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Research Specialist


The Research Specialist will have responsibilities within the ongoing research projects of Dr. Brian Thoma and Dr. Nadine Melhem within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Thoma's program of research examines the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) adolescents. His work seeks to discover risk and protective factors for mental health among LGBT adolescents, including suicidality. His ongoing research is funded through the National Institute of Mental Health, and his current study is designed to identify psychosocial and biological mechanisms of suicidality among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adolescents. Dr. Melhem’s research focuses on studying the familial, genetic, environmental, and biological pathways implicated in suicidal behavior; and studying psychological and biological responses to stress across the spectrum of psychopathology. This current project aims to identify predictors in the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA) of the brain and inflammatory pathways for suicidal behavior in youth.

This position is grant funded.

Independently execute job functions for research protocol(s). Collect and gather research data for research project.


  • Collaborate with senior research personnel regarding recruitment, data collection, outcomes of interviews, reports according to the needs of the study.
  • Independently execute job functions for research protocol(s) including recruitment, scheduling appointments, obtaining written consent forms, collecting data by conducting phone or face to face interviews for research project(s).
  • Assist with recruitment of research subjects
  • Obtain written consent forms
  • Collect data by face to face interviews and computer tasks
  • Collect biological samples and deliver them to laboratories 


  • Bachelors 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.
  • Familiarity with computers and common software packages required.
  • Working knowledge of research methodology strongly preferred.
  • Experience working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals through research projects or clinical experiences preferred.
  • Experience in phlebotomy or willingness to be trained in phlebotomy preferred.

Licensure, Certifications, and Clearances:

  • Comprehensive Crisis Management (CCMC)
  • Act 31 Child Abuse Reporting with renewal
  • Act 33 with renewal
  • Act 34 with renewal
  • Act 73 FBI Clearance with renewal

UPMC is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran

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   Current UPMC employees must apply in HR Direct