The University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development (ICD) has a 1-year position open for a full-time Research Assistant. This position is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant, Mapping the Human Connectome during Typical Development (HCP-D), a collaboration between the Institute of Child Development (ICD) and the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR), as well as four collaborating institutions (Washington University, St. Louis; Harvard; UCLA; Oxford University). The University of Minnesota site is led by co-Principal Investigators, Dr. Kathleen Thomas (ICD) and Dr. Essa Yacoub (CMRR). The project aims to map typical structural and functional brain development from ages 5-21 using cutting edge neuroimaging sequences as well behavioral interviews, cognitive tasks, and biospecimen assays. We seek applicants with a prior experience working with child or adolescent populations and with phone recruitment, as well as behavioral/clinical research experience. If you are interested, please complete an application using the University’s online employment site.
The Research Assistant will report to Dr. Thomas. Duties will include participant recruitment, telephone screening, informed consent and assent, cognitive and behavioral assessment, and MRI scanning. The position has funding for 12-18 months, contingent upon successful completion of duties.
This project is conducted in partnership with the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR), a world-renowned institution for the advancement of neuroimaging technologies and the use of MRI in human clinical research. The CMRR is part of the Department of Radiology in the University of Minnesota’s Academic Health Center (AHC).
Recruitment of child and adolescent participants (40%)
Understand the research and participant recruitment process and comprehend the value and importance of gathering, organizing, and maintaining research data results
Conduct telephone recruitment of child participants by calling families indicating an interest in participating in this or other research projects
Identify and establish communication with community organizations that could partner in advertising to a broader diverse and representative participant pool
Screen confidential health information for assessment of inclusion and exclusion criteria to assess study eligibility
Develop rapport with children and families to ensure a positive research experience
Develop procedures for effective follow-up with longitudinal participants
Draft correspondence and send participant emails or mailing packets, including attachments with information regarding appointment, driving directions, and helpful hints
Schedule, update, and cancel appointments with children, families, and adults participating in the research study
Organize and track study files (electronically and by paper) including participant appointment information, calling log, and files to be sent to family such as welcome letter and directions
Learn and follow all participant recruitment reporting requirements for the HCP-D project using online reporting tools
Communicate with the Project Coordinators and Dr. Thomas on a regular basis regarding recruitment, scheduling, and assessment progress and any or all issues related to child participants
Data Collection (60%)
Complete Human Subject ethics training
Obtain informed consent and assent from children, adolescents, parents, and adult participants
Reliably administer standardized and research based behavioral tasks (matrix reasoning, NIH toolbox, Penn emotion recognition test) to children, adolescents, and adults
Assist participants in completing computerized questionnaire measures (PhenX, temperament CBQ questionnaire, developmental history, medical history, NIDA substance use questionnaire)
Collect medical and biospecimen data (saliva, urine drug test, breathalyzer, blood pressure, height and weight)
Collect structural and functional MRI data (operate the MRI scanner, monitor participant safety, review scans for structural anomalies, save and transfer MRI data)
Use standard desktop software to manage documentation and track study progress
Ensure protection and storage of data and participant information on secure servers
Work regular evening and weekend shifts as needed to test participants
All required qualifications must be documented on application materials.
BA/BS in child psychology or related field, or a combination of related education and work experience to equal four years
Coursework in psychology, child psychology, educational psychology, social work, or family social science
At least one-year research experience in a laboratory setting, conducting participant recruitment, telephone screening, MRI scanning, and/or informed consent/assent
Experience or willingness to train in phlebotomy (performing standard blood draws)
Ability to manage multiple tasks on a daily basis
Excellent organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills, including attention to detail and documentation of work
Ability to work both independently and collaboratively, including communication with study faculty, junior and senior research staff, organizations serving diverse communities, and individual families and children
Intention to commit to at least 12 months in this position
Internal Number: 330397
About University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.