Student Research Opportunities

Position Title/Classification: Research Assistant
Supervisor’s name and title:  Tiffany Neal, PhD, & Naomi Swiezy, PhD, HSPP
Position Duration/Hours: Summer 2019 (May 7-August 10), approximately 15-20 hours/week

PRIMARY ROLE

The HANDS in Autism® Interdisciplinary Training and Resource Center was founded in 2004 to extend the outreach and training offered by the Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley Hospital at Indiana University Health and the Indiana University School of Medicine. The mission of the HANDS in Autism® Center is to continually evolve a model system of outreach, education, and training that will facilitate the development of local capacity within schools, districts, and communities in serving individuals and families affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities (DD).

Central to the mission of the HANDS in Autism® Center, the HANDS in Autism® Model was developed to provide a comprehensive learning curriculum and training framework to school personnel serving individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  The curriculum is interactive in nature with a focus on application, maintenance, and generalization of evidence-based strategies delivered via traditional instruction, and observation paired with coaching, modeling, and mentoring. The training model is steeped in team collaboration and data-driven decision making to guide the programming of school staff towards positive outcomes for students and teachers. While the main efforts of the training model are directed at training school personnel, such training has secondary and significant impact upon students’ outcomes (Herron & Buss, 1991; Ikeda, Tucker, & Rankin, 2002).

The Research Assistant will gain understanding of the multiple facets that need to be considered and incorporated when planning for and conducting applied, translational research. Further, the student will bring to the HANDS In Autism® Center novel perspectives, fresh ideas, and specialized strengths and skill sets.

PRIMARY JOB DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Research Assistant: The part-time research assistant will join a research team within the HANDS in Autism® Center. The position includes structured research and academic activities. Duties range across assisting with data collection, entry, analysis, and management, to assistance with transcription of interviews, or other research-related tasks.

Activities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Participation in at least monthly research team meetings
  • Participation in training through Ruth Lilly Medical Library
  • Completion of electronic entry of study data in a timely and accurate manner and participates in quality audits
  • Secure maintenance of study files in an organized manner and assists new staff in doing the same
  • Ensures availability of supplies and equipment and initiates purchases as necessary to meet the needs of the study
  • Participation in quality improvement and progress meetings to continuously improve study processes, efficiency, security and compliance.

QUALIFICATIONS

Requirements: Ideal candidates will be or have been actively engaged within a postsecondary environment and have experience or interest in engaging in scholarly activity within an interdisciplinary setting.

Desired skills:

Critical thinking, scientific writing, analytical skills, time management, organization, attention to detail, oral communication, written communication, familiarity with Excel and SPSS

Potential disciplines or areas of study:

Biology, psychology, pre-medicine, pre-nursing, education, social work, health sciences, applied statistics, public health, informatics and new media, philanthropy, health-care management, business or marketing

Expectations

New Research Leads (not previously with HANDS):

As part of the overall process, students receive a starting packet previewing the onboarding process following the application and interview. Following completion of the starting packet, which includes HR paperwork, a background check, and applicable health and drug screens, students attend an orientation session and sign forms related to confidentiality, media, and code of conduct. Specific to this role, the student will receive training most conducive to and/or needed for their role as applicable for the above noted duties. From the time of onboarding, the student will be expected to commit to the following:

  • Training through Ruth Lilly Medical Library
  • At least 15 hours weekly research contribution at HANDS in Autism® Center on the IUPUI campus
  • Commitment to service contribution during the above noted duration (i.e., Summer 2019)

Incoming Project Coordination and Communication Lead (currently in the position or with HANDS in another role):

The student will receive training conducive to and/or needed for their role based upon prior responsibilities within the HANDS in Autism® Center and as applicable for the above noted activities. From the time of onboarding, the student will be expected to commit to the following:

  • Training through Ruth Lilly Medical Library
  • At least 15 hours weekly research contribution at HANDS in Autism® Center on the IUPUI campus
  • Commitment to service contribution during the above noted duration (i.e., Summer 2019)

Evaluation and Feedback

In relationship to evaluation and feedback, the student will meet with the supervisor(s) on at least a monthly basis to connect related to role activities. The student will also participate in at least quarterly self and mentor evaluations to provide ongoing feedback related to student and project needs.

Funding or Compensation

This position will be a student volunteer position. Based upon performance, evaluations and agreed fit between the supervisor(s) and student, the position is renewable for this role or other open positions of interest within the HANDS in Autism® Center.