Job Description

Job Title: Research Principal Senior (As Safe As Possible study)
Job ID: 718582
Status: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Shift: Day Job
Facility: Western Psychiatric Institute
Department: Brent Program Funds
Location: 100 North Bellefield Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15213


This position is responsible for the overall study coordination of the As Safe As Possible study (ASAP; PI: Dr. David Brent). The coordinator will manage the daily operations of the study including recruitment of subjects, providing brief therapy sessions for suicidal youth ages 12-17 that are participating in a research study, and IRB duties. The therapy sessions will occur at WPIC’s child and adolescent inpatient units. Treatment includes protocol-driven sessions geared toward Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Safety Planning with a Motivational Interviewing framework. Additionally, treatment will be supplemented with a safety plan phone app.

This position is grant funded. 


  • Overall Coordination of the ASAP Study
    • Oversee day-to-day Pittsburgh-based operations for a two-site study (Pittsburgh & Dallas).
    • Responsible for engagement with the WPIC inpatient staff to assure youth are ethically recruited into the study who meet the inclusion/exclusion criteria.
    • Responsible for assuring recruitment targets are met, and reporting recruitment progress to the IRB, both site’s research teams, and National Institute of Mental Health.
    • Attend and participate in all project-related meetings, including regular staff meetings, clinical supervision calls and meetings, and research team meetings.
  • ASAP Treatment Responsibilities
    • Provide a flexible, manualized treatment to suicidal youth with a Motivational Interviewing framework.
    • Clearly and effectively present Distress Tolerance and Emotion Regulation skills to youth and their families.
    • Conduct chain analyses leading toward thoughtful safety planning with a high degree of engagement from the youth.
    • Engage in the youth’s motivation for participating in treatment.
    • Effectively take constructive feedback to better therapeutic skills and approach.
    • Engage the family as part of the study intervention through review of skills and youth’s safety plan.
    • Engage the family as they bridge from inpatient to outpatient treatment through coaching calls.
    • Understand and assess psychiatric emergencies, including carrying and responding to a study cell phone.
    • Record all therapy sessions for treatment fidelity purposes.
    • Complete study and WPIC medical record documentation.
  • Communication with Research and Clinical Faculty/Staff
    • Extensive interaction with the Dallas research team to ensure recruitment, treatment, and data collection proceed according to schedule. 
    • Interact with private app developers, to assure phone app development and maintenance are occurring as planned and on schedule.
    • Interface effectively with research staff (both in Pittsburgh and Dallas) to maintain efficient communication about data collection, entry, quality control issues and reports.
    • Provide Principal Investigators at both sites with regular updates of study progress.
    • Coordinate follow-up sessions with youth and the blinded study Independent Evaluator
    • Establish effective relationships on the child inpatient units including but not limited to developing positive working relationships with the social workers, residents, attending physicians, and support staff.
  • Tracking and Data Flow of the ASAP Study
    • Prepare weekly meeting agendas for subject recruitment, completion of participant visits, and status of locating subjects lost to follow-up.
    • Coordinate data flow, both for the Pittsburgh and Dallas sites, for entry into project databases (which will be located in Pittsburgh and contain both sites’ data) and analyses.
    • Maintain records of subject contact, subject interviews, and clinical assessments.
  • Regulatory and Compliance Responsibilities
    • Modify and renew IRB protocols as necessary for the ASAP study.
    • Prepare annual progress reports to NIMH.
    • Prepare materials for Data Safety Monitoring Board meetings.


  • Masters degree required preferably in psychology, neuroscience, counseling, sociology, or related research field with a minimum of three years of work experience in a research project and/or related clinical setting is required 
  • Doctoral degree in psychology, neuroscience, counseling, sociology, or related research field with a minimum of one year of work experience in a research project and/or related clinical setting is required. 
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, and Outlook. 
  • Working knowledge of research methodology required. 
  • Prior supervisory experience preferred.
  • Familiarity with iPhone and Android phone apps is required.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills required.
  • Effectively and diplomatically interact with professionals, inpatient physicians/staff, participants, and their families.

Licensure, Certifications, and Clearances:
  • Act 34 Criminal Clearance
  • Act 33 Clearance
  • Act 73 Clearance
  • Comprehensive Crisis Management
  • Clinical licensure, e.g. L.C.S.W. or L.P.C., obtained or in progress strongly preferred.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. Minority/Females/Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

Salary Range: $24.27 to $41.99

Union Position: No

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