More Research Opportunities for Students

From Ann C. Eckardt Erlanger at SUNY Stony Brook:

We have a variety of opportunities for undergraduates to obtain lower- or upper-division credit and excellent research experience. Some roles are flexible in terms of how many credits you take; others require fixed commitments.

1. Data Management (1-3 credits of PSY 273)

We have several grants from various agencies, and high-quality scientific data are the “products” for which the granting agencies are paying. Therefore, skilled data managers are crucial to our research projects. They gain experience entering and cleaning data, transcribing interviews, and otherwise preparing data for analysis. Shifts (1.5 hours) are still available afternoons for both the Summer and Fall 2011 semesters, Mo-Fr. 1 Credit=3hours/week, 2 credits=6hours/week, and 3 credits= 9hours/week.

2. Story Task Calling (1credit of PSY 273)

For one of our programs (CoupleCARE) we need to complete story tasks over the phone with our couples. CoupleCARE is a program for couples with newborns to help reduce the stress a new child can place on relationships. The program is designed to help keep the couple relationship strong during this time. Couples are recruited from hospital maternity wards and those who agree participate in CoupleCARE will attend coaching sessions in their homes. Our story task callers help us to collect data that we need to evaluate how effective this program is for couples. Once trained, callers schedule appointments that are convenient for the couple to do their story task over the phone. Story task callers will also be conducting the story tasks over the phone. Some calls can be made from home, and the time when the calls are made is relatively flexible. An excellent phone presence is necessary; audition required. Slots are limited and only currently available for the Summer 2011 semester.

3. Observational coding (3 credits of PSY 273; two consecutive semesters)

Video recorded interactions are an essential part of the data we collect. In order for them to be meaningful, however, they need to be translated into numbers. This is where our coders come in. Coders are trained to either (a) apply the RMICS system (see to recorded couple interactions (Summer and Fall 2011) or (b) code interactions between infants and caregivers (Fall 2011 only). Due to the complexity of the task and the extensive training necessary, a two-semester commitment is required. Reliable coders desiring to continue beyond two semesters can be paid for their work. Weekly meetings are required; coding occurs whenever it is convenient for your schedule. Coders are required to do 9 hours a week. Coding slots are still available.

4. Undergraduate internship (3 credits of PSY 488; two consecutive semesters)

Undergraduate interns (UIs) are the highest-level research assistants in the lab, and we accept only the best into this program (though you need not have worked with us in the past to apply). UIs are trained to conduct assessments with the families participating in the CoupleCARE program; these include interviews, questionnaires, and videotaped interactions. Because the assessments take place in participants’ homes, you must be able to work independently and have your own transportation. Gas and mileage between campus and assessment locations is reimbursed. Weekly meetings are required, as is the flexibility to work some evenings and weekends. Hours will fluctuate from week to week, but should average 12/week. The Internship is graded by satisfactory or unsatisfactory. Internship slots are still available.

Please let me know if you have any questions. If you are at all interested, I recommend coming to PSY 142 to apply (application file attached; you can either email it to or submit it in person). Please note that we will be recruiting heavily in more than 30 courses this semester, so the slots are filling up quickly.

>>>Summer and Fall 2011 RA Application<<<

Ann C. Eckardt Erlanger, Psy.D.
Post-Doctoral Research Associate
Family Translational Research Group
Department of Psychology
Stony Brook University, State University of New York
Stony Brook, NY 11794-2500
Telephone: 631-440-6773

Fax: 631-632-7876


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