The Pets and Well-Being (PAW) Lab is seeking a full-time Research Associate to begin in September 2023 for the TeenDog Study, an exciting new National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01-funded longitudinal research project assessing the effects of companion dogs on adolescents with social anxiety and their families. This study will collect quantitative, qualitative, and psychophysiological longitudinal data from adolescents and their parents.
The Research Associate will be responsible for managing the ecological momentary assessment arm of the study, which involves participant engagement and data collection, as well as coordinating student research assistants, as well as supporting collecting data on youth relationships with their dogs.
On-campus work in Grafton, Massachusetts is required to manage participant study materials; some hybrid work is possible. This position is co-terminus with the funding required to support it.
The PAW Lab is a research group run by Dr. Megan Mueller (PI) at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. The PAW Lab is dedicated to exploring the complex interactions between humans and animals, specializing in understanding human-animal interaction (HAI) in youth and families. We are committed to conducting and disseminating research that leads to practical applications that will improve the lives of diverse children, families, and animals. The PAW Lab is located at the Center for Animals and Public Policy at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, which houses a robust group of interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners who work at the intersection of human and animal health. This position will be part of a dynamic and supportive team environment that places an emphasis on collaboration and conducting inclusive research.
What You'll Do
This position will support the PAW Lab’s research activities, including assisting with participant recruitment, data collection, management, and analysis for the overall TeenDog Study.
- Recruitment and Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) Data Collection
- Management of participant enrollment in the EMA arm of the study.
- Communication with participants and their families.
- Preparation and mailing of study materials to participants.
- Training participants in use of study materials, including EMA mobile app and physiology sensors.
- Tracking compliance during study period.
- Management of survey data collection on surveys related to dog behavior and relationships.
- Data Management
- Management of EMA and psychophysiology data.
- Management of confidential participant records and data collection timelines.
- Cleaning and preparing data for analysis, including physiology data.
- Project Management
- Training and management of student research assistants to support data collection.
- Assistance with grant reporting requirements.
- Collaboration with Project Coordinator on integration of data across the larger project.
- Assistance with maintaining the study website and communications about results.
What We're Looking For
- Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, Data Science, Human/Child Development, Public Health, Neuroscience, Human-Animal Interaction, or related field.
- 1 year or more of relevant research experience that includes direct contact with participants (experience with youth/adolescent participants strongly preferred).
- Proficient computer skills (e.g., Microsoft Office).
- Proficiency with statistical software (R experience strongly preferred).
- Strong attention to organizational detail with the ability to ensure integrity and accuracy of a complex data set.
- Ability to communicate clearly and professionally, verbally and in writing.
- Excellent interpersonal skills and a desire to build rapport with participants and their families.
- Experience working with teenagers in a research setting.
- Experience with ecological momentary assessment/experience sampling methods strongly preferred.
- Experience with human-dog interactions or dog behavior.
- Experience with collecting psychophysiology data (specifically electrodermal activity).
- Proficiency in cleaning/analysis of electrodermal activity data.
- Prior experience with quantitative data management (e.g., REDCap)
- Experience with managing a team.