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UPMC complies with all governmental requirements related to local, state, and federal COVID-19 vaccination for employment. The Jan. 13 Supreme Court of the United States decision that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate will move forward requires UPMC to ensure employees either get vaccinated or receive a requested medical or religious exemption.

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Proof of vaccination is not required upon hire; however, employees will be responsible for ensuring post-hire compliance by getting vaccinated or requesting a medical or religious exemption.

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Research Specialist | The Environmental Context and Youth Mental Health Lab


The Environmental Context and Youth Mental Health Lab (PI: Rachel Vaughn-Coaxum) conducts clinical research focused on the effects of childhood adversity on cognitive and behavioral processes involved in psychotherapy for adolescent depression. Our aim is to understand how adverse experiences during childhood development influence the domains of youth functioning commonly targeted in treatments for youth depression. The goal of our work is to improve treatment efficiency for children and adolescents. The Research Specialist will be involved in all aspects of the research process with regard to coordinating two clinical trials involving adolescents with depression symptoms. The Research Specialist will be the primary "face" of interactions with youth and parents participating in the studies. They will oversee study recruitment, participant enrollment, and participant tracking. The Research Specialist will help conduct study visits, including clinical interviews, and oversee the management of study data. The Specialist will also work with the PI to assist with reporting and compliance with study regulatory entities (e.g., IRB, NIH, Data Safety and Monitoring Board), including updating and maintaining regulatory records. The ideal candidate will have excellent interpersonal skills; demonstrate strong organizational and time-management skills with attention to detail; show proficiency in managing multiple tasks and working both independently as well as with a team; and preferably have experience interfacing with adolescents and parents.

This position is grant funded.


This Research Specialist will independently execute job functions to provide research support by interviewing participants, conducting psychophysiological and behavioral research protocols, managing data collected during assessments, and providing lab management assistance to the Principal Investigator on clinical studies with youth populations.

This position is housed in a highly collaborative psychiatry department that provides both clinical care and rigorous scientific research. The Principal Investigator conducts clinical research focused on the effects of childhood adversity on cognitive and behavioral processes involved in psychotherapy for adolescent depression.


  • Assists in the recruitment of research participants by collaborating with the clinical staff at relevant clinics and research staff from related studies, introducing the study at relevant meetings, posting flyers or brochures, and generating new and creative recruitment strategies.
  • Conducts clinical and behavioral assessments with adolescent research participants and families across all phases of the protocol (e.g., screening, initial evaluation, follow-up), including the collection of questionnaire data, psychophysiological assessments, computerized cognitive assessments, and formal clinical diagnostic interviews.
  • Maintains ongoing records for participant tracking and clinical assessment in an organized manner easily accessible by the appropriate research faculty, staff, and regulatory offices.
  • Assistance in the management, processing, and analysis of data from the research activities, including quality control, and in the management and delivery of related equipment.
  • Maintains a flexible schedule to accommodate schedules of both research participants and research facilities, including morning, evening, and weekend availability.
  • Interfaces effectively with research and clinical staff to maintain efficient communication about subjects, scheduled interviews, data collection, data entry, quality control issues and reports.
  • Aids in the preparation of research study documentation, amendments, and reports to regulatory offices (e.g., Institutional Review Board) and funding agencies.
  • Aids in data entry and/or supervises students on these tasks.
  • Perform in accordance with system-wide policy, procedure, competencies, and behaviors.
  • Perform any other duties as assigned.


  • 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. Experience as a student or volunteer will be considered.
  • Familiarity with computers and common software packages required. Capacity to learn new software programs (e.g., e-Prime and AcqKnowledge) preferred.
  • Computer skills in data management, statistical analysis programs, or programming preferred.
  • Working knowledge of research methodology in clinical sciences strongly preferred.
  • Prior experience working with children and/or adolescents and diverse communities strongly preferred.
  • Strong interpersonal, and written/oral communication skills, with ability to interact skillfully with clinical research participants and families.
  • Excellent organizational skills, attention to detail, and ability to prioritize and complete multiple tasks.

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