10 hours a week. The assistant position is minimally for a semester, though renewal for future semesters is possible and ideal. The assistantship would begin at the start of the Spring 2020 semester. RAs will receive research course credits as compensation for their work.

Student Qualifications
Preferred Qualifications (but not required):
– Undergraduate-level physics knowledge (especially Thermodynamics and Electricity & Magnetism)
– Experience with programming languages (ideally Matlab and/or R)
– An interest in conducting future research
Required Qualifications:
– Good, consistent, work ethic
– Genuine interest in the topic (though you don’t need specific knowledge or experience)
– Desire to learn new concepts, experimental methodologies, and analysis tools

How to Apply
Please email Ben De Bari at Benjamin.de_bari@uconn.edu and include a brief description of why you’re applying for this position and an up-to-date resume. Strong applicants will go through a brief interview process with the graduate student (Ben De Bari) and faculty (James Dixon) mentors.

Mentor: James Dixon, Professor, Psychological Sciences
Mentor email: james.dixon@uconn.edu
Timing: Ongoing
Campus: Storrs

Bioinformatic Research Assistant

Opportunity Description

This is an opportunity to learn some of the computational and bioinformatic tools used in genomics.

The project is to study the genetic basis of evolutionary adaptation using whole genome sequence data and functional genomic data (RNA-seq). The study system is a pair of coastal fish species in the genus Fundulus that inhabit a wide range of salinities. A probable chromosomal inversion exists which is shared by the two species, associated with environmental salinity and encompasses a critical osmoregulatory gene. The project will confirm the presence of the inversion and analyze genetic and gene expression data from genes it encompasses from multiple populations of each species.

The work is entirely computational in nature, as the data have already been collected. The student would be expected to learn the basics of analyzing genetic variation data, gene expression data, and identifying structural variants from whole genome sequence data.

The expected time commitment would be 10-15 hours per week. Taking the project to completion would likely require two semesters.

Student Qualifications
Applicants should have some prior experience using the linux command line interface, and ideally some experience with the statistical computing language R. Prior coursework should include genetics.

How to Apply
Available immediately.

Please contact Noah Reid at noah.reid@uconn.edu

Applicants should submit a resume, and explain relevant coursework and prior experience related to bioinformatics (e.g. experience using command line interfaces, scripting languages, etc).

Mentor: Noah Reid, Assistant Research Professor
Department: Molecular and Cell Biology
Email: noah.reid@uconn.edu
Timing: Spring 2019
Campus: Storrs