Research Practica Sites

PSYC 4760--Off Campus Research

Grady Trauma Project (Emory/Grady Practicum)

Program Description: The Grady Trauma Project (GTP) is a federally funded research project with the goal of understanding genetic, environmental and gene x environment predictors of PTSD. The broader goal of the Grady Trauma Project is scientific and clinical understanding and prevention of PTSD and other trauma related mental disorders in the population of patients served by Grady Health System.

  • Hours: 5‑10 hours per week
  • Number of semesters: Minimum of 1 semester, but 2 semesters or one calendar year is preferable
  • Supervision: 1 hour group supervision per week (team meeting)
  • Duties: Students will administer protocols to participants, recruitment of participants, data entry and measurements, and other administrative research tasks.

Marcus Autism Center – Pediatric Psychology and Feeding Disorders Program (Atlanta, GA)

Program Description: The Marcus Autism Center (MAC) is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide information, services, and programs to children with autism and related disorders, their families and those who live and work with them. We offer integrated advances clinical, behavioral, and educational and family support services through a single organization to reduce the stress for families that use our services. This placement is ideal for students considering graduate training in psychology, pediatrics, family social work, or a related behavioral health fields. Students will gain valuable training by participant in clinical and research activities addressing a variety of pediatric populations, including Pediatric Psychology and Feeding Disorders Program and Language Learning Clinic.

A 10 hour commitment per week is preferred. Fall, spring, summer semesters are available. Efforts will be made to match student interests with the needs of each program. Training will involve both individual and group supervision. At a minimum, individual and team supervision is provided weekly, although the nature of the clinical services provided at MAC often necessitates more frequent/daily supervision to guide treatment procedures. A description of each program and corresponding responsibilities is provided below:

Pediatric Psychology and Feeding Disorders Program:  The pediatric feeding disorders program services children who have chronic issues with nutritional and/or caloric intake.  A large percentage of the population treated at the clinic rely on alternative means to meet their nutritional needs (e.g., a feeding tube) or display very selective eating patterns, which compromises their intake of essential vitamins and minerals. The average age of children treated is about 3 years of age.  Feeding difficulties displayed by children in the program are often the result of a complex interaction between a numbers of factors. Many have complicated medical histories, such as food allergies or reflux.  Problem behaviors (e.g., crying, disruptions, aggression) develop as a means to escape food presentations intense refusal behaviors occur during most meals and maintaining low levels of intake after the medical issues are resolved. Interest in working with children in an interdisciplinary team is preferred. Training will include mealtime data collection of target behaviors using an event recording procedure, as well as tracking parent-child interactions during meals using a behavioral coding system. Students will also assist in ongoing research protocols, including scoring of instruments, data entry, and other administrative research tasks. Students may rate family interaction variables from videotaped family assessments.

Language and Learning Clinic (LLC): Intervention offered through the LLC is specifically designed to promote skill acquisition in the domains of functional communication, adaptive daily living skills, pre-academic and academic skills, and social relationships. The LLC offers intensive 1-on-1 ABA/Verbal Behavior services to children with significant language and adaptive skills delays. We serve children in need of services targeting increases in receptive and/or expressive language, pre-academic training, and social skills. Clients are primarily between the ages of 2-12 years. Language and adaptive skills are assessed via the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills-Revised (ABLLS-R) and acquisition programming is based on these results. Students will learn to implement discrete-trial training, verbal behavior programming, and natural environment teaching with a variety of cases. In addition, functional analyses and functional assessments are conducted to assess problem behavior and structures behavior protocols are frequently implemented. Students will be observed in vivo or via videotape implementing treatment procedures. 

  • Hours: 10 per week
  • Number of Semesters: 2 semesters
  • Supervision: at least once a week
  • Students are required to provide their own malpractice insurance

Nia Project (Emory/Grady Practicum)

Program Description: This research project provides treatment to abused, suicidal African-American women.

  • Hours: 5-10 hours per week
  • Number of semesters: Minimum of 1 semester, but 2 semesters or one calendar year is preferable
  • Supervision: 1 hour of group supervision per week
  • Duties: Students will administer protocols to participants, assist group leaders and participants during intervention groups, and provide childcare for children of participants. Duties also include assisting with administrative tasks in the research lab and attending team meetings; other administrative tasks

SafeCare (GSU School of Public Health)
Program Description: The goal of the National SafeCare Training and Research Center (NSTRC) is the nationwide implementation of the SafeCare model, an evidence-based home visitation program that has been shown to reduce child maltreatment among at-risk families. The NSTRC faculty consists of psychologists who are engaged in research efforts to improve the training, implementation, and translation of the SafeCare model within child welfare systems. We are seeking students who are interested in learning about research projects studying the SafeCare model, and who are broadly interested in the prevention of family violence. Students would be asked to assist faculty in a variety of ways with the ongoing research projects.

  • Hours: 10 hours per week & establishment of a regular weekly schedule
  • Number of semesters: Minimum of 1 semester
  • Supervision: 1 hour group supervision per week
  • Duties: Students will conduct library research, assist with data collection, entry, and management, assist with grant preparation including research design, and human subjects protections, assist with IRB applications, and explore opportunities for graduate school with a faculty advisor. 


*Students have to meet the same prerequisites for off-site research and applied practicum. All practicum applications require students start with advising on the 11th floor of Urban Life.

Brain Electrophysiology of Language & Literacy (BELLS) Lab: Dr. Gwen Frishkoff

Area of Research:   Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychology of Language & Literacy

Current Projects:  How are words learned as we encounter them in every-day contexts? Our research examines the neural bases of language and language learning. We combine functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and "brainwave" technologies with measures of language skills to study how patterns of brain activity differ as people process language that is familiar (such as well-known words) versus language that is new or unfamiliar. Our studies include kids (ages 9–12), as well younger and older adults. 

Researcher Duties:

  • Learning how to acquire EEG (brainwave) data
  • Helping with recruitment and running of human subjects
  • Attending weekly lab meetings
  • Completing hand-on tutorials on EEG and ERP methodology
  • Contributing to the maintenance of research databases

Time Commitment: Minimum 6-9 hrs/wk for 2 semesters

  • Requirements for Applicants:
  • GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Psychology Major
  • Interest in cognitive neuroscience (interest in language, literacy is a plus)
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Word and Excel

Contact: Dr. Gwen Frishkoff (

Laboratory for Comparative Economics and Behavioral Studies:  Dr. Sarah Brosnan

What we do:  The Cebus lab works with several primate species including chimpanzees, capuchin monkeys and humans to explore topics that relate to economic behavior. One of our major areas of research is exploring how non-human primates make decisions and how those decisions are altered based on social or environmental changes.  We also study cooperation in nonhuman primates, and how inequity affects responses.  For more details on these projects, please see the lab website at


  • Observing video tapes of studies and coding behaviors
  • Entering and analyzing data from studies
  • Assisting with research projects
  • Attending lab meetings (including presenting papers)
  • Preparing an annotated bibliography or poster presentation of work

Note that a 2 semester minimum commitment is required

Child Health and Medical Pain (CHAMP) Lab: Dr. Lindsey L. Cohen

This lab examines children's' the interplay of child psychology and pediatric medicine. Topics of study include children's distress associated with medical procedures, helping children manage pediatric chronic pain, family adjustment to pediatric chronic illness, and adherence to pediatric medical regimens.

Current Projects

  • Parent-child interactions during preschoolers' immunizations
  • Adherence to pediatric HIV treatment
  • The impact of pediatric sickle cell disease on the parents and the child patient
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for pediatric chronic illness
  • Randomized controlled trial of acute pediatric pain treatments


  • Literature review for articles related to current projects
  • Build electronic database
  • Attend lab meetings
  • Help reduce and analyze data
  • Coding of behavioral data
  • Data collection (e.g., interviewing, videotaping, interacting with pediatric patients and their parents)

Preventing Violence Against Women Research Group: Dr. Sarah Cook

We approach the prevention of violence against women (VAW) from a community psychology perspective. Community psychology emphasizes contextual factors involved in human behavior and psychological well-being that range across an individual's or community's social ecology. Because community psychologists are interested in such a large range of influences on well-being, we think about opportunities for intervention across levels of analysis or within an ecological context. In an effort to contribute to the prevention of VAW, we conduct various research studies related to improving research methods in the field of VAW. Our current projects include:

    • The Life Experiences Project: We examine the impact of participating in trauma-related research on participants’ well-being. We hope these data will inform ethical decision-making about the risks and benefits of survey research on sensitive topics, such as violence against women, with vulnerable populations.
    • Rape Prevention and Education Project: We are developing comprehensive measures and indicators for the primary prevention of sexual violence. This project is part of the national Rape Prevention and Education program funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    • The South Africa Project: We are conducting formative research to create a parenting intervention program to prevent HIV/AIDS in youth living in South Africa.

Our work balances the creation of new knowledge, synthesis, and application of existing knowledge, and dissemination of knowledge to the general public, policy makers, and an interdisciplinary audience in academia.

Practicum Student Responsibilities

  • Attend weekly research team meetings
  • Participate in writing group meetings by giving and receiving feedback on writing projects
  • Conduct library research using information and technology literacy skills
  • Assist with data collection, entry, and management
  • Assist with grant preparation including research design, and human subjects protections
  • Assist with IRB applications
  • Explore opportunities for graduate school with graduate students and faculty advisor

Time Commitment: 10 hours per week. We ask that practicum students establish a regular weekly schedule of work.

Interested applicants should contact Dr. Sarah Cook at or (404) 413-6265 for an interview.

Pediatric Brain Tumor Survivors, Longitudinal Follow-Up: Dr. Tricia King

This study examines the current psychological, social, intellectual and adaptive functioning of young adults diagnosed and treated for a brain tumor in childhood. These individuals were once examined on a yearly basis by neuropsychologists at Georgia State University. The lack of comprehensive and longitudinal research involving children with brain tumors, makes working with this research/database a unique opportunity. We are interested in the development of these individuals since the time of their last evaluation. Participants from the original study will be recruited and will undergo a neuropsychological evaluation. They will also undergo a neurological evaluation and participate in neuroimaging (functional MRI and diffusion tensor imaging). If chosen as a practicum student in our lab, we may ask you to help out with this study in the following ways:

  • Compiling test materials for participant
  • Maintaining research databases
  • Compiling pertinent research articles
  • Photocopying, filing, organizing
  • Assisting with processing of neuroimaging and behavioral data
  • Number of Positions Available: 2-4
  • Time Commitment: 6-9 hrs/wk for 2 semesters
  • Requirements for Applicants: GPA of 3.75 or higher; Psychology Major; Interest in clinical neuropsychology

These are EXCELLENT opportunities for any student interested in attending graduate school in clinical psychology. Learn about neuropsychological theories, research methods and design, data management and analyses, and the personal and professional requirements of a graduate career.  If interested, please contact Ryan (, Kristen (, or Reema (

Georgia BASICS Evaluation (GSU/Grady/Medical Center of Central Georgia): Dr. Gabriel Kuperminc

Program Description:  Georgia BASICS (Brief Assessment, Screening, Intervention, Continuum of Care System) is a collaborative SAMHSA-funded project designed to 1) increase the proportion of persons receiving SBIRT services in Grady Health Care System (Grady) and the Medical Center of Central Georgia (Macon) emergency departments, as well as future clinic sites, and 2) develop an expanded and trained workforce with SBIRT competencies. SBIRT stands for screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment and reflects a public health approach to substance abuse by providing universal screening services to community members to identify persons at-risk for substance use-related problems. For more information about SBIRT see:

Undergraduate students at Georgia State may join the Georgia BASICS evaluation team either as a volunteer or practicum student. The Georgia BASICS evaluation largely consists of following a random sample of patients that received Georgia BASICS services at regional hospitals and conducting 30 minute interviews to assess substance use and health-related outcomes 6 months after the hospital visit. Evaluation activities are conducted at GSU in the Urban Life Building.

  • Hours: 9 hours per week
  • Number of semesters: preferably 2 or more
  • Supervision: At least once a week meetings plus as-needed supervision with team members
    • Duties: Attend weekly research team or supervision meetings (as schedule permits), conduct library research, become familiar with relevant research literature, assist with data collection, entry, and management, assist in preparation of conference presentation(s), and assist in preparation of research reports. Interested students who show a strong commitment to the project may also be trained to conduct follow-up telephone interviews.

Evaluation of the Teen Health Project, a Comprehensive Sexual Health Education Program for Teenagers in Atlanta, GA: Dr. Gabriel Kuperminc

Program Description: The Teen Health Project (THP) is an evidence-based, community-level intervention designed to address the disproportionate rates of teen pregnancy and STDs among African American teens in Fulton County, Georgia. The THP program involves interactive workshops, parent meetings, and a youth-driven leadership council. The Center for Black Women’s Wellness implements the THP program in schools and community organizations throughout Fulton County.

Evaluation Description: The THP evaluation is a longitudinal study that involves pre- and post-test surveys and focus groups. Sixty-minute surveys are administered to THP participants before the program as well as six months and one year after the program. Similar surveys are administered to comparison youth who do not participate in the program. The surveys ask questions about sexual health, healthy relationships, problem solving, and goal setting. Focus groups are also conducted with members of the youth-driven leadership council. During the focus groups, participants describe their experiences serving on the leadership council and provide recommendations for improving the program. Evaluation activities take place at GSU in the Urban Life Building, at the Center for Black Women’s Wellness (, and at local schools and community organizations.

Opportunities for GSU Undergraduates: Undergraduate students at Georgia State may join the THP evaluation team as either a volunteer or a practicum student. Requirements of volunteers and practicum students include:

  • A minimum commitment of 6 hours per week.
  • A commitment to work with the THP evaluation team for at least 2 semesters (as a volunteer or a practicum student).


  • Attend weekly research team or supervision meetings (as schedule permits).
  • Conduct library research to become familiar with relevant research literature.
  • Assist with data collection, entry, and management. This includes participating in survey administration sessions conducted on-site at local schools and community organizations, entering data into SPSS statistical software and Excel spreadsheets, and transcribing and coding audio recordings.
  • Assist in preparation of conference presentation(s) and research report(s).


  • Receive training in data collection, data entry, data management, and both quantitative and qualitative data analysis.
  • Gain research experience in a community setting.
  • Join a supportive and friendly research team that includes professors, professional program evaluators, graduate students, volunteers, and undergraduate students.

Neurobiology of Memory Lab: Dr. Marise Parent

This practicum will involve research aimed at understanding how brain chemicals contribute to memory and memory dysfunction in rats and humans. The student will have the opportunity learn a variety of scientific skills, including animal handling, behavioral tests of learning and memory, and processing of brain tissue and microscope slides for visualization under the microscope.

  • Responsibilities: assist with research projects, attend laboratory meetings, and prepare a short research paper.

Developmental Neuropsychology Lab: Dr. Lauren Adamson

We currently have two large-scale investigations in the lab.

Early Detection of autism spectrum disorders (Toddler study). The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) is given to families attending the 18- or 24-month well‑child pediatric check‑up. Questionnaires are completed at the doctor's office and returned to the lab. Children who score at risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are followed with an interview clarifying responses, and if they continue to demonstrate risk for ASD, they are invited for 2 appointments as soon as possible, and three follow‑up appointments over a 2-year period. In addition, all children are re-screened at age 4.

Research assistant responsibilities include: making packets of blank forms to send to the pediatricians, logging data received by mail, entering data, calling for missing information, completing the follow‑up interviews with parents, alerting physicians when we follow up with a patient, setting up for toddler sessions, videotaping sessions, etc. Nearly all students working in the lab spend time on data entry and filming sessions, since we need many person‑hours on these tasks. After you've worked for a semester and shown your skills, professional behavior, and responsibility, some students are invited to learn one or more of the toddler measures to interact with individuals who come for sessions. Students who continue beyond the two semesters of practicum often take on additional responsibilities.

Studies of Emotion Perception (Emotion studies)- We are using behavioral, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and psychophysiological methods to learn more about how the brain perceives emotion. Individuals with ASD and typical individuals undergo behavioral and diagnostic testing, psychophysiological testing (skin conductance, heart rate, etc.), MRI training using our MRI simulator in the dept of psychology, and MRI scan (until summer/fall 2009 at Emory Hospital, beginning fall 2009 or later this will move to the new GSU/GA Tech Imaging Center).

Research assistant responsibilities include: attending MRI scans, conducting and/or assisting with MRI training using our mock scanner, scoring of behavioral testing, data entry, assisting with setup and collection of psychophys data, etc. Advanced students may have the opportunity to learn to administer behavioral testing. Please note that training in MRI and psychophysiological data analysis is not generally offered to undergraduates due to the complexity and the large time commitment required; however, exceptional students who have completed at least one semester of practicum and shown unusual skills, initiative, and motivation may be considered for this training. 

All practicum students are required to commit a minimum of two semesters, unless you receive prior authorization from Dr. Robins. In addition, please note that this practicum requires more than the minimum number of hours; fall/spring commitment is 3 hours per week per credit, which works out to 135 hours over the 15‑week semester if you register for 3 credits. In summer, I prefer students to be available for both Maymester and Summer Session, but will work with individual students to figure out how you can complete approx. 45 lab hours per credit registered.

If you are interested in applying to this practicum, please download the application and follow the instructions. My lab coordinator will be in touch to schedule an interview.

Resilient Families and Youth Lab: Dr. Ciara Smalls

Undergraduates may work in the lab as a volunteer or as a practicum student. Students assist on two main projects: College Student-Parent's Daily Life. The goal of this study is to understand participant’s experiences both as a student and as a parent.
Our second ongoing project is in conjunction with several community partners in the Atlanta area. In this project we aim to better understand family processes that are universal and those that are unique to African American families. We also explore the ways that a child’s surroundings help to develop his or her strengths.

Research opportunities include:

  • Scheduling participants by phone
  • Transcribing and coding participants’ responses from video or audio tape
  • Preparing materials for data collection and IRB submission
  • Assisting with data administrations conducted in at local community agencies and at GSU
  • Entering data into SPSS statistical software and/or Excel spreadsheets
  • Conducting reviews from the most relevant literature and updating files

Time Commitment: 6 hrs/wk

Please see our website for more information and for an application:

Visit our page for more information:

Learning and Development Lab: Dr. Rebecca Williamson

The research in the Learning and Development Lab investigates young children and adults’ cognitive development. Some key issues include examining what types of information children can learn from other  people, who children go to for help, and when adults choose to use sources of information. Most of the research involves using experimental procedures to collect behavioral data from preschool‑aged children.


  • Assisting in establishing a subject database (e.g. preparing mailings, posting flyers, returning phone calls from interested families)
  • Scheduling participants by phone
  • Constructing stimuli (e.g. formatting a storybook or building a  puzzle box)
  • Viewing video recordings of research sessions
  • Transcribing and coding participants’ responses from video or audio tape
  • Observing and assisting with laboratory research sessions
  • Participating in research sessions conducted on‑site at schools
  • Entering data into SPSS statistical software and/or Excel spreadsheets
  • Duplicating and editing videos
  • Maintaining subject databases

Time Commitment: 6 hrs/wk

Please see our website for more information and for an application ‑

Individual Differences in Executive Attention (IDEA) Laboratory : Dr. David Washburn

Students in the IDEA lab assist in the study of attention, executive function, and other cognitive competencies as they vary between individuals and across groups (including in some studies, across primate species). We examine the usefulness of these cognitive competencies provide in terms of predicting outcome measures of interest, such as performance in security-screening or shoot/don’t-shoot tasks. We attempt to understand the brain-behavior relations that underlie these individual differences.  Ongoing projects that illustrate this research include:


  • Using Transcranial Doppler Sonography or other noninvasive psychophysiological techniques to study changes in brain activity as an individual sustains attention across time
  • Examining responsiveness to uncertainty in a wide range of decision-making tasks, including some administered in immersive virtual environment
  • Considering whether profiles of an individual’s attention skills and weaknesses predict performance in speeded shoot/don’t-shoot judgments
  • Measuring how the capacity to control attention and to resist distraction emerges over development or across primate species
  • Testing methods for improving attention, self-regulation, learning and memory

Interested applicants must typically work in the IDEA lab for at least one semester as a volunteer or in some similar capacity. All applicants will be interviewed by the research staff and must be recommended for the practicum by this staff.  Student responsibilities include completing training required by the investigator and/or oversight agencies (e.g., the Institutional Review Board or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee), meeting with other members of the research team on a regular basis, reliably testing participant volunteers in accordance with instructions for the study, contributing as needed and able to the analysis and reporting of study results. Practicum students are encouraged to submit data for presentation at one or more of the undergraduate research conferences.


Sonny Carter Life Sciences Laboratory of the Language Research Center : Dr. David Washburn


The Language Research Center (LRC) is an off-campus facility in which chimpanzees, capuchin monkeys, and rhesus monkeys are studied using noninvasive techniques. The rhesus monkeys at the Sonny Carter Life Sciences Laboratory (SCLSL) have access to game-like computer tasks that allow the animals to work when they want / rest when they want, and thereby to contribute data on learning, memory, attention, perception, problem solving, and other cognitive processes. These animals are not reduced in body weight for purposes of testing, and remain at the LRC as resident research participants for their lifespans. Select students have the opportunity to contribute to the research with monkeys and chimpanzees, for example by conducting behavioral observations, by organizing and analyzing computer-task data, by developing new game-like tasks or activities for the animals to engage, or by otherwise supporting the scientists who are studying the nonhuman primates’ capacity for language and other cognitive competencies.


Interested applicants will be interviewed by the research staff, and must be recommended by at least one member of the research team.  Student responsibilities include completing training required by the investigator and/or oversight agencies (e.g., the Institutional Review Board or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee), meeting with other members of the research team on a regular basis, reliable participation in scheduled data gathering or analysis sessions, contributing as needed and able to the analysis and reporting of study results. Practicum students are encouraged to submit data for presentation at one or more of the undergraduate research conferences. Practicum students are also responsible for following the approved procedures of the LRC and the protocols of the research studies. Practicum students working at the LRC are responsible for their own transportation, and must typically produce evidence of a negative TB test.