Undergraduate research assistant Alexandria Patterson presenting a research poster at the 2014 VCU Poster Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creativity [View Image]
Undergraduate research assistants (RAs) in the FAMH lab may have a variety of experiences, learning about the different stages of the research process, from planning to dissemination. RAs are trained in effective child behavior management and assist with ongoing research, running participants, monitoring children with behavior problems, coding parent-child interactions, collecting parent report data and managing data. For those undergraduates interested in graduate school in clinical psychology, poster and manuscript preparation experiences are also vital. RAs in the FAMH Lab work directly with Dr. Jones and the other lab members in intensive collaborative writing experiences to develop posters for presentation at national and local conferences, as well as manuscripts for submission to journals in the field of child clinical psychology. Undergraduate RAs develop one to two first-author posters for submission to local, state or national conferences, as well as several co-authored poster abstract and possible manuscript submissions. RAs attend weekly lab meetings and gain experience conceptualizing specific aims, analyzing secondary data and writing up their research. This lab is a good match for those undergraduates interested in African American families, child mental health (including ADHD), integrated care and pregnancy. Previous undergraduate RAs working with Dr. Jones have gone on to different career paths, including doctoral programs in clinical psychology, medical school (with a focus on pediatrics or psychiatry) and the National Institutes of Health.