Clinical Research Assistant I

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Clinical Research Assistant I

Date Posted April 3, 2017
Job Type Regular
Hours Per Week 40
PAVIR Job ID YES1702.17
Salary Range DOE


The Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research (PAVIR) is seeking a Clinical Research Assistant position in the Goldstein-Piekarski lab, which is part of Stanford University and the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System. The Clinical Research Assistant position will support a research study investigating treatments for insomnia, mediators, moderators, and quality of life under the direction of the Principal Investigator (PI).

The Goldstein-Piekarski lab is focused on translational clinical research and utilizes human neuroimaging, high density EEG, computational methods, and clinical psychology to examine the role of sleep physiology in the development, maintenance, and treatment of psychopathology across the lifespan. A primary goal of this research is to identify novel sleep and neuroimaging related biomarkers of treatment response that could be used to better match patients to effective treatments.

This position will primarily contribute to a study investigating treatments for insomnia. The Research Assistant will have the opportunity to learn skills in cutting edge new technologies, including advanced brain imaging. There is also the opportunity to be part of scientific publications. The position will be based in a lab that values cooperation, fairness, efficiency, and conscientiousness.

This is a regular, full-time (40 hours a week), non-exempt (hourly-paid) position.

PAVIR is a nonprofit foundation affiliated with the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS). As a condition of employment, all PAVIR employees are required to have an approved appointment with VAPAHCS and complete a background check before they can commence work.


  • Conduct polysomnography and EEG recordings; attach and calibrate polysomnography and EEG equipment in clinical setting; disconnect, disinfect, and store equipment upon completion of recording; prepare initial polysomnography and EEG data for scoring and review
  • Assist in recruiting older participants for study by attending senior community events, placing ads in senior and local newspapers, circulating flyers or arranging for talks by senior staff in the community
  • Test research participants; Administer study cognitive and neuropsychological tests and collect medical information according to protocols
  • Assist with day-to-day study coordination; schedule study procedures, physician assessment, and blood and urine collection; coordinate schedules with members of research team for treatment sessions; assist with study correspondence and maintenance of study charts and IRB files
  • Assist with database entry; accurately score and enter neuropsychological scores according to defined protocols
  • Assist with additional research related duties as needed; assist with literature searches, posters, and publications; provide occasional backup to other research staff; contribute to the center’s newsletter



  • Required: B.S. or B.A. degree (or Senior-year students with graduation date scheduled for 2017) in psychology, human biology, cognitive neuroscience, or a related field (or equivalent combination of education and experience)

Work Experience:

  • 1 year of related experience desired
  • Research experience in psychological test administration, research design, and statistical analysis strongly preferred
  • Experience with subject recruitment in a similar research environment strongly preferred

Knowledge / Skills / Abilities:

  • Highly reliable with demonstrated organizational ability
  • Accurate record keeping and attention to detail
  • Effective communication skills, both orally and in writing
  • Ability to work independently and proactively as well as ability to work well with study team members
  • Ability to motivate and recruit elderly subjects; experience with elderly, cognitively impaired, anxious, or difficult subjects desired
  • Proficiency in MS Word, Excel and Outlook; familiarity with PowerPoint, FileMaker Pro and Endnote desired
  • Basic math/statistical skills
  • Ability to understand and follow VA regulations and procedures regarding research
  • Experience with polysomnography and EEG recordings and/or fMRI acquisition highly desired
  • Knowledge of medical terms and abbreviations relevant to obtaining and coding medical history desired
  • Experience in database management or experience using statistical programs desired
  • Strong interest in human neuroscience techniques and experimental design including EEG and fMRI
  • Knowledge of relevant software/scripts/computing environments such as Matlab, R or Python is highly desired

Environmental Conditions / Physical Demands:

Physical: Lifting up to 10 lbs. occasionally, standing, bending, repetitive movement, etc. Must be able to sit for long periods of time.

Environmental: Exposure to office and hospital/clinical environment. Exposure to imaging equipment, laboratory environments and bloodborne pathogens. Will encounter patients who may have impaired cognitive function, anxious, and/or difficult.

PAVIR engages in nonprofit medical research and works with sponsors and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) in administering funds for conducting research to find new and improved ways to combat human disease and help people with disabilities. Please refer to our website for additional information:

PAVIR is pleased to be an Equal Opportunity Employer for minorities, women, protected Veterans, and qualified individuals with a disability. If you need special assistance or an accommodation to apply for a posted position, please contact (Human Resources department).


  • Medical Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Life Insurance – paid by PAVIR
  • Short-term and Long-term disability insurance – paid by PAVIR
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Health Savings Account
  • Vacation
  • Sick Leave
  • Holidays
  • 401(k) Retirement Plan with Company Match
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Commuter Benefits
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