HRP SU21-13: Research Opportunity with Dr. Damion Grasso

Project Mentor

Dr. Damion Grasso
Department of Psychiatry

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Description

Project Description The student may engage in human subjects research that broadly seeks to understand behavioral and biological factors that influence children’s mental health, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following exposure to trauma or violence. One study focuses on individual differences in how young children exposed to domestic violence respond to threat cues. Another emerging study examines the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health, including PTSD, in perinatal families. Research activities may include interacting with human research participants, data collection and management, guided readings, and guided data analysis.
Project Direction Our research program broadly focuses on biobehavioral factors that either buffer or exacerbate effects of trauma and violence on child development and psychopathology. In this regard, assessment methods incorporate multiple levels that include clinical interviews, observational tasks, neurophysiological measures, autonomic measures, hair cortisol, and DNA methylation. We are specifically interested in examining whether individual differences in how children respond to threat cues tells us something about mental health risk.
Mentorship and Supervision Students will receive training and mentorship directly from the principal investigator, as well as other members of the research team. Students will be expected to participate in laboratory meetings and also to meet individually with the faculty mentor at least weekly. Progress will be monitored throughout the experience and feedback shared on a weekly basis.
Student Qualifications Undergraduate students who have taken courses in psychology, social work, or a related field and who are in excellent academic standing may apply to gain research experience in our laboratory. Students should have excellent time management skills and be capable of working independently on aspects of the research. Experience manipulating databases and utilizing library resources to conduct literature reviews is a plus.
Summer Schedule Options Research Dates: May 24 to July 30, 2021
Schedule: M-F, 9am-5pm (some early/late evening and weekend availability)
Location: UConn Health location at 65 Kane Street, West Hartford
Project Continuation Fall 2021, Spring 2022
Academic Year Time Commitment 6-9 hours/week
Possible Thesis Project Yes


Submit an online application for this research opportunity at The application deadline is Monday, February 1, 2021.

This application requires a cover letter, a resume or CV, a brief statement of research interests, a brief statement of career interests, and contact information for references.