J.A.S. Research Assistant Position Description

J.A.S. Research Assistant Position Description

Program of Research: Research assistants will assist with an IRB-approved and NIMH grant-funded study titled, “A Twin Study of Negative Valence Emotional Constructs (Juvenile Anxiety Study – JAS).” This study is interested in investigating internalizing disorders. Internalizing disorders (ID), consisting of syndromes of anxiety and depression, represent common, debilitating negative emotional states whose etiology is not well understood. A growing body of basic research has suggested that these conditions share more of their risk factor domains and underlying neurobiology than would be predicted by clinical nosology alone. Thus, the NIMH has launched the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project as part of their strategic plan to “develop new ways of classifying disorders based on dimensions of observable behaviors and brain functions.” RDoC aims to serve as a framework for new approaches to research on mental disorders using fundamental dimensions that cut across traditional disorder categories. The goal of this study is to examine various emotional indices using laboratory-based paradigms (e.g., CO2 hypersensitivity, stress responsivity) to gain a better understanding of the underlying Study Methodology: Child and adolescent participants will complete at least one lab session at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics. During the visit, participants complete self-report measures, an IQ test, and computer tasks involving looking at faces. In addition, they provide a saliva sample and complete two physiological assessments: one in which they inhale 7.5% CO2 enriched air, and another that involves a fear potentiated startle paradigm. During these “physio.” tasks, research assistants affix several electrodes to the participants and these assistants are responsible for checking and maintaining reading levels (i.e., they monitor and correct for issues with incoming physiological data). Activities: The student research assistants will be involved in all aspects of the study including independently running data collection sessions, entering data, cleaning data, and performing basic analyses. In addition to gaining laboratory experience, students will engage in academic work as part of her BIOL492 experience. Specifically, students will be encouraged to read an identified collection of articles that pertain to the carbon dioxide hypersensitivity, panic disorder, emotion recognition, fear-potentiated startle, and other related literature. In addition, students will meet weekly with the research team to review various aspects the research project, review progress, and discuss relevant articles/literature pertaining to the twin studies. Students also will be expected to write a research paper by the end of the semester on a topic agreed upon by the student and Dr. Hettema. The topic of the paper will relate to an aspect of the described study.

Break down of how hours will be used each week (approximate):

Total: ~10 hours/week during the fall semester

Reading literature/working on paper 1 hour/week (home)

Assisting with data collection: 5-6 hours/week (in lab)

Data entry/cleaning/analysis: 2-3 hours/week (in lab)

Attending weekly lab meetings/ meeting with research team: 1 hour/week (in lab)

Dr. Hettema and the study coordinator, Andrea Molzhon, will be responsible for the overall supervision of the students’ progress on this project and will meet with them periodically.

Moreover, Dr. Hettema and the study coordinator will be responsible for day-to-day supervision of the twin studies and for day-to-day supervision of all students working on the project.

‘Clean Water Panel’ event – December 1st, 2015.

My name is Frances Klein with Environment Virginia. We are a Virginia citizen based environmental non-profit. I am e-mailing in regards to a ‘Clean Water Panel’ event we will be holding on December 1st, 2015. The event will be held at the VCU Rice Center. This Clean Water Panel will involve community leaders discussing clean water issues currently facing Richmond and Virginia, both policy and ecology.  The panelists include

Dr. Leonard Smock- Director of the VCU Rice Rivers Center

Patrick Bradley- Water Quality Manager, City of Richmond DPU

Jamie Brunkow- Lower James River Keeper

Would you please pass the event information on to your students? I have attached a flyer for the event at the end of this e-mail. The event will be a great opportunity to learn/discuss the specifics of water in Virginia, and what affects the Clean Water Act, other clean water efforts, and polluters can have on our environment.

We are organizing a carpool with other students who wish to attend. If any students would like to come, please pass along my information to discuss potential ride sharing.

Thank you so much!


VA water

National Institutes of Health (NIH) / Undergraduate Partnerships Program (UGSP)

Dear Colleagues,

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Undergraduate Scholarship Program (UGSP) offers competitive academic scholarships up to $20,000 per academic year to students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds who are committed to careers biomedical, behavioral, and social science health-related research. Scholarships are awarded for 1 year, and can be renewed for up to 4 years.  Please encourage scholars to visit our website at: https://www.training.nih.gov/programs/ugsp for additional information. We ask that you share this announcement with your colleagues or candidates who may be interested in this award.

UGSP offers:

Scholarship support

Paid research training at the NIH during the summer and after graduation

Eligibility requirements:

U.S.A. citizen or U.S.A. permanent resident

Enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a full-time student at an accredited 4-year undergraduate institution located in the United States of America

Undergraduate University Grade Point Average of 3.3 or higher on a 4.0-point scale or within the top 5 percent of your class

Having ‘Exceptional Financial Need’ as certified by your undergraduate institution financial aid office (Federal Register: Vol. 80; Thursday, January 22, 2015) – see table (updated September 30, 2015).


(Dates updated September 30, 2015)

  • January 4, 2016 – Application Opens
  • March 14, 2016 at 11:59pm ET – Application Deadline
  • March 28, 2016 at 11:59pm ET – Letter of Recommendation Deadline
  • May 9, 2016 – EFN Form with 2015 Tax Year Information Deadline
  • Mid-June, 2016 – Invitations to Phone Interview Distributed
  • Mid-July, 2016 – Phone Interviews for Admission
  • Late-July, 2016 – Selection of Scholars


Please contact me if you have any questions regarding the UGSP award or Dr. Darryl Murray (Director of the UGSP) @ugsp@od.nih.gov,

Thanks in advance,

Adrian D. Warren

NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program

Office of Intramural Education and Training





ART+SCIENCE – Tropical Field Studies – January 2016

Good Morning,
I’m emailing to promote an Art+Science opportunity happening this January that brings together a unique group of Biologists and Artists to creatively explore the tropical wildlife of the Caribbean. The ART+BIO Collaborative, a Cambridge, MA non-profit, is offering ISLAND LIFE: Tropical Field Studies of Art+Nature in Puerto Rico, January 7-13, 2016. The program is designed for students, artists, scientists, professionals and all people interested in nature, art, and biology.

ISLAND LIFE is a hands-on, immersive, and project-based program that integrates biology and art in the field, at various environments in Puerto Rico. The focus of the program is to learn about Puerto Rico’s diverse wildlife through artmaking and field biology.  We travel to rain forests, dry forests, beach, coastal, coral reef, mangrove, and mountain environments.  The program involves multiple site-specific projects that integrate creativity, art and biology.

Dates: January 7-13, 2016
Info and Application: http://www.artbiocollaborative.com/island-life

Please click on the link to see photos and for more details, and help spread the word about this unique winter course to anyone who may be interested. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions or are interested in joining. Thank you!

Best wishes,
Stephanie Dowdy-Nava

Co-Founder, ART+BIO Collaborative
Program Director, Field Studies of Art+Nature


Follow us on Twitter @artbiocollab​ for updates and information.

Cross-campus events and resources from the health sciences library

Tompkins-McCaw Library on the MCV campus has a few things going on right now that may interest people working in biomedical areas here on the Monroe Park Campus. In case you missed the publicity the big three that are happening now or soon are….
Real-time Human Anatomy Trial
Through early Dec.
VCU Libraries is currently has a trial going to see how much interest there is in Real-time Human Anatomy on the Anatomy.TV platform. This anatomy viewer allows you to download and save customized 3D images — i.e. images at angles and layers of your choice, with your own annotations, etc. We would love to hear your thoughts on whether being able to download and save customized anatomical 3D images would be helpful in your instruction, especially since these images can be integrated into class presentations. Anatomy.TV, which we have already, only allows 5-concurrent users, so being able to download image files would allow you to share those images with as many students as you’d like.
Causal analysis: How to examine mediation and moderation of treatment or experimental effects
Monday, Nov. 23, 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Tompkins-McCaw Library (MCV Campus), First-floor Conference Room
Lance M. Rappaport, Ph.D.
Two critical areas of development in causal analysis pertain to identifying mechanisms in the course of change (i.e. mediation) and factors that alter the nature of a process (i.e. moderation). This talk will discuss current approaches in estimating mediation and moderation and will provide practical examples of their implementation. Attendees will learn how to design and conduct research to test for mediators and moderators of the effect of a treatment or experimental manipulation.
Research Speed Networking for Clinicians, Scientists, and Engineers
Thursday, January 14, 2016, 11:30am – 1:00pm
Kontos Medical Sciences Building (1217 E. Marshall St.), Rooms 104 and 105
Are you a faculty member looking for research partnerships? Meet researchers outside your discipline at this fast-paced networking event for clinicians, scientists and engineers. Talk for a minute, listen for a minute, exchange business cards, and then move on!
Julie Arendt


Julie Arendt
Science and Engineering Research Librarian
121J Cabell Library | VCU Libraries
901 Park Ave | PO Box 842033
Richmond, VA 23284-2033

Networking 101 with VABio

Networking 101 with VABio

11/18/2015 5:00 PM – 11/18/2015 7:00 PM

Biotech 1

Join VCU Career Services and the membership of VABio for a networking workshop and reception. During the first 30 minutes, we’ll show you the ins and outs of networking and offer  tips on how to approach large networking events.

Then practice what you’ve learned with representatives from the VABio during a networking in the lobby. Refreshments graciously provided by MCV Graduate Student Programming Board.

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED: http://www.vabio.org/events/event_details.asp?id=699014&group=

About VABio:

VABio is the premier statewide non-profit trade association representing 200 life sciences industry organizations in the Commonwealth of Virginia. VaBiobio serves as pharmaceutical and device industries advocates before federal, state and local policy-makers.

Practice interviews and resume reviews with GlaxoSmithKline


VCU Career Services branding bar

November 6
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Career Services Conference Room
Registration required

Have you ever submitted your resume or walked out of an interview and wondered what people really though of you? We’re offering you the opportunity to find out without any stress or pressure.

On November 6th, hiring representatives from GlaxoSmithKline, one of the nation’s largest drug companies, will visit our office to review your resume and interview skills. You’ll learn some of the do’s and don’ts of resumes and interviewing straight from the decision makers.

We’re hosting three, one-hour sessions for students at 9 am, 10 am and 11 am. Advance registration is required to participate. We hope you’ll join us for this incredible opportunity. Email careers@vcu.edu if you have any questions.

Register button
VCU Career Services
University Student Commons, 1st Floor
907 Floyd Avenue
Richmond, Virginia 23284

Division of Student Affairs

Phone:(804) 828-1645
Email: careers@vcu.edu

Unsubscribe from future communication.

Pre-Nursing Mentor Program

Good Afternoon,

My name is Allyson Bess, I’m a senior nursing student and also Vice President of Nursing Students Without Borders (NSWB). Let me just preface by saying I’m not entirely positive if you all are able to help, but I sure hope you can!
Our club, NSWB, is really excited to be facilitating a mentor program for pre-nursing students, pairing them up with existing nursing students. It’s a great way for pre-nursing students to connect with someone who’s already been through the application process, and answer any questions about nursing school or nursing in general from a student’s perspective.
If you would be able to share the link below with students who are pre-nursing, I would greatly appreciate it!
If you have any questions, please let me know.
Thank you and kind regards.



Allyson Tyler Bess
VCU School of Nursing, Honors
Class of 2016

VP, Nursing Students Without Borders