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Research Specialist (Healthy Aging Lab)


Dr. Stahl’s Healthy Aging Lab focuses on the relationship between health behaviors and depression in older adults. Her studies examine how stressful life events including caregiving and bereavement may contribute to changes in behavioral rhythms and vulnerability to depression. Her interventions use technology and health coaching to encourage a regular routine of sleep, eating healthy, and physical activity. The WELL intervention recruits older individuals that have experienced recent spousal loss; the iCare intervention recruit’s caregivers of persons with dementia. Both groups are at high risk for depression because their daily routines are inconsistent with their biological clock (e.g., inconsistent sleep behaviors, sedentary behaviors, meal skipping) and enrolls them in a trial that has a technology component for half of the participants. All participants are asked to wear an actigraphy watch that collects day and nighttime behavioral patterns. Half of enrolled participants are randomly assigned to monitor their health habits using technology. All members of the lab are integral to ensuring the success and progression of studies.

The Research Specialist (RS) will be responsible for calling participants (for study screening and follow up), helping participants reach their health goals, conducting baseline assessments, and follow up assessment sessions. The RS will also work closely with our research team and will provide keep detailed notes of participants’ progress through the trial. The RS will complete study administrative tasks, assist with study recruitment outreach efforts, assist with scheduling participants interactions, and attend weekly team meetings.

This position is grant funded.


  • Conduct participant screening calls, baseline and follow up assessments, responding to participant questions or concerns, keeping accurate records of participant interactions, entering tracking data into the study databases, assisting with REDCap programming/entry, data cleaning/quality control, motivational interviewing may be used during health coaching calls for participants (we can help facilitate MI training if necessary).
  • Engage in regular communication with the study team, attend study team meetings as needed to discuss any participant issues or barriers that might arise, and assist/facilitate administrative tasks.


  • 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. 2 years preferred. (Note that the research experience can overlap with formal scholastic training, such as experience conducting research while sttending school).
  • Familiarity with computers and common software packages required.
  • Working knowledge of research methodology strongly preferred.

Licensure, Certifications, and Clearances:

  • Act 34

UPMC is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran

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   Current UPMC employees must apply in HR Direct