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Research Specialist (Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study)


The Research Specialist position will provide research support for the Pittsburgh site of the NIH nation-wide study, the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. The ABCD Study is the largest long-term study of brain development and child health in the United States. This is an exciting opportunity to join leading experts in the field of child development and neuroscience as they find answers to important questions about the influence of childhood experiences on the brain and behavior. As part of our collaborative research team the Research Specialist will perform study data collection including interviews, behavioral tasks and fMRI scans. See ABCD Study for further information.

This position is grant funded.

  • 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)
  • Collaborate with senior research personnel regarding recruitment, data collection, outcomes of interviews, reports according to the needs of the study
  • Conduct research assessments with adolescents and parents including computerized structured interviews, questionnaires, neuropsychological testing, Fitbit activity and mobile app
  • Escort participants to the Magnetic Resonance Research Center and provide instructions while participants undergo MRI evaluation
  • Collect bio specimens from adolescents and ensure proper storage and shipping
  • Assist in arranging transportation, and confirming subject appointments of subjects for follow-up participation in the research study; actively participate in the retention of subjects by mailings, email and subject searches
  • Coordinate and collect teacher and school questionnaires
  • Maintain and update Access and Redcap databases; perform data entry and verification as needed
  • Process participant payments via the Vincent system
  • Keep a flexible schedule to ensure adequate subject assessments
  • Collaborate with study team and senior research personnel on progress of the study; provide status reports as requested
  • Perform other research related duties as assigned
  • Perform all duties while maintaining participant confidentiality and in accordance with system-wide competencies and behaviors


  • 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
  • Familiarity with computers and common software packages required
  • Working knowledge of research methodology strongly preferred
  • DSM-5 strongly preferred
  • Previous experience with adolescent age research participants or clients preferred
  • Phlebotomy skills preferred
  • Must be able to work some evening and Saturdays

Licensure, Certifications, and Clearances:

  • Comprehensive Crisis Management (CCMC)
  • Driver's License
  • 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