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Research Specialist



The Cognitive-Affective Neuroscience and Development (CAND) lab focuses on investigating the neurodevelopment of emotion processing and regulation in typically developing youth as well as those diagnosed with or at risk of anxiety and mood disorders. The Research Specialist will be responsible for screening potential subjects, completing semi-structured clinical interviews (based on psychiatric diagnoses) with adolescents and their parents, administer a neuroimaging protocol, and oversee other research procedures. 

This position is grant funded. 


  • Screen participants (child/parent) using phone and in-person measures.
  • Schedule participants’ assessments at appropriate time intervals. 
  • Complete the formal diagnostic and assessment interviews required at all phases of the study including initial evaluation of child/adolescent subject and parent and follow-up assessments of all subjects (in the lab or travel at participant’s home).
  • Administer research protocol including computer tasks, fMRI scan, actigraphy/mood ratings, and self-report measures.
  • Identify at-risk children, youth and adults who display symptoms of mental health disorders and report such cases to Drs. Ladouceur, Diler, or project coordinator.
  • Provide support to data management staff – e.g., storing of data, data entry, data cleaning and data integrity checks.
  • Assist Investigators and Post Docs with administrative tasks and some data analysis for papers/presentations by performing some aspects as needed.
  • Participate in participant recruitment (posting ads in schools/hospitals/stores, newspapers, completing mailings).
  • Perform other duties as assigned and in accordance with system-wide competencies/behaviors.
  • The ability to work independently and in a team structure and to effectively prioritize and complete tasks.
  • To ensure that all interviews, assessments, and documentation are of the highest quality and legibility, and are completed in a timely fashion.
  • High rate of success in contact and completion of interviews.
  • Maintains diagnostic consistency at 80% agreement in rating interviews for reliability.
  • Responsible for prompt identification of subjects for possible interventions based on research assessment results.
  • Ability to complete duties effectively in a timely fashion with a high degree of accuracy.
  • Ability to respond promptly to work requests as designated by supervisors.
  • Flexibility in schedule to meet research deadlines. 


  • Bachelor's degree required, preferably in psychology, neuroscience, sociology or related research field.
  • Minimum of one year of work experience in a research project and/or related clinical setting is required. Two years experience strongly preferred. 
  • Familiarity with computers and common software packages required.
  • Experience working with adolescents is strongly preferred.

  • Ability to maintain flexible schedule and access to transportation to travel to participants’ home.

  • Excellent organizational skills, critical thinking/analytical skills, and the ability to make independent decisions is preferred.

  • Strong interpersonal, organizational, and written/oral communication skills.

  • Experience administering and scoring standard research assessments (e.g., K-SADS-PL, ALIFE, SCID, CGI, FH-RDC, etc.) is strongly preferred.

Licensure, Certifications, and Clearances:
  • Act 31 Child Abuse Reporting
  • Act 33 with renewal
  • Act 34 with renewal
  • Act 73 FBI Clearance
UPMC is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran

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   Current UPMC employees must apply in HR Direct