Psych Scoop, 9/7/21 - Research Edition

September 7th, 2021 - Research Edition

The Psych Scoop is sent to all Psychology Undergraduate students and alumni every Tuesday throughout the academic school year. 

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1. Think Like a Researcher

Think like a Researcher is designed to help undergraduate students become comfortable with the research skills and tools needed to participate. It is designed to bring students, especially first-year and second-year students, from different colleges together to learn. Topics include benefits and challenges of research, finding faculty mentors, videos with advice from student researchers, examples of student projects, and more. Learn about the wide variety of ways to get started with research including volunteer, taking a course, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), Undergraduate Research Scholarship (URS), summer research, and more. Apply for Fall 2021 today!

2. Student Applications are OPEN for Spring 2022 UROP Projects!

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) provides current University of Minnesota undergraduates $1,500 scholarships so that they can partner with a faculty member on research, which enables undergrads to explore academic and career interests, apply classroom learning to real-time research, and prepares them for a career or graduate school while working closely with a U of M faculty member. Learn more and apply today!

3. *Credit* Brain white Matter Structure and Substance Abuse

Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is a relatively new type of MRI scan that quantifies aspects of the fine structure of white matter, especially in the large fiber tracts that connect different brain regions. As such, it is a promising method for understanding the nature of the effects of problematic drinking and other forms of substance use on brain white matter microstructure. For this directed study, students will screen raw DTI data for image quality, a critical first step in analyses of DTI data to be conducted concerning associations between adolescent and young adult alcohol use and abuse and white-matter structure in a twin sample. Students will complete a 5-page paper on a topic of interest, such as a review of the longitudinal DTI literature as it relates to adolescent and young adult substance abuse or associations between a family history of problematic drinking and DTI. As a group, we will briefly review how DTI works, and we will discuss the cotwin-control method for separating true environmental effects from a predisposition based on genetic and family influences. If interested, send a copy of your transcript, resume, and a brief (one paragraph) statement of why you’re interested in this opportunity to both Drs. William Iacono ( and Steven Malone (

4. *Credit or Volunteer* Undergraduate Student Opportunities in Research on Digital Phenotyping for Bipolar Disorders

We are seeking a highly motivated, responsible, and detail-oriented undergraduate of sophomore or junior standing to contribute to a study examining the usefulness of smartphone apps in tracking symptom and functional changes in adults with bipolar disorders in the laboratory of Dr. Snezana Urosevic at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. Both credit and volunteer opportunities are available. We request that applicants are willing to make a one-year commitment to the lab, including a 9-hour weekly commitment (3 credits). Opportunities and responsibilities include participant recruitment and retention, data collection, entry, and verification, and learning about digital phenotyping methods in psychopathology research. The research assistant will also attend laboratory meetings and have an opportunity to develop independent research questions based on their interests and available data. Past RAs have authored poster presentations and contributed to manuscript submissions. Competitive applicants will have a strong interest in pursuing graduate-level education and an excellent academic record. Due to VA requirements, RAs must be US citizens. If you are interested, please contact Kasey Stack by email at and attach an unofficial transcript, a cover letter, and a resume.

5. *Credit or Volunteer* Undergraduate Research Assistant Opportunity

UMN’s Bioecology, Self-Regulation, & Learning (BSL) Lab is seeking undergrads to assist with a new study examining relations between teens’ environments, behavioral and physiological learning processes, and adaptive outcomes. We are seeking motivated, reliable, and dedicated undergraduate RAs to work in the lab, either as volunteers or for directed research course credit (preferred). This position is an especially good opportunity for students interested in the intersection of cognitive development, early environment and experiences, and physiological development. RAs will get exposure to many aspects of the research process, with additional opportunities that may result in a conference poster or paper. Must be willing to work in person at the St. Paul campus (Learning & Environmental Sciences Building) where data collection with children and families takes place. Interested applicants should fill out the form link. First-gen students and students from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.

6. *Credit or Volunteer* RA Position with a Longitudinal Study of Resilience in Military Service Members

The Advancing Research on Mechanisms of Resilience (ARMOR) Project, under the direction of Dr. Melissa Polusny at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System, is looking for research assistants for the 2021-2022 school year and beyond! The current longitudinal study examines processes contributing to resilience in military personnel. Research assistants who join the ARMOR Project will receive extensive training and gain hands-on experience conducting a large cohort study that utilizes evidence-based longitudinal tracking and survey methods. This is a volunteer position and requires a minimum of 10-12 hours per week commitment onsite at the Minneapolis VA and attendance at our weekly lab meeting. Students accepted to the lab can apply to receive research credit for the course PSY4993 after committing 2-3 months as a volunteer. Preference will be given to students who have a minimum GPA of 3.5, are available year-round, and are able to make a multiple-semester commitment. Veterans or those with experience working with veterans or the military may be given priority. To apply, send an email with “ARMOR RA Position” in the subject line to the Project Coordinator, Shelly Hubbling at ( Include your cover letter, resume/CV, and copies of your unofficial transcripts.

7. *Credit* PSY 5993 Fall 2021

Dr. Marcoulides is currently recruiting undergraduate students to participate in PSY 5993, Directed Research in Psychology for the Fall 2021 semester. This directed research opportunity will introduce students to research in psychology that utilizes a variety of statistical approaches for answering important research questions, and to the field of Quantitative Psychology more broadly. We will focus on reading, discussing, and critiquing research that examines issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as health and prevention research related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics and readings will vary and will largely depend on the interests of the students enrolled. Potential topics may include issues related to fairness in test development, machine learning approaches for risk assessment, and statistical methods for the development and evaluation of interventions for at-risk groups. Students interested in enrolling in this PSY 5993 should email Dr. Marcoulides at

8. *Credit or Volunteer* REPAIR Lab Research Assistant

The Research Exploring Psychological Assessment and Individualized Rehabilitation (REPAIR) Lab, led by Dr. Jacob Finn, at the Minneapolis VA is currently looking for a new volunteer research assistant. The REPAIR Lab largely focuses on traumatic brain injury (TBI) in service members and veterans in both inpatient and outpatient treatment settings. Research assistant duties include screening and recruiting participants, scheduling research appointments, conducting follow-up assessments, administering interviews to assess functioning, documenting efforts in clinical charts, coordinating participant payments, collaborating with members of the interdisciplinary rehabilitation team, and disseminating results locally. Dr. Finn expects volunteer research assistants to commit at least 8 hours per week to the lab. Due to the training commitment required, volunteers are expected to commit to at least one calendar year in the lab (with time off between semesters). REPAIR research takes place in a medical rehabilitation environment, and as such, professional behavior and attire are expected. Ideal candidates will have a GPA ≥ 3.2, strong organizational and interpersonal skills, and a proficiency in Microsoft Office products. Per Department of Veterans Affairs policy, all research assistants must be U.S. citizens. Interested parties should send a copy of their transcripts and a curriculum vitae/résumé to Dr. Jacob Finn (

9. *Credit* Research Opportunity with Health Behavior Change Lab

The Health Behavior Change Lab, led by Dr. Alex Rothman, is seeking 1-2 student research assistants to work on a literature search about physical activity/exercise interventions. The goal of the project is to understand when and why interventions are successful (or not) at increasing physical activity. RAs will assist in screening papers, developing a coding scheme, and coding papers. This position will require a commitment of 9 hours per week (3 credits) with the opportunity to continue working on this project in the Spring semester 2022. If interested, please send a brief introduction to Rina Horii at

10. *Credit or Volunteer* Research Assistant Position

The Minnesota Aging & Technology Lab is currently seeking a new RA. The volunteer position supports research projects at the VA Geriatric Research Education & Clinical Center and the UMN Department of Psychiatry under Dr. Adriana Hughes. Research projects are focused on understanding cognitive and daily functioning in normal aging and prodromal Alzheimer’s disease and developing/evaluating innovative methodologies and tools for cognitive assessment and patient support. Duties include entering/verifying behavioral and neuropsychological test data, assisting with study recruitment, participant communication, administrative tasks, and attending weekly lab meetings. There may be opportunities to contribute to scientific posters or manuscripts depending on interest/commitment and opportunities for a paid position in the future depending on funding availability. RA’s should be able to commit to at least 9 hours per week starting in October or any time after. The position is located at the Minneapolis VA; hours must be completed on-site during business hours and reliable transportation to the VA is required. There is a preference for a GPA of 3.5 or higher, commitment to a full academic year, and who are sophomores and juniors. Interested individuals should send a cover letter, CV/Resume with any relevant psychology or research methods coursework, unofficial transcript, and contact information for 2 references to Sam Lee at for consideration.

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